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Stopping the World...Literally
The International Telecommunication Union's Radiocommunication Assembly (the organization that keeps time for the world) has also been paying attention to that particular unit of measure, as I found out yesterday on NPR. Apparently, every now and then, it's necessary to stop the clocks and add an extra second, in order to keep the world's clocks in time with the "the Earth's imprecise orbit." This second is known as the leap second, and many countries (including ours) want to get rid of it because it forces companies, airports and cell phone networks to, as the AP phrased it, "worry about stopping their systems for the length of a heartbeat every year or two."
The downside of its elimination, of course, is that time on earth would not longer reflect the turning off the earth. I am small, loud woman in a big, much louder civilization. But I would like to advocate for the leap second. Not because I want more time and will do anything to get it (though that is probably true) but because I have to believe that it's okay to stop all our rushing and earning and doing for a tiny, random ritual that connects us to the physical—and literal—world, otherwise known as the big ball of water and dirt that supports our existence. Further, I have what would happen if we introduced a leap second into our own lives. If we stopped for "that length of a heartbeat"and recalibrated our minds to our bodies, our hearts to our lives. Perhaps we could put an end to all kind of crises, midlife and otherwise.
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