FreeBSD handles leapsecond correctly

Poul-Henning Kamp phk at
Mon Jan 2 14:41:57 PST 2006

In message <20060102223147.GA55461 at>, Wilko Bulte writes:

>> Considering that a merry band of brits are still fighting to get
>> compensation for the 15 days they "lost" last time Brittain changed
>> calendar, the political and legal fallout will probably galvanize
>> the current calendar until something really drastic happens.
>Like the earth starting to rotate in the other direction? :-P

Hard to tell.

The most likely mechanism for such an event is the spinning-top like
reversal of the Earths core relative to the mantle.

I'm not sure if we know the relative masses and momentums well
enough to tell exactly how the two will flip relative to the other,
the friction between them is a big unknown variable too.  If we
assumed it happened without significant losses so that only the
direction changed, then the calendar would still be good to go.

Another mechanism could be changes to the Earths orbital parameters
by vagabondeering masses passing through our solar system.  As far
as I know, we have no reliably geological or fossil records of that
happening recently.

A Roman empire style collapse of western civilization however is
not merely a possibility, it's nearly a certainty, only the timescale
being really in doubt.


Poul-Henning Kamp       | UNIX since Zilog Zeus 3.20
phk at FreeBSD.ORG         | TCP/IP since RFC 956
FreeBSD committer       | BSD since 4.3-tahoe    
Never attribute to malice what can adequately be explained by incompetence.

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