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Speaking of Time....
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The following was in the NPR news report today:

Thanks to passage of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, Daylight Saving Time will begin one month earlier in 2007 and will continue for an extra week. It's part of a phased move designed to conserve electricity and save an estimated 300,000 barrels of oil a year.

Many proponents wanted to extend Daylight Saving Time well into November, starting next year. A compromise was forged after Congress heard testimony from farmers concerned about their livestock, saying it would disrupt the cows' milking routines. Can cows tell time? Airlines executives worry about getting out of sync with the rest of the world.

Don't you love the crack about cows telling time? I'm astonished that we are still falling for that old myth that Daylight Saving Time will save energy in general and oil in specific. Give me a break. Benjamin Franklin wanted to save on candles, and in a world where the lights were put out when not actively being used, his proposal made sense. But now....

Look at the buildings where all the lights are on during the day for workers' benefit. And the other lights burning during daylight hours or even 24/7. And in many households, the incessant viewing of TV. That's not going to change, in spite of voodoo legislation.

And please don't tell me that we are shifting the daylight hours. We are fiddling with human measurement of time, to accommodate us best. Nature (including the cows) proceeds on its own clock, regardless of humanity's frantic efforts to pretend otherwise.

However, changing the hours that humans are required to be up and about (instead of the 8 or so hours they spend, on average, zoned out on TV--another waste of human and electric energies) might have some usefulness.

For instance, why not adjust the time so that children have more play time after school during hours of light? They can attend school in the dark: the lights are always on, daylight or no. Most people are owls (not larks), and kids love staying up at night and sleeping late in the morning.

I think some creative re-thinking of our use of daylight hours and their demarcation as work, play or sleep might be useful and productive.

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