In 2015 you will have some extra time. Apparently atomic clocks (clocks that use electronic transmissions as its frequency standard) are very accurate. The earth, however, did not get the memo. It is slowing “a little bit” says the head of the Earth Orientation Parameters Group at the U.S. Naval Observatory. To make that up, an extra second will be added on June 30, 2015 to the world’s benchmark time standard (Coordinated Universal Time, or UTC). They call this a leap second. It seems when they adjusted it last in 2012 it did not go all that well. Surprise, some computers did not know what to do with that extra second.
Instead of going all Y2K on this, why don’t we just focus on how we shall use the extra time. Perhaps I’ll exercise or start a diet. Let’s make good use of this extra time, instead of “How the hell did this happen?”
I went high tech a few years ago and bought an atomic clock radio, not really knowing anything more than it stayed on time. Then someone decided that Daylight Savings Time was so good it should be extended another week or two. The fancy clock does not know that and twice a year it wakes me at the wrong time causing slight panic until I realize my UTC is off. I’ll call the people at the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (really) and complain.
None of this was funny, but don’t you feel like a real smart ass now? You too can be a total bore at the next social event by starting a riveting discussion on the pros and cons of the leap second. You will be a thought leader since this might break the internet and is more likely to do so than the picture of Kim K’s posterior. By the way, the tech people suggest the fix is a “leap smear” adding handfuls of milliseconds gradually to the atomic clocks so the computers don’t crash due to two same seconds in a row. Now there, my job here is done.