Weird truths about leap year

With this year a leap year, February 29 is coming up next week. To celebrate, Alex "Weird Universe" Boese posted "5 Weird Facts About Leap Years" over at About.com:

2. The Extra Day Swindle

In February 1997, John Melo was convicted of home invasion and sentenced to ten years and one day in prison. Seven years later, he filed a motion complaining that the Department of Correction had miscalculated the length of his sentence. Why? Because it had failed to credit him for the additional days he had to serve on account of the February 29's during leap years.

Melo's motion was allowed, but he didn't win the case. In 2006 the Superior Court ruled (Commonwealth vs. John Melo) that not only did his case have no merit, but it had been a mistake to ever allow it to proceed in the first place, noting that he had clearly been sentenced to a term of years, no matter how long each year may be.

"5 Weird Facts About Leap Years" (About.com)

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  1. Felton says:

    For some ridiculous reason, to which, however, I’ve no desire to be disloyal,
    Some person in authority, I don’t know who, very likely the Astronomer Royal,
    Has decided that, although for such a beastly month as February,
    twenty-eight days as a rule are plenty,
    One year in every four his days shall be reckoned as nine and twenty.
    Through some singular coincidence – I shouldn’t be surprised if it were owing to the
    agency of an ill-natured fairy –
    You are the victim of this clumsy arrangement, having been born in leap-year,
    on the twenty-ninth of February;
    And so, by a simple arithmetical process, you’ll easily discover,
    That though you’ve lived twenty-one years, yet, if we go by birthdays,
    you’re only five and a little bit over!

  2. Every four years, except every 100 years when it isn't, except every 400 years when it is.

    2000 was a Leap Year, but 1900 wasn't...

  3. Not even days are safe. Make sure the sentence is specified in seconds:

  4. Me, I'd ask for it in Planck time.

    Written out.

    In German.

  5. My mom turned 18 back before the legal age moved to 21. Because she was born in February, she always celebrated on February 28th, even though her birthday was technically the day after the 28th of February.

    So this year, she goes to celebrate at her local watering hole on the 28th. First legal beer! The barkeep naturally asks to see ID, which she dutifully provides. Upon looking it over, the barkeep solemnly states, "It says that your birthday isn't actually until tomorrow."

    To which she replies, "But there is no tomorrow."

    After meditating on this for a moment, the barkeep proceeded to pour her a beer.

    Happy birthday, mom!

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