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United States Government Politics

Daylight Savings Change Proposed 1392 1392

AveryRegier writes "CNN is reporting that Congress has added an amendment to the Energy Bill to extend daylight-savings time by two months. They expect to "save the equivalent of 10,000 barrels of oil a day." How long it would take for the associated energy savings to overcome the cost to make, test, and deploy the necessary code changes? How would the cost of this change compare with Y2K? Does most date routines' reliance on GMT make this just an issue of presenting the right time to the user?"
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Daylight Savings Change Proposed

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  • Creating a Boom? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ackthpt (218170) * on Thursday April 07, 2005 @02:11PM (#12167403) Homepage Journal
    How would the cost of this change compare with Y2K?

    It has been speculated, and fairly so IMHO, that Y2K was what initially drove the .com bubble. While I certainly wouldn't discount releases of many previously classified technologies and growth of the internet, there was a consider amount of capital put into hardware and software upgrades in the mid-to-late nineties.

    Imagine what kind of capital would be required to change DST behavior on govt computers alone. We could probably convert CO2 and H2O back into hydrocarbons cheaper.

    CSC, Accenture, EDS, et al are probably salivating at the thought of such a passage of law.

  • by foobsr (693224) * on Thursday April 07, 2005 @02:11PM (#12167416) Homepage Journal
    There is (should be) a study dated 1998 (which I was not able to locate yet) sponsored by the EU Commission which states that daylight saving time does not have the desired effect on energy consumption (which is taken as a common fact anyway here (de)). I wonder why the US should differ - anyone any idea?

  • by ch-chuck (9622) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @02:14PM (#12167454) Homepage
    actually that happened during WWII - it was called 'war time' and lasted for the duration, from 3 Feb 1942 to 30 Sep 1945

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 07, 2005 @02:14PM (#12167455)
    Why not just eliminate the pain, the confusion and drowsiness.
  • by winkydink (650484) * <sv.dude@gmail.com> on Thursday April 07, 2005 @02:15PM (#12167470) Homepage Journal
    If memory serves, we did it for the entire year. If it was such a great energy-saving idea, why didn't we just keep it?
  • retarded (Score:3, Interesting)

    by nordicfrost (118437) * on Thursday April 07, 2005 @02:16PM (#12167487)
    (excuse me for the bad typing, i hadsurgery in my hand...)

    this is the way you want to save energy? a saving of 10 000 barrels / day? if you look out on the streets, do all the people that drive SUVs need to drive them? this is an argument that also apply for eupoe, but goes double for the us. tax the hell out of fuel guzzling monster cars (almost the same size as monster trucks) and lower the tax waaay down on cars like VW Polo, MB Smart and hybrids. this also deal with a lot of other problems like parking. some snowy staes might be a little m ore lean on the tax, like snowy states. But theres no need for an Suv in LA, NY, Paris or Oslo.
  • by raygundan (16760) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @02:18PM (#12167541) Homepage
    Yeah, no kidding. Here in good ol' backwards indiana, we don't use it, and it seems to work fine. There's a bill in our state legislature to change that, though-- the given reason being that it's hurting our state businesses because people can't figure out what time to phone here from other states.

    My vote is for eliminating it altogether. While I'm dreaming-- if we can slow the earth down to, say, 25 hours a day, that would be super, too.
  • Re:Creating a Boom? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by lgw (121541) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @02:20PM (#12167569) Journal
    Y2K drove the dot com bubble indirectly: the Fed loosened the money supply when it would ordinarily have been tightening, in order to give companies easy access to capital in case Y2K became a crisis. When Y2K passed uneventfully, the easy acces to capital became a different sort of crisis. IMO it was a risk worth taking, as the dot com bubble only destroyed my bank account, but Y2K seemed poised to destroy my ability to bank.
  • by stinerman (812158) <nathan.stine@ g m ail.com> on Thursday April 07, 2005 @02:21PM (#12167578) Homepage

    Farmers hold a decent bit of lobbying power, moreso than one would expect by chance. They complain about DST one way or another. Most farmers like DST so they don't need to get up so early in order to get chores done. My grandfather didn't really care; he just got up when it was light out, regardless of time.

