Thursday, October 30, 2008

My Semi-Annual Anti-Daylight Saving Time Rant

Of course, I'm better with it this time of year because it's finally OVER!!! 

Carpe Diem... Actually, Make That Carpe Hora: The End of Daylight Saving

by Vera H-C Chan

The first week in November marks the end of a long, twisting road. Oh, right, and the elections are next week, too.

The longest Daylight Saving period in American history ends Sunday, Nov. 1, when all states except for Hawaii, most of Arizona, and parts of Indiana will dial back the clock one hour. In optimistic lingo, that's an "extra hour" to sleep, fill out that absentee ballot, and enjoy other lazy Sunday activities.

That should end impatient searches demanding to know "when is daylight savings" (+654%) and "when does daylight savings time end" (+358%). Oregonians have been particularly insistent about seeking out that the extra hour online—perhaps prompted by older electronic devices which prematurely set clocks back last weekend.

Associated Content rewinds the history of this Benjamin Franklin notion, but the Wall Street Journal reminds us that, in these here modern times, the savings may be a bunch of crock.

Among the conspiratorial, glass-is-half-empty mindset (especially after reading the paranoid-inducing Time article, "7 Things That Could Go Wrong on Election Day"), one wonders—could a time change mess with Nov. 4 logistics? After all, a DST snafu happened in one Pennsylvania county two years ago, and this past spring poll workers in a North Carolina county had to spend afew extra minutes tinkering with the voting machines to shut them down.

So far, though, there's no Buzz peep about that possibility. Plus, according to online museum WebExhibits, one reason for dragging out Daylight Saving is that it actually encourages voter turnout. Whyfore? Because it's still light after work, making moonlight-averse voters more inclined to stop by the polling booth.

One election, however, might be affected by the hour change: Indiana governor Mitch Daniels wants a second term, but some in the Hoosier State still hold a grudge against him for mandating DST in part of the state. That's what happens when you take away an hour of sleep for eight months.

No comments: