Monday, March 15, 2010

View From The Ditch Bank

AS THE WORLD TURNS---No, I am not taking up Soap Opera watching. Although I did watch a couple of S.O's, 25 or 30 years ago. I recently was in a waiting room somewhere and one of the soap opera's I used to watch was on and I soon realized that even though some of the actors were different, it was the same people, doing the same thing they were doing when I watched decades back. If I was to watch for a week or so I would realize I hadn't missed a thing. Wait; I haven't watched for decades and I haven't missed a thing. But I digress. I am blogging today about the current daylight time change. Now, I know that the idea in modern times comes from that venerable old statesman Benjamin Franklin. While he espoused the idea, it didn't really become the flavor of the day. There was a man in England in the early 1900's who fostered the idea of daylight saving time, but he was mostly ignored, except for those who would lampoon him in the press. I did BING this but I forget his name. He died before the start of WW1. Why mention this fact. Well, cause, the modern version of daylight saving time started during this war. It began when Germany and Austria took time by the forelock, and began saving daylight by advancing the clock forward one hour on April 30, 1916. this was to last until the following October. Other countries that soon followed this action was Belgium; Denmark; France; Italy; Luxembourg; Netherlands; Norway; Portugal; Sweden; Turkey; Tasmania; Nova Scotia and Manitoba. England followed suit 3 weeks later on May 21, 1916. In 1917 Australia and New Foundland began saving daylight. The United States didn't follow suit until 1918. time has been almost as controversial as water ever since time began, I suppose, but since there wasn't the ease of travel between countries, heck, even between counties or towns, until about 100 years ago, a universal time really didn't matter that much. Even after the afore mentioned war, time was often a product of local customs. Speaking strictly of the United States, now, it was the railroads that brought a lot of what we now have is standard time about. They would leave one city on the time that was in affect there and arrive according to the time in affect in the arrival town. Or rival town, as the case may be. The railroads were the ones that created what we now have as the time zones in the U.S. of A. As local governments elected to be affiliated with one zone or another, these zones were drawn accordingly. The time zone lines have been altered accordingly from time to time according to local desires. Daylight saving time was used according to local customs and desires also. So when did this all become standardized and law. One would think a long time ago, HUH? Well, to some of you, it was a long tome ago. But the Uniform Time Act of 1966 was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson, on April 12, 1966. Yep, just 44 years ago. It was to begin the last Sunday of April and end the last Sunday of October. States could opt out of daylight saving time if they wanted to. So Arizona and Hawaii did. Congress enacted legislation in 1986 to start this on the first Sunday of April instead of the last Sunday. They then created the Energy policy act of 2005 to extend the time for daylight saving time, but reserved the right to revert to the 1986 law, should the longer daylight saving time span prove to be unpopular. So, if you would like to have this longer time repealed, talk to congress. Maybe they will forget health care for a few minutes while they change the time, again. As a side note, Australia also adopted using daylight saving time, but the State of Queensland decided it didn't work for them,so like Arizona, they opted out. Even so, there are a few areas in Queensland that do use daylight time, but for the most part, that State does not. It is also interesting to note, that while Arizona does not change to daylight time, The Navajo nation, which is in three states, of which Arizona is one, does change to daylight time. The Navajo Nation surrounds the Hopi Nation, which stays on Arizona time, creating a donut hole of time in that state. Well, I have lived in standard time year around, daylight time part of the year, and I just wish they would decide on a time, and leave it. Like the Indian says, daylight time is kinda like cutting a foot off one end of a blanket and sewing it on the other end to make it longer. It just don't change the length. Maybe, if some of those math whizzes would use their blackberry's and figure it out, they could change the time just enough to get back the micro second we lost from the earthquake in Chile. However, whether they use standard time, daylight time, or a combination, in the overall scheme of things, just like the soap opera's, when all is said and done, I ain't missed a thing. And that's the View From The Ditch Bank.


  1. You state "there are a few areas in Queensland that do use daylight time" - not sure which areas you are referring to? I live in south-east Queensland and whilst the majority of people who live in this region would like daylight saving, unfortunately we don't have it.

  2. I got that information through the search engine BING. Sorry for reporting that if the information is incorrect.

  3. Well said! At my age, I get up at daylight and go to bed when I am sleepy, no matter what the clock says. It was a good read and reminder of how this all came about.

  4. Huh. Some random QLD-er beat me to it, Dad. Yes, we have no daylight savings time here because when it was put up for a vote, it was rejected because all the morons, (and I am serious on this) didn't want the extra light to fade their curtains.....

    So, instead, we get to have the sun come up at 4am and set at about 5:30-6pm in the summer, and in the winter it comes up at 6:30-7am and sets at about 4:30-5pm.... totally useful.....


  5. I do have to wonder how DS4SEQ found my blog. I know it stands for daylight saving 4 south east Queensland and is an organization. Still, it is a curious thing.


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