Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Why Do We Need Leap Years?


Leap Years are needed to keep our calendar in alignment with the Earth's revolutions around the sun.
It takes the Earth approximately 365.242199 days – or 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds (a tropical year)– to circle once around the Sun.

However, the Gregorian calendar has only 365 days in a year, so if we didn't add a day on February 29 nearly every 4 years, we would lose almost six hours off our calendar every year. After only 100 years, our calendar would be off by approximately 24 days!

Fun Facts about the Leap Year

  • The Egyptians are responsible for our knowledge that the solar and human calendars are not in sync.
  • Instead of 365 days, the Earth takes an extra 5 hours, 48 minutes and 46 second to go around the Sun.
  • The Romans (Julius Caesar) added February 29th as a leap day in the Julian calendar, with the once every 4 years rule. It took another 1500 years (till 1582) for the Gregorian calendar to apply the system we use now.
  • Only years divisible by 4 have leap days.
  • No year that can be divided by 100 has a leap day unless it is also divisible by 400. That’s why 1900 was not a leap year but 2000 was.
  • Leap day is the day when women are allowed to propose to men (though these days most women don’t wait if that’s what they want to do.) According to tradition, this practice started in the fifth century.
  • Since those born on February 29th only have a birthday every 4 years (most celebrate the day before or day after), they can claim to be much younger than their calendar years. Here’s a handy chart to work out your age in leap years if this applies to you.
  • Even decades usually have three leap years (e.g. 2000, 2004, 2008); even ones have two (e.g 1992, 1996)
  • Want to know what day of the week Leap Day will be? It occurs on the same day every 28 years.  That means it will be 2040 before Leap Day is on a Wednesday again.
  • According to the Guinness Book of Records, one family in the UK has three generations born on February 29th. They are Peter Anthony Keogh (194), Peter Eric Keogh (1964) and Bethany Wealth (1996).
  • Not everyone follows the Gregorian calendar. For example, the lunisolar Chinese calendar adds a leap month approximately every 3 years. This month takes place at different times in the calendar.
  • Sweden once had an extra leap day, February 30th, in 1712.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Got dirt?

Last week was exciting.  The first plant and seed catalog arrived in the mail.  I enjoy paging through these catalogs, learning about new varieties of roses, hydrangea, tomatoes, herbs and shrubs.  Perennials are a special favorite.  They provide color and interest to the garden and once established require minimal care.  But how is this goal of "once established" achieved and are the requirements for "minimal care" the same for all of these beautiful plants?  How are they planted and when?

This is Wisconsin after all, so there is plenty of time before planting season begins.  Plenty of time to research plants and plan gardens.  The library has many books to help.

     The Garden Book For Wisconsin by Melinda Meyers,   635,0977 MYE

     Gardening in Wisconsin Month By Month by Melinda Meyers   635.0977 MYE

     Perennials For Every Purpose by Larry Hodgson,   635.9 HOD

     Tending Your Garden  by Gordon & Mary Hayward   635.9 HAY

These and many more titles are available at the library.

Monday, February 20, 2012

President's Day 2012 - Tweets from the Presidents

Each of the Presidents from Washington to Obama share a bit of philosophy in less than 140 characters as a tweet. Quotes are as actually spoken by the person with whom they are displayed. Music is "Celebration" by Helen O'Hara from her album "Southern Hearts".
Uploaded by on Jan 4, 2011

Thursday, February 16, 2012

What Happens When the Library Closes

The library is such an inviting place to visit.  There are books for all ages, magazines, videos, places to gather to study or work on hobbies. You will find a wealth of information including computers and the latest info on new technology. For those of you that are library lovers, we dread the final call from the librarian that yes indeed the library is closing for the night.

But do you ever wonder what happens in the library after it closes??????

No one really knows do they……..

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Random Acts of Kindness Week: February 12 – 18, 2012

Around Christmas, do you remember reading about the kindly, anonymous people who paid off the lay away bills for total strangers?  Their kindness spoke to my heart – especially since they were anonymous acts with real power behind them to remind us all that our world includes more than “just me.”  The acts were unusual enough that the idea of helping others was foremost in the news for some time. I wonder what other random acts of kindness (RAK) happened as a result of these inspired gifts.

