The Abyss 2010: Year in Review

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2010 was much like any other year. Like many others in the media today, we now endeavor to “review” the year.

This is an appropriate activity that is seemingly enjoyed by humans when our most favorite planetoid has completed yet another circuit around our most favorite star.

Depending on IQ, if it is low enough, most will celebrate by crashing pots and pans at what they incorrectly deem to be “midnight.” Others will blow things up and shoot their guns in the air.

Because I’m cursed with intelligence all I can do is write this post and be in bed by 8:30.

2010 started like most any other year. Jan. 1, 2010 at midnight (GMT) was the first second of the year. In “epoch time” that is also known as 1262304000.

Epoch time, also known as Unix time, is a system of used by computers to keep track of the date and time. It counts the number of seconds that have elapsed since midnight Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) of January 1, 1970, not counting leap seconds. (If you really want to blow your mind you can read the Wikipedia article on Unix time. It will make your head feel funny.)

A “second” is a unit of time most of us are very familiar with. It was originally defined as 1/86400 of a “solar day.” There are 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, and 24 hours a day. So if we multiple those values, 60 x 60 x 24, we get 86,400 seconds. Viola! Therefore, 86,400 is the number of seconds in a day. Don’t believe me? Count to 86,400 and see how much time has gone by. Go ahead, try it! It’s fun!

But wait. It turns out that the rotation of the Earth, known as a day, is not always exactly 86,400 seconds. It turns out that the solar day is 1.7ms longer every century due mainly to “tidal friction” and “glacial rebound.” I don’t know about you but that scares the shit out of me. Our planet is getting slower!

The year will end on December 31, 2010 at 11:59:59 pm (GMT). This is 1293839999.

Now that we know the starting and ending epoch times of 2010, we can do the math. Simple subtraction on those two time values shows there were 31,536,000 seconds in 2010. That translates to 525,600 minutes, 8,760 hours and 365 days.

Wow, when you look at it that way, what an exciting year! I hope you all enjoyed those 31.5 million seconds as much as you possibly could.

4 responses

  1. OMG! The Earth is slowing down? As one who lives on the brink of shear terror anyway, I think that that “Brundlefly” thing and Wednesday Addams (“Be afraid. Be very afraid”), and Yoda (“You will be”) would be most impressed by how you’ve managed to increase my distress! And now that human timekeeping methods have been shown to be even more arbitrary than I ever thought (the one universal flaw in every space-faring sci-fi tale), I’ll forever be haunted by the completely imaginary “tick-tock” of my home world slowly “de-volving” to become our cold, dead, final resting place. Happy New Year! 😯 😆


  2. OYVEY! Your post just made my head feel funny!

    Obviously, I’m not as “smart” as you — I’ll proudly be one of those folks crashing pots and pan at the stroke of “midnight” and unfortunately doing it on East Coast time since, that’s how I roll (uhem, I live on the West Coast, so you can see the dillemma or just assume I’m visiting East Coast folk … hee!). Either way, I am grateful to have such intellectuals as my buds in the bloggy-word as you and IzaakMak. I swear I feel smarter every time I read your posts. And yes, most times, I laugh out loud and realize how awesome technology is to have put me in touch with so many cool peeps!

    With all that — Happy New Year — whenever it really is and however it falls!

    Peace, love and all that good stuff!


    1. OMG, I was already dizzy. Now my head’s gonna burst from the swelling! Happy New Year Carmen!


      1. Mwuuuuaaahhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂


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