The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

366 days and 1 second

Turns out, 2008 will be one of the longest years ever when astronomers insert an extra second at 17:59:60 CT tonight:

The additional second makes up for the difference in two clocks – one based on Earth’s rotation and the other on the more precise atomic time of the UTC.

In the U.S., the extra second will be added by the U.S. Naval Observatory at 6:59:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (11:59:59 p.m. Universal time). It will be the 24th "leap second" tacked on to the universal time scale since 1972.

The popular press have written about this as prolonging the gloom of 2008. I don't know if that's accurate. People familiar with the structure of fiction will notice that although we had the technical climax of our present story on November 4th, the dramatic climax hasn't happened yet. I have no idea what that will look like, only that we'll probably see it in 2009, and the dénoument that follows will make us wax nostialgic about the halcyon days of 2008. Put another way: There is a tide; when you're in the trough of a wave, things don't really feel better until you've climbed halfway to the next crest.

I'm not trying to depress anyone. I just think we've got some difficult times ahead, for the simple reason that the worst really is behind us.

Enjoy the extra second.

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