When Frederic, the hero of Gilbert and Sullivan’s “Pirates of Penzance,” learns that his Feb. 29 birthday means that he is not 21 years old but 5, he figures he’ll have to serve out his apprenticeship to the Pirate King for 60 more years, and swears to the love of his life that he will return in his 80s and marry her. Such are the tales that have always been told about today’s date. But now we’re in the 21st century, and time is measured according to oscillations of vaporized atoms of cesium-133. Why do we still need something as oddly quaint as leap year?… Seguir leyendo »
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