Daylight Savings Time

13 Mar

My life has been a whirlwind lately and there are many things that I would like to discuss, and while I am sure they will come up, I feel the need to discuss a topic that comes up but twice a year. Daylight Savings Time is such an interesting concept, that my high school math teacher, Jeff LeMaster, told me it was based on the old indian concept of lengthening one’s blanket by cutting a foot from the top and sewing it to the bottom.

While never really completely believing good ol’ Coach LeMaster, I’ve always remembered that story because it was so funny. The irony is something I think of every night when I lay down and adjust my blanket upward or downward. Of course, there is a little bit more sophistication to a typical day than a blanket, so there will be some more reasons to alter the time than just moving the day around, but I think it still points out the absurdity of the whole thing.

I learned when I watched National Treasure, I learned that the first recommendation for Daylight Savings Time came from Benjamin Franklin. As my son read his biography, he told me that Ben Franklin did not really recommend time change, just that we alter our schedules based on the pattern of when the sun is.

To me, that is an adjustment that makes sense. After all, how can we teach our children that noon is the middle of the day when, for half of the year, it actually isn’t the middle of the day. On the other hand, it does make sense to not have daylight when most of us are asleep and allow us to enjoy more time in the evening. My friend, Marc Rapetti, tells me about something called a circadian rhythm, which is benefited by being up during daylight hours.

Before the modern synchronization of clocks, many civilizations adapted their day and called the sunlight time twelve hours and split it accordingly. After the concept of precise time zones, set by time in Greenwich, England, this daily adjustment became more difficult. On the other hand, taking advantage of the aforementioned extra daylight benefits, can benefit individuals, which could also lead to the benefit of society, in general.

So, most countries (excluding those in Asia and Africa) and a majority of the states in this country are currently adjusting their clock to account for the change in when the sun rises and sets. And while knuckleheads like me might think it laughable that it actually saves that much in energy costs, apparently during the Great War, the savings was significant enough that countries decided to implement it.

Now I enjoy the benefits of a longer evening as much as anyone, but I also hate waking up an hour earlier on just one day. While I think it would be nice to have our work schedule follow the daylight, I think it is impractical for a society such as ours. So, as I join people in the complaining about the lost hour, I guess it beats any potential alternative.

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2 Responses to “Daylight Savings Time”

  1. Jenni September 1, 2012 at 9:24 pm #

    That sounds very Jeff LeMaster-ish. 🙂

  2. Henry November 3, 2013 at 8:44 am #

    This is my opinion.

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