Scientists have discovered the Earth is spinning faster than normal. I learned this from the New York Post, America’s No. 1 source for science news and philosophical ephemera, and no I will not be fact-checking it. The Post cites new measurements made by the UK’s National Physical Laboratory that show we’ve lost 1.59 milliseconds out of the day due to Earth being too amped. And now we have to make a choice.
You see, these scientists are worried that the alarming new speed of the Earth’s rotation could eventually lead to the loss of a full second, which would require removing a full second from our atomic clocks. (If you ask me, we should cross that bridge when we get to it. Seems like we have a decent amount of time before we rack up a full second of Earth speed [Google “how many milliseconds in a second” if you don’t believe me], and IMO we have a good amount of more pressing problems we have to deal with right now. This whole thing seems a bit dramatic. Maybe the scientists should have just kept this one to themselves.)
“If Earth’s fast rotation continues, it could lead to the introduction of the first-ever negative leap second,” astrophysicist Graham Jones wrote in a post on something called TimeandDate.com. He continued:
“This would be required to keep civil time — which is based on the super-steady beat of atomic clocks — in step with solar time, which is based on the movement of the sun across the sky. A negative leap second would mean that our clocks skip one second, which could potentially create problems for IT systems.”
Oh no — and our IT systems have only just recovered from Y2K. I guess it looks like we have to pick a second out of the day to eventually lose, in order to prepare our IT systems in advance. But which second of the day should it be?
In a discussion with my coworkers, the most common thought was somewhere in the afternoon, which is, in the opinion of most, the worst time of day. Can’t have coffee, can’t have a cocktail, can’t have breakfast, can’t have dinner, literally just have to “have lunch” (horrible) and “work” (love it please don’t fire me) until quittin’ time, which is approximately 400 hours away. My particular second would be 1:26:12.
My coworker Olivia Craighead gave the suggestion of losing 2:58:37. I support that. Sarah Hagi said “I would love to shave a minute off Wednesday,” which is neither a correct response to the prompt nor specific enough to be helpful, however I do agree. Allie Jones said she’d lose the second before 11 p.m., which I do not agree with, but still I would defend to the death her right to say it. Fran Hoepfner said “anything to make 3:30 come quicker,” which sounds dirty, ha ha. Leah Finnegan, my boss, said “I just like all the seconds…” Huh. Capitalist attitude. Maximizing profits and worktime. Wouldn’t expect anything else.
What about you? Think about it and leave your answer in your viral RT of this link.