Travis Black - February 2020

Like the Olympics and presidential elections, leap years only occur once every four years, which is why many people look forward to Feb. 29. But there’s a lot that you might not know about this quirk on the calendar. WHY To keep the calendar in sync with Earth’s orbit around the sun, an extra day is added to it every four years. Earth takes exactly 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds to orbit the sun. Those extra hours add up over time, so another calendar day becomes necessary. But a leap year doesn’t occur every four years. Adding that extra day still doesn’t quite keep Earth on track, so the calendar skips leap years that occur during century years not divisible by 400. For example, 2000 was a leap year, but 2100 won’t be. WHO The odds of being born on Feb. 29 are 1 in 1,461. That means that of the roughly seven billion people in the world, only about five million of them are “leaplings.” The number of leaplings currently living in the U.S. is roughly 187,000. Some famous leaplings include motivational speaker Tony Robbins, rapper Ja Rule, and singer Mark Foster of Foster the People. However, the most famous leapling is probably Superman. When you invent a super-being, you might as well give him a super-birthday. LEAP INTO 2020 FACTS ABOUT THE LEAP YEAR With all the content available in the world of family entertainment, it’s hard to determine what’s appropriate for children, and it depends heavily on age. In this blurry landscape, it may seem as though no one has the right answers. Luckily, there are online resources available to parents who want to get educated about what is okay for their children to see. DOVE.ORG This website’s sole focus is to define the appropriate age for individuals to consume certain media. Their reviews do more than just declare a show or movie to be appropriate for all ages. They actually place films, TV programs, and books into three different categories based on their intended audiences. All the entertainment they review earn one of the following three ratings: Dove Approved All Ages, Dove Approved 12+, and Dove Approved 18+. KIDS-IN-MIND.COM Kids-In-Mind.com reviews all the latest blockbuster movies and breaks down exactly why they have G, PG-13, and R ratings. This website is a great tool to judge content for kids who are in between rating groups. The reviewers claim, “Unlike the MPAA, we do not assign a single, age-specific rating, and we do not make recommendations. Instead WHAT’S ON TV? 3 REVIEW SITES TO HELP YOU MONITOR WHAT YOUR KIDS ARE WATCHING

we assign each film three distinct, category-specific ratings: one for sex and nudity, one for violence and gore, and one for language. Each rating is on a scale of 0-10, depending on quantity and context.” COMMONSENSEMEDIA.ORG CommonSenseMedia.org has you covered on all bases relating to content your kids want to consume. They review all the movies and TV shows available, but they also review books, apps, and games. They also provide age and genre filters so you can easily determine if the next Xbox game your child wants is appropriate. In addition, CommonSenseMedia.org understands that social media sites and interactive games like Fortnite are also areas for concern for most parents. To address these concerns, the website offers guides that walk you through child-appropriate use of leading social media and entertainment platforms like YouTube, TikTok, and Snapchat. These guides define what each platform is, how it works, and what you can do to make sure your kids stay safe while using them. Deciding what is or isn’t appropriate for your kids isn’t easy, so be sure to use these resources to monitor the entertainment your kids are consuming.

WHERE Anthony, Texas/New Mexico (a single town that straddles the two states’ borders), claims the title “Leap Year Capital of the World.” The city throws one massive birthday party for all leaplings but invites everyone to join the celebration. Two leapling neighbors from Anthony began the tradition in 1988, and it’s blossomed into a festival with thousands of participants every four years. It includes banquets, hot air balloons, a carnival, concerts, parades, and more. When you have four years to plan in between each shindig, there’s time to go big. Celebrate this leap year by doing something unusual or new. It’s a special day that doesn’t occur often, so make the most of it by doing something you’ll talk about for another four years.

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