    Indiana still doesn't do DST (due to the farm lobby), but, IIRC, they're trying to work it through their legislature. Whenever I go to my mom's in the summer I always laugh at them because the sun rises around 5 a.m. in June / July.
  • by Otter (3800) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @02:23PM (#12167626) Journal
    This brings up the bigger (but still not that big) issue: we just got through the week where Europe was on DST and the US wasn't, and no one here knew what time to show up to cross-ocean video conferences. Extending the out-of-sync periods will only lead to more confusion.

    On the other hand, Israel has perhaps the world's most complicated DST issue in the world, as there are two separate lunar calendars in use. So not only do the competing demands of Ashkenazi, Sephardic, Muslim and secular have to get resolved, the optimum solution has to change every year. And it's still the most technologically productive per capita country in the world, so I wouldn't panic.

    Regarding code changes -- c'mon. It's literally a single line of code for the whole Windows platform, same thing for Mac. Even for the Linux UI spaghetti, it's a one-liner for the KDE and GNOME date handlers, and whatever else is in use. And none of it affects anything important.

  • by MisterLawyer (770687) <mikelawyer@@@gmail...com> on Thursday April 07, 2005 @02:27PM (#12167696)
    This article focuses on all the bad side effects of switching Daylight Saving Time, but there can be some benefits too.

    For example, changing Daylight Saving Time could prevent terrorist attacks:

    In September 1999, the Palestinian West Bank was on daylight saving time while Israel had just switched back to standard time. West Bank Palestinians prepared time bombs and smuggled them to Arab Israelis, who misunderstood the time on the bombs. As the bombs were being planted, they exploded--one hour too early--killing three terrorists instead of two busloads of people, the intended victims. (from webexhibits.org [webexhibits.org])

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 07, 2005 @02:33PM (#12167801)
    [sarcasm]Won't somebody PLEASE think of the children![/sarcasm]

    Sarcasm aside, the answer is simple, go out with them. If your job doesn't allow it, simple, find a new fucking job! Can't find a new fucking job, well, there's always the option of starting your own business. Why should the rest of the world give up something that will help the economy for just a few worthless people that don't contribute much to society?
  • by saintp (595331) <stpierre.nebrwesleyan@edu> on Thursday April 07, 2005 @02:34PM (#12167823) Homepage
    Somehow children in Canada and Scandinavia make it to school, too. Kids waiting for the bus in the dark wouldn't bother anyone living reasonably far north, but it'd be a hell of a talking point for overprotective mothers from New Jersey to Oregon.
  • by Eric S. Smith (162) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @02:46PM (#12167989) Homepage
    Because then you'd have kids going to school in the dark. As soon as one is hit by a car that's the end of that.

    That traffic accidents increase slightly in the week after the switch to summer time was in the news around here.

    In terms of health and safety, it might make most sense to avoid making people change when they get up and go to sleep arbitrarily. I, for one, have been feeling like hell this week: "spring forward" sucks.

  • by Ironsides (739422) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @02:50PM (#12168046) Homepage Journal
    With regard to the lights. Flourescents use a large amount of energy when initially starting up. So much so that my UPS takes over power when I turn the floor lamp on (Lamp, computer, monitor on same UPS, monitor+computer=150watts peak). Floor lamp is a 60-90 watt flourescent. Depending on what percentage of the day you need light, it can actually be more efficient to leave the light son rather than turn them off. Additionally, those lights are helping to heat the building at night and keep the heating system from coming on (even the little bit of flourescent helps). Can also be used by the security guards when patroling (we have them at my place of business).

    Another thing on the lights is that it is cheaper (in many places) to leave them on, than to pay someone to go around and turn them all on and off in the evening/morning. It also (slightly, but signifcantly enough) degrades their lifespan causing them to need to be replaced sooner. So for financial and environmental, they are essentailly the same. The more environmental (less energy) they use the less it costs. Businesses do use this when looking at the bottom line already.
  • by madfgurtbn (321041) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @02:52PM (#12168070)
    Now, if those schools would get real and start school after 8:00 like reasonable people, we could get around this little problem and be much more flexable with the time.

