Dear Crabby, Should I Fear the 2015 Leap Second?

Dear Crabby,

I heard we get an extra second this year. What is the Leap Second and should I fear it?

Please Respond Quickly, Justin Thyme

Hello Justin Thyme,

Well that doesn’t happen until the end of June this year, but I guess there’s no time like the present. I’m sure you’ve heard of Leap Year – when every four years we have a February 29 – and how we get an extra day. It’s sort of like that, but not as regular. We add a second to our clocks on average every 18 months. However, we haven’t had one added since June 30, 2012. A few websites and servers got screwy and their poor little computer brains thought time was reversing. Programmers will usually make the secondhand (so to speak) blink twice at the 59 mark. I think of it as a hiccup in time. Scientists and the like are worried it could cause problems with GPS, computers, and other Internet thingies.Dear Crabby with a Laptop Computer

It’s been this way since 1972 and this year will the 26th time we’ve added a second to the clocks. The system in place before that was very complicated. They say the sun would be rising at midnight if we didn’t have Leap Second, so we have it. But what to do with an extra second?

It’s not like finding an extra penny in your pocket that you can put in a jar on top the refrigerator, and when you have enough, you can go buy something you want. You have to use that extra time at that exact second. I think you should be doing something you love to do so it lasts just one more second. Since it happens just before midnight, you can’t enjoy a sunrise or sunset for a little longer; you have to find something that can happen just before the day ends. I will tell everyone that I plan to go to sleep on June 30 and use that extra second to cuddle a little longer with my wife, while all along I know I’m getting an extra second of sleep.

Don’t worry too much, if you squander this one, we’ll get another extra second in a year or two. And if your computer thinks time is reversing, you’ll maybe get to read my column again. Only time will tell.

Sincerely, Dear Crabby

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