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Daylight Saving Time Explained

Every year some countries move their clocksforward in the spring only to move them back in the autumn.To the vast majority of the world who doesn't participate in this odd clock fiddling – itseems a baffling thing to do. So what's the reason behind itéThe original idea, proposed by George Hudson, was to give people more sunlight in the summer.Of course, it's important to note that changing a clock doesn't actually make more sunlight– that's not how physics works. But, by moving the clocks forward an hour,compared to all other human activity, the sun will seem to both rise and set later.The time when the clocks are moved forward

is called Daylight Saving Time and the restof the year is called Standard Time. This switch effectively gives people moretime to enjoy the sunshine and nice summer weather after work. Hudson, in particular,wanted more sunlight so he could spend more time adding to his insect collection.When winter is coming the clocks move back, presumably because people won't want togo outside anymore. But, winter doesn't have this affect oneveryone. If you live in a tropical place like Hawaii,you don't really have to worry about seasons because they pretty much don't happen.Every day, all year is sunny and beautiful

so christmas is just as good of a day to hitthe beach as any other. As so, Hawaii is one of two states in the Union that ignore daylightsaving time. But, the further you travel from the equatorin either direction the more the seasons assert themselves and you get colder and darker winters,making summer time much more valuable to the locals. So it's no surprise that the furthera country is from the equator the more likely it uses daylight saving time.Hudson proposed his idea in Wellington in 1895 – but it wasn't well received andit took until 1916 for Germany to be the first country to put it into practice.Though, the uberindustrious Germans were

less concerned with catching butterflies ona fine summer evening than they were with saving coal to feed the war machine.The Germans thought daylight saving time would conserve energy. The reasoning goes that itencourages people to say out later in the summer and thus use less artificial lighting.This sounds logical, and it may have worked back in the more regimented society of a hundredyears ago, but does it still work in the modern worldéThat turns out to be a surprisingly difficult question to answer.For example, take mankind's greatest invention: AIR CONDITIONING. The magic box of cool thatmakes otherwise uninhabitable sections of

the world quite tolerable places to live.But, pumping heat out of your house isn't cheap and turning on one air conditioner isthe same as running dozens of tungsten light bulbs.If people get more sunshine, but don't use it to go outside then Daylight Saving Timemight actually cost electricity, not save it.This is particularly true in a place like Phoenix: where the average summer high is107 degrees and the record is 122. If you suggest to an Arizonian to change theirclocks in the summer to get more sunshine, they laugh in your face. More sun and higherelectricity bills are not what they want which

is why Arizona is the second state that neverchanges their clocks. Another problem when trying to study daylightsaving time is rapid changes in technology and electrical use.And as technology gets better and better and better more electricity is dedicated to thingsthat aren't light bulbs. And the lure of a hot, sweaty, mosquitofilledday outside is less appealing than technological entertainments and climatecontrolled comfortinside. Also the horrifically energy inefficienttungsten light bulbs that have remained unchanged for a century are giving way to CFLs and LEDs– greatly reducing the amount of energy

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