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March 11, 2012

For Reasons That Escape Me
Posted by Jim Macdonald at 12:03 AM * 160 comments

…the USA is still using Daylight Saving Time. And tonight’s the night.

So set your clocks forward, lest ye miss Church in the morning.

See also: Reality Based Time. There’s only a little link rot.

Comments on For Reasons That Escape Me:
#1 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2012, 12:49 AM:

My mother used to rail against Daylight Savings Time every spring and fall. Damn Willett! was her warcry.

#2 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2012, 12:49 AM:

The escapement is the reason.

#3 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2012, 12:51 AM:

My mother used to rail against Daylight Savings Time every spring and fall. Damn Willett! was her warcry.

#4 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2012, 12:52 AM:

Now that's weird. I got a "publication failed" notice with a "correct and then resubmit" -- and the publication seems not to have failed at all. That's why I have two separated versions of the same post....

#5 ::: Bruce H. ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2012, 03:23 AM:

Also, could we come up with a better mnemonic? I often have to stop and think about what I'm trying to achieve, because "Spring back. Fall forward" is just as meaningful and memorable to me as the other way.

#6 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2012, 04:08 AM:

I like Daylight Savings Time. I always have. I'm not up at sunrise, so when it happens is irrelevant to me...but I like that extra hour of daylight. I'd be perfectly fine with having DST year-round. (Although, the extending of the day in March does make a nice little spring occasion.)

#7 ::: etv13 ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2012, 04:15 AM:

I like Daylight Savings Time too. I am so not a morning person, and if I have to get up at six-thirty or seven, it might as well at least have the novelty of getting up in the dark. (That's when you do fun things, like drive up Haleakala to see the sun come up over the crater.) And I have a long commute, and it's nice to get to see my yard in daylight in the evening.

Do you suppose like/don't like DST splits along the lark/owl divide?

#8 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2012, 04:19 AM:

Bruce H @5:

One Dutch mnemonic is that in the autumn, the temperatures go lower and your clock does too (in other words, the hour hand goes to a lower number). In the spring, the temperature gains and your clock does, too.

It's much neater in the original Dutch. (Als het weer achteruit gaat, gaat de klok een uur achteruit. Gaat het weer vooruit, gaat de klok een uur vooruit.)

But if you think of the hour hand of your clock as the needle on a round thermometer, it works. It moves to the left when things get cold, and to the right when things get warm.

#9 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2012, 04:33 AM:

etv: Interesting theory. I'm way the hell on the owl end of the curve, for sure.

#10 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2012, 04:56 AM:

Today, Perth had forty-one degrees C, about 105 Fahrenheit. Summer is officially over. Hah! Yesterday, 103. Tomorrow's forecast is all the way down to 100. It still makes five days in a row over 35 - that's about 95 F.

Three times now - or is it four? - the guvmunt, spurred on by corporations with headquarters in NSW or Victoria, has tried to introduce "daylight saving" time in Western Australia. (The scare quotes are justified. No daylight is saved. Not that we'd want to.) The last time was a trial for three years, during which we were supposed to get used to it. Only we didn't.

Three times now it has been unceremoniously booted, each time by a larger majority. Both parties in the parliament are now uneasily aware that they won't be forgiven for trying it again. Even the corporate shills have gone quiet.

Fact is, summer "daylight saving" makes no kind of sense here at all. Save it? Man, for three months of the year, we only want to give it away. The heat lasts late into the afternoon, here - the sun sets over the sea - and the hottest hours are usually 1500-1700 local, which means 1600-1800 DLS. Anyone wandering around in that is risking sunstroke. Tennis? Golf? The beach? In that? Are you out of your mind? Waddaya want to do, cook?

Daylight saving. Don't get me started.

#11 ::: KayTei ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2012, 05:06 AM:

etv13 @ 7

Can't be. Left to myself, I would never get to bed before 6am (or wake before 2pm), but I think daylight savings time is one of the most appalling tricks ever perpetrated on humanity.

The loss of morning sunlight in winter just makes it that much harder to drag myself out of bed. Who wants to go anywhere, when it's cold and dark out, if I can cozy up under my nice warm blankets and sleep instead?

