The Watering Hole, Saturday, March 7, 2015: The Spring Forward Position

“Spring Forward, Fall Back.” It seems we learned that one before we learned the Lord’s Prayer. (Some of you may have learned that one faster than the rest of us.) But why do we do it? Wasn’t Daylight Savings Time something Ben Franklin thought up? Wasn’t it supposed to be for the benefit of the farmers, so they would have more daylight to harvest their crops and work their fields? Don’t they have alarm clocks now? Can’t they just let the rest of us sleep?

The answers are: To save energy. Yes. Yes. I’m sure they do. No.

Not going along with it may defeat the point, to save energy. You see, the theory goes that if daylight lasts a little longer, there will be less demand for turning on lights. It is assumed that during the extended hour of darkness the next morning, you’ll have fewer lights turned on.

But, contrary to right wing conspiracy theories that I have no doubt exist, it is not a plot to take away the freedom of the states. It’s not mandatory.

Not everybody goes along with the plan. Arizona sticks with Mountain Standard Time, which turns out to be the same as Pacific Daylight Time. (The Navajo Nation, however, goes along with the summertime switch.) Hawaii and U.S. possessions such as American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands are also staying on standard time.

Most European countries don’t switch to summer time until the last weekend in March. That means the usual time difference will be out of sync for three weeks. For example, when it’s noon in New York, it’ll be 4 p.m. in London. But starting March 29, the five-hour difference between the two cities’ clocks will be back in force.

Some countries in the Southern Hemisphere move their clocks back an hour at this time of year. In Brazil, for example, the switch from daylight saving time to standard time took place in February.

You can see how the world changes its clocks here.

It’s also a good idea to try to get to get back to your normal sleep routine (at the new hour) as soon as you can. Losing sleep for even a few days in a row can weaken your immune system, and you’ll be more susceptible to colds and viruses. Here are some more tips.

BTW, the time change takes effect this Sunday morning, 2 AM EST. At that moment, it changes to 3 AM EDT. Set your clocks ahead one hour before you go to bed Saturday Night. This year, Daylight Savings Time ends Sunday, November 1.

It’s also a good time of year to change the batteries in your smoke detectors.

This is our daily open thread. Feel free to discuss Daylight Savings Time, Benjamin Franklin, farmers, or anything you else you want to discuss. I’m going back to sleep.

43 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Saturday, March 7, 2015: The Spring Forward Position

  1. If I had my way about it we’d get rid of DST and never mess with it again. I HATE losing an hour of cool morning sunlight in favor of lingering hot afternoon sun. Talk about an energy waster! We’d use the AC less if we went on DLT — daylight LOSING time. Besides, I’m one of those early to bed early to rise folks, and I hate going to bed when it’s still light and knowing the earliest sunrise of the year will be a late one — 5:37 on June 21. Plus, all early morning summer bike rides have to start an hour closer to the time all the pickups get on the road, and that’s misery personified.

    I always appreciated AZ’s avoidance of DST — anyone who thought adding another hour of afternoon desert heat was clearly ready for the asylum.

  2. There is currently a bill in the New Mexico senate to stay on DST year round. I hope it passes.

    • What would be the point? I mean, people can still plan their day around the Sun and not the clock. Government could just say, “Our business hours will be from 7 AM to 3 PM, instead of 9 AM to 5 PM.” The rest of the state would adapt to something similar, especially those companies that do a lot of business with the government.

      Though for slightly different, and far less personal reasons, I agree with Frugal in that the entire concept of DST should be done away with.

      Here’s something from one of the links in the first link:

      On the other hand, expanding daylight-saving time to encompass any more of the year might cause trouble. Russia shifted their clock to permanent daylight saving time in 2011, which worked fine until the depths of winter. Suddenly, the sun was rising at 10 a.m. in Moscow and 11 a.m. in St. Petersburg, Prerau said. People aren’t fond of starting their days in the pitch-black, he said, and now there’s talk of reversing the decision.

  3. Daylight Savings Time – Congress’ way of letting the common person experience jet lag twice a year.

    • I want the interest earned on my daylight savings.
      With my luck it probably went to Wall Street and some asshole bankster.

    • When he was describing what people thought about those marching on the bridge 50 years ago, it sounded like he was describing his own experience at President.

      • From the text of the speech:

        Back then, they were called Communists, half-breeds, outside agitators, sexual and moral degenerates, and worse – everything but the name their parents gave them. Their faith was questioned. Their lives were threatened. Their patriotism was challenged.

    • God … possibly the best speech he’s ever given, and possibly one of the best orations in American history. (Not as compact as the Gettysburg Address, to be sure.)

    • I could have done without all the God stuff in the President’s speech, although I realize it was a big part of the movement back then.

      Having said that, I think this was an amazing speech; possibly his best.

      • More than a “big part”: there were secularists in the Civil Rights movement, but there was nothing secular in its philosophy, leadership, or motivation. A few atheists followed, but none of them led or spoke.

    • Sigh…

      It was such a good and powerful speech that the rightwhiners will spend the next year referencing it, with no context, as “proof” that President Obama hates “real Americans”.

      • I went to work last night. I could have worked Thursday night but we had icy roads, so I stayed home.
        I still have some congestion, and I expect that will last at least another week.

  4. So. We don’t have cable, missed the Obama Selma speech. And then the streaming came available — have watched it three times (so far).

    That’s the Obama I voted for in 2008 and 2012; that’s the America that I’ve long wanted to see. Now I know why it is that I have come to so detest the Republicans. The contrast is familiar; Roosevelt — Hitler, Obama — GOP. Same thing.

    Time for us to fight back. Seriously. “WE” can do it. Tomorrow’s another day, yet one more time.

Comments are closed.