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Saturday, March 08, 2008

Spring forward, fall back: I'm dizzy

Most of the United States begins Daylight Saving Time at 2:00 a.m. on the second Sunday in March and reverts to standard time on the first Sunday in November. In the U.S., each time zone switches at a different time.

In the European Union, Summer Time begins and ends at 1:00 a.m. Universal Time (Greenwich Mean Time). It begins the last Sunday in March and ends the last Sunday in October. In the EU, all time zones change at the same moment.

That means that in 2008, Daylight Savings Time in the US begins at 2 AM, Sunday, March 9th.

In the UK., Summer Time begins at 1 AM Universal Time on Sunday, March 30, but it won't be Summer Time in the U.S. until June 21, at the moment of the solstice, when the sun reaches its highest altitude in the north, the Tropic of Cancer.

If I understand this correctly, until March 30 there will be one less hour of time difference between the US and most European nations. That's an additional three hours of time in the cosmos. Is that right?

What happens to the time as we change it in the various time zones in the US? I have this cartoon image of a clock at the center of the universe spinning madly in the middle of the night as it tries to keep up with all the various changes across the country until dawn.

Hawai'i never changes its time. It's always the right time in Paradise. Does that mean Hawai'i is ahead or behind the time? Or, is it the rest of us?

If Summer Time begins in the UK after March 30th, can they still wear white even though its not Memorial Day (and, everyone knows you can't wear white until after Memorial Day)?

We gained an entire day in this Leap Year, on February 29th. Does that mean that this year has a sum total of an additional 27 hours of time? How does that effect the calculation of high and low tide? Has someone told the Easter Bunny? Santa Claus? The Tooth Fairy? Will there always be an England?

I have no idea how that all works or what that means for the cosmos. It simply boggles my mind.

Just remember this, people:


Thank you. Thank you very much.


Ellie Finlay said...

That's funny, Elizabeth. Thank you very much!

David Austin Allen said...

Lizbeth, I think the US state of Arizona also does not use Daylight Savings Time. So for part of the year they are one hour off from the rest of their time zone.

We in Mexico use DST, but a little later. Most of Mexico is the same as the US Central Time Zone, but for the next little while we will be an hour behind!

Anonymous said...

Neither Arizona nor Hawaii use Daylight Savings Time. Nor for that matter does a small corner of NW Indiana. I still remember a friend of mine at the US Merchant Marine Academy referring to "South Bend Time" or "Chicago Time."

For the next few weeks, though, I'm looking at it as if we're one hour closer to our good friends in Europe and the UK, namely the Priest who is Mad and the Doorman-Priest.

Brian R said...

To confuse you further, those of us down in the southern hemisphere go the other way. So going across the Pacific, you are now an extra hour behind and when we go off DST at the beginning of April, the difference will be 2 hours but of course if we go the long way round things are reversed. Pity we cannot send headache tablets online :-)

PseudoPiskie said...

Sigh. Changed all the clocks. Got up in time for church. Didn't even try to get the Prius out the driveway with 7 inches of snow and ice on top of the previous plowing which was inadequate at best. He left some huge mounds in places where the car has to turn. Just stayed home and watched the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on BYU-TV. Now I need to decide what to do with a huge pot of veggie soup that was to be for "coffee" hour.