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The End of Daylight Savings Time

     Daylight Savings Time is over. Who started it anyway? All this gaining an hour, losing an hour. . . Good question—let me go check.

     Wow! A bug guy! George Vernon Hudson, an entomologist, wanted more daylight to study bugs after work on summer days, so in 1895 he came up with the idea. Only he wanted two hours, not one. Loved those bugs! He didn’t study bugs in winter. Well, I don’t study bugs at all, so I’m going to go radical and suggest a daily 20 second adjustment to ease us into the time change.

     I’ll bet ol’ George only had one clock to re-set. We have clocks everywhere these days and it’s no fun, re-setting them all twice a year. Some are programmed to re-set themselves but you don’t know which ones until the morning after, and you’d think the just plain clocks would be easy, but some of them make you move the hour hand forward eleven hours to go back one hour. If no one’s looking, I quick move the hand back an hour.

     On some of the electronic stuff, you have to hold the button down until the numbers get to where you want them, but the numbers flash past the one you want and you have to start over. Then you have to change the AM/PM indicator and the date and the day of the week, and when you’re done with all that, you’ve lost an hour.

     The hardest is re-setting your inner body clock—your circadian rhythm. My circadian thing does okay until the second day after the time change, which happens to be a Monday. Then it rebels: it’s too early to wake up! I’m not ready to go to work yet!

     So. I got out my calculator and did some calculating and discovered we can gain an hour—or lose one—without all this fuss every fall and spring. We add 20 seconds each day until spring and voila! no need to re-set the clocks! Then we take away 20 seconds every day until fall and yay! we’re back on Standard Time.

     For you mathematicians: to gain one hour over 182.5 days, we need to gain 60 minutes times 60 seconds, or 3,600 seconds. Divide that by 182.5 days and you have roughly 20 seconds a day. Hey, I’m no scientist, but if you happen to be one, it’s more like 19.7260274 seconds.

     Programming to do this shouldn’t be too hard for the IT people. We’d have to buy all new clocks and gadgets or have the old ones reprogrammed, but that’s a small price to pay for avoiding severe shocks to our system every spring and fall. We wouldn’t have to stop and think: “Is this the weekend we’re s’posed to move our clocks forward? Or is it backward?”  And we’d eliminate all those accidents caused by commuters who aren’t used to driving home in the dark because they would have been adjusting, day by day, 20 seconds at a time.

     Sorry, George. Daylight Savings Time is a thing of the past. Get a flashlight.

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