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[Ben]:Daylight Saving Time versus Standard Time No discussion found
Some people claim it's hard to keep track of time in Indiana because we didn't change our clocks. I've lived elsewhere and had to change my time and it wasn't any easier then. It looks like we'll be changing our clocks with the rest of the folks in the US. Let me try to help the rest of you understand the whole deal with Daylight Saving Time.

In my job, I deal with people around the country on a daily basis. Handling time has never, ever been a huge issue for me. I simply deal with people based on their time zone. If someone calls me from California to schedule a meeting, I schedule it based on California time. It seems I was born with the amazing super-power that lets me add and subtract a few hours here and there and remember "Oh yeah, the time changed." twice a year without collapsing and frothing at the mouth. It's a bird, it's a plane.

But not even I am perfect. Sometimes I forget which time zone someone is in, or whether or not they change. When in doubt I just go to www.time.gov and click on the location in question. Presto, chango. Honestly, I'll use it just as much no matter what time zone I'm in or whether we observe DST.

I hear a lot of rhetoric on this issue, but don't see the big deal either way, really. If I have to remember to adjust all my bloody clocks, I'll remember to adjust all my bloody clocks. If I have to remember to adjust for everyone else, I'll adjust for everyone else. I've tended to lean against DST because I always hated having to get used to getting up an hour earlier once a year.

One of the most irritating things I've heard on this issue are the supporters of DST who deride those who don't support DST as uneducated hilljacks solely on the issue of changing a clock twice a year. They wave daylight saving time around like a fake diploma as definitive evidence that they are more advanced and inherently smarter than someone who would dare oppose them. I can buy the idea that it will be good for business - some folks just aren't smart enough to keep track of any differences in time zones. And hey - standardization is good. What bugs me is the idea that DST is somehow intrinsically superior to standard time.

As a community service, I would like to offer a short article detailing DST entitled ...
So ... what is DST and why the hell is it a big deal?

Daylight saving time means people get up an hour earlier starting the first Sunday in April and pretend that it's a different time. So if I'm used to getting up at 7:30am, starting the first Sunday in April, I get up at 6:30 and pretend it's really 7:30. Then, on the last Sunday in October (got to love those real scientifically selected dates, dontcha?) we stop pretending that 6:30 is 7:30 and pretend nothing happened except that we had to reset all of our clocks again.

"So ... um ... why?"

Good question. There have been many excuses, the most common is that more sunlight in the evening is a good thing. I think it has something to do with the Protestant work ethic saying "If the sun is up, you should be up."

Another reason often given is that it saves energy. I've seen figures suggesting a substantial energy savings with daylight saving time, but I've seen other stats showing the saving is minor at best.

I'm not certain any of the reasons I've seen are really good enough considering the drawbacks of having to adjust every clock (I can think of six or seven offhand that I'd have to adjust) and mess up my sleep schedule worse than it already is.

"Okay, okay ... so what time will it be?"

Another good question. We don't know yet. Depending on what time zone Indiana is put on, it could mean a couple of things.

We're currently on Eastern Standard Time. That means our clocks stay set to the time assigned to the Eastern Standard Time zone defined as GMT minus 5 hours. Some interesting dates:



Summer Solstice

June 21st Eastern DST:
Sunrise: 6:17am
Sunset: 9:16pm

June 21st Eastern Standard time (Indiana):
Sunrise: 5:17am
Sunset: 8:16pm

June 21st Central DST:
Sunrise: 5:17am
Sunset: 8:16pm


Winter Solstice

December 21st Eastern DST:
Sunrise: 9:02
Sunset: 6:23

December 21st Eastern Standard time (Indiana):
Sunrise: 8:02
Sunset: 5:23

December 21st on Central DST:
Sunrise: 8:02
Sunset: 5:23



How this will impact you I cannot say. I can say that I don't mind waking up to sunlight, but I hate going to bed when the sun's up. Personal choice, I guess. Probably won't matter much anyway, considering the hours I'm usually active.

But is Daylight Saving Time somehow inherently better than Standard Time? I don't think so. I'm not sure what is so gorram "civilized" about running around changing clocks and screwing up sleep schedules twice a year, but I'm glad some people are really excited about it.

I guess the whole point of this post is that I think standardized times are a good thing, I think, I'm just not seeing the heavenly benefits of the almighty DST.

Oh yeah, I have a couple of questions for you folks who observe daylight saving time. Do you ever have something you want to do early in the morning on the first Sunday of April or the last Sunday of October?

Q. If you wanted to watch a show that comes on at 2:00am on April 3rd, 2005, what time did you turn on the TV?

A. You don't. You can't watch a show at 2:00am on April 3rd, 2005 because for those who observe DST, 2:00am on 4/3/2005 simply does not exist. The clock goes from 1:59am to 3:00am.


Q. If you live in Dallas Texas and have to call Seoul at 3:30pm on October 30th, 2005 their time to discuss an urgent contract, are you going to call them at 1:30am or 1:30am?

A. The answer? I think when I worked it out it was the first 1:30am (yes, there are two), but I've forgotten. Good luck!

Thanks to Sunset Time Calculator, Time.gov and The US Naval Observatory for some of the information here.

  2005-05-06
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Daylight Saving Time versus Standard Time
 
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