In the News, Look Before Leaping, Opioid Crisis 4.0 & Behind the Brand ⚠️

In the News, Look Before Leaping, Opioid Crisis 4.0 & Behind the Brand ⚠️

In the News, Look Before Leaping, Opioid Crisis 4.0 & Behind the Brand ⚠️ 2560 1696 AEPC Health

Leap Year Matters

As February draws to a close, we are on the edge of a rare event. For most years, the end of February signals the approach of March, but every 4 years or so , there’s an extra day that captures our attention – February 29th, Leap Day.

In a recent survey, it was found that 75% of Americans are aware that 2024 is a leap year. Surprisingly, 44% of respondents were unable to explain the reason behind leap years. Additionally, approximately 90% of those surveyed believe that leap years occur once every four years, a misconception that needs clarification. Let’s delve into the science behind leap years, explore common superstitions, and examine both current and historical events of significance.

Those Darn Decimals
You may have heard the saying “the devil is in the details,” which emphasizes the importance of paying attention to small details to avoid larger issues. When it comes to understanding leap years, the devil truly is in the decimals.

The purpose of a leap year is to adjust our calendar system to match the Earth’s orbit around the Sun more accurately. The Earth’s orbit actually takes about 365.2421 days, slightly longer than the 365 days we typically use in a calendar year.

Without accounting for this difference, our calendar would gradually become out of sync with the seasons over time. To correct for this, we add an extra day to the calendar approximately every four years, creating a leap year. This extra day, February 29th, ensures that our calendar stays in alignment with the astronomical year.

Yet, merely appending a day every four years would lead to a minor overcorrection. As a result , the guidelines for identifying leap years are slightly more intricate. To determine if a year is a leap year, follow these steps:

1. If the year is divisible by 4: Most years that are evenly divisible by 4 are leap years. For example, 1996, 2000, 2004, and 2008 are leap years.
2. Exception to rule 1: Years that are divisible by 100 are not leap years, unless they are also divisible by 400.

The good news is the next exception to the every 4 years is not until 2100!

Say Yes, or Else
There’s no shortage of Leap Day superstitions, particularly surrounding marriage proposals. One of the most famous superstitions suggests that women have the right to propose to men on leap day. Legend has it that in fifth-century Ireland, St. Bridget persuaded St. Patrick to grant women this privilege, but only once every four years on February 29th. If the man declined the proposal, he was expected to offer the woman a gift such as a silk dress, fur coat, or gloves.

Following Ireland’s example, other European countries adopted similar customs, allowing women to propose on Leap Day. In Denmark, for instance, if a man rejected a proposal, he was to provide the woman with 12 pairs of gloves to conceal the embarrassment of her ringless finger. In Finland, it was customary for the man to gift the woman enough silk fabric to make a skirt

Leap Year Leaps
Throughout history, some of the most pivotal events that have shaped our world unfolded during leap years including The Declaration of Independence (1776), invention of the telephone by Alexander Graham Bell (1876), discovery of DNA structure by James Watson and Francis Crick (1953) and first moon landing by the Apollo 11 mission (1969).

Less than two months into 2024, significant scientific advancements have already taken place. Last week, the Food and Drug Administration granted Accelerated Approval for a cell therapy targeting solid tumors to Iovance Biotherapeutics’ melanoma therapy Amtagvi. This groundbreaking treatment, known as tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) therapy, utilizes a patient’s own immune cells to combat cancer. The approval of Amtagvi marks a major milestone in cancer treatment, with the potential for other TIL therapies in development to receive approval for treating additional types of cancer.

Another significant leap forward occurred on February 22nd when the unmanned spacecraft Odysseus successfully landed on the moon. Roughly the size of a phone booth, Odysseus represents the first private spacecraft to achieve a lunar landing and the first US lunar lander since the Apollo 17 mission in 1972. However, just before landing, Odysseus encountered a critical issue reminiscent of the Apollo 13 mission—its landing lasers malfunctioned. Thankfully, mission engineers devised a solution using experimental lasers from NASA’s inventory, enabling Odysseus to land safely as planned.

Take a look at this edition of The Download for the latest in healthcare and other news in leap year 2024.


Happy Reading!

Suzanne Daniels

  • In the News: No Surprises act rollout & inpatient claims, United Healthcare company cyber attack & increased injuries in states legalizing marijuana.
  • Look Before Leaping: FDA warnings about blood sugar testing w/o needles, addiction apps leaking data & retiring and returning to work.
  • Opioid Crisis 4.0: the 4th wave of opioid epidemic, drug overdoses top killer in construction industry, &  ripple effect of overdoes deaths.
  • Behind the Brand: including my personal favorite, The Sweet Story of Condensed Milk!

Enjoy the weekend!

Suzanne Daniels, Ph.D.
AEPC President
P.O. Box 1416
Birmingham, MI 48012
Office: (248) 792-2187
Email: [email protected]

News you can trust

Privacy Preferences

When you visit our website, it may store information through your browser from specific services, usually in the form of cookies. Here you can change your Privacy preferences. It is worth noting that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on our website and the services we are able to offer.

Our website uses cookies, mainly from 3rd party services. Define your Privacy Preferences and/or agree to our use of cookies.