Sunday, January 28, 2007

Why is there day light savings time?

I got this email this morning as I ate crumpets and donuts:

"Dear Lampshire,

I am quite fond of your work. You seem like you know what you're talking about. I like that, I respect that. Attitude is everything, I say. Is the glass mostly empty, or a little full? You know what I mean?

I have a question for you... day light savings time. I hate it. It gets me all off track. It's like trying to sleep with a bowling ball for a pillow. So my question is: why is there daylight savings time?


Vern H. Lernydern, the tired and sad, from Chicago"

Well Vern, obviously you weren't paying attention in school, if you ever even went. I mean, this kind of stuff should be just plain common sense, but for you it's like uncommon sense! Well, I haven't insulted people for a long time, so it's hard to get back into the groove of things, but let's just go straight to the answer, eh-k?

Daylight savings time at first didn't exist. But seasons did. This was back in the 1800s about. It got cold in the winter, and hot in the summer. For a long time, people wished that the days would be shorter in winter because it was so cold, and the sooner it became night time, the sooner everybody had to go inside to go to sleep or browse the web. In the summer, though, people wanted the days to be long so they could spend more time outside playing football and/or hockey and/or ping pong.

Benjamin Franklin had suggested long ago that men create daylight savings time, but it wasn't until scientists made scientific breakthroughs that allowed us to change the time whenever we wanted. Thus daylight savings time was born. And the sun obeyed. It now changes with the seasons, even though there is actually evidence it did this even before daylight savings time.

You might say "ok, that is not very informative, but I think I get it... but where does the name come from?" Let's break it down. The keyword in the phrase is savings. What's being saved? Time? Not really. Money? Nope. What then? I'll leave this unanswered because I want my readers to do some mental exercises to help them get smart. So... go on, think about it!

You see, I'm the kind of person who likes to get people to think. Some people look at the world and say "why?" ... I look at my dreams and say "why not?" Isn't that inspiring? I think life is about... trying new things, meeting new people, sharing memories, and so on. I think it's important for everyone to ask themselves what they want to get out of life, and then I want them to pursue it. Go on, ask why, and then look for the answer.

Now, daylight savings time has had many implications on modern day society:
  • People are living longer, healthier lives
  • We are closer to discovering new things
  • Colleges are more diverse, yet somehow not racist
  • HD-DVD discs are being sold
  • Don Knotts died
  • There are still people who can play the violin
  • And other stuff too

You might say "hey, now, some of that stuff you just listed seems totally unrelated." Well, guess what? Have you ever heard of the butterfly effect? It has to do with chaos theory, and it means that just about anything effects everything... so whatever two events happen, they're somehow related. There, I taught you something new!

Remember, everyday is a gift, a beauty to behold. I'd like to share with you a short poem I wrote last night to inspire you to do great things, and then if you do great things I will be proud to know that I contributed... no... planted the seed for your greatness. Here is the poem:

The daylight softens shadows pale, and squooshed black ant, a dragon whale, and in this dark begotten night, what doth show the candle bright, hold it up to gaze within, the battle's over, the good will win.

I'd love to analyze the poem, but I'll save that for never. You can do it yourself.

Well, I hope I not only answered your question, Vern, but gave you some inspiring thoughts about life as a whole, you stupid dunderhead. Remember, all, you can email me with your questions at ... Remember, boys and girls, toe nails fall off naturally, so you don't have to clip them. Just be sure to keep socks on at all times to prevent people staring at you and your ugly toes. Eh-k, bye.