Friday, November 9, 2007

11-9-07: Daylight Saving Time

I’m still not quite adjusted to Eastern Standard Time. It usually takes me a week or two, for some reason. I’m not sure why. It’s not too bad, though. I just go to bed a little earlier than normal. Nothing wrong with that.

I decided to do a little research into Daylight Saving Time. By “research,” I am referring to the practice of looking on one page of Wikipedia for 5-10 minutes. It was apparently invented by a well-to-do Englishman named William Willett in the early 20th century. He was on one of his morning horseback rides, which all good inventors take, and was frustrated by how few Londoners took advantage of a glorious summer day, instead choosing to sleep in through some of the morning sunlight. So, for the remainder of his life (a whopping 10 years), he fought to have the time changed by one hour in the summer time. Imagine that: you want to change time. That’s amazing.

The concept wasn’t first though up by Willett, though. He was just the catalyst to make it official. Ben Franklin had a similar idea in 1784 by writing how Parisians could save money on candles by arising an hour early to use the morning sunlight. This eventually led to the energy saving reasoning of today. Since it is more expensive to use artificial light in the evening, it would make sense to have as much natural sunlight to use. So, by moving things up an hour is supposed to save energy. So far, it has saved very little (well under 1%). But, that’s something. I’m sure glad to alter my life to save 0.13% on energy costs!

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