It's A Leap Year So Wait Your Turn, March

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This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.

Winter has its place. But quite honestly about now I am really, really ready for March.

Imagine my dismay when I looked at the calendar today and realized that February will not end tomorrow as I had hoped. Nope, instead we will need to wait until Friday the 29th! This year is a leap year, that wretched event which happens about once every four years because our 365-day calendar is about six hours off. We know this because the tropical year -- the time it takes for the earth to rotate around the sun, marked by the exact vernal equinox -- is 365 days-and-not-quite-six-hours.

The ancients had a clue, because the vernal equinox was the day in the spring when the hours of light and darkness are just about the same. But they were forever having to add days, sometimes as many as 10, because they couldn't get the math right.

So we have a leap year, and people like me who are tired of winter have to endure one more day of the already too-long February … Sigh.

Harry's daily commentary can be heard on many CBS Radio News affiliates across the country.
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