Saturday, March 10, 2007

Spring Forward - Daylight Savings and You

Spring Forward

(Don't forget to turn your clocks ahead at 2AM Sunday!)

Mmmmm ... Bacon!

Spring Forward, Fall Back.

We've all heard that mnemonic phrase numerous times before. A memory trick to remind us of how Daylight Savings Time works. We move our clocks an hour ahead in the Spring, and an hour back in the Fall, reordering our lives based on a 200 year old idea by Benjamin Franklin, and enacted in the US in 1918.

Yup, blame ol' Ben for losing an hour sleep tonight, and for all those people late to church tomorrow. This is the same guy who flew a kite in a lightning storm and wanted the turkey as our national symbol.

Okay, okay. So Ben Franklin was one of this nation's greatest leaders and inventors. And, his 1784 light-hearted letter to the Journal of Paris urging people to get up an hour earlier to save candles didn't actually involve turning any clocks back. We can blame William Willet for our real chronometric woes.

Willet is the true inventor of Daylight Savings Time, or DST. Even if ol' Ben tends to get the credit, or the blame in some cases.

Willet, an Englishman, wrote a pamphlet The Waste of Daylight in 1907 proposing a similar, yet slightly different manner of advancing and regressing clocks to save daylight, hence power and money savings. Though it wasn't until the First World War that DST was implemented as a way to save coal, and other energy supplies. First by Germany, then by Britain in 1916, then followed by many other nations.

Unfortunately, Willima Willet did not live to see his world altering idea come to fruition. He died of influenza in 1915.

The United states adopted the measure in 1918, but Congress repealed it in 1919 due to its unpopularity with the general public. The standard times zones also introduced with the 1918 DST law were retained, however. Daylights savings remained in local option use until 1966, when the Uniform Time Act reinstituted it back into law.

In the winter of 1973, for 15 months, President Richard Nixon set the clocks ahead an hour in response to the energy crisis of that time. Clocks reverted to standard time in the winter of 1974.

In 1987 federal legislation set the US daylight savings time to take place the first Sunday in April until the last Sunday in October.

2007 marks the beginning of an extended DST in the US, with daylight savings now taking place from the second Sunday in March (tomorrow for you non-aware readers) to the first Sunday in November.

Not all of the US uses DST. Both Arizona and Hawaii are exempt.

Nor does the entire world use DST., a resource used in much of this article, provides a page of who does and doesn't use DST.

In the US, the official time to change your clocks is 2AM of the particular Sunday. But who in their right mind gets up that early in the morning to change a lousy clock? Most people change their clocks some time on the Saturday before, typically before going to bed. This leads to much confusion as to when their favorite television shows really come on, and what time their favorite eatery closes.

I use it as a trick to get the kids to bed earlier. Hey, if they are too lazy to look up Daylight Savings Time, it's their own fault. Right? ~.^

Oh, and when you bustle about spinning the analogs back, and button-mashing the digitals into subservience, take a few minutes to change the batteries in your smoke detectors, eh? Test them, too. Nothing worse than missing an hour's sleep AND getting burnt up because your smoke alarm didn't go off.

Today's Penny Doubled Daily Cumulative Amount for 69 days is:



Penguino pepper said...

I like this blog. Thanks for commenting on mine.

Penguino pepper said...

This is a really good blog. I am very hyperactive. Now, I shall go and gnaw some electricity cables. Ha ha ha. Bzzzzzt. No more penguin. Died, gnawing wires for no conceivable reason.

Penguino pepper said...

Do you mind if I link to you?

Raivynn said...

Sure, if you'd like to.

For my own readers, go check out Penguino's blog at Pretty amusing stuff, make sure to read back to the beginning. His posts about Lizzie the cat are hilarious.