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Earth slowing down
 
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Old 12-31-2008, 04:16 PM
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Default Earth slowing down

So today I was doing my daily office jaunt on the M4 past Heathrow when the news comes on BBC London radio. One of the stories of the day was how there will be an extra second added on at midnight tonight before the clocks switch over to 12.00am. The reason - a correction to the atomic clocks to bring them in line with a slowing in the Earths rotation. So the news announcer happily tells his story and I'm thinking "WTF, no story about our little rock slowing down a bit can be good news, and lets face it, it's not like we can do anything about problems like that"!!!

New Year 2009: Extra second added to 'get clocks back on time' - Telegraph
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Old 12-31-2008, 05:57 PM
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Si, this has been common nearly every year since UTC was started (2/3 of the 36 years have had one or more adjustments in seconds). Sometimes an extra second is added on (earth's rotation slowing) and sometimes an extra second is taken away (earth's rotation speeding up), so don't think we're simply slowing down. In five years, this practice will no longer be performed, so you may have another 4 or so NYE's with this oddity, if its needed). Unfortunately, as it happens during the UK's NYE (or sometimes in the middle of the year), it happens at 7:00 PM EST in New York, so it's not really discussed or noticed on this side of the pond.
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Old 12-31-2008, 06:45 PM
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And actually its really going to get bad when the moon eventually pulls out of orbit in another 50-60k years

Also Otto is right on, the earth does wobble, and it occasionally speeds up/slows down. Every 10-15k years the magenetic poles actually switch, and North will be South, and South will be north (only magnetic, not true north/south)
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Old 01-13-2009, 05:50 PM
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I found this funny in my linux log:

--------------------- Kernel Begin ------------------------


1 Time(s): [1727311.695537] Clock: inserting leap second 23:59:60 UTC

---------------------- Kernel End -------------------------
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Old 01-30-2009, 09:21 PM
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I have actually used this phenomenon as an excuse for speeding. I have to drive faster to compensate for the change in the earth's rotation. Amazingly, I have yet to meet a cop erudite and well-read enough to buy into it...
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Old 01-30-2009, 11:49 PM
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I think it's my boss doing it to make me work more!!
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Old 01-31-2009, 12:13 AM
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all of the above were so informative, thanks to all, but Pelvir, you are funny man...
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Old 01-31-2009, 12:28 AM
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Old 02-07-2009, 02:38 PM
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I bet Al Gore has the answer.
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