Tuesday, June 30, 2015

What will you do with your extra second?

June 30, 2015 has an extra second. How will you put that time to use?

For the 2d time in the history of PhilosFX, the international scientific community have decided to add a "leap second" to the last day in June.

A leap second is a one-second adjustment that is occasionally applied to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) in order to keep its time of day close to the mean solar time. Since this system of correction was implemented in 1972, 26 leap seconds have been inserted, the most recent on 30 June 2015 at 23:59:60 UTC.

What to do with the extra time? Gawker.com's free ideas for what to do with today's extra second are nearly perfect. I love how people add fun comments and suggestions.

As the clock struck an extra long midnight in London, the FIFA Women's World Cup semi-final match between USA and Germany was just getting underway in Montreal (at 7 p.m. Eastern Time).
I know how I'm gonna use today's leap second! I want to watch O'Hara's goal in the 84th minute of the match! Put that video on Vine!

The gifted free time is designed to compensate for the drag caused as our planet wobbles a bit more than usual now and then. Of course all of this is beyond my ability to discern, To me, it is amazing that we have atomic clocks that can detect this difference, and computers that demand the accuracy.

The last time we had a leap second was 2012, and I put up a little blog post to celebrate in good humor. As of today, that post has garnered 10,758 views, my single most-viewed post. It also attracted 893 comments. Will this post rival that one for interaction? Something about astrophysics just gets people excited...