Gary Brown: Are you ready to spring ahead into more sunshine?
This is your warning.
Daylight saving time starts next Sunday. Apparently, many of you don’t know it.
“Every year, daylight saving time seems to take people by surprise,” Meaghan Ringwelski wrote at news.yahoo.com. “In the United States, daylight saving time begins on March 13 at 2 a.m. local time except in parts of Arizona and Hawaii. As the popular saying goes, clocks need to ‘spring forward’ to observe the change. In other words, clocks need to be set ahead by one hour when the clock strikes 2 a.m.”
Ringwelski went on to say that daylight saving time is observed in 80 other countries, too. But I don’t care so much about people in those countries. Call me too patriotic, but my philosophy is “remind Americans first.” Let the rest of the world oversleep.
So what was the reason for daylight saving time when it was instituted in the United States in 1818? According to www.timeanddate.com — which you would think might know — it was to extend our day.
“Daylight saving time (or summertime as it is called in many countries) is a way of getting more light out of the day by advancing clocks by one hour during the summer,” explains the website. “During daylight saving time, the sun appears to rise one hour later in the morning, when people are usually asleep anyway, and sets one hour later in the evening, seeming to stretch the day longer.”
Now, there are some days I just don’t want extended. I’m pretty much through with them long before they’re over. So I don’t want another hour of daylight. Get it dark so I can sleep.
But, are we really getting another hour of daylight? Of course not. So, the name is sort of confusing, according to the website www.webexhibits.org.
“Daylight shifting time would be better, and daylight time shifting more accurate,” said the website, “but neither is politically desirable.”
A real trick
Unless you want to do more yard work in the evening, how helpful is daylight saving time? You can watch “American Idol” or “Survivor” in the dark, for heaven’s sake.
A more useful trick would be if we actually were able to save the time, instead of just shift it. What if we could bank the time, the way we bank our money? We save dollars for a rainy day, wouldn’t it be nice to save up some sunshine, too?
“I think I’ve got 10 hours of really good daylight in my account. I’d like to spend it next week. Two hours each day. I’ll be on vacation. ...”
If we saved a few hours of daylight for the year, maybe we’d get credit for a couple extra minutes of interest. It’s not much, but it might help get us from the hotel down to the beach one night to watch the sunset, before daylight turned into the kind of dusk that makes you step on a clam shell with your bare feet.
Contact Gary Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.