The Leap Second
I learned today that we all need to worry about the work of the International Earth Rotation and Reference System Service based in Paris France. Apparently they think the rotation of the earth is slowing down and as a result they are adding one second to our clocks as of midnight Dec 31, 2016 GMT to keep up the pace. This is known as adding a leap second. This means there will be one new time measure on Dec 31 which is 23:59:60 GMT (or 18:59:60 EST or Jan 1, 2017 01:59:60 SA Time)
There are two things I am concerned about:
For my friends in the GMT aka UTC time zone, you are completely screwed at your New Years Eve party. If you start your 10-9-8 countdown at 10 seconds before the hour, you are going to celebrate the New Years change a second too early. Horror of horrors. What I would suggest is that you wait for 9 seconds before the hour and then start counting, still using the 10-9-8 beat. This will put you spot on. For the rest of us, stand down, we are good. Phew.
The other thing that concerns me is that we are about to be flung off this celestial soil. As I understand it, the earths rotation is responsible for the gravitational pull that keeps us glued down. A slowing rotation means less pull, and zing, there I go. I added a set of diving boots to my Xmas list as a result. I hope I am not too late.
What a dilemma…The Leap Second,
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