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Spring Forward?
by Stormy on March 13, 2010

Pardon me, do you know the time? (We certainly don’t!)

Daylight saving time is the convention of advancing clocks so that afternoons have more daylight and mornings have less. Under this practice clocks are adjusted forward one hour at the start of spring and are adjusted back one hour in autumn. In 1784, when Benjamin Franklin was an American envoy to France, he anonymously published a letter suggesting that Parisians economize on candles by rising earlier to use morning sunlight. Modern Daylight Saving Time was first proposed in 1895 by George Vernon. Daylight Saving Time came to widespread use in 1916 as a wartime measure aimed at conserving coal. It is widely touted that Daylight Saving practices are designed to conserve energy, but studies have left this theory greatly debated. There is some evidence that retail and intramural sports benefit from extended afternoon/evening daylight. Some scientists have questioned if the hour shift causes increased motor vehicle accidents immediately following the time change. Because different countries modify their time at different times of the year, international travel and meetings are often disrupted. There is also an issue with electronic equipment that keeps time when it is moved from country to country. Today the United States and Canada keep Daylight Saving Time from the second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November. In the United States Arizona and Hawaii do not observe daylight saving time. All of Saskatchewan and parts of Quebec, British Columbia, Nunavut and Ontario in Canada do not observe daylight saving time. And, of course, the fire departments advise you to test your smoke detectors when you’re changing your clocks.

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