Poor lorry parkers can take a flying leap
Is it really any wonder that many foreign lorry drivers are treated with such disdain by some Ashford residents? They choke our industrial estates and residential roads with their HGVs each night, leaving behind a disgusting residue of human waste and rubbish when they depart the next morning.
And here’s another example of the completely selfish attitude some of them display.
These pictures were taken by regular contributor, Andy Clark, in the entrance road to the Warren Retail Park, off Simone Weil Avenue.
The foreign HGV had parked up virtually on the pedestrian crossing, between the Staples car park and Sainsbury’s.
Andy told us: “I asked the driver to move, but he refused, telling me to ‘*** off you English’. Obviously I have left out the expletive.
“He then walked off to shop in Sainsburys, before returning to sit and eat his lunch in his cab.
“The lorry was parked for more than one hour.
“Several people with young children stepped gingerly out in front of the lorry to cross, with their view of oncoming traffic obstructed. But the
driver did not care.”
Next Monday is a very unusual day.
No it’s not ‘miserable Monday’ or ‘morbid Monday’ but a day that only appears every four years because it’s a Leap Day.
February 29, the Leap Day of the Gregorian calendar, is a date that occurs in most years divisible by four, such as 2008, 2012, 2016, 2020, and 2024.
Years divisible by 100, but not by 400, do not contain a Leap Day. Thus, 1700, 1800, and 1900 did not have a bonus 24 hours; 2100, 2200, and 2300 will not have an extra day; while 1600 and 2000 did, as will 2400. Hopefully you’re still with us? Years containing a Leap Day are called Leap Years.
February 29 is the 60th day of the Gregorian calendar in such a year, with 306 days remaining until the end of 2016.
Roman emperor, Julius Caesar, implemented the first Leap Day in his Julian Calendar, which he introduced in 45 BCE (Before Common Era).
A Leap Day was added every four years.
At the time, Leap Day was February 24, and February was the last month of the year.
But, adding a Leap Day every four years was too often and eventually, in 1582, Pope Gregory XIII introduced the Gregorian calendar.
This calendar, which we still use today, has a more precise formula for calculating Leap Years, also known as bissextile years.
People born on February 29 are called a ‘leapling’ or ‘Leap Year baby’.
In non-Leap Years, some leaplings celebrate their birthday on either February 28 or March 1, while others only observe birthdays on the authentic intercalary date, February 29.
There are around four million people in the world who were born on Leap Day.
Famous people born on this day include Gioacchino Rossini, Italian composer of William Tell and The Barber of Seville (born 1792); Morarji Desai, former Indian prime minister (born 1896); Wendi Louise Peters, English television and theatre character actress (born 1968); Dinah Shore, American singer (born 1916); and Ja Rule [real name Jeffrey Atkins], American rapper and actor (born 1976).
Although most modern calendar years have 365 days, a complete revolution around the Sun (one solar year) takes approximately 365 days and six hours.
An extra 24 hours therefore accumulates every four years, requiring that an extra calendar day be added to align the calendar with the sun’s apparent position.
Without the added day, the seasons would move back in the calendar, leading to confusion about when to undertake activities dependent on weather, ecology, or hours of daylight.
A solar year, however, is slightly shorter than 365 days and six hours (365.25 days).
More precisely, as derived from the Alfonsine tables, the Earth completes its orbit around the Sun in 365 days, five hours, 49 minutes, and 16 seconds (365.2425 days).
On these figures adding a calendar day every four years is an excess of 42 minutes and 52 seconds each time, or about three days every 400 years.
To compensate for this, three days are removed every 400 years.
The Gregorian calendar reform implements this adjustment by making an exception to the general rule that there is a leap year every four years.
Instead, a year divisible by 100 is not a leap year unless that year was also exactly divisible by 400… as we explained earlier!
The Gregorian calendar repeats itself every 400 years, which is exactly 20,871 weeks including 97 leap days.
Over this period, February 29 falls on Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday 13 times each; 14 times each on Friday and Saturday; and 15 times each on Monday and Wednesday.
The order of the leap days is: Thursday, Tuesday, Sunday, Friday, Wednesday, Monday, and Saturday.
So all we can say to anyone whose birthday is next Monday is… happy real day birthday!
A foreign lorry creates problems in the entrance road to the Warren Retial Park in Ashford