It’s that time again: time to undue Daylight Saving Time. It’s time to regain that hour that you lost in March, leaving ou with the feeling that something was missing all summer long.
U.S. President Harry S. Truman referred to the entire process as “…a monstrosity in timekeeping.” Someone named Michelle Franklin (I don’t know who she is, but the quote’s good) called it “…the grand lie of time, the scourge of science, the blight on biological understanding.” And author Dave Barry pointed out, quite correctly, that “You will never find anybody who can give you a clear and compelling reason why we observe daylight saving time.”
Regardless of the calendar, this is the true sign that winter’s coming. All of a sudden, it’s dark when you come home from work, which is only fair since it’ll soon be dark when you leave as well. It’s enough to make you wish that you could tun the clock back a bit further, like maybe July or when you were eighteen (a further turn for some of us than for others).
It was apparently first used in Thunder bay, Ontario in 1908 and it just sort of caught on, but nobody seems to know why.
The excuse in the U.S. was officially that it would help save on fuel, although the bill was sponsored by a commerce organization who felt that more daylight in the evening might spur people to spend more. Since oil lamps had mostly disappeared by the time of Daylight Saving, it’s difficult to see how it could save fuel, unless it takes more fuel to go the same distance in the dark. And by having more time to shop, they might actually have fueled the personal debt crisis of today.
I’ve always heard that it was for the farmers, which seems utterly ridiculous to me. Farmers, at least 100 years ago, got up when the sun did and that damned rooster started caterwauling outside the window and stopped working when it began to get dark. It doesn’t matter a whit what time it is on the clock. Likewise for kids
Whatever the original reason, and we must assume for the sake of our own sanity that there was one whether sane or not, it has been proven time and again that time changes, at both ends, are hazardous to our health. There is and increase in heart attacks and strokes, and a pedestrian has a much greater chance of being struck by a vehicle immediately after a time change.
So, my piece having been said, for what it’s worth, don’t forget to turn back your clock at 2:00 a.m. on Sunday (yeah, sure, we’ll all stay up for that).
Why that day and at that time? Well, it’s Sunday morning to reduce how much the change will screw up the world with scheduling, etc. And the time is to make sure that you can’t use it to keep your favourite watering hole open an hour longer.
In closing, one more quote, this one often attributed to an anonymous “Old Indian” – “Only the government would believe that you could cut a foot off the top of a blanket, sew it to the bottom, and have a longer blanket.”