The last minute of today will be 61 seconds long. A “leap second” has been added to it to allow clocks to keep pace with the earth’s rotation, which is gradually slowing down. This will synchronize time with with sunrises and sunsets — days and nights.
Stock and commodity trading floors, internet businesses, and others are preparing for potential glitches linked to the 61-second minute. It’ll be interesting tomorrow to find out what has happened.
Comments we’ve heard:
• If we’re at work when this happens, will we get overtime pay?
• Save the second up for 60 years. Then there will be a whole minute of additional time to enjoy.
• How will I spend it? Good question. I’ll get back to you in a second on that.
New York Minute
This leap second brings to mind the “New York Minute.” A New York minute is an instant. As Johnny Carson once said, it’s the interval between a Manhattan traffic light turning green and the guy behind you honking his horn.
The term originated in Texas. It refers to the hectic pace of New Yorkers. A New Yorker does in an instant what a Texan would take a minute to do.
A question Americans get from time to time when in the UK is why don’t Americans know what a fortnight is. We’ve pondered this (we dull men like to ponder). We think it’s because Americans all too often are in a rush to get things done. They don’t think it should take two weeks to get anything done. A week is enough.
Actually, we like the notion of a fortnight. When someone asks us to do something, it sounds much nicer to us when they ask that we do it in a fortnight. It’s more comfortable for us. We have time to lay out a plan for doing it properly.
USA Today: Why June 30 is one second longer