Our current system of civil time is based on coordinated universal time (UTC), which is based on a system of atomic clocks. Leap seconds are used to guarantee that UTC does not differ from the Earth's rotational time by more than 0.9 seconds. The Earth's rotation is decelerating at a rate of about 1.5 to 2 milliseconds per day per century due to the frictional action of the tides. Currently, the Earth is slower than UTC by about 2 milliseconds per day, so every 450 to 500 days the time difference reaches 0.9 seconds. Leap seconds are added to UTC to keep the two times in agreement.
Interesting questions arise:
How long will it take until...
we need a yearly, monthly or daily leap second?
we need a leap second per second?
we need a leap day per second?
Earths rotation will finally stop? Within our Sunīs lifetime?
Certainly not within the Sunís lifetime. The rate of deceleration is decreasing. What happens is that the tidal wave that the Moon pulls around the Earth is actually at an angle from the line that connects the gravitational centres of Earth and Moon, and is big enough to tug at the Moon. So the Moon gains momentum at the expense of Earthís torque and inches to an ever higher orbit. (See an illuminating explanation of how the tides really work.)
In about two billion years (if memory serves) the Moon will be too far away to cause a totality when transiting in front of the Sun during solar eclipses. We live today in the era of the Earth-Moon system where the Moon is just far enough away to cover the Sunís disc exactly in a total eclipse that leaves the corona visible.
I recently heard a fifties+ designer, who literally designed the new CITI bank logo on a napkin and was later questioned by the client about her invoice and the fact that she designed it only took her a "second", reply with "yes, it took 34 years and 1 second."
Experience so often adds up to nothing in the minds of those who aren't.
/me hmmm...did I just get way to serious?
—Brad "The important work of moving the world forward does not wait to be done by perfect men." George Eliot
The original bon mot was from Pablo Picasso. A guy in a restaurant asked him to make a quick sketch on a paper napkin. Picasso draw it. The guy asked him to sign it. Picasso said "OK, but then you'll give me 500 francs " (it probably was a bargain at the time...) "-500 francs? but it took you just a second!""-no,it may not seem so, but actually it took me 60 years".
Dual-core, baby! My wife got me a dual-processor dual-core Apple G5 tower for Christmas.
I'm telling you, if you have to marry, marry a geek. Can you imagine one of those wafer-thin rice-cake-chompin' trendy wives buying you something like that? No, if they bought you anything at all, it would be something to turn you into their own personal Ken doll. Marry a geek, it's great.
tbone1, YAPS (Yet Another Perl Schlub) And remember, if he succeeds, so what.
- Chick McGee
"If once a man indulges himself in murder, very soon he comes to think little of robbing; and from robbing he next comes to drinking and sabbath-breaking, and from that to incivility and procrastination."
having spent a considerable period of time, (all of my life), learning new ways to procrastinate, i now find myself full of knowledge and interesting facts on this subject. with this wealth of experience, i naturally find every opportunity of deployment. i soon devised a "shortened" name for the very word itself, (to allow more time for procrastination), this being "procreate". as with all good programs and scripts, a new version was soon developed and released. i now find myself "f**cking about" all the time.....