I make fun of scientists an awful lot on this site, what with their ridiculous experiments and obliviousness to obvious zombie traps. But you have to admit, science can do some pretty cool stuff.
For one thing, science gave us Float Ball, which will completely revolutionize sports and entertainment, and gave elephants the ability to send text messages — which is definitely going to end well.
Now, as a crowning achievement, science is giving each of us an extra second of sleep on New Year’s Day. I plan to spend mine dreaming about Float Ball!
From Smithsonian.com (via Boing Boing):
The official Keepers of Time will add a leap second to the world’s master clocks (in the U.S., that’s the U.S. Naval Observatory) on December 31 at 23:59:59 UTC. This extra second is necessary because official time depends on two timescales—one that uses atomic clocks and another that is dependent on the earth’s rotation—and they don’t match up perfectly.
While I think we all agree that an extra second of sleep on New Year’s Day is welcome, I do think the timing here is pretty dangerous. Can you imagine how confused Dick Clark is going to be when he has to count down from 11 this year? People his age have a hard time not pointing the TV remote at the microwave.
Leap Second Added to Your Calendar [Smithsonian]
Leap second to be added to the official clock [Boing Boing]