#12 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2012, 06:57 AM:

One of my favorite Dave Letterman bits was from one of his monologues: "You know that thing we did last weekend setting the clocks forward? For some reason, it didn't take — the government wants you to do it again tonight".

abi @8: But if I think of the clock as a thermostat, I'd want to turn it up when the weather starts getting colder.

#13 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2012, 07:09 AM:

Rob @12:

Thermometer, not thermostat.

But no mnemonic will work for everyone.

#14 ::: Matt McIrvin ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2012, 09:26 AM:

It seems to me that there are two separate issues: whether you like the clock to be set the way it is in summer, and whether you like that there's a changeover.

Where I live in Massachusetts, given existing American clock-based habits, I think I'd like it to be Eastern Daylight Saving Time all year round (which is to say, I'd really like to be in the Atlantic Time Zone instead of Eastern). To me, it just gets too dark too early in the afternoon on EST.

This despite the fact that I'm not unreasonably far east of the central meridian of EST. It's probably because I grew up near Washington, DC, which is in the same time zone but both further south and further west.

The fact of the changeover is just a disaster. It disrupts sleep habits and causes car accidents. There's also little evidence that doing this dance actually saves energy, which is the government's stated justification.

So I guess I should say I like Daylight Saving Time: it's Standard Time I can't stand. Or we should just do everything an hour earlier by the clock, but that's harder to arrange.

#15 ::: Roy G. Ovrebo ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2012, 09:34 AM:

I quite like summer time. That extra hour of daylight in the evening is nice. We do need standard time in the winter though, because it'd be hellishly dark in the mornings otherwise.

#16 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2012, 09:37 AM:

I hate the changeover, but I appreciate the fact of Daylight Saving Time. Where I'm living now, the sun comes up at 5:00 AM in June and July. Without DST, it would be 4:00. That's waaaaaay too early.

My biggest complaint is how late DST now runs into the fall. The spring change is still right around the equinox, now slightly before instead of slightly after. But the fall one is now a month and a half on the winter side of the equinox. That's insane. (When I was a kid, the changeback was a few weeks after the equinox, which made much more sense.)

#17 ::: Thena ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2012, 09:54 AM:

Matt McIrvin @14 beat me to my gripe:

I would be fine with putting my clocks on Atlantic Standard time and leaving them there because, if you look at a map, Maine natural time is quite a bit closer to Atlantic time than it is to Eastern time, but for long-distance convenience we stay on "Boston Time" along with everyone else on the eastern seaboard.

I was further north when I lived in Oregon than where I live now (by a few degrees latitude) but winter here is not only objectively colder but also perceptively darker (thanks to Eastern Standard Time.)

I'm all for sundials. Can't see how I missed your 2005 post, Jim - I wonder if I wasn't reading here back then... but I know I was, I just seem to have missed that one.

#18 ::: LMM ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2012, 10:08 AM:

Mike the Mad Biologist has a lovely rant here about the stupidities associated with the Eastern Standard Time zone. (Basically, all the big cities on the East Coast are on the far edge of the EST zone -- meaning that, after going off DST, the sun rises far too early and it's pitch black by five or so.) Meanwhile, Indiana resisted DST for a very long time, in part for the reverse reasons.

There's a good case to be made (IMHO) that we should just redefine a lot of time zones around population centers rather than implementing DST. It would be a mess with respect to the rest of the world, but at least would make most people in the US much happier.

#19 ::: janra ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2012, 10:20 AM:

People keep saying there's an extra hour of daylight, but there isn't. It's stolen from the morning, and now I have to commute to work in the dark again, and it's still dark out by the time I finish dinner. The three-week shift in DST seems pointless to me.

#20 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2012, 10:38 AM:

LMM, #18: Actually, Indiana didn't resist DST; what it did was declare it to be local option. So during the summer, you had different towns and cities, some of them quite close together, running their clocks an hour apart. ISTR that there was one place in the southern part of the state where the town ran on one schedule and the factory (just over the county line) where many of the town's people worked ran on the other. That's insane.

#21 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2012, 10:44 AM:

Bruce H. @5: The mnemonic "Spring forward, fall over" made people laugh hard enough that one year it was the Minicon motto. (Minicon is a moveable feast, seeing as it falls on Easter; sometimes Daylight Savings Time coincides with it, and did that year.)

