This American Life :: The Runaways
An infuriating story about children going missing on Long Island and the police refusing to help because they’re from Latin American immigrant families. Prepare to shake with rage.
Hidden Brain :: Eyes Wide Open
Exploring the dangers of sleep deprivation with the record holder for most days without sleeping – 11!
Radiolab :: Infective Heredity
New research shows how genes can be swapped among organisms and passed on to offspring.
Believe it or not it’s been three years since I posted how much I hate Daylight Saving Time, and particularly the night in which we must “spring forward” the clock 1 hour. I’m not looking forward to waking up tomorrow and dragging myself through the day.
I’ve nothing new to write, but here are my previous four posts on the topic:
EDIT ON MONDAY: Here’s something that might make me wonder. How about instead of having the time change occur on a weekend in the middle of the night, why not have the time change on a Monday afternoon. That’s right, at 1 pm on Monday afternoon everyone sets their clocks ahead to 2 pm. A shorter workday for everyone once a year! And yes, employers, you still pay your hourly workers for an 8-hour day.
A friend of mine called me “crankypants” yesterday because of it, but I still hate switching to Daylight Saving Time. I’ve been congested and sleeping poorly the past week so I didn’t need to lose an hour of sleep on top of that.
Anyhow, I like this quote attributed to some unnamed Native American (who is thus probably entirely fictional) but speaks the truth:
When told the reason for daylight saving time the old Indian said… “Only a white man would believe that you could cut a foot off the top of a blanket and sew it to the bottom of a blanket and have a longer blanket.”
I also like this article “The 5 Stages of Daylight Saving Time” by fellow conspiracy victim Jennifer Fulwiler.
Earlier screeds against Daylight Saving Time:
Daylight Savings Time begins today meaning that we will have a greater risk of on-the-job injuries according to Scientific American. And The Christian Science Monitor reports that changing our clocks will cost us money. The Monitor rightly asks why is that we spring forward again?
Ugh! Join me in hoping that this silly — and dangerous — tradition will end someday soon.
A couple of years ago I wrote a post about why I think Daylight Saving Time is evil. As we spring forward our clocks today, and try to shake off the sleepiness, have more heart attacks, feel more blue and find the roads even more dangerous than usual, let’s look back at my alternate plan:
A better solution is to just change hours. A regular work day would be 8 am – 4 pm. Baseball games would start 6:30 pm. Prime time tv starts at 7 pm. Bars that have last call at 2 am would now call closing time at 1 am. People stay up too late anyhow. My solution would mean that daylight would be “saved” and no one would ever have to change their clocks and most importantly, no one would mess with my sleep.
For more on the dangers and inconveniences of Daylight Saving Time:
Today we received more boxes in the mail with gifts for Peter. I opened the boxes with scissors and read one of the gift books to Peter. Afterwards I decided I would take a power nap on the couch. At that point I realized I still had the scissors in my hand.
Susan said, “It would be rather dangerous to nap with scissors. Would that be Extreme Napping?”
And that clicked in my mind an idea for a fantastic competitive sport. Extreme Ironing already exists, so why not Extreme Napping. It would be death-defying, yet restful at the same time. Think of it:
- Climbing to the top of Mt. Everest … and then taking a nap.
- Tying oneself to the hands of the clock face on the Houses of Parliament tower just as Big Ben is about to strike 12 … and taking a nap.
- Leaping off a bridge and landing on the top of a moving train … and then taking a nap.
I figure that competitors can have those EEG monitors put on their heads to measure how deep a sleep they fall into during their extreme activity and that can be counted toward their score.
In real life, the most extreme places I’ve slept are:
- While working on a rooftop on a house in Appalachia (with the edge of the roof over a deep gully) I nodded off right there on the roof.
- In Bermuda, I slept on top of casemate overlooking the ocean at the Royal Navy Dockyard.
- Of course, I’ve also slept at 20,000 feet above the ground and underneath the English Channel, but I suppose it’s not too extreme to sleep on a commercial airline or a Eurostar train.
I suppose Gary Cherone would be good at Extreme Napping, more than words can describe.
Once again I’ve read and collected news articles and blog posts that are worth sharing but have absolutely nothing to connect them together except maybe that they teach us something interesting. Enjoy!
- The Boston Globe contains a story from AP about a Maine man announcing for president — as Thomas Jefferson.
- From the Christian Science Monitor, Gloria Goodale writes ‘Baby Loves Disco’: clubbing for the Mommy-and-me set in which we learn that having kids doesn’t mean giving up dancing because baby likes to boogie too.
- From the Christian Science Monitor, Annie Sherman writes Backstory: She keeps the lighthouse fantastic about Sally Snowman the keeper of Boston Light (Susan and I met her on our wedding anniversary adventure to Boston Light).
- From the New York Times, Tracie Rozhon writes To Have, Hold and Cherish, Until Bedtime in which we learn that happily married couples are no longer sharing a bed (just like Lucy and Rickey).
- From Escar-go-go, Robert David Sullivan writes Sacre Bleu Line! in which we discover that the MBTA’s new website has much too literal translations into French.
- From MediaChannel.org, Danny Schecter writes The Politics of Music and Music As Politics appreciates the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for protecting the genre’s heritage amid corporate corruption.
- From Mother Jones, Bill Mckibben writes Reversal of Fortune in which we learn that More isn’t Better.
- Streetsblog and Sarah Goodyear share StreetFilms: Interview with Parking Guru Donald Shoup who teaches us that free parking and expensive housing are backwards thinking.
- From Bicycle Fixation, James Howard Kunstler asks Can America Survive Suburbia?
- From the Boston Globe, Chris Kahn writes that a Glass skywalk opens above the Grand Canyon with the help of astronaut Buzz Aldrin. Anytime you can involve Buzz Aldrin it automatically makes things better.
It’s time to turn the clocks one hour forward and sleep suffers. And it’s early too. Scientific American explains the reason for the change.
Scientific American: Is It Daylight Saving Time Already?
You bet. But if it seems earlier than usual, that’s because it is. Why—and could its early arrival cause techno glitches on the order of Y2K?
In college a group of like-minded friends and I formed the Nu Alpha Pi fraternity in support of the many wonders and beneficial effects of sleep. This night when we Spring Forward was a night of wailing and gnashing of teeth for NAΠ. By contrast, when we Fall Back and gain an extra hour of sleep we celebrated our fraternity formal and wore a tie to bed.
Anyhow, there’s some history behind this nonsense and The World Almanac has all the facts about Daylight Saving Time. Personally, if I were in charge I would do away with DST for once and for all. A better solution is to just change hours. A regular work day would be 8 am – 4 pm. Baseball games would start 6:30 pm. Prime time tv starts at 7 pm. Bars that have last call at 2 am would now call closing time at 1 am. People stay up too late anyhow. My solution would mean that daylight would be “saved” and no one would ever have to change their clocks and most importantly, no one would mess with my sleep.
Update on Monday: (in which I’m feeling tired and grumpy due to The Lost Hour).
A Tufts University professor Michael Downing also thinks DST is nonsense and wrote about it in Spring Forward: The Annual Madness of Daylight Saving Time. According to Downing, DST doesn’t save power just encourages people to drive to the mall in the evening and waste even more fuel. Oh, and folks are driving with a higher risk of auto accidents this week due to that lost hour of sleep.