D is for Daylight Saving Time is dopey

PLEASE stop the messing with our circadian rhythms via DST.

clockI’ve discovered that the process of blogging has helped me experience evolving positions on many issues. But it has actually hardened my point of view on one topic: Daylight Saving Time, which, I believe, is demented, and more importantly, destructive.

From CNN:

*Whatever energy savings may have been gleaned when we had a more agrarian society is no longer applicable. “A 2008 U.S. Department of Energy study reported Daylight Saving Time reduces annual energy use by about 0.03%. And a study that same year from the University of California-Santa Barbara found it might even increase energy consumption.

“After Indiana adopted Daylight Saving Time statewide in 2006, researchers examined power usage statistics and found that electricity consumption there rose 1% overall, with a 2% to 4% increase in the fall months.”

The invention of air conditioning has shifted people’s activities indoors, especially those in states like Arizona, which has the good sense to have opted out of daylight saving time in 1968. “However, the Navajo Nation in the northeast quarter of the state does observe daylight saving time. The Hopi Nation, fully surrounded by the Navajo reservation, does not.”

It’s terrible for one’s health

“Researchers at the University of Alabama Birmingham reported in 2012 that the spring adjustment led to a 10% increase in heart attack risk… The clock changes can also raise the risk of accidents by sleep-deprived motorists. The New England Journal of Medicine published a study in 1996 reporting an 8% increase in traffic accidents on the Monday following the spring shift.”

*Farmers, who, it was said, were supposed to benefit from it, actually HATE it. They have to get up when the sun rises, regardless of the artifice of the clock.

Any of you who have cats know that THEY don’t know you want to get an extra hour of sleep. Meh!

Changing those clocks twice a year is a pain in the…neck

“A 2014 Rasmussen poll found that a declining percentage of adults in the United States — 33% — think Daylight Saving Time is ‘worth the hassle.’ More than 63,000 people have signed a petition sponsored by the DST-hating website www.standardtime.com.”

This would be an acceptable solution: we could have a “year-round DST approach” with the costs and dangers of the constant back and forth being eliminated. But this will a difficult process in the US, since the decision is left up to the individual states.

I wish other countries would give up the practice too. As the Amerinz guy noted: “We don’t change our clocks the same time as other places do…; it’s chaos.” International trade is affected. Try scheduling a conference call among people in London, New York, and Sydney, all of which change their clocks on different weekends, and in the case of Sydney, in the opposite direction from the first two.

But PLEASE stop the messing with our circadian rhythms via DST. It’s an antiquated practice that only aggravates people. Especially me. Daylight Saving Time – How Is This Still A Thing?

Universal time zone

I’m not sold (yet) on one universal time zone. “By letting every person stay at least somewhat in tune with the Sun, time zones also let us stay at least somewhat in tune with each other—at least in terms of how we talk about time.

If we switched to one world time zone and you saw the Sun peak at 6 o’clock, would ‘high noon’ (the phrase or the movie title) still make sense as an ominous time to have a shoot-out? Would ‘9 to 5’ (again, phrase or movie title) be recognized as the standard hours for the daily grind of an office drone? “

ABC Wednesday – Round 18

F is for Former Names

Perhaps, the greatest area of change involves place names.

The item pictured above used to be called a guitar. Then this item-

-came along. And now the first item is now called an acoustic guitar, to differentiate it from the second item, an electric guitar.

This used to be known as a clock

– until this –

– came along. Now an analog clock describes a clock with an actual face, compared with a digital clock.

There’s a whole bunch of these, called retronyms, a term the late New York Times wordsmith William Safire believed had been around for 30 years, but in the dictionaries for far less time. Here is a list of retronyms.

This used to be known as a stewardess, but now is a flight attendant.

This used to be known as a fireman, but is now a firefighter.

The language has become more gender-neutral.

Perhaps, the greatest area of change involves place names. A lot of this took place in Africa in my lifetime, where locations that used to be colonies are now independent countries. Also, in the Western Hemisphere, British Honduras became Belize, British Guiana became Guyana and Dutch Guiana became Suriname.

Sometimes the local politics or internal struggles affect the nomenclature. Ceylon is now Sri Lanka, e.g. and the Democratic Republic of the Congo used to be Zaire. Cambodia has had a couple of other names.

Some formerly divided countries re-merged, such as Germany and Vietnam. In Africa, Tanganyika and Zanzibar joined to create Tanzania. Conversely, other countries broke into two or more parts. Bangladesh was once East Pakistan. Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, and especially the Soviet Union are no more. Egypt and Syria merged to form the United Arab Republic in 1958 but got a divorce in 1961. Here is a list of some countries that have had name changes.

One of the name changes I remember most, though, was a city; Peking became Beijing, explained here; likewise, a description of the change from Bombay to Mumbai, something I admit I occasionally forget. Of course, St. Petersburg, Russia has been Petrograd and Leningrad.

Three of the four schools I’ve attended in my life have changed names. Binghamton Central High School merged with Binghamton North to become Binghamton High School in 1982. Both my State University of New York undergrad school, New Paltz, and my grad school, Albany, have undergone a number of name changes; the former in 1828 as the New Paltz Classic Academy, and the latter as the New York State Normal School in 1844. My first school, Daniel S. Dickinson, has long ago been razed.

Finally, THE song of a name change, first a hit by The Four Lads, way back in 1953. Listen to Istanbul (not Constantinople) by They Might Be Giants.

Feel free to share your favorite name changes.

ABC Wednesday – Round 7


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