Tom Whitmore @1 and 3: Mike used to refer to Daylight Savings Time as Roosevelt Time. Usually drawing out the oo. Rooooosevelt Time.

#22 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2012, 11:16 AM:

I find the annoying thing is that the USA picks a changeover date which doesn't coincide with the other Northern Hemisphere continental power Block with which they are supposed to be allies.

So we get a change in the time difference between here and the USA, as well as changing out own clocks.

As an ex-farmer, I can tell you that the extra hour in the evening does make a difference for the grain harvest. Do the daily maintenance as the dew rises from the crop, and then get going until the cool of the evening brings it back. The clock shift at least lets us stay in some contact with the world of offices and factories. Though the serious TV journalism such as Panorama on the BBC has shifted clock-times so that anyone working and commuting is kept safely ignorant by the need for sleep.

Do time zones fit with the sun? A large chunk of the EU, including whole nations west of Greenwich, chooses to run on CET.

#23 ::: Andrew Wells ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2012, 11:41 AM:

Dave Bell @22: Spain is the only nation largely west of the Greenwich meridian that runs on GMT + 1. The other nations that are largely or completely west of Greenwich - the UK, the Republic of Ireland, Portugal and Iceland - are all on GMT.

#24 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2012, 11:58 AM:

All it does is move one hour of light from the early end of the day to the late end.

I think it's a plot by the producers of caffeine-containing beverages.

#25 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2012, 12:20 PM:

Dave Bell #22:

Speaking of being in synch with Neighbo(u)ring Powers: I distinctly remember being in the UK in 1986 at fall changeover; much was made of the fact that it did not coincide with what was taking place on the Continent. (Can't remember which direction.) (Nor can I remember if this was the first year for the difference.)

#26 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2012, 12:20 PM:

Count me on the night owl side of the curmudgeons. I hate the change with a deep abiding passion. All summer long, the time is Wrong with a capital R. Once we shift "back", it's an almost audible click as things go Right Again.

I don't mind getting up earlier, I just mind being forced to call it a different time. With many businesses going to a globally-oriented 24 hour schedule, why would anyone need to be awake at synchronous times? For all else, there's still email, etc.; I once communicated with a business in Japan by fax which was slow but effective.

#27 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2012, 12:25 PM:

I'm normally an owl type; these days when I don't have to go to work on someone else's schedule I get up no earlier than 8:00 AM most mornings, and that only because I Iike to get to the dogs to the park not long after 9. But there was a long stretch of years when I got up at 5 - 5:30 every morning in order to get a 3 or 4 mile run (driving up into the hills most days with the much more active dog I had then and still be able to commute to work by 9:00. Spending the first 2 hours of that morning in darkness was not at all to my taste, but that's what I had to do a good part of the year because of DST.

#28 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2012, 12:29 PM:

Andrew, at 15 degrees per hour, the critical number is 7.5 degrees East, which pretty much includes all of France, The Netherlands, and Belgium. France is mostly East of Greenwich, the British Isles East.

The Eastern border for CET could then run down the Eastern border of Poland.

That's the sensible "matching the sun" solution.

I suspect that the Cold War may have been a factor. Which time zone was the DDR (East Germany) in? If that pushed the whole CET timezone westward by some 10 degrees it would work out.

Effectively, the pre-1990 EU was running on DST in winter. I suppose the Scandinavian solution was to get drunk.

#29 ::: Andrew Wells ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2012, 12:36 PM:

Reasonable point, Dave.

#30 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2012, 01:22 PM:

First let me state I hate the "time change" with a passion -- I'd love to see it outlawed.

It does not save energy. It might have at one time, but we have become a 24 hour society -- where lots of people are awake at any given point in the day/night.

If anything, by making more folks get up in the dark, they're using MORE energy -- adding having to turn on more lights in addition to whatever appliances they're using as they begin their day.

Any politician that runs on the policy of eliminating Daylight Savings Time will get my vote.

#31 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2012, 01:31 PM:

I usually wake with or before dawn, and I don't like DST. It makes no sense to me. Lori's point above is dead on. So why do we do it, again?

I made it to 8 am Mass this morning anyway. Neener neener.