    I don't remember the exact times and dates, because I was in 1st grade or 2nd grade, but in about 1974 they had Daylight Savings Time in the winter because of the energy crisis. My school started after 8 a.m., but we were getting on the bus before daylight so after a couple weeks they just cut the first hour of the school day so we went in at 9. Missed half a year of science because of it. Maybe that's why I'm so stupid today.

    The current proposal is a joke, really, it is expected to save 00.05% of U.S. daily oil usage for two months a year. We need to concentrate on changes that would actually, you know, make a difference.
  • by raygundan (16760) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @02:56PM (#12168127) Homepage
    Unfortunately, because we use gas tax to pay for the roads, we're going the other direction. Oregon, for example, is taxing hybrid cars because they don't use enough gas to pay for their share of road use.

    How's that for encouraging efficiency?
  • by Epi-man (59145) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @02:58PM (#12168162) Journal
    Honestly, who cares if it's a bit darker when you go to work. When you go home, wouldn't it be nice to have it be light outside?

    Hmmm, where do I start? I guess with me. I care. I loath trying to get out of bed when it is dark outside (my alarm goes off at 5:15 AM). I hate trying to get my nearly 3 year old and 18 month old to eat dinner when they want to play outside instead because "the sun isn't sleepy yet daddy." Because trying to get them to go to bed at 8:30 PM is hard enough as it is, let alone with sunshine ("daddy, it isn't sleepy time, it isn't dark yet," yes, my almost 3 year old has said these things). Personally, I think DST is one of the stupided concepts ever created (so yes, I am biased, grew up in Indiana where we are smart enough to leave our clocks alone). I get so frustrated and depressed after we switch the clocks and I again have to drive with the sun in my eyes in the morning, wake up in the pitch black, grrr! (sorry for the mini rant there)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 07, 2005 @03:08PM (#12168305)
    Am I the only one who is tired of losing an hour of sleep every spring and staggering around for a few days while I try to acclimate to the new time schedule? When I get that hour back in the fall, it does nothing for me.

    I'd like to see a study on the lost productivity of workers and see how that compares with these supposed energy savings. As another poster stated: why not just change the hours of our businesses? That's all that's happening anyway.

    As for the farmers, don't they set their own work hours? I'm convinced daylight saving time is one of the stupidest practices in American culture.
  • Re:Creating a Boom? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by pikine (771084) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @03:10PM (#12168335) Journal
    We could probably convert CO2 and H2O back into hydrocarbons cheaper.

    You mean carbohydrate , right?

    The cheapest way is to grow lots of plants. Let the nature takes care of them! We just need to figure out how to use these plants as an efficient source of energy. Energy researches who are botanists will have an edge here.
  • by temojen (678985) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @03:13PM (#12168376) Journal
    When I lived in Northern BC, we went to school in the dark, had recess in the dark, had sunshine for noon hour, and went home in the dark, and played outside in the dark.
  • by br0ck (237309) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @03:14PM (#12168405)
    These days it may not save any oil, in fact it may deplete more oil. From the Widipedia article [wikipedia.org], There is also a question whether the savings in lighting costs (people just home from work don't turn on the electric lights because there is enough sunlight through the windows) justifies the increase in summertime air conditioning costs (people home from work do turn up the air conditioning during the late-afternoon peak load times, because it's still warm outside). When air conditioning was not widely available, the change did save energy; however, air conditioning is much more widespread now than it was several decades ago.
  • mac os x and EST (Score:4, Interesting)

    by pikine (771084) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @03:15PM (#12168415) Journal
    I just recently discovered that Mac OS X actually switches from EST (eastern standard time) to EDT (eastern daylight-saving time) 5 seconds before it turns to 2am on the first Sunday of April.

    The clock ticked to 1:59:54 am and jumped to 2:59:55 am.
  • by ab762 (138582) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @03:17PM (#12168434) Homepage

    I gotta say that driving to work in the dark and driving home from work in the dark is not a prticularly gratifying experience. In fact it's downright depressing.

