Saturday, March 7, 2015

Tonight's Sky for March 7: Daylight Savings Time Arrives

While technically taking place tomorrow, for most, the yearly ritual of “springing ahead” one hour for the return of Daylight Savings Time will take place tonight before bed. The result of the shift: a lost hour of sleep and sunset being pushed back an hour later into the evening, which is bad as most astronomers work a typical 9-5 shift and need to go sleep (to an extent) at night. Still, things being the way they are, there's no use whining, so why not try and quiz your friends with this cool DST trivia!

*Many ancient civilizations divided their days into 24 hours just like us, but adjusted the 'hours’ lengths so that there would always be 12 hours of day and 12 of night (this had to make setting up a date really suck). 

*While he did not propose DST, Benjamin Franklin, while serving as envoy to France, anonymously published a letter suggesting people rise early (and thus go to bed earlier) to economize on candles and make use of natural sunlight. so no, don't blame Ben Franklin for our having to change the clocks (and you being an hour early for church this morning!)

* The catalyst for starting DST: saving energy during World War I (the Central Powers of Germany, Austria-Hungary, and their allies were first in 1916), after which it was dropped until, you guessed it, WWII. Funny how wars spur things to get done.

*While we shift by an hour today, twenty and thirty minute shifts, and also two hour shifts, have been used in the past and are currently used in different places over the world.

* The Uniform Time Act of 1966 standardized DST start/stop dates for the United States even though it doesn't require states to observe DST (Arizona and Hawaii don't).

*Even now, start/end dates aren’t standard around the world

*Switch dates are reversed in the Southern Hemisphere

*In some areas, voters have rejected use of DST altogether while in other areas, there are pushes to eliminate Standard Time and have DST all year long (thus making DST the new Standard Time).

*'Standard' Time only lasts 4 months of the year (hardly standard if you ask, me, how about calling it Daylight Losing Time?)

No comments:

Post a Comment