Leap Day

Today is not the last day of February, it is tomorrow. This year is a leap year, and tomorrow, February 29th, is a leap day.

Leap days occur every four years. Why?


It is all about the sun. The earth takes about 365.2422 days to orbit the sun. This is known as a solar year. A normal year is 365 days, so you can see it is not quite long enough. If we had no leap day then our months and seasons would change. In 100 years we would have January in December, and February in January etc. So you could visit Kyoto to take pictures of the autumn colours in New Year. And after 200 years January would be in November; it would slowly and continually get earlier.

It seems to make sense to add an extra day every four years to keep the seasons stable. This day was introduced in 1582 in Italy, Spain Portugal and Poland, but it wasn’t introduced until 1752 in Britain and America.

So everything is OK? No. A solar year is actually 365.242199 years (and can change slightly due to the position of other planets). Adding an extra day every four years is still not accurate. So every 100 years it has been decided there shall be no leap year, consequently any year ending in ’00’ is not a leap year, for example 1800, 1900.

But this is still not enough to be completely accurate, so every 400 years (1600, 2000, 2400 etc.) WILL be a leap year.

Now, for the scientists and geeks the timing is still not quite perfect (by 27 seconds a year, or one day every 3,326 years), but for most of us it is fine.

Is it true that a leap year is a time when ladies can propose to men? This custom was started in Ireland more than a thousand years ago when St Bridget made the suggestion to St Patrick. She originally suggested that ladies should be allowed to propose on the leap day only. In those days life was very much dominated by the males, so this was a very early attempt to balance the situation. St Patrick agreed and so February 29th became a traditional day for ladies to propose.

Maybe one day every four years wasn’t enough, and over time this has been extended to the full leap year. But the leap day is the original day for female proposal, and this day is tomorrow, so ladies good luck, and men beware!

League Cup Winners

In English football there are three trophies that can be won: the Premier League, the FA Cup, and the League Cup. The Premier League is the most important, then the FA Cup then the League Cup.

Tottenham (Spurs) have just won the League Cup, beating Chelsea 2-1, with goals from Berbatov (Bulgaria) and Woodgate (England). It was a great victory because Chelsea are one of the best teams in the world.


It is Spurs first trophy in nine years, and it is a very big win for the club. English football is dominated by four clubs: Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool, and these four teams have won everything for the last four years, so it is a big occasion when a different team is able to win.

There are also two European competitions: the Champions League, and the UEFA Cup. Spurs are in the last 16 of the UEFA Cup, and will play PSV Eindhoven (Holland) in the next game.

Weird photo


Sea, stones and sky, but something doesn’t look right about this photo.

It is very unusual to see such a deep blue sea touching land. That is because the sea isn’t touching land. The stones are actually floating on the sea, and this is completely natural, and weird!

Tottenham 1-1 Slavia Prague (3-2)

It was a very close game, and Tottenham (nickname Spurs) drew with Slavia Prague (Czech Republic) 1-1, at Spurs home ground in London. But Spurs won the game in Prague 1-2 last week, so Spurs win 3-2 on aggregate.

Jamie O’Hara (England) scored Spurs’ goal, which you can see in the picture below. Now Spurs progress to the last 16 of the UEFA Cup, and the next game is sure to be really tough.

However Spurs have an even bigger game this Sunday; they play Chelsea in the final of the League Cup. The last time Spurs won something was in 1999, but this game is against one of the best teams in the world!



The word Monday comes from  ‘Mani’, the old German moon god, which became ‘Mona’ in old English.

Since Sunday is considered the day of the sun, the following day is considered the day of the moon, and this is not only true in English, but in many other languages too, such as Japanese and Sanskrit.

In case you have forgotten what it looks like, here is a picture of the moon.


Slavia Prague 1-2 Tottenham

In the last 32 of the Uefa Cup my favourite football team, Tottenham (nickname Spurs) won away against Slavia Prague (Czech Republic). There is a second game in London next week to see which team can progress to the last 16.

The Spurs goals were scored by Berbatov (Bulgaria) and Keane (Ireland), and you can see Keane’s goal in the photo below.


A long, wide rainbow

This is another rainbow picture that I found. What a sight!

It’s not shaped like a bow, and it’s not circular. It’s just long and wide. In this case the cloud is not a gas, and actually consists of very small pieces of ice. The sunlight on the ice produces the rainbow.


Rainbow from above the clouds

In his comment to Quick Quiz XXV dragonlife replied with another quiz, an excellent question: what does a rainbow look like when seen from above, for example from an airplane.

I admit that I didn’t know, so I did some research and found this photo taken from an airplane above the clouds.


Maybe you can just see a circular rainbow on the clouds. This is a very unusual sight. I hope this is the right answer dragonlife!

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu in Peru was built around the year 1450, but abandoned a hundred years later, at the time of the Spanish invasion. It is 2,430 meters above sea level and is often referred to as “The Lost City of the Incas”.

Machu Picchu is now a tourist attraction and about 400,000 people visited the site last year.

Here is a photo which shows all its beauty.


Sagrada Familia

The Sagrada Familia (Holy Family) is a huge chuch in Barcelona, Spain. It is thought to be one of the most beautiful buildings in the world.

Building began in 1882, and it still isn’t finished! The original designer was Antoni Gaudi, who died in 1926, and the building work is scheduled to end in 2026, 100 years after his death.


Not only does the outside of the building look so grand and wonderful, but it contains statues and carvings that tell many stories. This picture shows the birth of Christ.


And some of the statues look incredibly modern. And this is just the outside!