#32 ::: David Wald ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2012, 01:51 PM:

Andrew Wells @23: Spain is the only nation largely west of the Greenwich meridian that runs on GMT + 1.

And Spain always feels to me like it's actually two time zones off of where it should be: one, because even the eastern parts are far enough west that 8am really feels like 7am, and another because the actual schedules people follow seem to be at least an hour later than I expect, so 8am really feels like 6am. On the other hand, midnight winds up feeling like 10pm or earlier. When I've stayed in cities this hasn't been an issue -- I just followed the local schedule, and coming from the US I'd be catching up on some jet lag anyway -- but it mixed really badly with hiking, when everyone wanted to get to bed early, get started at sunrise, and stop when (or before) the real heat set in.

(The one respect in which the schedule worked for hiking was that everyone was ready for second breakfast right about the time places were open to serve us. I was sorry that only (some of) the native English speakers recognized the phrase "second breakfast".)

#33 ::: Hob ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2012, 01:54 PM:

Something I don't think I've seen mentioned in any DST argument: if we ever do get rid of it, we're going to have some really annoying computer hassles. A whole lot of software that currently calculates dates and times based on the current time zone/DST rules will have to be updated. It's a less serious problem than Y2K in the sense that it'll only throw calculations off by 1 hour rather than 100 years, but it'll affect a *lot* more systems.

#34 ::: Janet Brennan Croft ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2012, 02:10 PM:

I discovered that I have one clock that needs manual resetting per 100 square feet in my house. The biannual switch is actually a good mind hack for a semi-annual culling and battery check of my watch collection. Other than that, I don't see much point in it.

#35 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2012, 02:40 PM:

Hob @33, DST dates are a routine "update" for Windows and Linux. They should be settable well in advance, the way they're defined in legislation, but I've never know a piece of legislation that a politician wouldn't change on a whim. So the routine update is safer.

On sensible Unix-derived operating systems the hardware clock runs on UTC anyway, and i gather that timestamps on files and stuff don't take timezone into account. It's a display problem.

#36 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2012, 02:41 PM:

Similar things happened to the time zones in the US, mostly to accommodate state lines. If I understand the meridians correctly, the meridian for mountain time runs through west Texas, and the one for Pacific time is part of the eastern border of California.

#37 ::: Chris ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2012, 02:57 PM:

Twice a year, I am reminded of how much more complicated things are for the rest of the country. My clocks stay the same; only the time zone conversions change.

We have plenty of daylight in Arizona. We don't need to save any. Also, the theoretical time zone boundary line runs right down the middle of the state. Local solar noon is already around 12:30 MST; there's really no point in adding another hour.

#38 ::: Lin D ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2012, 03:11 PM:

I'm reminded of why Arizona doesn't go on DST, or why I was told it was so. It gets so bleedin' hot in southern Arizona that adding another hour of light at the end of the day meant nobody went out in the evenings. Makes as much sense as anything.

I don't care. My eyes don't open when I first get up, no matter the light outside. I also get up when I need to get up, apply clothes and food as appropriate, and do what needs doing. The clock coordinates my activities with others. This attitude comes with working at a company with branches all over the world. 7am in LA is 4pm in Amsterdam is 9am in Chicago is something else in Tokyo or Sydney. Don't care. Hand me a caffeine containing substance when I get up and don't expect me to be cheerful until after the sugar from the cereal hits the blood stream.

#39 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2012, 03:12 PM:

Hob #33: Adding to Dave Bell #35, "been there, done that". I was working as a programmer the last time they tweaked the dates, and Microsoft (inter alia was remarkably slow on the ball catching up. We survived....

And in (I think) unrelated news, my pocket watch seems to need a new battery.

#40 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2012, 03:21 PM:

Someday I'm going to write one of those "dire event will happen at midnight on such-and-such day" stories, and have the heroes think they've utterly failed to get the mcguffin to the critical point (or whatever) in time...then realize that the prophecy was written for local apparent time, not standard time, and they actually have another hour.

#41 ::: Hob ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2012, 03:34 PM:

Xopher @40: Jules Verne got there first (although he used the international date line rather than DST).

#42 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2012, 04:24 PM:

Hob, they had a whole day left because they didn't notice all the time zone changes adding up to a day...or look at any calendars after they got back to Europe, or talk to anyone etc. All those things would be perfectly evident, and any mention of the day would reveal the disconnect (and ultimately did, when they attempted to schedule their wedding).

