It is indisputable that nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution, but...

...nothing in evolution makes sense except in the light of Plate Tectonics.

13 October, 2009

Daylight Savings

Here we are at that time of year again. People have become too 'settled in' to their daily routines so it's time to muck around with our circadian rhythms by dragging time backward one hour. Yes. It's time to gain that hour of sleep you lost back in April when time was shoved forward and you were wrenched out of bed with 3,600 too few winks.

Here's a good way to look at this little bit of archaic nonsense. On the Saturday night (Sunday morning) at the end of October, you will get to repeat the hour from 1:00 am to 2:00 am - so plan ahead to be having a really great time that hour because you will get to do it all over again like an instant replay. If you are asleep (boring) you miss out on the chance to do whatever it is you could be doing over again for one hour and still get up at the same time the next day, none the worse for wear - so make the most of it. This is all made possible because we insist on observing the vernal ritual of springing ahead to "daylight savings time" and we are about to return to Eastern Standard Time.

Daylight Savings Time. Do we really save daylight from April through October? Saving daylight... from where... or from when? To where, or to when? When do we get to spend those saved daylight hours again?

The answer is that we bank one daylight hour early each morning for about 200 days a year and get to spend each again that same night - a little diurnal sunlight banking system.

The opposite side of the ledger is during the 165 days or so when we do NOT get to bank our useless early morning hours to use later in the day. In essence, because we sleep as late as we can, instead of Eastern Standard Time, should we call the time from October to April "Daylight Losing Time?

So, we set up the clocks to make daytime seem longer during the time of year when the days are longest anyway, and we re-set the clocks to shorten daytime when daylight is at its shortest span - very logical.

Now going from Daylight Savings to Eastern Standard is always a favorite of most people - you get to sleep an extra hour. In reality, and despite what I said above, THAT extra hour's sleep is the only (single) hour that is 'saved' throughout the half year duration of Daylight Savings Time. You 'save' it when you give it up in Spring and recoup it again in the fall.

This whole concept of daylight savings has always struck me as one of the greatest mass brainwashing schemes ever, because as it turns out, contrary to Abe Lincoln's maxim, you CAN fool all of the people all of the time - each and every time. Consider the following official, National (hypothetical) policy:

"Because summer days are longer and it gets really hot as the day goes on, the work week for all government and non-government employees in businesses other than retail and entertainment is going to shift back an hour beginning in May of each year so that everyone will go to work at 7:00 am instead of 8:00 am and you will get out at 4:00 pm."

That would mean you would have to get up at 5:30 instead of 6:30.

Now imagine the clamour and uproar and dissent such a policy would engender.

SURPRISE!!!! That's exactly what IS done. Except, of course, most people don't recognize it as such because it is disguised as Daylight Savings Time. When you set your clock ahead one hour in spring, you are shifting the day back an hour so that instead of going to work at 8:00 you're really going at what, in "Standard Time" is 7:00. You don't give up, or lose, or SAVE an hour in Spring - you begin getting up an hour earlier, and within a day or two, it is your norm. So would getting up at 5:30 become your norm if just left the bloody clocks alone.

I can think of nothing so stupid as shifting the clocks twice a year, because people think 5:30 in the morning is too early to get up, so that we can fool those same people and they won't recognize that they ARE getting up at 5:30 in the morning!!!!

Why don't we just pick one and stick with it?

Oh well - it's a futile crusade, so I won't even bother with it. I think I will enjoy the last week or so of "saved" daylight and get outside to enjoy the autumn.
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