After Hours

Geek Trivia: How many Apollo Goodwill Moon Rocks have gone missing?

Precisely 270 prepared lunar rock samples were distributed as part of the Goodwill Moon Rocks program. Four decades later, no one can account for a significant number of those rocks.

This week's quibble comes from the Feb. 23, 2012 edition of Geek Trivia, which asked in what year is the current Gregorian leap year system expected to 'fail?'

Member AnsuGisalas threw in some bonus trivia, holding that the 'original' leap day wasn't Feb. 29:

From Wikipedia: "The leap day was introduced as part of the Julian reform. The day following the Terminalia (February 23) was doubled, forming the "bis sextum" literally 'double sixth', since February 24 was 'the sixth day before the Kalends of March' using Roman inclusive counting (March 1 was the 'first day'). Although exceptions exist, the first day of the bis sextum (February 24) was usually regarded as the intercalated or "bissextile" day since the third century. February 29 came to be regarded as the leap day when the Roman system of numbering days was replaced by sequential numbering in the late Middle Ages."

Grraaagh, but what a piece of geek trivia, eh? I look forward to saying at parties that "He was born on a leap day, Feb 24 1896..." just to see the WTH faces.

A word of advice, Ansu: Don't be that guy. I've been that guy. He doesn't get invited back to parties.

In any case, thanks for the bonus leap day minutia, and keep those quibbles coming!

About Jay Garmon

Jay Garmon has a vast and terrifying knowledge of all things obscure, obtuse, and irrelevant. One day, he hopes to write science fiction, but for now he'll settle for something stranger — amusing and abusing IT pros. Read his full profile. You can a...

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