    That's not a condition that can be much improved by diddling the clocks ... I live in Ottawa, Canada, about 45N. Mid-winter sunrise is about 7:55 EST and sunset 4:25 EST. Now, you can make a big-enough offset that the sunrise is 12:55 PM and the sunset is 9:25 PM, if you really want to ... but you can't make more daylight by playing with the clock.

    The British tried double daylight savings time in 1968-1970 as an accident prevention mechanism [wikipedia.org], but the results were apparently inconclusive.

    As for the energy use ... surely this mostly impacts lighting energy? That's not a huge part of the energy budget, and with, as others have posted, office lights on 24/7, the reduction from clock games is likely unmeasurable. Back in WWII, when "play" meant "play outside", not "play X-box", that might have been different.

  • Re:Wrong Target (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Ironsides (739422) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @03:29PM (#12168602) Homepage Journal
    Any and all borrowing (debt+interest) numbers would be directly proportional to the amount spent (two programs that cost equal amounts, cause equal amounts of debt). For the war spending, see here (other post) [slashdot.org]. It still doesn't raise it about the Department of Health and Human services.
  • by poot_rootbeer (188613) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @03:43PM (#12168780)
    Because then you'd have kids going to school in the dark. As soon as one is hit by a car that's the end of that.

    Maybe we should stop expecting children to show up at school at 7:30AM, then. Sleep deficit in high school students is heavily documented. Let them sleep in an extra hour, then it will be light enough that they don't get hit by the packs of roving cars that people think seem to be out and about during the pre-daybreak hours.
  • by BrianJacksonPhoto (825904) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @03:46PM (#12168827) Homepage
    I grew up and went to school in Texas. I had to wait for the bus in the dark. Still here today, 20 years later!

    Our school started at 0730, I was at the bus stop around 0640. The argument that kids would have to go to school when it's dark out is STUPID!

    I like DST. The more lite we have in the evening the better if you ask me. As far as it saving more in energy...which is worse, running the AC until 2230 or turning on a few 100watt litebulbs at 2130? I no live in the SF Bay Area now and we don't have AC so that argument is kida moot here :/
  • Slow Down! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by SpaceLifeForm (228190) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @03:51PM (#12168882)
    4. Drive slower.

    That will save much more. In fact, it's been proven with the speed limit set at 55mph in the U.S. in 1974.

    In fact, comsumers could have an impact if they would slow down just on weekends!

  • Why one hour shifts (Score:1, Interesting)

    by stud9920 (236753) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @03:56PM (#12168943)
    Why are the shifts we do twice a year just one hour anyway ? What is just so special about 1/24th of a day ?

    If anyone is going to change his clocks anyway, why not act like real men, determine the optimum shift, be it 54 min or 89 or 124 or whatever, tell the populace the magic scientists said it was better and use it ? Why that arbitrary one hour shift. It's not like someone's gonna notice anymore after two days.

    If we were robots we could even adjust each day, but that's extremistic.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 07, 2005 @04:04PM (#12169034)
    Better yet, change the standard Business work day in the US to 4-10's instead of the current 5-8's.
    Having 50 or so days of commuting removed from most of the working stiffs yearly schedules would more significantly reduce energy demands.

    I think that that's great idea - employees win (1/5 less traveling cost and risk, not to mention stress for urban commuters), employers win (one less lunch break to cover).

    Here's another idea: mandate office building designs that take better advantage of natural lighting. North American office buildings (like the one I work in) disgust me. I worked in a couple of multi-storey office buildings in Germany over the span of several years that I was over there and it's not uncommon to work during daylight hours with the overhead lights off. There is less eye strain and quite an energy saving and for some reason, it just feels more relaxing.

  • Re:retarded (Score:3, Interesting)

    by zeux (129034) * on Thursday April 07, 2005 @04:07PM (#12169069)
    If you tax gasoline more, you increase the burden on everyone, including poor people that cannot afford to buy a new gas-efficient car.

    Well, this is actually a little more complicated than that.

