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    Re: Navigation News article on leap seconds.
    From: Jared Sherman
    Date: 2005 Oct 10, 14:18 -0400

    Frank-
     
     And that's the point. The earth's spin rate CAN be changed, and there are
    environmentalists suggesting that we're already changing it or bordering on
    changing it.
     So, let the billion chinese sneeze instead of throwing rocks. OK? Plain thrust
    vector, a billion weak rocket engines. Mmm...let's ask the Moslems to sneeze
    before prayers as well, that makes another five billion sneezes aligned in the
    same direction daily.
    
     The point being, a sufficiently motivated civilization could easily change or
    standardize the spin rate of their planet, if they had any desire to do so. It
    would, however, probably be simpler and easier to change our watches so that
    they matched the rate of change and left the entire process invisible to us.
    (Like the "atomic watches" that reset daily from radio time signals, or the
    hundred+ year old Simplex Time System, where the clocks in factories and schools
    literally reset once every hour to a master clock.)
    
     The folks who need the arcane accuracy of a billionth of a second here and
    there can find ways to deal with it. If it mattered to the rest of the world,
    we'd find ways to standardize the rotation if need be. To say "it can't be done"
    is simply defeatist when the answer is indeed, simply run the numbers and see if
    anyone wants to pay for it being done. ("it" being a general term, not a
    reference back to speeding up the earth here.)
    
     I would argue the other way, that leap seconds are nonsense for 99.999999% of
    the planet, where watches that simply said "Spring-Summer-Fall-Winter"
    "morning-noon-afternoon-night" would be too much information. That's right, I
    want a watch that changes four times per day, four seaons per year. And most
    importantly, chimes on the solstice and equinox. 
    
    
    

       
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