Sunday, March 04, 2007

Daylight Savings Time

I've never really understood daylight savings time. Isn't there the same space of time between sunrise and sunset, whether the sun rises at 5am or 6am? I've never felt very passionate opposition to it, though, just a sort of vague confusion. Here's a quote my dad sent me that makes me feel better:

"I don't really care how time is reckoned so long as there is some agreement about it, but I object to being told that I am saving daylight when my reason tells me that I am doing nothing of the kind. I even object to the implication that I am wasting something valuable if I stay in bed after the sun has risen. As an admirer of moonlight I resent the bossy insistence of those who want to reduce my time for enjoying it. At the back of the Daylight Saving scheme I detect the bony, blue-fingered hand of Puritanism, eager to push people into bed earlier, and get them up earlier, to make them healthy, wealthy and wise in spite of themselves."

--Robertson Davies, The Diary of Samuel Marchbanks, 1947, XIX, Sunday.

However, in honor of my confusion, I have given you on my sidebar a couple clocks, with local time in China and in Portland, which I will probably have to reset next weekend. In China, not only do we have no daylight savings time, but no time zones at all! So, after DST, count forward 3 hours, and switch am to pm to figure out what time it is in China. No worries!

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