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Leap Seconds and such

For all you ever wanted to learn - and more - a good place
to start are the FAQs for the time signal stations (WWV, CHU,
etc.) and their sponsoring organizations. Am I showing my
age when I mention that I still have a *paper* copy of NBS
Special Publication 432?

The calendar used in Canada was set when Britain and its
possessions adopted the Gregorian calendar, through _An Act
for regulating the Commencement of the Year, and for
correcting the Calendar now in use_ (24 Geo. 2 c.23),
passed in 1750. They had to mess around with the years to
get things back in sync, which is why the day after 2 September
1752 was 14 September 1752. They also set the beginning of
the year to 1 January. This was prior to 1776, so it
affected the southern colonies in North America too.

The millenium starting in 2001 was due to the work by the
abbot Dionysius Exiguus, circa AD 525, who prepared an
estimate for the date of birth of Jesus of Nazareth. The
abbot didn't have the mathematical concept of zero, so the
year before AD 1 is 1 BC, which means us pedantic types
get to celebrate the new millenium on the proper day,
1 January 2001.

(most of this from http://www.nrc.ca/inms/faq/time.html)

Laura Halliday VA3LDH   "Que les nuages soient notre
Grid: FN03gs                pied a terre..."
                                   - Hospital/Shafte

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