    If you increase taxation, the people will ask for more efficient cars. This will increase the demand of such vehicles and the vehicle manufacturers will start to do a lot of R&D to improve the efficiency of their cars.

    20 years later you have a country with efficient cars and highly priced gas.

    That's what happened in most European countries and that's why europeans cars are more efficients than those in North America.
  • Software defects (Score:2, Interesting)

    by lisnter (572152) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @04:07PM (#12169070)
    Some years ago I had a bug in a Windows NT system caused by DST handling. The problem only surfaced in the period between when the US and Europe went on/off DST. There's a period of about a week when they are not in sync. The symptom of this was that system events displayed via the standard Windows GUI were different than when accessed through a character mode terminal. Same data source: the NT Event Log. After some debugging to make sure it wasn't our code and some back and forth with Microsoft I discovered that the libc.dll code subtraced the hour for non-DST (or added for DST, I forget which. . .this was a while ago) at some point in the code and then further down in the code did it again (oops). The pure Win32 API did the computation correctly. We got the DLL code and considered fixing it there but I didn't want to be in the DLL maintenance business so we pressed MS for a solution. In the end MS Support came up with a computation that used big decimals and turned the timestamps into pico-seconds since 1,000,000 BC (or something like that) and then back into MM/DD/YYYY HH:MM:SS format. This worked reliably in both applications. Every time I hear of time-zone questions I think of this story.
  • by foreverdisillusioned (763799) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @04:08PM (#12169077) Journal
    Then fucking keep it on DST and stop going back. There, problem fucking solved and no one loses any sleep over it.

    (If you don't want your kids to wait at their busstop in the dark, then change the time they have to go to school.)

    BTW, this is not just a matter of "discomfort." Studies have shown that there are more traffic-related fatalities in the days after we "spring forward."
  • by Waffle Iron (339739) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @04:09PM (#12169094)
    Mandatory flex-time (people won't be wasting time idling in traffic jams)

    I'm not sure that that would actually help in the long run. A while back I saw an article reporting on a study of commuting habits. It seems that across all cultures and income levels around the world, they found that people on average spend roughly the same time commuting each day, whether it's walking, public transportation, bicycling or in cars.

    Presumably, if flextime helps to clear up traffic jams, over time people will just tend to move even farther away from their workplaces. They'll trade in their newly freed time for a chance to live somewhere closer to their ideal accommodations, which will often be farther than they are willing to commute today.

  • Re:Statistics!! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rnelsonee (98732) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @04:14PM (#12169152)
    As previous posters pointed out, the DST thing saves us 0.05% of oil.

    As for the other calculation:

    The average American drives 8000 miles per year [usf.edu] (I think car owners drive 17,000 mi/year, so this average includes non-drivers)
    Let's say the average car gets 28 mpg [sierraclub.org]
    The US has 296M [census.gov] people.
    Each barrel of oil yeilds about 20 gallons of fuel [roshd.ir].
    So we have 8,000 miles/year * (1/28) gallons/mile = 285 gallons used by each American per year, or 285/20 = 14.25 barrels per year.

    14.25 * 256M = 3.648 billion barrels used by cars in the US per year.

    Now the same calculation getting 29 mpg, we get 3.531 billion barrels used, saving us 117 million barrels of oil per year, or 320,500 barrels per day.

  • by rw2 (17419) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @04:18PM (#12169192) Homepage
    I am biased, grew up in Indiana where we are smart enough to leave our clocks alone

    Smart enough?

    I have a family member in government in Indiana and he's looked into this given that Indiana is likely to finally cave and join the rest of the country (for right or wrong) soon.

    He found out that the original lack of DST isn't due to smarts, but due to lobbying from, get this, the drive-in theatre owners in days gone by.

    Their lobby isn't as strong as it used to be. ;-)
  • by fishbowl (7759) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @04:24PM (#12169261)
    "Imagine how much energy would be saved with that!"

    Not enough to be of sufficient financial impact to the owners/occupants of the building to compel them to do otherwise. Specifically, not enough to give a measurable competitive advantage for a company that turns the lights off versus one that leaves them on.

