It is now the year 2009, at least according to Coordinated Universal Time, the time against all other local time zones are measured against. The funny thing about Coordinated Universal Time, besides being abbreviated as UTC because of the French, is that even this is a compromise between an incredibly accurate clock and time keeping for practical use. Atomic clocks are the most accurate clocks of all, but a lot of us live according to the day-night cycle due to the Earth’s rotation, and the Earth is slowing down by the tiniest bit every year because of tidal friction with the Moon. So leap seconds need to be added to Coordinated Universal Time every few years, and one was added right before the new year started.
The year 2009 is also the year that George W. Bush will no longer be president of the United States of America. This has got to be cause for a small celebration, although it would have been so much better if he didn’t cause so much degradation in the United States’ diplomatic and economic standing in the first place.
And this is also the International Year of Astronomy, which will launch a flurry of astronomical activity reaching to the public, among them 10-minute podcasts every single day of the year from 365 Days of Astronomy.
Oh, and before I forget: Happy New Year!