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Sunday, November 04, 2007

Daylight Savings Time? Moving it Back a Week

(Note: Before any of you start thinking that you've gone Groundhog Day, this IS a reposting from last week. It's done to make a point on how RIDICULOUS the concept of continuing daylight savings time is in our day and age.)

How many of you woke up this morning to clocks having different times, an hour apart, throughout the house? I personally awoke to see my tv and vcr with one time, my computer and phone with another. I know spree didn't, before we even talk today, because Arizona is the ONE state in the Union that doesn't practice this stupidity.

In an age that is so hi-tech that we can punch in our addresses and see our houses via satellite in space, an age where we can travel across the oceans in a matter of hours rather than in the weeks and months ocean travels took until as late as two centuries ago, an age of corporate farming with machinery, an industrialized, modern society, WHY DO WE STILL NEED DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME? And WHY, for the love of peace, rock and roll, and green eggs and ham, did it have to be MOVED A WEEK from what it's been since we were CHILDREN?

Daylight saving time
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Daylight saving time (DST; also summer time in British English) is the convention of advancing clocks so that afternoons have more daylight and mornings have less. Typically clocks are adjusted forward one hour near the start of spring and are adjusted backward in autumn; several ancient cultures lengthened each summer daylight hour instead. Modern DST was first proposed in 1907 by William Willett, and saw its first widespread use in 1916 as a wartime measure aimed at conserving coal. Despite controversy, many countries have used it since then; details vary by location and change occasionally.

Adding daylight to afternoons generally benefits retailing, sports, and other activities that exploit sunlight after working hours, but it can cause problems for agriculture and other occupations whose hours depend on the sun. Extra afternoon daylight appears to cut traffic fatalities; its effect on health and crime is less clear. DST is said to save electricity by reducing the need for artificial evening lighting, but the evidence for this is weak, and DST can boost peak demand, increasing overall electricity costs.

DST's clock shifts complicate timekeeping and can disrupt meetings, travel, billing, recordkeeping, medical devices, and heavy equipment; they also serve as twice-yearly fire safety reminders. Many computer-based systems can adjust their clocks automatically, but this can be limited and error-prone, particularly when DST rules change.


In this ancient water clock, a series of gears rotated a cylinder to display hour lengths appropriate for each day's date.

Though not punctual in the modern sense, the ancients adjusted daily schedules to the sun more flexibly than modern DST does, often dividing daylight into 12 equal hours regardless of day length, so that each daylight hour was longer during summer. For example, Roman water clocks had different scales for different months of the year: at Rome's latitude the third hour from sunrise, hora tertia, started in modern terms at 09:02 solar time and lasted 44 minutes at the winter solstice, but at the summer solstice it started at 06:58 and lasted 75 minutes. After ancient times, equal-length civil hours eventually supplanted unequal, so civil time no longer varies by season. Unequal hours are still used in a few traditional settings, such as some Mount Athos monasteries.

During his time as an American envoy to France, Benjamin Franklin anonymously published a letter in 1784 suggesting that Parisians economize on candles by arising earlier to use morning sunlight. Franklin's mild satire proposed taxing shutters, rationing candles, and waking the public by ringing church bells and firing cannons at sunrise, in the spirit of his earlier proverb "Early to bed and early to rise / Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise." Franklin did not propose shifting clocks; like ancient Rome, 18th-century Europe did not keep accurate schedules. However, this soon changed as rail and communication networks came to require a standardization of time unknown in Franklin's day.

William Willett invented DST and advocated it tirelessly.

In 1905, the prominent English builder and outdoorsman William Willett was inspired to invent DST during one of his pre-breakfast horseback rides, when he observed with dismay how many Londoners slept through the best part of a summer day. An avid golfer, he also disliked cutting short his round at dusk. His solution was to advance the clock during the summer months, a proposal he published two years later. He lobbied unsuccessfully for the proposal until his death in 1915; see Politics for more details. Wartime Germany, its allies, and their occupied zones were the first European countries to use DST, starting 1916-04-30. Britain, most other belligerents, and many European neutrals soon followed suit, but Russia and a few other countries waited until the next year, and the United States did not use it until 1918. The Netherlands have used their own time system until the second worldwar. Since then the world has seen many enactments, adjustments, and repeals.


The world suffers confusion twice a year because some whack job wanted to play golf longer at night. MARVELOUS.

Wikipedia has a full feature on the pros and cons of DST, which is where this information on this post was found.

If the rest of you think, as I do, that this practice is ridiculous and has outlived its usefullness, please let me know. Perhaps we could lobby Congress to drop this, as the State of Arizona has done, and we could all sleep NORMALLY those two days out of the year when we're staring at our clocks and trying to remember which way to set them (at 2am, no less).

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man