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Superman, Ja Rule Among 'Leaplings'

Originally published on February 29, 2012 8:34 pm
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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Now, to the other big story of the day: it's Leap Day, February 29th. The odds of a birthday today: one in 1461.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Leaplings, as they're called, and include motivational speaker Tony Robbins.

TONY ROBBINS: What is it that's shaping that person's ability to contribute?

CORNISH: American rapper and actor Ja Rule.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "I’M REAL")

SIEGEL: Singer-songwriter Gretchen Christopher who co-founded the popular 1950s group the Fleetwoods.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "COME SOFTLY")

SIEGEL: Today isn't just for Leaplings. Everyone can take part. As we heard in last week episode of the NBC sitcom, "30 Rock."

(SOUNDBITE OF SITCOM, "30 ROCK")

CORNISH: (as Jenna) Perhaps a leap of faith.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC, "HERE COMES THE BRIDE")

CORNISH: Way back when, women in Ireland, among many places, weren't allowed to propose marriage to a man, except on February 29th.

SIEGEL: It's believed that tradition started in fifth century Ireland, though it's been attributed to various historical figures. According to legend, Saint Brigid complained to Saint Patrick that women had to wait too long for their suitors to pop the question.

CORNISH: Saint Patrick's solution: women could take matters into their own hands on this one extra day in the year.

SIEGEL: But for those of you thinking about getting married today, in Greece: Brides beware. It is considered unlucky there. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.