Thursday, 19 January 2012

Just a second

Being a timelord I am permitted a wry smile at the meeting of the world's experts at the International Telecommunications Union in Geneva today about whether or not to keep the leap second. This smile breaks out into a broad grin when the assembled cognoscenti decided to defer a decision for a few more years (and leap seconds) into 2015.

The UK wants to keep adding the odd second here and there to make sure time told by atomic clocks and earth time stays together. Others like the US and France say the leap second causes mayhem for Satnavs, the internet and flight control systems and so on.

As a master of time I am looking forward to being consulted directly on all this over the next couple of years. I can say with confidence that the controls of the Tardis have never been troubled by the addition of the odd leap second. Interference from Teapot yes, but it would need more than a conference in Geneva to fix that! And who needs a Satnav? Give me a good old sextant any day.

Truth is that the extra leap second has proved invaluable over the years in making all the difference to catching the train home to Four Oaks. Wrist watch time, blackberry time, laptop time and Cathedral clock time all operate in their own peculiar zones and it needs a cool head to select the correct one to guide the nightly dash to New Street when I am in the office.

So the really urgent need is for a conference to synchronize Station time, Cathedral time and Timelord time.   Invitations will be on their way soon.

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