Saturday, November 2, 2013

In Defense of Daylight Savings Time

The basic reason we set the clocks back on the 3rd of November is because if we did not then the sun would be rising at almost 8am in the morning, requiring first shift folk to do everything in the dark.

Length of daySolar noon
DateSunriseSunsetThis dayDifferenceTimeAltitudeDistance
(million mi)
Nov 2, 20137:46 AM6:42 PM10h 56m 12s− 1m 34s1:14 PM44.8° 92.229
Note: hours shift because clocks change backward 1 hour (See the note below this table for details)
Nov 3, 20136:47 AM5:42 PM10h 54m 39s− 1m 33s12:14 PM44.5° 92.206
Nov 4, 20136:48 AM5:41 PM10h 53m 06s− 1m 32s12:15 PM44.1° 92.182

But Wait! There's this thing called electricity. Electricity comes from fairies and elves in the forest mixing magical potions together to generate sparks that tickle lightbulb filaments. All is well with a limitless supply of electricity and...

Wait a second, Oggy, elves and fairies don't mix potions to create electricity!

You got me, dear reader. You're so fucking bright. YOU MUST'VE BEEN PAYING ATTENTION IN SCHOOL. Electricity is produced by coal plants, nuclear plants, geothermal plants and natural gas plants that heat water to use steam pressure to spin magnetic turbines inside giant copper lined cylinders. Since elves and fairies are not part of this process what must happen is the collection of coal and natural gas and uranium to make these power plants operate. Because your television programming IS THAT IMPORTANT.

Ever since clocks were invented it was probably obvious that 7 am in June was quite brighter than 7 am in January. Unless you live on the Equator. And since humans are so clever someone thought, "It would be awesome if we could manipulate the clocks so the hours between 8-5 had relatively the same amount of sunlight throughout the year."

And it turns out there is a way to do this by simply turning the hour dial on the clock backwards in the fall and forwards in the summer. Now, on Monday, instead of the sun coming up over Austin, Texas at 7:47am...when most people will already be in the warehouse assembling computer parts...the sun will come up at 6:47am when people will be on their way to the warehouse. That means, for one hour of darkness, the warehouse will be empty and the lights can stay off...and we can save electricity.

That's the theory.

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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.