Sunday, November 2, 2008

A Blog Post About Daylight Saving Time

Epril and I were at a party last night and one obvious topic of discussion was Daylight Saving Time, which happened last night.

I realized I knew virtually no facts about daylight savings time. So, after reading up today about DST on wikipedia, I have the following tidbits of information to share:

(1) Benjamin Franklin did not propose or invent DST. He just recommended people get up at sunrise. However, one of his reasonings — to save candles — was the eventual "official" reasoning behind DST: To use less electricity by turning on lights later.

(2) Holy $h1t... A guy at the party was right: DST was the brainchild of a British fellow, William Willett, who in 1905 proposed the idea because (among other reasons) he wanted more daylight to play golf during the summer time.

(3) DST was first used by Germany in World War One in 1916. Britain and her allies came next, followed by Russia, and then finally The United States in 1918. (Not after World War Two, as another person at the party suggested.)

(4) DST is not around in winter because there isn't enough sunlight to make it saving it worthwhile, and they also didn't want kids walking to school in the dark. (That was the one bit of information I knew... but I thought that that was the main reason for DST.)

(5) Other pro-considerations for DST: Economic benefit to stores from extra daylight, fewer road accidents, better health due to more time spent outside in the evening.

(6) Other anti-considerations for DST: The obvious confusion, and the fact that there is no actual major energy benefit from DST anymore.

(7) And yes, it is true: Arizona does not observe daylight saving time.

Personally, I wish they would forget about daylight saving time, and just take the standard day and shift it permanently forward by 2 hours: That way, in New York state where I grew up, New Year's Day sunrise would be at 9:45 a.m. and sunset at 6:45 p.m., and a July 4th sunrise would be at 7:00 a.m. and sunset of 11:00 p.m. Here in the Philippines, where summer days are only one hour longer than winter days, the sun would come up at an average time of 7:45 a.m. and would set at an average time of 7:45 p.m. That's not as cool as having an 11:00 p.m. sunset, but it's a hell of a lot better than always having the sun go down before 6:00 every evening.

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