Friday, March 30, 2001

Stupid facts about daylight savings time

[email composed 30 March 2001]

Sunday we will observe the tweaking of standard time by setting our clocks ahead one hour. What this really means is that we all get to perform the exact same tasks an hour earlier for the next six months. And why do we do that?

It saves energy. No, really.

Apparently the D.O.T. has done studies that moving back the sunset by an hour trims electricity usage by... one percent. We turn the lights on later, blah blah blah. (Your tax dollars at work.)

The idea of turning the clocks ahead during the summer months was first proposed by Benjamin Franklin in 1784, for economical reasons. The actual moving of time in the spring and fall was not adopted until the early 20th century in Germany and England. The U.S. (along with many European nations) took it up during World War I to lower fuel consumption and help the war effort. However, in 1919 this was overturned in the States due to its unpopularity. It came back during WW II for the same reasons, but afterwards there was no legislation to mandate it and D.S.T. was inconsistently observed until President Johnson signed the Uniform Time Act of 1966 into law. In 1986, the law was amended to state that Daylight Savings Time would begin on the first Sunday of April (instead of the last Sunday) and end on the last Sunday in October. (In most western European countries, it starts a week earlier.)

And in Indiana, where part of the state is in the Eastern time zone and part of the state is in the Central time zone, it gets really complicated. Arizona and Hawaii also think that it's pretty stupid to go pretending it's later than it actually is.

(Source: Institute for Dynamic Educational Advancement)

Enjoy the daylight everybody. Turn off the computer and go outside and do something with it.

(who with any luck will be asleep)

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