Saturday, March 12, 2011

Examiner, Daylight Savings Time, and Benjamin Franklin

Daylight Savings Time
Yes, it's that time that astronomers dread once again: time to spring ahead into Daylight Savings Time. So, unless you are one of the lucky peole who just happens to live in Arizona or Hawaii, don't forget to set those clocks ahead an hour before you go to sleep tonight.

Examiner Roundup
Abnother week finished, another Examiner roundup arrived.

Featured sight for week of 3/6: the X-37b and the ISS
Standard Time: enjoy it while you can!
Alien life on meteorites? Maybe
March featured sight: Messier Marathon
A brief history of Daylight Savings Time

Photorama comes to town
Funny gas price pictures
Amazing Discovery photos
Japan's tsunami and Nikon prices

Benjamin Franklin
While many people are quick to blame Benjamin Franklin, one of our founding fathers, for DST, this assignment of blame is in error. Yes, Franklin was perhaps the first man in history to challenge ordinary people to live more in-sync with the Sun, but he certainly didn't suggest a setting the clocks ahead an hour. In contrast, in an essay, which happens to be quite humorous at times, Franklin merely urges people to get up earlier (and thus go to bed earlier) during the summer months to save money on candles, thus arguing that natural light is cheaper than artificial light (which it is).

Needless to say, people didn't listen to the great man's wisdom.

Instead, when WWI started, causing combatants' governments to worry about energy usage, policymakes decided to make nature subservient to man and set time ahead, essentially delaying sunrise/set an hour. After all, how dare we humans, masters of the universe, have to live in rhythm with our life-giving star!

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