Monday, March 29, 2010

Summer Time

No, I'm not talking about the season, Summer. At least not yet. Today, I'm referring to Daylight Savings Time, or Summer Time as it's called in Europe. I know this occurred in the States two weekends ago, but those of us across the pond, it seemed like just yesterday. Oh, wait. It was. So, in honor of Summer Time, I thought I'd share a few fun facts.

Why do we have it? There are several reasons. The idea of daylight savings was originally conceived by Benjamin Franklin while in Paris in 1784. It wasn't until 1916, however, that Germany and Austria took the lead and implemented the practice in a bid to save fuel costs. Other countries soon followed, with the U.S. passing the first Daylight Savings Time law in 1918.

There has been controversy from the start. Those whose schedules are tied to sunrise, such as farmers, don't like the practice. Others argue that the original intention, to save money on energy costs, is moot and than that it actually increases costs as the use of air conditioners has increased in the past 40 years. There seem to be more auto accidents, lost productivity and sleep disturbances while people adjust to the time change twice a year.

Did you know that in 1965, Minneapolis-St. Paul suffered great unrest as a result of Daylight Savings Time? St. Paul decided to start DST early to conform to most of the nation, while Minneapolis thought it should follow Minnesota's state law, stipulating a later start date. After much negotiations and quarreling, they could not agree and the metropolitan area was divided.

I don't think we'll ever all agree. Personally, I like having the extra hour of sunshine at the end of day when I'm free to enjoy it. What's your preference?


Ms Menozzi said...

Well, I would prefer not having to make the change, as with the length of the days here, we don't really see a difference, aside from the fact it's still dark when we wake up. For a few weeks more, anyway.

By the time we're in full Summer, the sun is starting to rise shortly before five a.m., anyway. And it doesn't fully set until nearly ten p.m. Why the rush to get to that??? Ugh.

No, I'm not a summer person. Does it show? LOL! I love long, dark nights - it spurs my creativity and encourages cuddling. What more could I possibly want?

GPS said...

I agree, I'm a summer person and love any extra daylight I can squeeze out. Dark is depressing.

Rachel Lynne said...

Personally I've never understood the benefits to the time change. If you need to get up with sun or have sunlight late in the day what does it matter what the clock says? Time is relative so I basically ignore the whole change. Doesn't affect me one way or the other except when I attend my RWA chapter meetings. In the winter it is dark around 5:30 and I hate to drive in the dark. The meeting is two hours away so when it ends at 3:00 I'm driving in full dark the last 45 minutes or so which means I don't attend :( I guess the DST is a plus for me then...just argued against my claim, lol!

Maeve said...

I have to admit, I'm a creature of darkness and a winter lover, maybe a bear in a past life? I'm sluggish springing forward in the spring and I perk up when we turn the clocks back in the fall. Must be the bio-rhythms or something...the DH says it's all in my head. :)

Jana Richards said...

I spent the first 40 years of my life in Saskatchewan, which is the only place in Canada, and I think the only place in North America, that doesn't go on Daylight Savings time. I was perfectly happy living without DST. Then we moved to Manitoba and I had to get used to the whole "Spring forward, Fall back" nonsense. Can you tell I'm not a fan?

Thanks for letting me vent,

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