    I think they should do it because it's the right thing to do, but I know that's not how it works. Bottom line is, energy costs are still too low.

    While everyone seems to get upset about $50/bbl oil, I'm preparing for orders of magnitude higher.
  • by rjelks (635588) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @04:33PM (#12169366) Homepage
    I don't blame you, living in Arizona...I bet the summers get way too hot.

    For me, I love getting off work and still having a couple hours of sunlight. I can pretend I didn't work all day long. Of course, here in Colorado, the evenings are still nice and cool.

    On the flip side, I hate this week more than any other. I've been downing coffee all day, and I could still fall asleep at my desk. If we have to go through this, I think that we should make the change occur at 4:00 p.m. on Friday...I'd rather lose an hour of work than an hour of sleep. :)
  • by Wyatt Earp (1029) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @04:38PM (#12169431)
    If you want to be on DST year round, move to the edge of a timezone and then you can feel like you are on DST all the time.
  • by Physics Dude (549061) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @05:18PM (#12169776) Homepage
    Remember, you're not lengthening the day - you're taking time from the morning and adding it to the evening.

    No, you're not doing either. You're just changing your clock which doesn't have any effect whatsoever on time iself, the amount of sunlight, the length of the day or the distribution of time in the day.

    The problem isn't with the clock, it's with when your work starts... which SHOULD be something that can adjust seasonally.

  • by thogard (43403) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @05:20PM (#12169798) Homepage
    What a euro centric view. The war in the pacific was in full swing by then. Japan was marching on Peking in July of that year.
  • Re:Creating a Boom? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Pionar (620916) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @05:33PM (#12169935)
    IIRC Indiana has some bizarreness

    Yep, you're right. Basically, all of Indiana is on EST year-round. However, a few counties in the SE corner (around Cincinnati) go with DST. In addition, some counties in the NW and SW corners (basically the Chicago and Louisville areas) are in the Central time zone and observe DST. (map [timetemperature.com])

    There's a bill just about every session of the state legislature to change this. There's a boost right now in that the new governor is actually pushing for it. I might go through this year, probably (the plan would be to switch on June 5 this year), but they amended the bill in the House to say that counties could "opt out" of DST. The feds came in (Dept. of Transportation, I believe) and said that that would be illegal, it's either all or none. But, the House passed it anyway. The Senate leaders have said they won't touch the bill until it goes through a conference committee to take that part out.

    See stories here [indystar.com] and here [indystar.com].

    It's not as clear cut as this, though. It's a hotly debated topic in Indiana, with most of the business people for it (they say not having it hurts business) and farmers against it (they say it makes no sense). Generally, Republicans are for it, and Democrats are against it. Technology people that I know are generally for it, but the timeline (June 5) has them worried about keeping systems up to date.

    I'm agnostic on it, though I do follow it closely.
  • by Le Marteau (206396) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @05:42PM (#12170037) Journal
    Oil, as any physical entity, is limited in quantity.

    Well, it may be limited, but the supply might be hugely greater than has been estimated. Practically without fail, they estimate such and such a field has X number of barrels, and they CONSTANTLY move these number upward.

    Could it be that oil is NOT a product of biology, but of simple inorganic chemistry? Some people think so [wikipedia.org], and they are not kooks.
  • by GoClick (775762) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @05:49PM (#12170133)
    I live north, way north, so far north in the summer we have days with no real night.

    Just get up with the sun and go to bed when it's late, learn to deal with a world where work starts at 10am not 8am. It's stupid. China does pretty good with only one time zone and no daylight savings time. People will get used to it. Stupid daylight savings time.

