At 23:59 tonight, 30th, the entire planet is going to gain a second as the clocks tick forward to midnight. If you're looking at an atomic clock, it will display 23:59:60 before moving on to 00:00:00. The reason for this leap second is because the earth is slowing down, so it allows the earth's rotation to catch up with atomic clocks. The last time this happened was in 2012 - and it didn't pass without incident! Over 400 flights were grounded for over 2 hours in Australia as the Qantas check-in system crashed. Many websites were affected too, as Reddit, LinkedIn, Foursquare and Mozilla all faced issues handling the leap second.
So, with a whole extra second in your day - you don't want to risk wasting it. I considered suggesting you read my article about Margaret Thatcher, but that would take a lot longer than one second. So here are the 5 best ways you can spend your leap second:
- Open your window and shout the words "LEAP SECOND" out of it: I really hope this ends up becoming "a thing" every time we have a leap second. All you need to do is open your window and exactly on 11:59:60 shout the words "LEAP SECOND" out of the window and see what happens. If you're lucky loads of people will be shouting it at the same time, if you're unlucky you might end up with a lot of angry people that you've just woke up banging on your door.
- Text "LEAP SECOND" to your entire phone book: This is for those of you who want to cause a bit of mayhem when the leap second comes round, but not enough to risk physical harm. Simply get out your phone, type in LEAP SECOND, choose your entire phone book and press send when the time comes. Your responses may range from "WTF dude?" to "LEAP SECOND" to "Who is this?" - either way it'll be a memorable way to bring in the leap second.
- Post a tweet dead on the leap second: Type out an awesome tweet and post it at the time of the leap second with the #leapsecond. What you want to send is up to you. It could be "LEAP SECOND", "I stayed up for the leap second and all I got was this lousy tweet" - or you make a tribute to Labour's recently ousted shadow chancellor by posting "ED BALLS".
- Take John Oliver's advice: TV presenter John Oliver opened two websites for you to enjoy your leap second. One is called spendyourleapsecondhere.com and the other johnoliversecstapes.com (say it out loud). Both websites host a load of 1 second videos - all you have to do is choose one, then enjoy it during your leap second. That is, if the website doesn't crash from everyone visiting at the same time.
- Sleep: Since it's happening at almost midnight, on a Tuesday, when most people will be at work the next day (and staying up on Wednesday for England's Women's World Cup Semi Final). It's most likely that the majority of us will spend our leap second knocking out some "Z's". Just to be woken up by someone shouting or texting us the words "LEAP SECOND" as the moment arrives.
So, there you have it. The 5 best ways to spend your leap second. Which one will you choose? #Society