Friday, March 6, 2009

Spring forward, fall back

Think of the great inventors and names like Marconi, Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison and Henry Ford leap to mind. Sure, they did some worthwhile things.

But who invented the "spring forward, fall back" method to remember which direction to turn the clock on Daylight Saving Time? Now that is pure genius. Hey, don't poo-poo this. There will be no poo-pooing. After all, if it was so simple, did you think of it?

Daylight Saving Time begins Sunday. And if you want to win a bar bet, the official wording is "Saving," not "Savings."

I'm a big fan of DST. The lighter the later, that's me. Few things are as depressing as being dark before 6 p.m. on a winter evening. That is, unless you live in eastern New Mexico and it's dark before 5 p.m. Give me 15 hours of sunshine.

So, in springing forward, the sun will now set at around 7:50 p.m. Sunday. Of course, headlights will be on when going to work next week with the sun not coming up until a bit after 8 a.m. But we can't have everything.

DST News You Can Use: This is the third year the time change has been moved to the first Sunday in March from the first Sunday in April. It's part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

Benjamin Franklin first proposed a Daylight Saving Time back in the 1700s. His friends told him to go fly a kite.

DST was first enacted in 1918 during World War I, but repealed the next year after the war ended. DLS was year-round during World War II. Roosevelt called it "War Time", but after the war in 1945, it was left to states to decide what to do.

To clear up the confusion, the Uniform Time Act was passed by Congress in 1966. And with the exception of those contrarians in Arizona and Indiana, the rest of the U.S. has been in "spring forward, fall back mode" annually for 43 years.

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