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Not Every Fourth Year Is A Leap Year

I had to categorize this post as Trivia because the information contained in it will affect very few people alive today (unless you are an avid historian or user of Microsoft Excel).  It turns out that we were all misled as children – not every fourth year is a leap year.  Since the solar year is actually less than 365.25 days, closer to 365.24, there are several other adjustments that need to be made.  Notably, only the beginning of every century that is evenly divisible by 4 is a leap year.  In other words, 1700, 1800 and 1900 were not leap years, but 2000 was a leap year.  2100 will not be a leap year, which will make it that much easier for me to reach the age of 120.

I was reading an article the other day about how in its early days, Microsoft encoded a date/time error into Microsoft Excel.  They assigned a number of 59 to February 28, 1900 and a number of 61 to March 1, 1900.  Microsoft has since “corrected” the error by assigning the number 60 to February 29 1900 (you can try it yourself).  Unfortunately, February 29, 1900 never occurred.

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