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The world really is speeding up...

Speedo

Esse Quam Videri
Joined
May 29, 2003
Messages
4,891
Location
NC USA
Does it seem like the world is speeding up? That the pace of life is increasing?

If you feel that way, there’s scientific evidence to prove your point. The world has sped up over the last few years. Timekeepers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) note that they have not had to insert an extra second (called a leap second) into their time scale for five years. Why? Because the rate of the Earth’s rotation has sped up since 1999.

From 1972 (when the world went to the current system of atomic timekeeping) until 1999, 22 seconds were added to the world’s time in order to keep atomic time synchronized with Earth’s time, as measured by the Earth’s spin. Since then, none, nada. Scientists are not sure why this is so, but they do offer some thoughts.

Tom O’Brian, a physicist and chief of NIST’s Time and Frequency Division in Boulder, Colo., suggests changes in motion of the Earth’s core, the effect of ocean tides and weather, and changes in the shape of the Earth may all be affecting the spin of Mother Earth. In general, he notes, the long-term trend has been for the Earth’s rotation to slow down, but not in the last five years.

O’Brian said most scientists expect the Earth to continue slowing down again in the future. So maybe there is hope for those feeling particularly harried.

“The Earth’s rotation rate has been the primary clock for nearly all of human history,” he says, adding that “only in the last 50 years have we had clocks accurate enough to measure changes in the Earth’s spin.” NIST introduced the world’s first atomic clock in 1949.

For more information about leap seconds, see http://tf.nist.gov/general/leaps.htm.

http://www.nist.gov/public_affairs/techbeat/tb2003_1219.htm#greeting
 
I don't think it's all that big of a deal.

But then again, if the Earth will soon go back to slowing down its rotation, does that mean eventually it won't rotate at all and half of Earth will be in perpetual darkness while the other half is in perpetual light, and global water and air currents will litterally dissapear, and the moon will slowly come closer to us, strenthening tides, causing floods in low-lying lands, causing residents to evacuate, forcing them into temporary homes and hotels, raising the demand for car batteries, improving the stocks of such large battery-selling corporations as Energizer and Duracell, giving them such a profit that they'll become rich enough to invest grants into neurological research, eventually learning how to control our minds, making us want to buy more batteries, further worsening the situation by making the companies even wealthier, all the while the moon is slowly heading towards us, and will crash in about half a million years, but before that it'll simply appear huge, which women all over the globe will find sexy, which will cause them to engage in more sex with men, which includes pre-marital sex, meaning more bastard children will be born, further leading to the gradual decline of Western civilization, which will lead Republicans to desperately call for a return to a family-oriented society, further alienating the homosexual community, who are already outraged about frequently being called a "community," after all, it's not like they all live together and know each other, although many do because in most places they're not allowed to marry, so instead of "settling down" they tend to "get around the block," which can spread AIDS, not that I'm suggesting gay people are the cause of the current HIV epidemic, because I don't want to gay-bash, but anyway, the spread of AIDS will cause many people to die, which means less people to put research into anti-moon-coming-closer-to-earth-control devices, which will worsen the moon situation, leading to more batteries, improvement in the hotel industry, severe floods, more bastard children, and an increasing level of AIDS cases, all somehow contributing to worsening the moon situation, oh, and the slowing of the earth's rotation will mean days will be shorter, which will greatly affect work schedules, leading to disgruntled workers, making them want to start a revolution against their oppressors, so then we have that whole communist fiasco all over again, which will lead to the end of the Internet, because "red tyrants" don't want anti-government thoughts quickly spreading from computer to computer, so I won't be able to talk here about the moon and it's effects anymore, and eventually the moon will crash into us and we'll all suffer a horrible death?
 
Maybe the earth is getting smoother. Less moments of inertia when it spins.
 
Originally posted by WillJ
I don't think it's all that big of a deal.

