Spring Forward! 5 Things You May Not Know About Daylight Saving Time!

By March 8, 2013
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If you’re anything like me, you hate mornings, drink too much coffee, have a fair share of anxiety about everything and are not very successful at sleep. So it pains me to bring this reminder to you, my brethren…but I’ve been tasked to deliver the news that…um….DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME BEGINS SUNDAY!

Better check your coffee and whisky rations and get ready to kiss that hour of sleep goodbye, son!

In an attempt to help lull you into this new reality that will take shape this weekend, here’s five facts about Daylight Saving Time that will hopefully educate and…well…lull you to sleep. It’s a win win scenario, people!

Ben Franklin Is To Blame! (Kinda)

Yes. Benjamin Franklin is the genius we have to thank for saving daylight. However, he didn’t invent the concept like most people say. It was in 1784 that he realized many people burned candles at night yet slept past dawn in the summer, resulting in the wasting of early morning sunlight (What is this early morning sunlight, I’ve been hearing about?).

He was 78 and residing in Paris. One morning, after being rudely awakened from what I can only discern was a sexy slumber (being Paris and all) at the unholy hour of 6 a.m. by that evil ball of fire in the sky, Mr. Franklin wrote an essay in the name of satire. In it, he calculated Parisians could save the modern-day equivalent of $200 million by simply waking up at dawn. All those candles, saved!

And as a result of this damn essay, and people’s inability to read satire, Benjamin Franklin is usually and erroneously given the honor of “inventing” daylight saving time.

 Woodrow Wilson Is To Blame!

The concept of daylight saving time was first used during the first World War. It was implemented as part of an effort in the United States and other countries involved in the battle to conserve fuel. It’s the theory that using daylight more efficiently saves fuel and energy because it reduces the nation’s need for artificial light.

You know what, I dig sunlight as much as the next guy but sometimes I like it like I like my flavors – artificial. ZING!

Daylight Saving Time Will Kill You! 

Get in your bunkers! Batten down the hatches! Daylight saving time is a hungry devil dog and it’s thirsting for the blood of your first born!

Okay, that’s not true. What is, however, is the spike in heart attacks that seem to happen during the first week of daylight saving time. According to a study published in 2008, the loss of that hour of sleep may actually make people more susceptible to an attack. So, it’s safe to say that when daylight saving time ends in the fall, the rate of heart attacks briefly become less frequent.

Hmmm I wonder…did George W Bush lengthen daylight saving time just to screw with Dick Cheney’s pace maker?

Meamwhile In Germany

Germany was the first country to enact daylight saving time. Again, we’re talking World War I. On April 30, 1916, William Willett’s dream came true and Germany embraced daylight saving time to help conserve electricity. It was only weeks later that Britain followed suit and invented “Summer Time”.

Wait a damn second here! Before 1916, Summer wasn’t a thing?! And the British invented it? And, is “Meamwhile” supposed to be misspelled? Like you even noticed the typo with all that boobage…

A Chaos Of Clocks 

After World War 1 ended, some states and cities, like New York City and Chicago, continued practicing turning the clocks back. National daylight saving time did return during World War II. Yet, after its repeal once the war end, the confusing clock conundrum once again continued. States and cities took it upon themselves to start and end daylight saving whenever the Hell they wanted. It was a crazy time. Mass hysteria. Dogs and cats living together…

This was a system that Time magazine described in 1963 as “a chaos of clocks.” In 1965, Iowa alone had 23 different pairs of start and end dates. St. Paul, Minnesota would begin daylight saving two weeks before its twin city, Minneapolis, leaving me to think that Minneapolis is the Danny Devito in this Twins scenario. ZING!

In 1966, order finally came with the enactment of the Uniform Time Act, which standardized daylight saving time from the last Sunday in April to the last Sunday in October. Some states have exercised the option of remaining on standard time year-round. I’m looking at you, Arizona and Hawaii!

That concludes our history lesson on Daylight Saving Time. Now, remember to set your clock back an hour this Sunday at 2:00 am like a good little minion. Wait a second…

AINT NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT!

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Aside from throwing words onto your screen here, he has written for the likes of FEARnet, Examiner, Dread Central and MTV Movies Blog. And yes, he was Percy on VR Troopers.