Saturday, 4 July 2015

Every Second Counts

At the third stroke, the time will be 11:59 and 60 seconds precisely... 

Every second counts.
If you think last Tuesday seemed to drag and felt like a long day ... you were right!  That's because the International Earth Rotation And Reference Systems Service (IERS) added an extra second to Tuesday.  This additional second is known as a 'leap second' and is kind of like a leap year only a lot shorter.

To explain the reasoning behind leap seconds, without getting too scientific, the speed of Earth's rotation varies by tiny amounts due to geological occurrences, as well as the pull of the Moon and the Sun, so the leap second is basically a way of ensuring our calendar remains precisely accurate.

You may think, "It's only a second!  What's the big deal about a second?" but in actual fact a surprisingly high amount of activity can take place in a single second.

For example, every second...

1) ...the Earth orbits 18.5 miles around the Sun!

2) ...the Solar System travels 155 miles around the galactic centre of the Milky Way!

3) ...light travels 186,282 miles in a vacuum.

2 people getting married.
Slightly less than the average number of
people who get married every second.
4) ...a person standing at the Earth's equator will travel 464 metres due to the Earth's rotation.

5) ...4.3 babies are born.

6) ...1.8 people die.

7) ...2.95 people get married.

8) ...1.33 people get divorced.

9) ...over a million people fart!*

* Approximately 1,154,513 people to give a more precise figure.

10) ...Bill Gates earns $250.

11) employee on minimum wage in the UK earns 0.18p.

12) ...the poorest workers in the world earn 0.00074p.

13) ...a bullet can travel 900 metres.

14) ...a formula 1 car can travel 104 metres.

15) ...Usain Bolt can travel 12.27 metres.

16) ...a sloth can travel 6.6 centimetres.

82,465 people fall asleep every second.
17) ...82,465 people fall asleep.*

18) ...82,465 people wake up.*

* Figures are based on the assumption that everyone goes to sleep once a day.  However, obviously that's not strictly true, as for example I sometimes have a quick power snooze when I get in from work, and a few people may pull an all-nighter.  The figure of 82,465 is therefore an estimated approximation, but I suspect the exact figure may be a fraction higher.

19) ...16,000 people read the BBC website.

20) ...0.1 people read the Charles Fudgemuffin blog!

. . . . . . . .

If you'd like to join the 16,000 people who read the BBC website every second then I recommend this webpage:
12 of the funniest animal faces...

Or if you'd like to join the 0.1 people who read the Charles Fudgemuffin blog every second then I recommend this blog post:
Be the first of your friends to like this post...

Update:  Big thanks to Nick's brother for letting us know that Nick and his fiance have sadly called off their wedding, so the updated figure for the number of people who get married every second is now 2.9499999.

1 comment:

  1. Nick's brother11 July 2015 at 18:29

    Hi, I just wanted to let you know that sadly, my brother Nick and his fiance recently called off their wedding which was planned for August. The correct marriage statistics will therefore now be slightly less, and your figures will need to be adjusted to take this into account.


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About The Author

The 'How To Save The World' books
by Charles Fudgemuffin
Charles Fudgemuffin is the author of the alien comedy 'How To Save The World' books which are available for Kindle from Amazon.  The first book in the series is available from the following link:
How To Save The World: An Alien Comedy

As with all Kindle books, you can also download a free sample of the first few chapters.

Please note, the 'How To Save The World' books contain material suitable for ages 18+ and are not recommended for prudes or squares.