    While I'm on the topic how about metric time? I propose 1 day length days and decimal time so noon would be 0.5!


    ok I'll shut up now
  • by Le Marteau (206396) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @05:49PM (#12170145) Journal
    Oh yeah, I forgot to make my point. Many advocates of the abiogenic theory of petroleum origin say that the reason that estimates of reserves at various fields are always being raised is because the fields are being replenished!
  • by poot_rootbeer (188613) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @06:03PM (#12170266)
    Here's an article which could serve as a good starting point for researching studies on the high school sleep deficit problem:

    http://www.theithacajournal.com/news/stories/200 50 309/opinion/2059690.html
  • by The Taco Prophet (538981) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @06:04PM (#12170274) Homepage
    But the very worst thing about DST is that it's bad for your health. According to Stanley Coren, a sleep expert at the University of British Columbia, the number of traffic accidents and fatal industrial mishaps increase on the Monday after we spring forward. The reason, presumably, is because losing even a single hour of sleep over the weekend makes a lot of people a bit drowsier on what we might usefully call Black Monday. Unfortunately, there's no compensating effect of a super-safe Monday as we go off DST and "fall back" in the autumn."

    Off the cuff, I'm inclined to say that it has a lot to do with people banging buttons like a retarded chimp trying to remember how to adjust the clock in their dash as they drive to work instead of watching the road. The quotage says the Monday after we go off DST isn't safer than usual. I wonder if it's more accident prone as well?

  • Re:Creating a Boom? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Seumas (6865) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @06:13PM (#12170354)
    How about we just get rid of daylight savings entirely. It's even more idiotic than the idea of timezones. This isn't 1860.
  • Here in Indiana (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Octel (809339) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @07:08PM (#12170869)
    I've lived here for 6 years and love the fact that I don't have to play the fall back/forward time game! It's very nice to be able to leave work in the winter while it's still light (it doesn't get dark here until 5:30). The only bad thing is that my family and friends in other states can never remember what time it is here. I've read where our legislature wants to change this to be more business friendly...however the issue has been on the voting ballet for several years without successfully passing. People here don't want to have to join the game, but now it's out of the voter's hands -- I'm sure we'll be playing this stupid game next fall!:( I too, am sick of all the businesses that leave all of their lights on during the night and weekend! Whenever I work late at my office I go around and shut down most of the lights, leaving a couple on for safety purposes. I've always been turning lights out around my house because my father taught me how to conserve due to the fact he lived through the Great Depression. If we all did this just think of all the energy we'd save!
  • by tcgroat (666085) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @09:43PM (#12172028)
    Extending DST back into March, and especially prolonging it through November, is futile. On the winter side of the equinox dates, there isn't surplus daylight going to waste. You get up before dawn and start turning on lights as you get your kids out of bed and get yourself ready for work. You turn up the heat, because those pre-dawn hours are the coldest time of day (or the "set-back" thermostat does it for you). It's still dark when you leave for work, and it's already dark when you get home. If anything, DST should end a month earlier than it does now: no later than the end of September. At that time of year, setting the alarm clock for 6am means you wake up at dawn (think "equinox"). Enforcing DST during winter winter days means more people will be be and about before daybreak. That's counter-productive for energy savings!
  • by dcr (145627) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @10:19PM (#12172241)

    I hate Daylight Savings Time.

    I had a conversation with some Chinese graduate students this week. They said, "we tried this for one, maybe two years - then we stopped it. No one liked it. Do Americans really like it?"

    I replied that no one I knew liked it - in fact no one I knew had a feeling warmer than great disdain for it.

    I've read enough of the comments that cite energy savings and doubts about those savings. All I can say is, unless the savings are staggering (much more than I have seen cited), it isn't worth the trouble. All of my co-workers, employees, students and clients are tired, grumpy or simply call in sick. The work done frequently has to be redone once inspected (if the inspector catches it, of course). The productivity hit, the lag of folks who forget about the change, and the accidents that happen from sleepy people just is just not worth it.

  • by LakeSolon (699033) on Saturday April 09, 2005 @01:05AM (#12184649) Homepage
    Most people have various triggers for the conditioned response of getting tired and wanting to go to bed. For some people it's just darkness, other's maybe the evening news. For a while I played Pink Floyd's "Pigs on the Wing" (both tracks, none of the ones between them) each night as I went to bed. They're short, but it got so I would be unconscious before the second one finished.

    To this day my strongest trigger is still dawn. When it gets dark it may not be very late, but when the sun comes up you know it's friggin' late.


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