Sunday, March 13

Daylight Saving Time Around the World

William Willet's pamphlet promoting DST went through nineteen editions.

Today, (March 13th) Daylight Saving Time has begun in the U.S. at 2am. If you are unaware, you probably don't work...or you still can't figure out why you were the first to arrive at work. Since "Fall Back, Spring Forward" we can all celebrate in the decadence of the extra hour. But, as people without clocks or view of the sun have been studied, the brain generally runs on a 25 hour schedule anyway. This means the hour is lost under our noses, while in the fall, everyone complains.

Actually, DST has caused controversy since it's induction in April of 1916.
Here's a very incomplete list of arguments:
  1. It has mixed health effects.
    1. More Vitamin D
    2. Raised Skin Cancer Chances
  2. It causes people to spend more money on food and leisure activities.
  3. In some places is saves on energy (such as street lights)
  4. It can adversely affect farmers who work by sunlight
  5. It hurts prime-time broadcast ratings.
  6. It may positively affect traffic safety.
  7. It causes problems in computer installations
  8. It is complex.
Wait, wait. It is complex? How complex could it be? "Note to self: set clock back," doesn't seem so complex! 

Well, let's jump into the politics.
The countries in Blue observe Daylight Savings Time

Although the DST system is unused by most of the world, the it is common in the Northern Hemisphere. The red countries here don't observe DST. The orange countries don't observe DST anymore. Confused yet?

Also, observing countries observe it in different ways. Some countries start on different dates or at different times. Kyrgyzstan and Iceland observe DST all year round. Unless you're a DST expert, I'm sure you're confused now.
Also, consider the differing time zones--some operating on different hour scales. For example, if it's 5pm in Khazakistan, it will be 5:30pm in India and 5:45 in Nepal! 
Now imagine a business man who regularly travels to 5 different time zones. This is absurd, compared to some of us Americans that wake up early (or late) and say "Oops" and all is cured.

Ohh, timezones, how uneven your lines are. Really, it's like a first-grader crayoned a hammer in the Pacific Ocean. That's our International Date Line. You'd think the difference between a whole day would be a bit more scientificly demarcated.

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