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Daylight Savings Time
by Rick

Daylight savings time is the practice of changing the clocks by one hour to maximize the amount of daylight we experience during the year. As spring approaches we “spring ahead” one hour. For example, at a chosen time, 2:00 am on the second Sunday of March, we move the hour hand ahead to 3:00 am. On Saturday, the sun was rising at 6:28am; on Sunday you wake up and it rises at 7:26. Similarly the sun sets an hour later at 7:18 pm instead of 6:18pm. While it is often hard to get to work on time on that first Monday, I find it is easier if I go to bed at my regular time. In the autumn, as the days get shorter again, we “fall back” one hour.

Personally, I appreciate the extra sunlight I experience because of these changes, yet there are a few problems with making the switch. I have missed more than one religious service on these Sundays, and my wife’s aerobics instructor was late to class yesterday. Additionally, car accidents spike during these seasonal changes as drivers are more tired and less ready to drive.

On the other hand, DST gives us an opportunity to keep our families safer. One news item I read suggests using the DST schedule as a reminder to check the batteries in your smoke detectors. They should be checked twice a year, so DST can help us to remember. In Canada DST helps us reduce our energy consumption by maximizing our natural light. In the long run, traffic accidents are reduced as more driving is done in daylight hours. Furthermore our bodies are able to make more vitamin D.

Another thing to remember is to reprogram your VCR or PVR. It can be frustrating when you expect to settle down to watch your favourite show and, instead realize you taped an infomercial selling “Hits of the 70’s”

If all this clock-switching causes you too much anxiety, you can always move to Saskatchewan. This province has chosen to opt out of DST because it adversely affects farming. But beware. Your favourite programs that originate outside the province will change their airing times while Saskatchewan rebels.

(March 14, 2010)

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