Friday, June 19, 2015

Leap Second June 30 2015

Esta entrada del blog está dirigido principalmente a los empollones y extraños que se preocupan por tales cosas.

Un segundo intercalar (segundo bisiesto) es un ajuste de un segundo que se aplica de vez en cuando al Tiempo Universal Coordinado (UTC) con el fin de mantener la hora del día cerca del tiempo solar medio. El vigésimo sexto tal segundo intercalar se aplicará entre 11:59:59 pm UTC el 30 de junio de 2015, y 12:00:00 (medianoche) UTC del 1 de julio El segundo intercalar se aplica en todo el mundo al mismo tiempo. Así que si usted vive, por ejemplo, en CentroAmerica y tienen un reloj UTC, el reloj debe ir de 17:59:59 a 17:59:60 (el extra segundo) y luego a 18:00:00.

Estoy feliz de informarles de que mi página en linea de Calculadoras de Segundos maneja bien los segundos intercalares, incluido el inminente.

This article is directed mostly at nerds and weirdos who care about such things.

A leap second is a one-second adjustment that is occasionally applied to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) in order to keep its time of day close to the mean solar time. The 26th such leap second is scheduled to be applied between 11:59:59 pm UTC on June 30, 2015, and 12:00:00 (midnight) UTC of July 1. The leap second is applied worldwide simultaneously. So if you live, for example, in the Central time zone of the U.S. and have a UTC clock, your clock should go from 18:59:59 to 18:59:60 (the extra second) and then to 19:00:00.

I am happy to report that my online Seconds Calculators page handles leap seconds, including the imminent one.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Conversion of Francis (or - Out to Lunch?)

And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.
  - Luke 22:31,32 [KJV]

Writing such a blog post has been particularly difficult for this revert to Catholicism.

After many years as a nominal Catholic / practicing Evangelical, I gradually began to realize that Truth must be singular. The false dogma of Sola Scriptura is ever subject to individual interpretation and can therefore never lead to anything like verifiable Truth. Real authority, established by God, must trump personal and subjective interpretation of the Bible. Thus I returned to Catholicism and to the divinely established authority of the Church's Magisterium. It is no accident that 'Catholic' simply means 'Universal'.

It must be acknowledged that the 70s and 80s saw a steady deterioration into what can be called soft heresy. You know what I mean: Discounting or soft-pedaling the seriousness of such things as abortion, contraception and homosexuality. Studiously avoiding certain teachings out of fear of disturbing anyone. Denying or downplaying the hard reality of God's righteousness and the fact of eternal judgment. In lieu of teaching, sanctifying and governing their sheep, pastors increasingly limiting their 'ministry' to consoling, nurturing and affirming. Instead of warning people against the imminent dangers of hell, comforting them on their way thither.

The sad fact that many Catholic 'faithful' and clergy were believing and practicing such soft heresies was troubling, but did not detract seriously from my faith in the aformentioned Church authority. Always needful is a clear distinction between Church teaching and the beliefs and practices of individual 'Catholics', including clergy. The solid teachings remain a sure anchor, and the Magisterium - i.e, the bishops collectively in union with the Pope - could be counted upon to faithfully safeguard and transmit those teachings. I took no small comfort in the fact that while other denominations were altering their doctrines to conform with worldly values and norms, the true Church would never follow suit.

Yet here we are in 2015, and I must declare honestly that what I thought could never happen is in fact happening, has been happening for some time. I first began having some misgivings over 5 years ago, and have seen practically nothing since then to relieve my doubts. To the point where, starting about two years ago, some kind of threshold seems to have been crossed. When the reigning pontiff says he cannot judge homosexual clergy, he is in fact publicly confessing that he is not their pastor. When a majority of bishops, led by the bishop of Rome, meet to discuss the possibility of changing Church teaching on marriage, something is seriously, seriously, seriously amiss.

The gut-wrenching question I find myself asking is: Are these realities reversible? May the devout Catholic pray in good faith for the conversion of Francis, per Jesus' words to Simon Peter? Or has it gone way beyond that? Have the vast majority of the episcopacy left their posts? Have they abdicated their authority as pastors? Are they collectively Out To Lunch, leaving shepherdless the dwindling minority of faithful Catholics? Are those faithful few left as orphans in spiritual exile?