But then again, if the Earth will soon go back to slowing down its rotation, does that mean eventually it won't rotate at all and half of Earth will be in perpetual darkness while the other half is in perpetual light, and global water and air currents will litterally dissapear, and the moon will slowly come closer to us, strenthening tides, causing floods in low-lying lands, causing residents to evacuate, forcing them into temporary homes and hotels, raising the demand for car batteries, improving the stocks of such large battery-selling corporations as Energizer and Duracell, giving them such a profit that they'll become rich enough to invest grants into neurological research, eventually learning how to control our minds, making us want to buy more batteries, further worsening the situation by making the companies even wealthier, all the while the moon is slowly heading towards us, and will crash in about half a million years, but before that it'll simply appear huge, which women all over the globe will find sexy, which will cause them to engage in more sex with men, which includes pre-marital sex, meaning more bastard children will be born, further leading to the gradual decline of Western civilization, which will lead Republicans to desperately call for a return to a family-oriented society, further alienating the homosexual community, who are already outraged about frequently being called a "community," after all, it's not like they all live together and know each other, although many do because in most places they're not allowed to marry, so instead of "settling down" they tend to "get around the block," which can spread AIDS, not that I'm suggesting gay people are the cause of the current HIV epidemic, because I don't want to gay-bash, but anyway, the spread of AIDS will cause many people to die, which means less people to put research into anti-moon-coming-closer-to-earth-control devices, which will worsen the moon situation, leading to more batteries, improvement in the hotel industry, severe floods, more bastard children, and an increasing level of AIDS cases, all somehow contributing to worsening the moon situation, oh, and the slowing of the earth's rotation will mean days will be shorter, which will greatly affect work schedules, leading to disgruntled workers, making them want to start a revolution against their oppressors, so then we have that whole communist fiasco all over again, which will lead to the end of the Internet, because "red tyrants" don't want anti-government thoughts quickly spreading from computer to computer, so I won't be able to talk here about the moon and it's effects anymore, and eventually the moon will crash into us and we'll all suffer a horrible death?
OMG WillJ, LOL that has bot to be the longest sentance ever. Was that purposeful or pure accident? LOL.
 
WillJ. I think you need a holiday..... or a very, very long lie down.
 
The Earth does that to spite ordinary people. Time is already in short supply, so why not make the day shorter? ;)
 
Originally posted by SoCalian
OMG WillJ, LOL that has bot to be the longest sentance ever. Was that purposeful or pure accident? LOL.
Hehe, well, it started out as an honest question (the first few lines), but then it kind of went downhill from there. ;)
Originally posted by carlosMM
WillJ, a link to that goes into my sig right now! :lol: :lol: :goodjob:
:D :goodjob: Don't say I didn't warn you... ;)
 
i thinks its because of momentum, but does momentum exist in space?
 
Sure it does; momentum is mass times velocity, after all.
 
Originally posted by WillJ
I don't think it's all that big of a deal.

But then again, if the Earth will soon go back to slowing down its rotation, does that mean eventually it won't rotate at all and half of Earth will be in perpetual darkness while the other half is in perpetual light, and global water and air currents will litterally dissapear, and the moon will slowly come closer to us, strenthening tides, causing floods in low-lying lands, causing residents to evacuate, forcing them into temporary homes and hotels, raising the demand for car batteries, improving the stocks of such large battery-selling corporations as Energizer and Duracell, giving them such a profit that they'll become rich enough to invest grants into neurological research, eventually learning how to control our minds, making us want to buy more batteries, further worsening the situation by making the companies even wealthier, all the while the moon is slowly heading towards us, and will crash in about half a million years, but before that it'll simply appear huge, which women all over the globe will find sexy, which will cause them to engage in more sex with men, which includes pre-marital sex, meaning more bastard children will be born, further leading to the gradual decline of Western civilization, which will lead Republicans to desperately call for a return to a family-oriented society, further alienating the homosexual community, who are already outraged about frequently being called a "community," after all, it's not like they all live together and know each other, although many do because in most places they're not allowed to marry, so instead of "settling down" they tend to "get around the block," which can spread AIDS, not that I'm suggesting gay people are the cause of the current HIV epidemic, because I don't want to gay-bash, but anyway, the spread of AIDS will cause many people to die, which means less people to put research into anti-moon-coming-closer-to-earth-control devices, which will worsen the moon situation, leading to more batteries, improvement in the hotel industry, severe floods, more bastard children, and an increasing level of AIDS cases, all somehow contributing to worsening the moon situation, oh, and the slowing of the earth's rotation will mean days will be shorter, which will greatly affect work schedules, leading to disgruntled workers, making them want to start a revolution against their oppressors, so then we have that whole communist fiasco all over again, which will lead to the end of the Internet, because "red tyrants" don't want anti-government thoughts quickly spreading from computer to computer, so I won't be able to talk here about the moon and it's effects anymore, and eventually the moon will crash into us and we'll all suffer a horrible death?
i've been saying this for years. see, i'm NOT crazy
*puts on tin hat*
 
Originally posted by archer_007
And weight is mass times gravity. Space doesnt have gravity, but the sun does. So the outer planets weigh less then they would if they were closer to the Sun.

Sure, but where's the scale you use to check and make sure? :crazyeye:
 
Just a crazy bit of wondering: if the earth suddenly, instantaneously stopped rotating, would we all fly off into space at whatever speed the earth had been rotating?
 
no. we would keep moving around the earth (being basicaly dragged along the ground) at the speed its rotating in.

if i figure it correctly, that speed is something like 40000km/24 hours, so about 1000 miles an hour. which would be enough to rip buildings off the ground and send them flying along with us.

basicaly everyone dies a death similar to one achieved by being tied to a jetfighter with a long rope and getting dragged alongthe ground for a while.
 
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