In contrast, in my (putative) story, it's in the modern world where standard time is a given. Every clock they see will say it's, say, 3:15pm. Even in Hoboken, that's off by about 36 minutes. In Okemos, MI (where I grew up) it's more like an hour and 20, because Michigan, absurdly, is on Eastern Time. So if the Hellmouth or whatever is in Okemos (very plausible), and they thought they were 20 minutes late, they'd still have an hour.

But unlike in Around the World in Eighty Days, no one would tell them. They'd have to figure it out for themselves.

#43 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2012, 04:28 PM:

And Umberto Eco revisited it, or somewhere in its neighborhood, with The Island of the Day Before. Again, about the date line.

I'm lazy enough to dislike DST's beginning time simply because it steals away from me an hour of sleep. However, this weekend I went to Saturday morning's roller derby endurance practice and they wore me out enough that I was dead asleep before 9 PM. So I got my hour of sleep back after all -- I just grabbed one from before my normal weekend bedtime.

#44 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2012, 04:54 PM:

If you want or need an "extra hour" of daylight in your day, reset your own alarm clock, not mine, thanks.

#45 ::: Michael Walsh ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2012, 05:18 PM:

One "nice" thing about DST is when we "fall back" it quite often has been at World Fantasy Con, thereby giving folks an extra hour to stay at the bar. Sunday mornings are quite amusing, watching the near dead move about.

#46 ::: thomas ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2012, 05:35 PM:

And for those of us in the Antipodes, the clock changes in the other direction, so there's no hope of synchronizing.

I work with people in Iceland (no DST), US (just changed), Netherlands (will change in a couple of weeks), and we in NZ change the other way the week after the Dutch.

#47 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2012, 05:37 PM:

I remember when I bought my first alarm clock that read the signal from the atomic clock. I'd never have to adjust it for DST again, or while traveling across time zones. Spiffy!

Alas, it never changed reliably. Various gadgets acquired since then have been similarly unreliable, and it's usually complicated to set the time on them manually. I now avoid them.

#48 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2012, 06:35 PM:

janetl @ 47:

On the other hand, my phone, the satellite receiver and DVR, and both computers here changed time perfectly this morning without my having to do a thing. So all I had to do was change the microwave, the range, the thermostat and the electric clock we keep in the living room. And then when I got up at the normal time (minus 1 hour of sleep of course) to take the dogs to the park, they decided it was just too wet, and insisted on getting back into the car after 5 minutes. There's no gratitude in the world, I tell you.

#49 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2012, 06:42 PM:

David W., #32: I wouldn't have recognized the phrase "second breakfast" prior to the first LOTR movie -- it doesn't occur in the book IIRC.

P J Evans, #36: Here's a map of US time zones. Sometimes they zig and zag to accommodate state lines, while in other places they seem to do exactly the opposite, for reasons which doubtless make local sense. That little bit of Central Time sticking into the north end of Indiana, for example, is probably to keep Gary, IN in the same time zone with Chicago.

Michael, #45: Prior to the last extension of DST, OVFF used to do the same thing -- try to schedule itself for time-change weekend because that gave the attendees an extra hour of filking on Saturday night.

Aside: The Eastern/Central meridian divides both TN and KY. Nashville is fairly near the eastern edge of Central Time, while Louisville -- 3 hours almost due north -- is on the western edge of Eastern Time. Going to Rivercon was sort of surreal in that regard, because it never got fully dark until after 10 PM.

#50 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2012, 06:43 PM:

Just wondering. The new TV series Awake is about a police homicide detective who was in a car accident with his wife and teenage son. When he comes to in the hospital he finds he's living two lives, one in which his wife died, and one in which his son died. Each of those lives occurs in a dream in the other; as soon as he goes to sleep in one, he awakens in the other. When he goes back to work he finds that he's working murder cases in both worlds that are somehow linked; clues in one point to suspects in the other. And he's got a police shrink in each world and each of them is trying to disprove the existence of the other.

