couple of months ago I stumbled onto a story about “Leap second” due to take place today, June 30, 2015. Yeah, I was like “What?” So, I read an article or two about it and guess I could best sum it up like this; The Earth doesn’t always rotate at the same exact speed throughout its orbit around the Sun. Earthquakes, tidal changes, ISIS, whatever, all can have impacts on the size and rotation of our Earth.
This is serious business because by the year 3015, if we never made up for these lost seconds our clocks would be behind by nearly 16 minutes! Just let that sink in for a second (a leap second). In a 1,000 years the calamity of not syncing our atomic clocks with the earth’s rotation could mean that all clocks ony Earth would be 16 minutes slow. Yeah sure, I know people who would then be a 1/2 hour late everywhere, but we’d all have to adapt. According the CNN/Money story today, this has had to happen 25 times since the discovery of the Leap Second “issue” in 1972. In the same story, “We discovered we keep better time than the Earth does,” tweeted astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson on Sunday. “As always, I celebrate my leap seconds with very tiny bottles of champagne.”
Fortunately, Jon Oliver on HBO’s “Last Week Tonight” developed an application on a webpage to help us adapt to this extra second being put in tonight at 7pm CDT.
Because I love to highlight the most inane facts and figures, I printed out a one sheet paper at work today that said, “Happy Leap Second!” and listed out the specifics of the event. As I handed these out to co-workers while smirking, I thought about how smart some people on Earth actually are. Then I thought about how I might spend 6 months with a clock either 1 hour ahead or 1 hour behind because I failed to observe the Daylight Savings Time change accordingly. Or, how about those of us who live day-to-day, year over year, with a blinking 12:00 time on our VCR, DVR, Cable Box?
I don’t know but it got me thinking about the question who is really smarter? The über computer geeks at the upper echelons of technology or the common man who adapts and deals with simple problems?
Regardless, I’d better post this before all time confusion takes hold. As of right now, I have T-34 minutes!