Tuesday, November 4, 2008

DST

I'm up early this morning, and I attribute it to my recent East Coast trip and Daylight Saving Time. I've been doing a little bit of research on the ole DST and here's some nuggets I thought were interesting.
  • Ben Franklin first came up with the crazy idea to save candles. An early conservationist.
  • The official spelling is Daylight Saving Time, not Daylight SavingS Time.
  • Arizona does NOT observe DST. I guess McCain is a maverick amongst mavericks. Hawaii doesn't do it either.
  • DST makes train schedules screwy. This is from npr: "When the clocks fall back at 2 a.m. this Sunday, Amtrak trains running on time will have to wait in the station for one hour before resuming their journey. Springtime overnight travelers find their trains suddenly one hour late, but their engineers just keep going and try to make up the time."
  • During the mid-20th century there was no national law mandating DST. "Localities could determine their own DST. Here's a funny recounting from webexhibits.com: One year, 23 different pairs of DST start and end dates were used in Iowa alone. For exactly five weeks each year, Boston, New York, and Philadelphia were not on the same time as Washington D.C., Cleveland, or Baltimore--but Chicago was. And, on one Ohio to West Virginia bus route, passengers had to change their watches seven times in 35 miles! The situation led to millions of dollars in costs to several industries, especially those involving transportation and communications. Extra railroad timetables alone cost the today's equivalent of over $12 million per year."
  • Here's an amazing story about twins born during the DST switch, essentially reversing their birth order.
  • Robertson Davies fictional character Samual Marchbanks wrote this little diatribe against DST: "I don't really care how time is reckoned so long as there is some agreement about it, but I object to being told that I am saving daylight when my reason tells me that I am doing nothing of the kind. I even object to the implication that I am wasting something valuable if I stay in bed after the sun has risen. As an admirer of moonlight I resent the bossy insistence of those who want to reduce my time for enjoying it. At the back of the Daylight Saving scheme I detect the bony, blue-fingered hand of Puritanism, eager to push people into bed earlier, and get them up earlier, to make them healthy, wealthy and wise in spite of themselves."
I for one enjoy both the moonlight and the sunshine. DST is a slight inconvenience, but if it saves us some energy resources then I'm for it.

Resources: webexhibits, NPR, National Geographic, WRAL

1 comment:

Becky said...

Dude, it's like we're braintwins!
http://beckyhaycox.com/hamblog/?p=599