So what, I wonder would happen to this detective and his dream worlds if he had to switch to daylight savings time in one life but stay on standard time in the other? Would the linkages get all tangled up? Would events in one world occur an hour before linked events in the other? Would he get hungry an hour after dinner?

#51 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2012, 06:48 PM:

Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) @ 48: Yes, things on cell phone networks, cable TV, and WiFi change reliably. Is your satellite receiver a TV thing?

In my experience, little gadgets that claim to pick up a satellite clock signal -- but don't otherwise have any functionality that requires connectivity -- don't get the clock info reliably. My sweetie was swearing at his new "atomic clock" watch this morning, which didn't surprise me in the least.

#52 ::: landondyer ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2012, 06:50 PM:

As a code wrangler, if a nightly build occurs during a DST changeover, it is suspect and thrown away. In /theory/ all these millions of lines of code are built correctly because the OS keeps its notion of time in rock-solid ever-ticking-upward GMT. In /practice/ . . . it's cheaper to toss one build.

People think that working with time is easy. It's not; entire product lines have been brought to their knees by bugs written by over-confident programmers. "This stuff is trivial, I'll have it done by lunch." Ha. Be afraid.

Ya'll know to stock up on beans and rice in 2038, right?

#53 ::: Melissa Singer ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2012, 06:57 PM:

My daughter's radio clock looks for a signal at midnight. Therefore, it doesn't generally catch up to time changes for 22 hours, since the changes "happen" at 2 AM.

#54 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2012, 06:57 PM:

I struggle mightily to wake up in the morning when it's dark. I naturally wake up about an hour after dawn, if my bedroom window admits morning light -- so at midwinter, that means I struggle waking up before 8 AM at the earliest.

However, I also get depressed when it's dark at 5 PM.

So trading an hour of daylight in the morning for one in the evening? Is pretty much a wash for me.

I just like it when the days are longer, regardless of the clock.

#55 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2012, 07:14 PM:

landondyer @ 52: I wrote a post explaining the perils of DST for a particular application in an industry where I used to work, and then deleted it without posting. My former employer would not be happy to see that sort of mess bandied about publicly, though it is a common challenge for everyone in the industry. When I tear my hair out over DST, I do remind myself that it makes more employment for developers and QA engineers!

#56 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2012, 07:15 PM:

Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) #50: Well, the premise doesn't make sense unless time is already "loose" between the two worlds -- unless he's sleeping 12 hours in each or 16 in one, the longer walking day of each world must be mapped into the sleep period of the other. Of course, that opens the question of what happens to that correspondence when he takes a nap....

#57 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2012, 07:19 PM:

Lee @49: Ah, second breakfast! Or zweites Frühstück, Drugie śniadanie, or Jause.

Second breakfast is mentioned in The Hobbit. Bilbo goes out "leaving his second breakfast half-finished and quite unwashed-up" when he goes off on his adventure.

#58 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2012, 07:27 PM:

For a good many years, filking fen 'lost' an hour at OVFF every year, and 'had to' go to FilKONtario to get it 'back'. :-> That hasn't been true for a while, but it was funny when it worked.

I have a lot of number-related inabilities-to-remember-stuff; I keep track which way the clocks 'ought' to go by remembering what it was like in high school. The fall time change was sweeeeet, because everybody got to sleep late and catch up things. The spring change was HELLISH, with most of the students still zombie-ing two or three days later, because of how it threw off all our circadians.

So the fall change is the 'good' one (the one where I get to sleep more), and the spring change is the 'bad' one. From that I can reason out which way the hands ought to go.

Though nowadays most of my clocks do it for me; I can glance at the computer or my cell phone if I need to reality-check another timepiece in the day or two after the change.

Actually, on road trips, my cellphone switches timezone roughly where it 'ought' to, territorially speaking; I think it gets signals from the towers or something. When I get to the hotel I fix the car's onboard clock to match the cellphone (if I'm going to be there long enough to make remembering the offset annoying).

#59 ::: beth meacham ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2012, 08:33 PM:

I'm in for my annual week of grumpiness. AZ doesn't do DST, so on the one hand, I don't have to change any clocks.

On the other hand, I have to get up an hour earlier, in the dark again, to stay in sync with the office in NYC.

On the third hand, my work day will end an hour earlier, giving me time for a siesta to make up for that earlier rising.

