Season XVI – Alphaday 9

Hi Alphas,

Welcome to Alphaday 9, Season XVI. We’re making progress. I mean, we’re progressing, and surely that’s the same thing. We’re moving ahead further into the season and taking in as many useful lessons in the process as present themselves. ‘Lessons’, of course, happen by chance as we dip into the various Alphaday offerings. They’ve been put together by fellow members, so we know there’ll be plenty there to captivate our interest and stimulate our writing buds.

Today’s Alpha agenda is as follows:

Alphaday 9, Season XVI agenda:

  • This bulletin from me
  • The results and feedback for The Open Page Ed.2 from Elke
  • The collated entries for the literary challenge from Stephen
  • The brief for Challenge 7 from Morgen
  • A Writers’ Reads prompt from Gloria
  • A call for Log news from Phil

It looks full of promise and I’m sure you’ll all be keeping an eye on your inboxes as this filters through to you.

Alpha news.

The recent storms and flooding in the UK have left some of our members in a soggy mess. I’m not sure how many have tales of woe to tell, but Morgen and Gloria were left stranded as flooding made roads impassable in North Powys and Herefordshire respectively. At least their homes were safe and snug, but it’s frightening all the same.

General news.

The good news is that we’ve got a whole extra day this year. What are you going to do with that luxury? That’s like 24 generous helpings of the one hour we get when the clocks go back – and don’t we all love that extra hour in bed?

I prefer the simple term ‘Leap year’. Bissextile sounds like something that should be included with LGBTQ. Looking into the reasons for adding an extra day made me question our understanding of time. If a year is really 365.25 days long, then why don’t the days gradually go lopsided? They even add and take away leap seconds to try to keep up with the fact that the earth’s rotation is charmingly irregular.

Hats off to those astronomers who nearly got it right all those millennia ago. Even the final 16th century adjustments of the Gregorian calendar are an amazing feat of observation and calculation.

The French Revolution led to an attempt at creating a secular, decimal calendar with 10-day weeks and days divided into two 10-hour parts. A good idea in theory to simplify time calculations that still give schoolchildren (and others) headaches, but old habits prevailed and the experiment only lasted about 14 years.

Make the most of that extra day – and all the other days as well, for that matter.

Carpe diem!


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