Long-time minion and mastermind Chiefjaybob writes in:
Oh Mighty and Dreadful The Czar;
Dali wasnt kidding when he painted this to show what a freaking pain DST is. Read on.
I come to you as a most humble minion, and beg your indulgence while I fearfully disagree with your position on Daylight Savings Time.
I write to you following Tweets you and Puter sent out last night stating Standard Time is the standard to which we should all standardize.
You see, I am a bit verklempt over the number of conservative friends and bloggers– people who normally use facts, figures, charts and data to come to a conclusion and form an opinion– who have come unspooled at the thought of moving their clocks an hour.
I attach for your convenience a sunrise/sunset table I shamelessly stole from a military site. Since this is a military site, I guess our taxes paid for this table at some point so I really didn’t steal it. I used a location in Upper Madiganistan, since we both reside in that vast wasteland, and I think it best accentuates the points I would like to make. I have hightlighted, using a pirated copy of Microsoft Paint, the sunrise and sunset times for January, December, May, June, (Oxford comma) and July. You will please note the comment at bottom, showing these times are Standard Time, not adjusted for DST. I would like to begin with the summer times. You will note the predicted sunrise time in these months (providing GorT doesn’t vaporize the planet beforehand) is as early as 4:34 AM, with a corresponding sunset at 7:22 PM. Now, I am a bit of an early riser, but the last time I saw 4:34 AM, it was because I had been up all night. For those poor souls who work a 9-5 job, most folks will sleep through three or more hours of sunlight. They will then come home following a painful commute to have only one or two hours of daylight left to do whatever they may want outside: play a quick nine of golf, hit an outdoor range, or perhaps do a little yard work. If they choose to eat dinner first, there is even less time.
There are some folks who feel that we should leave DST in place year-round. For those folks I direct your attention to the January and December section of the chart. You will see a sunrise time as late as 7:17 AM and a sunset time as early as 4:38 PM. These times would be shifted one hour later under their plan. So your 9-5 worker would have daylight during a chunk of their commute home, but there would be millions of school children waiting for buses on pitch-dark street corners in the predawn hours. Now, I realize that in this modern era, there are plenty of lights to brighten the darkness, but there is still no substitute for daylight.
I was a bit taken aback by the number of people carrying on about the inconvenience of losing an hour of sleep. I find it hard to believe their circadian rhythms are so finely tuned and rigid that this change disrupts their lives for so long. If it takes you longer than three or four days to adjust, you have a sleep disorder. See a doctor.
I ask you review this information, and if I am wrong, please debunk it and tell me I am silly.
Your faithful minion behind the IL Iron Curtain,
No, you are right. If folks want to look at a chart of their local rise/set times, the US Naval Observatory is here to help.
This is not a matter of losing an hour of sleep, of course: most of us lose more than per week doing nonsense. Reportedly, there are a higher rate of car and machinery or medical accidents that occur in the couple of days after a clock change, not to mention every dog in the world is confused about when he eats. Remember, too, that this occurs twice a year: and even though on the second one you gain an hour of sleep, the crazy thing is that accidents go up then, too.
There is of course the costs associated with the change: some biased study claims we lose a half-billion dollars in lost productivity. Frankly, the Czar is skeptical that there is that much lost productivity, but does not deny there is a substantial number due to changing clocks and updating systems and accounting for what happened to the hour.
Not that everybody does it. Arizona famously proved that you can survive quite well without changing your clocks. Of course, south of the Mason-Dixon line, you retain a little more daylight than the Yankees do, since the closer you are to the equator, the less dramatic the lighting effects are for one hour.
But even up North, the effects are not as dramatic as people think. Sunset does not produce instant darkness, just as dawn does not produce instant light. Rather, you are in a period of considerable twilight either way: in reality, you can get only about 15-30 minutes of useful light each sunset during warmer months, and the same each morning during colder months.
You can prove it to yourself. Check and see, in two weeks after a time change, how much more light there is or is not at the old time. Not a lot, which is why most Americans have not noticed that the window with which we are on Standard Time has been shrinking since 2007 when Bush tinkered with it.
And the whole thing only dates back to 1895; for some reason, our founding fathers were able to function, completely, from New England down to Georgia without adjusting clocks. Many countries have already done away with it, including Russiawhere the sun sets officially around 2:12 each afternoon.
All right, so assuming we have made any argument at all for the frivolousness of Daylight Saving Time (note the absence of a plural on Saving), should we stay on Standard or Daylight time?
In some respects, which is trivialdo you want a little extra sunlight in the morning or the afternoon? Makes no difference, since youll be in twilight for another 45 minutes either way.
Humbly, the Czar submits that Standard time be used, if for no other reason that noon will line up approximately with the point in the sky when the sun is directly overhead. It does not do this in Daylight Saving Time: the sun is 15° out of position during DST, which is a big deal if you can time and direction by the sun like the Czar can. Plus, it will synchronize all out GPS satellites and world clocks again to a nice 24-hour spread, which also goes out of whack when some countries use DST.
By the way: the old rule about changing your smoke detector batteries when you change the clocks? Now a bad idea, since you will throw away perfectly good batteries in Spring, and risk using exhausted batteries in Fall. Get in the habit of changing them every 6 months regardless of clock switching time.
Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію Мы, Дима Грозный Императоръ и Самодержецъ Всероссiйскiй, цѣсарь Московскiй. The Czar was born in the steppes of Russia in 1267, and was cheated out of total control of all Russia upon the death of Boris Mikhailovich, who replaced Alexander Yaroslav Nevsky in 1263. However, in 1283, our Czar was passed over due to a clerical error and the rule of all Russia went to his second cousin Daniil (Даниил Александрович), whom Czar still resents. As a half-hearted apology, the Czar was awarded control over Muscovy, inconveniently located 5,000 miles away just outside Chicago. He now spends his time seething about this and writing about other stuff that bothers him.