Thursday, November 1, 2007

Heading Towards Winter

It was gray in L.A. today--and like the song goes, "I sure like it that way." Although the air hung heavy with this cool, damp weight that was--what was it? Not the ominous looming writers strike or the last remnants of smoke from the wildfires..."It's the seasons turning," chirped my co-worker Jodi. Ah, yes--the blink and you'll miss it seasonal weather in SoCal. And usually I would be cheered by the cooler weather, but for some reason I'm ready to curl up for a snooze at 4 pm in the afternoon.

Part of the problem is Daylight Saving Time. Last year, Congress could do nothing to stop the war in Iraq or implement policies to reduce global warming or do anything to halt gas prices from spinning out of control, but they were able to enact legislation that moved the start of DST two weeks earlier and ending one week later than usual. Whoohoo, Congress--way to go! It used to be that "Standard Time," was from the last Sunday in October until the first Sunday in April. If you do the math, that's SEVEN months of "standard" time--which means that a far greater percentage of the year is "non-standard" time. Does that make sense to you? They should just call Daylight Saving Time "Standard" and the rest of the year we could call "Daylight Spending Time" or "I don't have to drag my poor tired body out of bed an hour early for no good reason" time.

We've been engaged in this inane practice for almost 90 years now. Except for the brilliant people in the state of Arizona. They're smart enough not to participate in this absurdity. As is 75% of the world's population. Everyone hates it. OK, there are some who look forward to that "extra hour" of daylight. Newsflash morons: you don't get an extra hour of daylight, you are just waking up an hour earlier! Some prankster took advantage of this mentality, writing a joke letter to the editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette linking the extra weeks of DST to an acceleration of global warming:

"You may have noticed that March of this year was particularly hot. As a matter of fact, I understand that it was the hottest March since the beginning of the last century. All of the trees were fully leafed out and legions of bugs and snakes were crawling around during a time in Arkansas when, on a normal year, we might see a snowflake or two. This should come as no surprise to any reasonable person. As you know, Daylight Saving Time started almost a month early this year. You would think that members of Congress would have considered the warming effect that an extra hour of daylight would have on our climate. Or did they ? Perhaps this is another plot by a liberal Congress to make us believe that global warming is a real threat. Perhaps next time there should be serious studies performed before Congress passes laws with such far-reaching effects.

On Slate, there was a discussion about the interruption of circadian rhythms hosted by Dr. Sydney Spiesel who pointed out that Daylight Saving Time, "should properly be called Daylight Shifted Time, since DST just shifts an hour of daylight in the morning to the evening." The reasoning behind increasing DST another 3 weeks was energy conservation, but thus far there isn't any evidence that there's been any savings. In fact, gasoline consumption has increased. It's a hassle, there's no good logical reason for having to reset our alarm (and BODY!) clocks twice a year and it should just STOP.

The presidential candidate to include the abolition of Daylight Saving Time as part of their platform has my vote. Even if he or she is a Republican.

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