Sunday, November 19, 2017

Daylight Saving: The (agonizing) Column

Those dark days are back.

And I’m gonna say what so many of us are probably thinking.

What is the dang deal with Daylight Saving? What kind of diabolical mind is behind this wonderful pitch-black-at-5 p.m.-and-earlier-starting-every-November idea?

Arizona doesn’t have it (except, apparently, for the Navajo Indians). 

Hawaii, and American territories American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands don’t believe in it. Neither does most of the rest of the sane world.

But every year we Americans trundle on into the cold, black void, like good little Daylight Saving drones.

The anti-depression drug industry must be making a fortune.

WHY DO WE DO THIS TO OURSELVES?

The answers are long and convoluted. A lifetime of Attention Deficit Disorder coupled with math-and-science phobia and an utter lack of understanding (and a wealth of not really caring) is kicking in again here, one hour earlier.

Does Daylight Saving have to do with farming? Maybe farmers enjoy combining at night? Having a nice little getaway in those cool, GPS-powered machines?

If you’re in Arizona and you walk from the pitch-black Daylight Saving area into the No DLS Navajo Indian side, would there suddenly be light?

Are the Navajos standing there just across the border in their bright extra sunshine, rolling on the ground laughing at the continued obstinance on the other side? Are they shining flashlights in order to watch the rest of Arizona wail and gnash its teeth in the darkness?

Couldn’t we just scrap the whole Daylight Saving thing and live like the Navajos? 

Would we all be instantly bathed in light if we did? Thus putting a sudden halt to the Navajo gloating? Where else might they go to gloat? 

Isn’t ‘gloat’ a funny-looking, funny-sounding word?

This writer’s brain, muddled, frustrated, and gloatingly confused, is forced to find information online. It stops at an Internet site from the Kaplan Early Learning Company, titled “Explaining Daylight Saving Time to Children.”

Adults visiting the site are asked to talk to talk to children about the words ‘backward’ and ‘forward,’ and how they apply to daylight saving time.

“If children are still learning to tell time,” the description says, “use an oversized clock to show them how time falls back and springs forward when daylight saving time ends and begins each year.”

That sounds promising. Alas, this is an instructional website. Answers aren’t readily available unless one digs farther and is willing to battle ADD to watch video tutorials.

There’s also a red flag statement: “Check out the related items list or browse the items in the Time and Calendars category of our Math section.”

OK, in short, we just gained an hour in the morning and are paying for it by walking out into the pitch-black, earlier every day until Dec. 21, when, ever so gradually, by about two stinking minutes a day, we head back the other direction.

In just seven short months, on June 21, 2018, we will enjoy full daylight until 20:32:15, according to Drik Panchang, “the Hindu Calendar for the World.”

Pretty sure 20:32:15 is military time for 8:32:15 p.m.

Drik Panchang couldn’t just come right out and say that. It had to leave us in the dark.

Which many of us will lament for ages to come.

OK, stop it, Navajos. Enough with the gloating, already.

See full story in this week’s print edition or subscribe online. Please subscribe here or current subscribers can login here.

Steele County Times & DCI

Steele County Times
507-583-4431
411 E. Main St.
P.O. Box 247
Blooming Prairie, MN 55917

Dodge County Independent
507-634-7503
121 West Main St.
Kasson, MN 55944

Dodge County Printing
507-634-2661
121 West Main St.
Kasson, MN 55944

 

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