February 4, 2009 at 3:36am
What is Cosmononplusation Day? A day to contemplate your place in the universe. Here's the definition of cosmononplusation: "the vague, speechless awe one experiences upon gazing up into the cosmos and contemplating the pathetic minuteness of one’s being." Thank you Mr. Charles Harrington Elster for that.
When is Cosmonoplusation Day? Every February 29th.
So what do you do on this day? That's entirely up to you - but here's what I do. First, the day is mine. When the universe skips a beat and gives us an extra day, why give it away? Keep it for yourself I say. I use it for introspection, to contemplate the minuteness of my being within the grand cosmos and the utterly infinitesimal fraction of an instant we may have within the infinite bounds of time.
I think about time, space, matter, my future, my past, my time, the time that isn't mine, the rhythms and wobbles of the universe, man's woeful attempts to impose order, what is important, and what is not important. I think about what will life, the universe, be like in 10^N years from now, as N goes from 0 to infinity?
And I just kind of chill. There are no presents, there are no ceremonies and no parades. Just a time for some quiet extramural introspection. No pressure to solve the world's, or my, problems. I think about what is good, what is better, what is beauty, what is universal, what needs to be thought, what no longer needs thinking. I don't spend any time thinking about individuals, religion, politics, career, etc. It's quite relaxing and a bit of a shame "Cosmononplusation Day" isn't every day.
Due to the way the calendar works the year 2000 was "Grand Cosmononplusation Day". The reason for the Grand Cosmononplusation Day is because every four years is a leap year - but, every 100 years, at the century mark, is NOT a leap year. However, every 1000 years IS a leap year. This means that most of us alive today will never see a skip of a leap year - what we saw was even more special, a skip of a skip of a leap year - thus a "Grand Cosmononplusation Day". I will leave it to those that follow me to determine the best way to observe The Holiday in the year 2100.
*from Charles Harrington Elster, The Grandiloquent Gumshoe
Another nebulous query came from a woman filled with polysyllabic expectation. She was looking for a word that meant "a vagueness of celestial bodies . . . something that makes you feel vague when looking at the moon, stars, the totality of space." The answer came to me as if from above: cosmononplusation, "the vague, speechless awe one experiences upon gazing up into the cosmos and contemplating the pathetic minuteness of one’s being."
See also New York Times Magazine, Aug 29, 1999.
% cal feb 2000 February 2000 Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 % cal feb 2100 February 2100 Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 % cal feb 1900 February 1900 Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28
In 1988 I first came up with "Cosmononplusation Day" and I've observed it faithfully since.
31 Jan 2009
Originally published on facebook.
(edited slightly 21 Oct 2017)
p.s. Cosmononplusation Day is a retronym - the holiday didn't have a name until I heard the word "Cosmononplusation" on the radio and knew instantly that was the perfect moniker.