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Saturday, March 10, 2007

Spring Forward

Tonight is the night that the United States begins observing daylight saving time. The expression, "spring forward, fall back" is given as a reminder of just what you do in each season. In spring, you set your clocks forward one hour (loosing an hour) and in fall, you set your clocks back an hour (gaining an hour). The history of daylight saving time is interesting, because it is a modern invention and manipulation of time itself. Prior to WW1, imagine, people had to live by the laws of nature. But the proposal of daylight saving time put man in charge of time, at least it gave man the power to manipulate one hour of the day. This morning my daughter told me that Benjamin Franklin invented the idea of daylight savings time. I thought, I don't think so honey, but I'll look it up. Benjamin Franklin did write that he was awakened early and was surprised that the sun was up. He humorously arrived how he checked the next two days, and found that yes, it actually did rise so early each day. He wrote, "Imagine how many candles would be saved if people awakened earlier." He suggested, "If cannons were fired in each square at dawn, the sluggards would open their eyes to their true interest." Now think about it, when we go on daylight savings time, the sun rises LATER (because it also sets later). This certainly would not be waking people up with the crack of dawn with the sun, you WOULD need cannons to wake people up because they would still be sleeping til the sun comes up! I only bring this up because so many people get confused about daylight saving time. But since it's been invented, we all have to abide by this manmade manipulation of time. Now I"M confused. Are you? And now, starting this year here in the US, daylight saving time starts THREE WEEKS earlier than usual and ends a week later. Someone is messing with my circadian rhythm!!!! Here's an article telling you all about it.

Daylight Saving Time (Not Daylight "Savings" Time)

Daylight Saving Time Extended by Four Weeks in U.S. Starting in 2007

This Sunday, the second Sunday in March (March 11), at 2 a.m., Daylight Saving Time begins in the United States. This year, Daylight Saving Time is four weeks longer than last year due passage of the Energy Policy Act in 2005. The Act, which extends Daylight Saving Time by four weeks from the second Sunday of March to the first Sunday of November, is expected to save 10,000 barrels of oil each day due to reduced use of power by businesses during daylight hours.

Every spring we move our clocks one hour ahead and "lose" an hour during the night and each fall we move our clocks back one hour and "gain" an extra hour. But Daylight Saving Time (and not Daylight Savings Time with an "s") wasn't just created to confuse our schedules.

The phrase "Spring forward, fall back" helps people remember how Daylight Saving Time affects their clocks.

At 2 a.m. on the second Sunday in March, we set our clocks forward one hour ahead of standard time ("spring forward"). We "fall back" at 2 a.m. on the first Sunday in November by setting our clock back one hour and thus returning to standard time.

The change to Daylight Saving Time allows us to use less energy in lighting our homes by taking advantage of the longer and later daylight hours. During the six-and-a-half-month period of Daylight Saving Time, the names of time in each of the time zones in the U.S. change as well. Eastern Standard Time (EST) becomes Eastern Daylight Time, Central Standard Time (CST) becomes Central Daylight Time (CDT), Mountain Standard Time (MST) becomes Mountain Daylight Tome (MDT), Pacific Standard Time becomes Pacific Daylight Time (PDT), and so forth.

Daylight Saving Time was instituted in the United States during World War I in order to save energy for war production by taking advantage of the later hours of daylight between April and October. During World War II the federal government again required the states to observe the time change. Between the wars and after World War II, states and communities chose whether or not to observe Daylight Saving Time. In 1966, Congress passed the Uniform Time Act which standardized the length of Daylight Saving Time.

Arizona (except some Indian Reservations), Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and American Samoa have chosen not to observe Daylight Saving Time. This choice does make sense for the areas closer to the equator because the days are more consistent in length throughout the year.

Other parts of the world observe Daylight Saving Time as well. While European nations have been taking advantage of the time change for decades, in 1996 the European Union (EU) standardized a EU-wide European Summer Time. This EU version of Daylight Saving Time runs from the last Sunday in March through the last Sunday in October.

In the southern hemisphere where summer comes in December, Daylight Saving Time is observed from October to March. Equatorial and tropical countries (lower latitudes) don't observe Daylight Saving Time since the daylight hours are similar during every season, so there's no advantage to moving clocks forward during the summer.

U.S. Daylight Saving Time

Year Spring Forward Fall Back
2004 2 a.m. April 4 2 a.m. Oct. 31
2005 2 a.m. April 3 2 a.m. Oct. 30
2006 2 a.m. April 2 2 a.m. Oct. 29
2007 2.a.m. March 11 2 a.m. Nov. 4
2008 2 a.m. March 9 2 a.m. Nov. 2
2009 2 a.m. March 8 2 a.m. Nov. 1
2010 2 a.m. March 14 2 a.m. Nov 7
2011 2 a.m. March 13 2 a.m. Nov. 6

Now DON'T forget to set your clocks ahead if you live anywhere in the United States EXCEPT Arizona. So if I travel from California EASTWARD to Arizona, when I hit that border it's an hour earlier. CUCKOO!!! And if you are living overseas remember, we are running "later than usual" as of tomorrow here. I guess I'll just have to make up that hour of sleep I'll be missing out on tonight SOME TIME. Maybe the same people who decided to implement this idea can come up with a solution!!

Wait, UPDATE, theres more, most of Indiana does NOT recognize daylight saving time.
HELP!!!!!! What time is it? What TIME is it? WHAT TIME IS IT?!!! CUCKOO!! CUCKOO!!

The four time zones of the 48 contiguous United States (boundaries are indicated by the red line). County boundaries are shown in grey and state boundaries are dark blue.

Indiana and Arizona are special cases. Most of Indiana is in the Eastern Time Zone but does not utilize Daylight Saving Time. Visit the What time is it in Indiana? site for more information. Arizona, while it is in the Mountain Time Zone, does not utilize Daylight Saving Time.

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