Leap Year Babies, we salute you

leapyear After reading this article from The Register, it’s become blatantly apparent to me that leap year babies are A) mad as hell and B) not going to take it any more. I was born on the first day of February and would like to express my admiration for those of you out there who were born on a day in this great month so callously overlooked by many a web-based form.

Case in point, the automated birthday greeting sent out by Toys ‘R Us mascot Geoffrey the Giraffe. The long-necked jerk won’t send any well-wishes to those of you born on February the 29th, a day he considers “invalid.”

The Honor Society of Leap Year Day Babies is trying to evoke change via a Perl script “that web designers can use to avoid the dreaded ‘Invalid birth date’ bug,” according to a press release on the LeapYearDay.com website.

Apparently, this whole thing started as a bug wherein the year 1900 was counted as a leap year. Here’s more from the press release.

Peter Brouwer, a spokesman for the Honor Society, says he’s not surprised by the Invalid birth date bug, “Many Americans don’t understand leap year – so why should the Internet?” Brouwer doesn’t want to see a repeat of the leap year bug, which has taken over 20 years to correct. “In that bug, 1900 was counted as a leap year, even though it was not a leap year. Only recently has there been an agreement to fix the bug, when an international standards organization got involved. Brouwer says “We would be very proud if everyone used our software to fix their leap year bugs.“

[Co-founder Raenell] Dawn said “These bugs are mostly just a nuisance, and as adults we can cope. But, for example, how do you explain to a five-year-old, that they won’t receive a birthday card from Geoffrey over at the mall toy store this year because the toy store’s computer has no way to recognize their birthday? These are modern times, and for children born on ‘Leap Year Day’, lessons about the imaginary world of computers, where February 29th often doesn’t exist, start at an early age.”

Godspeed, my intercalary brethren. Godspeed.

7000 Leap Year Babies attack Steve Ballmer [The Register]