Below is an excerpt from the July 2015 edition of GINNED! Magazine about the Dà Mhìle Distillery. Every month, Craft Gin Club Members receive a bottle of amazing small-batch gins accompanied by GINNED! Magazine which is full of information about the gin, the distillery and loads of fascinating features.
As the Dà Mhìle Distillery was preparing for the year 2000 with Britain’s first batch of organic single-malt whisky, the rest of the world was busy preparing for impending doom. The Y2K (Year 2,000) computer bug promised to wreak havoc across the globe, spur a huge economic depression and send humanity hurtling back to the Middle Ages. Caused by an historical preference of computer programmers to code the year with two digits, ie 01:07:97 would be July 1st, 1997, it was thought that at the turn of the millennia computers would calculate the year as 1900 instead of 2000 sending systems in multiple industries awry.
Obviously, the day of judgement did not arrive. Computers went on computing, the depression was a mild dot com bubble recession, and humanity calmly moved forward into the 21st Century. But that’s not to say the dangers of technological time-keeping have been completely kept at bay.
A Y2K-like phenomenon called a “leap second” occurs every once every few years. The one-second difference is added to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) (the standard that regulates clocks around the world) in order to keep it within one second of mean solar time (mathematically calculated to keep clocks in line with the rotation of the Earth around the sun). The second itself is usually added on December 31st, or June 30th at the very end of the day. UTC clocks show the leap second like this: 23:59:60.
Since the introduction of leap seconds in 1972, the world’s official clock watchers have implemented them 26 times. For the most part, leap seconds have passed without a hitch. But occasionally, things go wrong.
The 2012 leap second added on June 30, 2012 caused several major websites such as Reddit, Gawker and Yelp to crash for up to 45 minutes, leaving its audiences temporarily in the dark as some needed to reboot their servers to cope with the extra second. The IT systems of Australian airline Quantas completely crashed due to the mini-time jump leaving thousands of passengers stranded around the country and forcing staff to revert to pen and paper reservations.
Much more damage is possible. But for the most part, computer programmers are on top of the issue. The most recent leap second occurred at midnight on June 30th 2015 as we entered July, just in time to welcome Dà Mhìle as our Gin of the Month. Chances are, you didn’t even notice it. But at least you now have the opportunity to ease your mind of a Y2K-style technological disaster with a refreshing Botanical Gin and Watermelon cocktail.
Da Mhile's Botanical Watermelon Refresher
- 4 parts Botanical Gin
- 1/4 Watermelon
Method: Blend watermelon with a handful of ice. Strain into a carafe. Add gin and stir.