Monday, June 30, 2014

Holidays and Observances for June 30 2014

Leap Second Time Adjustment Day


What are leap seconds?
They last only a heartbeat and go unnoticed by most - but without leap seconds our clocks would run too fast.

About every one and a half years, one extra second is added to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and clocks around the world. This leap second accounts for the fact that the Earth's rotation around its own axis, which determines the length of a day, slows down over time while the atomic clocks we use to measure time tick away at almost the same speed over millions of years.

So, leap seconds are a means to adjust our clocks to the Earth's slowing rotation.

How many leap seconds have been added so far?
Since 1972, a total of 25 seconds have been added. This means that the Earth has slowed down 25 seconds compared to atomic time since then.

This does not mean that days are 25 seconds longer nowadays. Only the days on which the leap seconds are inserted have 86,401 instead of the usual 86,400 seconds.

When are leap seconds added?
Leap seconds are inserted at the end of the last day in June or December. When that is the case, UTC ticks from 23:59:59 to 23:59:60 before reverting to 00:00:00 (in the 12-hour format, this corresponds to 11:59:59 pm - 11:59:60 pm - 12:00:00 midnight). When that happens the last minute of the month has 61 instead of 60 seconds.

The last time a leap second was added to UTC was at 23:59:60 UTC on June 30, 2012 (see table). The difference between UTC and the International Atomic Time (UTC-TAI) from July 1, 2012 is -35 sec.

Who decides when leap seconds are added?
The International Earth Rotation and Reference System Service (IERS) observes the Earth's rotation and compares it to atomic time. When the difference between the two approaches 0.9 seconds, they order a leap second to be added worldwide.

National Mai Tai Day


Mai Tai’s could possibly be called the most famous and well-known drink of Hawaii.  And maybe one of the most delicious, after all, who doesn’t love a Mai Tai? Sweet and sensuous rum, mixed with golden glorious fruit juices and liquers, garnished with succulent pineapple. Mai Tais are great after a long, sunny day at the beach. Mai Tais are great with pupus, and great on their own.  Mai Tai’s are great to drink while (and perhaps even inspired by) watching the sun set.  Mai Tai’s are everyone’s favorite when on vacation.

“Maitai” in Tahitian means “good” and the Mai Tai has come to symbolize Tahitian-style, Tiki Bar and Hawaiian culture, reminiscent of the 1950’s and 1960’s.

In Honor of the Mai Tai, they’ve given the drink its own day … and that day is August 30. While there has been some dispute over the actual, official date of National Mai Tai Day, some say it is the 30th of August and others (notably “A History of Drinking Blog”) say it is June 30, I find the believers of the August 30 date to be the most convincing. In any event, there is no harm in celebrating Mai Tai Day on both days. 

For a little history on the drink, you should know that the Mai Tai was purportedly invented by Victor J. Bergeron is August 1944. Bergeron was the proprietor of Tader Vic’s in Oakland. There is some controversy here, too, because Don the Beachcomber, of Los Angeles, also claimed to have invented the drink, though he said he invented it years earlier, in 1933.  Both drinks taste different and have different recipes, and there seem to be many other different variations of the drink, as well.  But either way, this drink was not invented in Hawaii, but in California, though it is on just about every bar menu in the Hawaiian islands.

National Meteor Day


National Meteor Day is celebrated on June 30th of each year. A meteoroid is a sand- to boulder-sized particle of debris in the Solar System. The visible path of a meteoroid that enters Earth’s (or another body’s) atmosphere is called a meteor, or colloquially a shooting star or falling star. If a meteoroid reaches the ground and survives impact, then it is called a meteorite. Many meteors appearing seconds or minutes apart are called a meteor shower. The root word meteor comes from the Greek meteōros, meaning “high in the air”.

Around 15,000 tonnes of meteoroids, space dust, and debris of different types enters Earth’s atmosphere each year.

As of 2011 the International Astronomical Union officially defines a meteoroid as “a solid object moving in interplanetary space, of a size considerably smaller than an asteroid and considerably larger than an atom”. Beech and Steel, writing in Quarterly Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society, proposed a new definition where a meteoroid is between 100 µm and 10 m across. Following the discovery and naming of asteroids below 10 m in size (e.g., 2008 TC3), Rubin and Grossman refined the Beech and Steel definition of meteoroid to objects between 10 µm and 1 m in diameter. The NEO definition includes larger objects, up to 50 m in diameter, in this category. Very small meteoroids are known as micrometeoroids (see also interplanetary dust).

The Minor Planet Center does not use the term “meteoroid”.

The composition of meteoroids can be determined as they pass through Earth’s atmosphere from their trajectories and the light spectra of the resulting meteor. Their effects on radio signals also give information, especially useful for daytime meteors which are otherwise very difficult to observe. From these trajectory measurements, meteoroids have been found to have many different orbits, some clustering in streams (see Meteor showers) often associated with a parent comet, others apparently sporadic. Debris from meteoroid streams may eventually be scattered into other orbits. The light spectra, combined with trajectory and light curve measurements, have yielded various compositions and densities, ranging from fragile snowball-like objects with density about a quarter that of ice, to nickel-iron rich dense rocks.

Meteoroids travel around the Sun in a variety of orbits and at various velocities. The fastest ones move at about 26 miles per second (42 kilometers per second) through space in the vicinity of Earth’s orbit. The Earth travels at about 18 miles per second (29 kilometers per second). Thus, when meteoroids meet the Earth’s atmosphere head-on (which would only occur if the meteors were in a retrograde orbit), the combined speed may reach about 44 miles per second (71 kilometers per second). Meteoroids moving through the earth’s orbital space average about 20 km/s.

A meteor is the visible path of a meteoroid that has entered the Earth’s atmosphere. Meteors typically occur in the mesosphere, and most range in altitude from 75 km to 100 km. Millions of meteors occur in the Earth’s atmosphere every day. Most meteoroids that cause meteors are about the size of a pebble.

The velocities of meteors result from the movement of the Earth around the Sun with about 30 km/s, the orbital speeds of meteoroids, and the gravitational attraction of the Earth.

Please Take My Children To Work Day


Let's face it. Whether you work inside the home or outside the house, being a mom is not only one of the best, most rewarding "jobs" there is, but it can also be one of the most overwhelming and difficult jobs on the planet.

Each year, a special day in June is dedicated to stay-at-home moms around the world. It's Please Take My Children to Work Day. Author and blogger Jen Singer created this annual tongue-in-cheek holiday "as a way for at-home moms to explain why they need a break now and then, no matter what their husbands, family or friends think." Not to be confused with the annual Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day, observed in April, this particular holiday encourages full and/or part-time stay-at-home moms to take a much deserved break from the kids.

Moms play many roles. From chauffeur, chef, negotiator and nurse to psychiatrist, seamstress, cheerleader, teacher and housekeeper, a mother's work is never done. So go ahead. It's time to call the sitter, neighbor, relative or hubby and tell them you need some quality alone time with your favorite gal-pal - YOU! Whether you treat yourself to a quiet bubble bath at home, relaxing massage at your favorite spa, fabulous mani/pedicure, a leisurely stroll in the park or a fun girl's night out and about, today is the day to pamper and do something nice for yourself!

UPDATE: According to an email from the creator of this "holiday," the event is no longer observed.