Reading the Times in California

In which I read the New York Times by myself on the west coast, and react to the news.

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Location: San Francisco, California, United States

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Nothing gained

Apparently, someone else has done a lot more research on the whole daylight savings extension than I did before writing about it. I sagely said something like "who gets up that early, anyhow?"; what I didn't really consider was "getting up that early" in November means "before 8:30." I'll have you know I'm up by 8 on weekday mornings -- only my sister, who has a late shift, and my roommate's dysfunctional imbecile of a boyfriend (nothing to do with his sleep habits), who has no job and isn't bothering to try to find one, sleep that late.

So, I stand corrected. This op-ed is worth a read (they're the best part of the paper, esp. when Down/Vowell aren't writing -- pithy, short, and with license to be more direct than the rest of the articles), if for nothing else than the history of screwing with clocks in this country. Check it:

  • " ... the Germans were the first to try [daylight savings] in 1916, hoping that it would help them conserve fuel during the First World War. .... The fuel savings never materialized."
  • "That most Americans still believe we save daylight to help farmers tells you something about the quality of debate on this perennial controversy. In fact, farmers hated daylight saving." Uh, oops -- that's what I thought, too ...
  • "By 1965, 71 of the largest American cities practiced daylight saving and 59 did not."
  • "Richard Nixon infamously mandated year-round daylight saving in 1974 and 1975. This ... put school children on pitch-black streets every morning until the plan was scaled back."

Okay, great. When this provision made it into the energy omnibus, I just assumed that it had been well-researched and -vetted by dispassionate experts. Guess I still have too much faith that government is out to do the Right Thing.

Not, I'm saying, that this is the Wrong Thing. Just that it was perhaps a Poorly Researched Thing. Hmm ... guess time (no matter how you measure it) will tell.

2 Comments:

Anonymous branen said...

But it will be awesome when the switch in Daylight Savings days causes Windows Server to break and forces ABC News to stop using language and resort to clicking their tongues in Morse Code [1].

[1] http://tinyurl.com/9rtqf

18 August, 2005 19:44  
Anonymous credit line said...

A

28 November, 2005 22:02  

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