Today is going to be an unusually long day.

Photo via splitshire.com/Pexels.


At 11:59 p.m. GMT (7:59 p.m. Eastern time), earth's official timekeepers will add an extra second. It happens once every several years to correct a slight calendar abnormality.

Some worry that the time glitch could crash computers around the world. Just like Y2K ... didn't actually do.

And then the sky turns into owl eyes and the shadow people descend. Photo by Bonnybbx/Pixabay.

But that probably won't happen. The most likely result is that every single person on earth will have a little bit of extra time! Which is something we all need, however brief.

Since it only comes around once in a long while, this is a second you really don't want to waste. Here are some things you can use it for.

1. Take a one-second shower.

Image via Thinkstock.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average shower lasts eight minutes and uses 18 gallons of water. But a one-second shower uses roughly half a cup of water. It might not get you quite as clean, but water is precious. Over 750 million people worldwide don't have reliably clean water to drink at all.

If you don't lead by example, then who will?

2. Say the first part of the word "understandably."

Photo by Matt Lemmon/Flickr.

"Understandably" is a really fun word to say. It not only contains plenty of short vowel sounds but several plosives and alveolar nasals as well. Unfortunately, it takes more than a second to get the whole thing out. You can get about as far as "understandab" in one second. But it's still worth it.

3. Feel joy.

Image via Thinkstock.

Joy is one of the best things in the world to feel. And lucky for us, there are so many great things to feel joyful about this week — from the upcoming three-day-weekend to the Supreme Court making marriage equality the law of the land to the fact that bagels are available in basically every grocery store in the USA. So take a second to feel some good, ol' fashioned, unbridled joy.

4. Watch this animated GIF of Miley Cyrus speaking surprisingly eloquently on the restrictions of the gender binary.

You go, Miley!

GIF by ABC News.

5. Sneeze.

Photo by William Brawley/Flickr.

Even though sneezing means your respiratory system is irritated, it feels damn great. If you have to induce it, so what? You've earned a good sneeze.

6. Look at this picture of a giraffe.

Oh hey. Photo by Tony Hisgett/Flickr.

I hate to break it to you, but while you were out at lunch, giraffes started going extinct. So take a good look. A good long look.

Then go help save the giraffes.

7. Take one bite of pizza.

Photo by Pink Sherbet Photography/Flickr.

Pizza is the most delicious foodstuff on the planet. It's just bread, tomatoes, and cheese, and yet somehow, it's amazing. Plus, you can put nearly anything on top of it and it tastes just as good, if not better. You can't say that about any other dish (I'm looking in your direction, artichoke salad). So take a second and eat a single bite of pizza.

Oh, but not Papa John's. Seriously.

8. Do one second of volunteer work.

Photo by Jim Henderson/Wikimedia Commons.

Anything you want, really. There are lots of people who could use a hand. And you probably have a hand! Two of them, actually. And there are some great organizations that can connect your hands and those people. In your hometown, even! Even just for a second. Here's a great way to find them.

9. Just enjoy yourself.

Photo by Afrika Force/Flickr.

Let's face it. You've got 86,400 seconds every day to feel bad about everything that's stressful in your life and all the problems of the world. But this second is a bonus. So kick back, relax, and for just one second, do whatever you gotta do to make yourself feel great. 'Cause this is your time. It's extra.

Enjoy it.

Come to think of it, you can think about the giraffes tomorrow.

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

When schools closed early in the spring, the entire country was thrown for a loop. Parents had to figure out what to do with their kids. Teachers had to figure out how to teach students at home. Kids had to figure out how to navigate a totally new routine that was being created and altered in real time.

For many families, it was a big honking mess—one that many really don't want to repeat in the fall.

But at the same time, the U.S. hasn't gotten a handle on the coronavirus pandemic. As states have begun reopening—several of them too early, according to public health officials—COVID-19 cases have risen to the point where we now have more cases per day than we did during the height of the outbreak in the spring. And yet President Trump is making a huge push to get schools to reopen fully in the fall, even threatening to possibly remove funding if they don't.

It's worth pointing out that Denmark and Norway had 10 and 11 new cases yesterday. Sweden and Germany had around 300 each. The U.S. had 55,000. (And no, that's not because we're testing thousands of times more people than those countries are.)

The president of the country's largest teacher's union had something to say about Trump's push to reopen schools. Lily Eskelsen Garcia says that schools do need to reopen, but they need to be able to reopen safely—with measures that will help keep both students and teachers from spreading the virus and making the pandemic worse. (Trump has also criticized the CDCs "very tough & expensive guidelines" for reopening schools.)

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