Did it motivate you to do anything in your own sphere of influence?  It did for me. 
I was reminded of those Christmas acts of kindness when I saw that this week has been designated “Random Act of Kindness Week.” 

“RAK Week is the second full week of February each year. Random Acts of Kindness Week is designed to give those who are either not currently aware of Random Acts of Kindness or those who wish to call attention to the value of kind actions a chance to experience the joy of passing along kindness. The week’s purpose is to raise awareness about kindness and to invite people to give and receive kindness daily.

“Celebrations vary widely. An individual may celebrate kindness by performing anonymous kind acts all week long. An educator may lead a discussion about kindness and involve students in a brief kindness activity. Some celebrations are school wide. Some celebrations are community-based rather than school-based. The choice is up to you. For hundreds of ideas, consult our Kindness Ideas resource, or the Educators and Community sections on this website.”
What a difference we could make if we each asked ourselves, “How might I touch one or more lives with RAKs this week and beyond—not done to benefit “me” but to truly benefit the receiver?”

Monday, February 13, 2012

Wedding Bells are Ringing

It's almost that time of year again...Wedding season!! Are you planning or helping to plan a wedding? For some tips and tricks, come to the library and check out some books or magazines. We have something for everyday whether you're the bride, groom, or part of the wedding party. We even have stuff if you're one who's giving a toast to the lovely couple!

Or are you in charge of the bridal shower, but not quite sure where to start? We've got books on different themes, games, decorations and more to help give you some ideas.

Best of luck throughout the wedding planning experience!!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

On This Day in History...

According to the History Channel's This Day in History Calendar, John Grisham was born on this day, February 8, in 1955.  He is known for his best-selling legal thrillers.  His first novel, A Time to Kill, was published in 1989.  To date, he has written more than 20 books.  Nine of his books have been made into movies.  Check out one today!  You can also follow the "This Day in History" calendar on Twitter.  Other historical events for today include: Irish Race Horse Stolen in 1983; Mary Queen of Scots is beheaded in 1587; & Spud Webb wins dunk contest in 1986. 

Monday, February 6, 2012

Valentine’s Day Trivia

St. Valentine's Day is a holiday observed on February 14 honoring one or more early Christian martyrs named Saint Valentine. It is traditionally a day on which lovers express their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards. The day first became associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. It was first established by Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD, and was later deleted from the General Roman Calendar of saints in 1969 by Pope Paul VI.

More cool Valentine’s Day Trivia can by found here.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

New to the Waterford Library’s fitness collection

Keep those New Year's Resolutions!  Check out the newest fitness videos at the library!

Hatha & Flow Yoga for beginners
Hatha: Increase Flexibility & Dissolve Stress
Flow: Build Strength & Stamina

613.7046 ELE DVD 1-DISC

Yoga for stress relief & flexibility
Two easy to follow programs that dissolve tension,
relax muscles & rejuvenate the spirit.

613.7046 ELE DVD 1-DISC
Dance off the inches: Hip Hop Party
Drop inches & get dancer’s abs!

613.71 DAN DVD 1-DISC
Dance off the inches: Cardio Hip Hop
Dance your way to a leaner body & amazing abs

613.715 DAN DVD 1-DISC
10 minute Solution

Fat blasting dance mix.  10 minute dance workouts to shape your body.
613.71 DAN DVD 1-DISC

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Why is Punxsutawney Phil top groundhog?

The Los Angeles Times Nation Now section ran a great article on why Punxsutawney Phil is the most famous groundhog who gets the most coverage.  It states that he is the first groundhog to give predictions.  He's been at this business for 126 years.  Read the full article here.

Still, I will put my faith in Jimmy - Wisconsin's very own Sun Prairie groundhog - who predicted an early spring.  Sun Praire officials have stated that Jimmy has never been wrong.  Fingers crossed!