Leap years are very strange. These years come about every four years where February is given an extra day. It can be confusing for calendar makers, and even more confusing for the people who are born on February 29th. When exactly is there birthday supposed to fall on non-Leap years?
For leap babies (babies born on Leap Day), birthdays can turn into existential crises. Do you coose to celebrate your birthday on March 1st or February 28th? Are you truly a year older if your actual birth date never occurred? They may seem like silly questions, but not if you are a leap baby.
Technically, someone who is a leap baby and 64 years old, is actually 16 years old because they have only had 16 February 29ths in their lives. That's why Nina Skoke Ito recently celebrated her Sweet 16 despite being on this Earth for 64 years. Read on to find out more about Leap Babies and their struggle.
Nina Skoke Ito doesn't have many childhood memories of her birthday parties from when she was growing up in the 50s and 60s. As she jokingly told TODAY, “My parents didn't have Pinterest.” It wasn't just the lack of Pinterest to help party plan. It's also the fact that she was born on February 29th 1956 - leap day.
Nina Skoke Ito is a leap day baby, also known as a leapling. That's a commonly used term adult leap babies use for themselves. For leaplings, their true birthday only comes around once every four years. Nina Skoke Ito was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio and now lives in California. She doesn't recall more than one birthday party from when she was eight. She doesn't even remember any major milestone birthday parties, like her sweet sixteen.
It may seem common nowadays for kids to have birthday parties every year, but that wasn't the case for Nina. “Nowadays kids have a birthday party every year, but when I was young, I didn't.” This year will be special for Nina, though. At 64 years old, she's technically at her sweet sixteen, so she plans on celebrating big time. She will be joining dozens of other leap year babies on a cruise to the bahamas.
The idea to take the group cruise came from a Facebook group that Nina Skoke Ito was a part of, lead by Karen Tinsley-Sroka, a fellow Leap Baby. Her plan was to do a big outing for those born on February 29th. “About three years ago, I started doing some research, around the time people started getting active on Facebook.”
Tinsley-Sroka saw planning the party as her life's mission. Meanwhile, Ito was looking into what she wanted to do for her birthday party. That's when she stumbled across Tinsley-Sroka's group and decided to join in on the 230 person cruise, 76 of which are leap babies. Other than the leap babies, the other people on the cruise are loved ones of the leaplings.
A documentary filmmaker will be filming the entire event. Fittingly, the lead documentarian is a leap day baby himself. “We have one leapling from Australian and another from Sweden. We have three coming from the United Kingdom, and I think we have five coming from Canada… I hope people learn that it's a good birthday to have,” she said. “We feel so special. We're like, ‘It's the best!' ... I feel so lucky.”
When you fly by private jet charter, you experience travel comfort known only to those who know private jets. And nothing illustrates this luxury better than celebrity private jets. Stars with their own private aircraft fly fancy.
John Travolta, the star of 70s cult movies like “Grease” and “Saturday Night Fever”, is not only one of the most famous Hollywood actors, but also one of the best celebrity pilots. John Travolta is a bonafide aviation enthusiast with five private planes total, which he parks on his front lawn. His most impressive aircraft is a customized Boeing 707-138 (as pictured above), a beast of a plane that he acquired in 1998 upon his promotion to an honorary pilot of Qantas, the Australian airline.
Oprah Winfrey’s production company HARPO bought her custom-built Global Express XRS VIP business jet to provide the media mogul and her associates with maximum aviation comfort. Oprah’s private jet features designer fixtures in the bathroom and galley, along with an exquisite all-leather interior. The aircraft was designed by Bombardier Aerospace to perform as a premier long-range business jet. Custom design allowed for an enhanced cabin layout with nine cushy leather seats, aesthetically-placed lighting, and additional luxury amenities. The jet cruises through the air at high speeds, made possible by two Rolls-Royce BR710 turbofan engines, which produce enough power to send HARPO clear across the map with only one refuel stop
Tom Cruise played an elite naval fighter jet pilot in the blockbuster movie “Top Gun”, and he now indulges his real love for flying in his own Gulfstream IV, one of the finest celebrity private jets around. Cruise’s beautiful business jet accommodates up to 19 passengers, providing comfort and class with state-of-the-art furnishings and aircraft technology. The jet even automatically refreshes the air inside the cabin every two minutes. Designed by Gulfstream Aerospace, Cruise’s jet is powered by two Rolls-Royce Tay 611-8 engines, propelling the aircraft to a maximum altitude of 45,000 feet over a maximum range of 7,820 km, zipping through the air at speeds up to Mach 0.80.
Mark Cuban, business mogul and owner of the Dallas Mavericks, landed himself in the Guinness Book of World Records for purchasing his Boeing 767-277 online in 1999, making “the largest single e-commerce transaction”. Cuban modified the jet with large, custom seats to give his team’s lengthy players plenty of room while flying.