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Friday, March 09, 2007 

Spring Forward

It's coming early this year and I love it. It starts at 2:00 am, Sunday, March 11.

What am I talking about? This is a trick question! If you answered Daylight Savings Time, you are wrong. The correct answer is Daylight Saving Time. While adding the "s" allows the term to flow from our tongues more smoothly, it is inaccurate. Likewise, the term itself is not accurate as no daylight is actually saved, simply shifted.

Having said that, I don't care because, I love Daylight Saving Time (DST). Just for fun, the following are some facts about Time that you may not have heard before.

The idea of DST was first conceived by Ben Franklin in 1784.

Standard Time was instituted in the U.S. in 1883 by the railroads and then adopted by Congress. Prior to that, the time of day was a local matter. The idea of time zones came into use about a year later but wasn't enacted into law in the U.S. until 1918. Since the establishment of time zones, the zone boundaries have shifted gradually westward. Localities along the eastern border of each zone saw the advantages of extending evening daylight by one hour and therefore opted to move into the more favorable zone, effectively shifting the line to the west.

Prior to the implementation of a uniform DST, passengers on one particular Ohio to West Virginia bus route, had to change their watches seven times in 35 miles if they wished to display the proper local time.

One year the "spring forward" started a riot in Ohio when students of Ohio University lost an hour of partying time. When police arrived, over 1,000 students threw bottles and yelled "Freedom" to protest this terrible miscarriage of justice.

In the Spring, Amtrak trains travelling during the time change instantly become an hour late. Amtrak does their best to make up the time. So what do they do in the fall, when the clocks are changed back (and they are instantly ahead of schedule)? They all come to a halt at 2:00 am and they resume an hour later. No I am not kidding.

Just one more, and this one is audience participation. On the date of changing clocks back in the fall (this year on November 4th) if twins are born, the first born at 1:55 am and the second is born 10 minutes later, at 1:05 am, which one is older?

That's all for now. Tomorrow is Cookie Madness at The Maine Stay. Its schedule will be uninterupted by DST. We hope you are coming. I have to go help with the baking.

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Thanks for reminding your audience of the correct term daylight saving - not savings - time. I still see it printed incorrectly in some calendars....

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