Tuesday, August 02, 2022

Wikipedia (reprise)

It has been more than a decade since I last made a Wikipedia edit. Just now I tried again. I changed Michelle Josef's birth year from 1954 to 1953. I have a December 1998 Globe & Mail article describing Josef as "a 45-year-old". And if that isn't substantive enough, I have a 15 March 2012 tweet from Michelle Josef herself saying: "I have been alive 21549 days."

Assuming that Michelle made the tweet on her 59th birthday (i.e., birthday anniversary), this would have her being born on 15 March 1953. How did Michelle arrive at the day count? 59*365 = 21535. Add 15 days for the leap years 1956 to 2012 and we have 21550 days. Why did Michelle calculate one day less? Perhaps she knew that century years (ending in 00) were not leap years and therefore did not count the year 2000 as one. Unfortunately, century years divisible by 400 are exceptions to the century-years rule and 2000 was a leap year. There are of course other possibilities. For example, (2012-1956)/4 = 14, or Michelle tweeted the day before her birthday, or some other scenario.

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