This weekend we are set to “Spring Forward” or set our clocks forward an hour per Daylight Savings Time, 2 a.m. on Sunday. The kids always ask me why we have to change the clocks, and I am never sure what to tell them. I always heard something about the time changing to benefit the farmers back in the day, but again I have no real idea what DST is.
What is Daylight Savings Time?George Vernon Hudson, in 1895, was the first to propose Daylight Savings Time (DST). George’s intention was to temporarily advance the clocks in the northern hemisphere during the summertime so that the mornings became shorter while the afternoons were made longer.
Though daylight savings time has predominantly been used in the northern hemisphere, it has been no longer observed in certain northern hemispherical countries like Asia and northern Africa. The Daylight Savings Time concept while being praised by many is also frowned and swore upon by many others. This is due DST affecting the many aspects of people lives that we may not be aware of. By just adding 1 hour of daylight time you are benefiting retail stores, sports activities and outdoor oriented businesses while cursing farmers and evening entertainers. Because of this considerably little 1 hour, many people become disoriented, arrive to work late, develop disturbed sleep patterns, are late for their appointments, miss their flights and even miss important business meetings.
Benjamin Franklin, American envoy during the American Revolution, implied this very time saving and money saving concept to the Parisians. He used to say “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise”. Franklin believed that by following this advice one could save on whole lots of candles. Though 18th century peoples were not as time constrained as modern day peoples; railroads, constant meetings, flight times and time clocks were not even issues to be considered. George Vernon Hudson, who was an New Zealand etymologist, first presented a paper to the Wellington Philosophical Society in 1895 proposing a 2 hour daylight savings shift so he could spend more time collecting insects. This paper raised much interest in the Daylight Savings Time concept and much favorable interest was gained. A New Zealander, named Christchurch, followed with a paper in 1898. William Willet, who was a prominent English outdoorsman, has been incorrectly credited with the starting of Daylight Savings Time. The story is that William proposed DST after riding his bike before breakfast and became aghast at the rest of London as all were still sleeping. Officially, it was Robert Pearce, a Member of English Parliament, who was responsible for introducing a Daylight Savings Bill to Parliament on 12 February 1908.
Now, Daylight Savings Time has been used to try to save energy. When the extended daylight savings energy act was created, it reduced energy consumption, and it worked. In years past, 1.3 terawatt-hours of electricity were saved in the United States alone. What are your thoughts on Daylight Savings Time? Do you think it really helps? Do you wish we would stop doing it?
So there you have it, a quick, fast, and in a hurry recap of Daylight Savings Time. I try to group things together, so Daylight Savings Time is when we go through and check all the batteries in the smoke alarms and replace them as necessary. Smoke alarms are immensely important and can save your life. They have been found to reduce fire-related casualties by 50 percent. By checking and changing your smoke alarm batteries, you will not only gain the 1-hour DST, but you may also gain a lifetime. If you change the batteries every 6 months, you will be working towards keeping your family safer, which is something we all seek to do.
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