Home
In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

How Daylight Saving Time works

By Marshall Brain

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) Every spring and every fall we go through a funny little dance as a society. It's called Daylight Saving Time, or DST, and it has all of us setting our clocks forward and backward. Some people like DST, some people hate it, but we all get to participate in the dance.

This year the dance is a little different. A law called the Energy Policy Act of 2005 has changed the dates for DST to start and end. This change is adding a bit of extra intrigue to a process that is already something of a nuisance.

Therefore, you might be wondering - why do we do this? Where did the idea of Daylight Saving Time come from?

Let's start by going back to the 1800s. There really wasn't any sort of national time standard in the United States. Each town or city used some local landmark to set its local time. For example, a church in the center of town might have a tall steeple clock that rang a bell every day at noon. Everyone in town would set their watches by that clock. That clock would set its time based on the sun - when the sun reached its highest point during the day, that would be noon.

This system of local time all changed in the 1883. The railroads needed a standard way to think about train schedules across the United States. So they created the first time zones as well as a standard time system. The worldwide system of time zones, with Greenwich Mean Time as the zero hour, came into play in 1884. Cities and towns all aligned themselves with the train's time system because, if they did not, people would miss the train.

The move toward Daylight Saving Time started as early as Benjamin Franklin, but did not become a national law in the United States until World War I. In 1918, congress passed the law that created DST. Why? The whole system was designed as a way to save energy.

Here's what happened. If you think about how the days lengthen in the spring, you realize that the sun is coming up earlier and earlier. Eventually, if you don't have a DST program in place, the sun is coming up at 5 a.m. or earlier. Most people do not wake up at 5 a.m., so that hour or two of morning sunlight is "wasted" on people who are asleep in bed.

The idea behind DST is to move an hour of "wasted" sunlight to the other end of the day, when people are actually awake. Because of the extra hour of sunlight in the evening, people don't have to turn their lights on, and that saves electricity. The savings are not gigantic - maybe only 1 percent or 2 percent of a country's total electrical consumption is saved. But in a country as big as the United States, a 1 percent reduction in electricity consumption is a lot of electricity.

For the last several decades, DST has started on the first Sunday in April. The Energy Policy act of 2005 changes the start date to the second Sunday in March. The goal is to save a little more electricity, although the jury is still out on whether the new law will have much of an effect.

The bigger question is, how disruptive will the new DST dates be? If it weren't for computers, this change would not really be disruptive at all. People would simply set their clocks by hand and it wouldn't matter. Many computers, however, were programmed with the thought that DST would always start on the first Sunday in April. Now that things are changing, the code for these computers has to change. On older systems (and older pieces of equipment like VCRs), change may not be possible. Adjusting things by hand will be the only option.

So, is DST worth all of this hassle? Perhaps. The energy savings are measurable and undeniable. But it is also the case that people seem to like the DST system. When pollsters do surveys, Americans tend to agree with the idea of long, late summer evenings, rather than having the sun in their eyes while lying in bed at 5 a.m. That, agreement, ultimately, may be the thing that gives DST its appeal.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.



Previously:


How a cruise missile works
How snow making works

© 2007, How Stuff Works Inc. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles