An xkcd Leap-Smearing Clock

Anthony Biondo
Filed under: Humor
In the current xkcd comic, a new method of adjusting for leap years is proposed. Instead of adding on a day called February 29th, we simply make the month of February about 3.4% longer ... by slowing down our clocks by 3.4%. The clock below implements this, along with an explanation below:

The time is now:

  • The clock only updates on the slower "tick," of about 1.03 seconds, so if you compare this to your watch it should be going slower, and the two should go in and out of phase every ~30 seconds.
  • If you watch the line in the explanation above with the current unix time, it will skip a number every ~30 seconds because it is ticking too slowly.
  • The clock is configured to update internally every 10ms, and though browsers might not keep up with that, it is hopefully reasonably accurate. Rendering should only happen on the slower tick.