Sunday, February 29, 2004

Leap blog.

The Academy Awards is somewhere near the top of my list of events I pay no attention to. Or it would be, if I compiled such a list. But if I compiled it, that would be paying too much attention.

I'm not absolutely indifferent to the awards. In 2001, I found myself in Hollywood, and I did take the time to wander into the Roosevelt Hotel, and briefly see the Blossom Room, where the first awards were held in the late '20s. As far as I'm concerned, dead movie stars are a lot more interesting than live ones. Bet the Roosevelt Hotel has some entertaining spooks.

I'm more interested in the fact that today comes but once every four years. It also happens to be my mother-in-law’s birthday, so she's one of those people who has a Leap Year birthday. Her birth year can be cast into a riddle: Today is her 16th birthday, and she was born in Showa 15. What year was she born?

Leap Year brings to mind the lore of King Numa reforming the early Roman calendar, Julius Caesar (and Sosigenes) replacing lunar with solar, Caligula trying to name a month after Germanicus (at least according to Robert Graves), Pope Gregory ordering his change but the Protestant parts of Europe ignoring it, and so on. When I was a kid I was fascinated by calendars, and would draw my own sometimes. In high school, I read about the history of the calendar on my own time, because it wasn't part of any class. Even now I have some interest, though not as much as a fellow I know who spent time calculating the dates of Easter in the far distant future -- thousands of years further than the standard Easter tables. I think he even wrote a computer program to do that for him.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home