Thursday Thirteen #25: Daylight Savings Time

Globe Waves Clock II, by Michelle Davis Petelinz
wood, polymer clay, metallic inks 12"x12" $100

Were you surprised to learn that Daylight Saving Time begins again this weekend? Or, are you surprised to learn it right now?! Here are some facts and figures about the time change:

1. Daylight Saving Time gives the opportunity to enjoy sunny summer evenings by moving clocks an hour forward in the spring. (that 'spring ahead, fall back' thing really does work as a memory device!)

2. The implementation of Daylight Saving Time has been fraught with controversy since Benjamin Franklin first conceived of the idea in the late 18th century.

On August 8, 2005, President George W. Bush signed the Energy Policy Act of 2005. This Act changed the time change dates for Daylight Saving Time in the U.S.

4. Because of the Act, beginning in 2007, most of the United States begins Daylight Saving Time at 2:00 a.m. on the second Sunday in March and reverts to standard time on the first Sunday in November. In the U.S., each time zone switches at a different time.

The Secretary of Energy will report the impact of this change to Congress. Congress retains the right to resume the 2005 Daylight Saving Time schedule once the Department of Energy study is complete.

6. In the European Union, Summer Time begins and ends at 1:00 a.m. Universal Time (Greenwich Mean Time). It begins the last Sunday in March and ends the last Sunday in October. In the EU, all time zones change at the same moment.

The official spelling is Daylight Saving Time, not Daylight SavingS Time, although 'Savings' is commonly used, and can be found in some dictionaries. ( I know I've always thought it was with the 's')

Adding to the confusion is that the phrase Daylight Saving Time is inaccurate, since no daylight is actually saved. Daylight Shifting Time would be better, but it is not as politically desirable.

In the U.S., restaurants and bars have various closing policies. In many states, liquor cannot be served after 2:00 a.m. But at 2:00 a.m. in the fall, the time switches back one hour. So, can they serve alcohol for that additional hour in October? The official answer is that the bars do not stop serving liquor at 2:00 a.m., but actually at 1:59 a.m. So, they have already stopped serving when the time changes from Daylight Saving Time into Standard Time. In practice, however, many establishments stay open an extra hour in the fall.

For the U.S. and its territories, Daylight Saving Time is NOT observed in Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, and Arizona . The Navajo Nation participates in the Daylight Saving Time policy, even in Arizona, due to its large size and location in three states.

Daylight Saving Time saves energy. Studies done by the US Dept. of Transportation show that it trims the entrie country's electricity usage by a small but significant amount, about 1% each day, because less electricity is used for lighting and appliances.

12. Many people intensely dislike Daylight Saving Time. Frequent complaints are the inconvenience of changing many clocks and adjusting to a new sleep schedule. For most people, this is a mere nuisance, but some people with sleep disorders find this transition very difficult. Indeed, there is evidence that the severity of auto accidents increases and work productivity decreases as people adjust to the time change.

13. While twins born at 11:55pm and 12:05 am may have different birthdays, Daylight Saving Time can change birth order--on paper, anyway. During the time change in the fall, one baby could be born at 1:55 am and the sibling born ten minutes later, at 1:05am! In the spring, there is a gap when no babies are born at all: from 2:00 am to 3:00 am.

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susiej said…
And, it means SPRING!!!
pjazzypar said…
A first it was the first last week of April and the last week of October, then it was the first week of April. Now it's the 2nd Sunday of March. Pretty soon everyday will be "Daylight Saving Time".
Some of this I knew, but a lot I didn't. I did know that we change our clocks at 0200 hours on Sunday though. Have a great TT. :)
The Gal Herself said…
I'm so guilty of #7. I'll try to reform! (Thanks for visiting my TT -- and for reminding me to change my clocks this weekend!)
marcia said…
No way it is tooo soon
Chuck said…
For me, it just means my sister is farther away in the spring and it becomes very difficult to talk to her on the phone... :(

Happy TT :)
Nicholas said…
Already?? But it seems to me we only just put the clocks back!
Wow! I had no idea. Thanks for the reminder. Of course, it's a big scam shifting the cost of energy to the consumer off business. But what can you expect?

Happy TT!

My TT is about Art Candy.
I'm one of those who wishes we could just stay on Daylight Saving and be done with it all.

But no one listens to me. Possibly for good reason.
pussreboots said…
I detest daylight saving time. Happy TT.
SandyCarlson said…
Thanks for the scoop. Imagine a summer that lasts from March to October! I'm movin' to Europe!
Chelle Y. said…
It's this weekend!?! I am so glad I read this!
anthonynorth said…
We have a similar thing in the UK. We call it British Summer Time.
Journeywoman said…
Interesting list.

Happy TT.
Laura said…
One more interesting fact...1/2 of the state of Indiana refuses to participate in DST...I would move there, but I have a SERIOUS dislike for that state...greater than my dislike of DST.
Corina said…
I still can't get used to the new dates for the time change. I guess I have time to learn it but 50 years of doing it one way makes it tough.
TorAa said…
Interesting facts.
But it's also a fact that USA is out of line with all other countries in the World that have, what we pragmatically call: Summertime.
When this US practize first was implemented, it caused problems for international flights (rescheduling twice in two weeks time twice a year - both we and our daughter suffered from that this last Fall) and for computer nettworks operating globally. I know the last challenge from international phone meetings and podcasts.
pollyhyper said…
I learned about #9 the hard way. We tried to go out to a bar after a wedding reception, already a bit tipsy, and got into it with the bartender.

By the way...

You've been tagged!
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Nanette said…
You've been tagged.
storyteller said…
Ohmygosh … I finally understand the comment you made at Small Reflections last week about flamingos. LOL
I’m sorry to be reading this post so belatedly, but life got away from me this week. Goodness, I need to think about a T-13 post for tomorrow …
Hugs and blessings,