# Yes, all the information needed is there

1. Nov 22, 2004

### tribdog

My grandpa was a smart kid, if he was shown something or told something once then he would never forget it. He told me a story about his birthday party when he was 8 years old. He said that when the cake was brought out, he just sat there and he never realized he should make a wish.

Brain teaser: When was my grandpa born? day, month and year.

Last edited: Nov 23, 2004
2. Nov 22, 2004

### Gokul43201

Staff Emeritus
Unless your grandpa had a candle shaped like the number "8" (which was probably not done all those years ago), the only likely reason that he had only one candle must be related to a skipped leap year.

A regular leap year would have him with 2 candles on his 8th birthday, so I must look thru calendars to find out when they skipped the last leap year (that happens about once a century or so ?), and Feb 29 of this skipped year was when grandpa turned 4.

Too lazy to do this now.

Last edited: Nov 22, 2004
3. Nov 22, 2004

### check

Feb. 29th, 1896. ??

4. Nov 22, 2004

### tribdog

you got it check. This is actually true too. If he would have lived both me and him would have had our 23rd birthday in the same month.

5. Nov 22, 2004

### Moonbear

Staff Emeritus
Okay, how did you guys know the number of candles? I don't see it in the original question...was that edited out? :grumpy:

Though, I never knew leap years were skipped. That's pretty cool to learn.

6. Nov 22, 2004

### Gokul43201

Staff Emeritus
Yeah, trib changed that...don't know why. It originally read something like "he didn't make a wish before the candle burnt through.

This explains why the answer is what check guessed.

7. Nov 22, 2004

### tribdog

I realized that the single candle wasn't necessary information. Leap years are skipped every century that cannot be divided evenly by 400. So 1900 no leap year, 2000 leap year. grampa was 8 on his first birthday.

8. Nov 22, 2004

### check

Um, you need the candle part in it otherwise his birthday could be on any day in any month in any year. there's nothing distinguishing about the teaser now.

9. Nov 23, 2004

### Moonbear

Staff Emeritus
That's what I thought. It now sounds like whenever he happened to be 8 years old. The candle is important (not that I'd have likely caught that clue anyway, but no chance without it there).

10. Nov 23, 2004

### tribdog

no, he would have known to make a wish if he had had a birthday before.

11. Nov 23, 2004

### check

That is somewhat ambiguous. It could also imply that there was no candle, in which case he couldn't make a wish.

12. Nov 23, 2004

### Moonbear

Staff Emeritus
If he didn't realize he should make a wish, there could have also been NO candles on the cake (that's what I was first thinking, and didn't know why there would be no candles on an 8th birthday), not just one, which causes a great deal more ambiguity, even if you know about skipped leap years (I wouldn't have gotten the right answer either way, but the question at least needs to be fair).

Last edited: Nov 23, 2004
13. Nov 30, 2004

### BobG

If his birthday cake had no candles, it would seem pretty obvious what the poor kid would wish for. He's either wishing for a book of matches to light candles with or wishing for rain (drought season and its accompanying fire bans are especially hard on children).

Since he didn't wish for either, there was only one possible explanation - he had never had a birthday before.

I like calendar questions. For instance, we all know what happened in New York City on Sep 11, 2001, and quite a few know that roughly 2,602 people died that day. But, how many people died in New York City on Sep 11, 1752, and what happened to cause that particular number of deaths for that date?

Last edited: Nov 30, 2004
14. Nov 30, 2004

### Moonbear

Staff Emeritus
Very cool question! Answer in white:
Nobody, Sep 11, 1752 didn't exist.

"Summary of the 1752 Calendar Change

31 December 1750 was followed by 1 January 1750
24 March 1750 was followed by 25 March 1751
31 December 1751 was followed by 1 January 1752
2 September 1752 was followed by 14 September 1752
31 December 1752 was followed by 1 January 1753"

From this site.

15. Nov 30, 2004

### Gokul43201

Staff Emeritus
Wow...looks like some serious damage control in action. Nice bit of trivia

Not very long ago, over 500 people died in New York, all in one day. What caused this ?

Last edited: Nov 30, 2004
16. Nov 30, 2004

### tribdog

The Earth's rotation? Do 500 people die in New York everyday?

17. Dec 1, 2004

### Gokul43201

Staff Emeritus
Yes, nearly...in the state, that is.

18. Dec 6, 2004

### Alkatran

What is with people and thinking that february 29th is somehow 'not there' on non leap years, anyways? It's a completely arbitrary place to put the extra day! It might as well be january 32!

Now stop saying you're 3 when you're actually 14.

19. Dec 8, 2004

### RandallB

To "find" their birthday all they need do is add 365 and 1/4 days starting at the last 1/4 day of their day of brith. We all do the same thing just stating from a different 1/4 of the day.
OK - we'd need to get that down to the proper miniute of the day to take care of the Century thing. But most of us won't have "to live with that" error since it won't come up till 2100!

Extra note:
The above is a small adjustment to make compared to George Washington himself. He changed his bithday and birthyear to make his birthdays come out right.
If you go by his orginal birth record compared to his death record he would seem to have been a year and a 11 days older than he actually was.

I actually like the idea of NewYears Day on the first day of Spring!
Winter should be the end of the year.
Maybe we could convince the Pope to take out a few more days, move NewYears Day, and insert LeapDay as needed to make the change of seasons come on the first day each quarter. April1 - Spring & NewYears; July 1 Summer; October 1 Fall; Jan 1 Winter.
Nah, lets not even ask - All ready to many ideas for new calanders and the like floating around already.

RB

20. Dec 8, 2004

### Alkatran

I meant your 'age' should be defined by how many times the earth went around the sun during your life, not by how many times the day that had the same number (28) and month (february) as the one you were born on.