I'll be over the grumpiness in a week, though.

#60 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2012, 09:15 PM:

Hawai'i, like AZ, doesn't observe it. The biggest pain for us is "Is it two hours to the West Coast or three? Five to the East Coast or six?"

#61 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2012, 10:43 PM:

Which one is Standard and which one is Daylight Saving?

#62 ::: Nenya ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2012, 11:20 PM:

The small corner of northeastern British Columbia I grew up in doesn't do DST either. We were always on Mountain Standard time, which is the same as Pacific Savings. It actually seemed to disrupt my life more having to remember whether we were on Alberta time or Vancouver time in any given month than it does now for me to switch my actual clocks back and forth.

I like DST because I am rarely awake in the mornings, but often don't get off work til 6 or even 9 pm. So in the spring, days lengthening because of axial tilt combined with DST means I get actual sunshine for at least a short part of the day. And in the fall, I get an extra hour of sleep.

In general though, I'd like to have either DST year-round, or long lovely summer days year-round. I'm a night-owl who also needs the sun to function without becoming depressed, which is an awkward combination.

#63 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2012, 11:23 PM:

I appreciate PDT in Oregon. We go from a scant few hours of light after work to lots of daylight in which to do stuff.

The fall transition is awful.

#64 ::: Rainflame ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2012, 12:32 AM:

Another Oregonian here. Having daylight hours after work is a huge boost to my mental state. The switch back to standard time in the fall is the start to months of SAD. I would trade early morning light for evening light any day.

#65 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2012, 01:05 AM:

I take everything back. I've been unable to fall asleep before 1-2 AM for the past months. Now it's 1 AM and I won't be able to fall asleep for another hour or two. And I made a pact with my husband for both of us to wake up at 7 AM and get work done, and he'll be perfectly fine because he's a short sleeper (6 hours preferable for him), and I will hate everything and everyone because I'm a long sleeper (10 hours preferable for me).


#66 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2012, 01:36 AM:

janetl @ 51:

Yes, the satellite receiver is a Directv system with a DVR in it, so time is important when programming the recorder.

David Harmon @ 56:

I watched the second episode tonight, and I still can't figure out when he switches between worlds. He talked to the shrinks several times about going to sleep in one and waking up in the other, but they intercut so much it's difficult even to tell if they have a coherent idea of it, let alone what that idea is. At least they have a convention of using a transition with an evolving Rorschach pattern between the scenes, so you can tell that the scene is switching.

#67 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2012, 02:07 AM:

elise, #57: Ah, okay. It's been so long since I read The Hobbit that I've forgotten a lot of it. For some reason, once I'd read LOTR I didn't really want to go back to the earlier piece.

Elliott, #58: I think you have the two cons inverted there. The hour would have been "lost" at FilkONtario in the spring, and "regained" at OVFF in the fall.

#68 ::: etv13 ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2012, 04:43 AM:

@BruceCohen @ 27: up "no earlier than 8:00" and you consider yourself an owl? Unless I have to be in court, I don't get up on weekdays before 9:30, and on weekends, not before noon. (Today I got up at 1:10 p.m. -- but then, last Sunday, I got up at 2:20.) I'm an owl. You're a slightly off-beat lark.

#69 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2012, 08:07 AM:

Xopher HalfTongue @ #40:

I'm reminded of one of Asimov's stories, in which an impeccable source has foretold a dire event to occur on a particular date, but - as one of the characters eventually realises - doesn't specify in which calendar.

#70 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2012, 08:25 AM:

Monday is when the change hits me hardest. My natural tendency on Sunday is to grab a nap and then I'm just not sleepy until after midnight.

I read somewhere that the changeover increases the number of morning auto accidents for a couple of weeks. People just aren't as alert.

#71 ::: Kate Shaw ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2012, 09:00 AM:

I hate the time changes and I'm a morning person. I don't care what the clock says, I just want it to stay the same throughout the year.

The days are going to get longer during summer no matter what the actual time is. It's silly to have to hitch back and forth like we do. Maybe next time we could fall back half an hour and keep it there.

#72 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2012, 09:05 AM:

I have to admit, the change has shifted my dog's morning and evening walks to much better clock times.

#73 ::: lorax ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2012, 09:22 AM:

I love Daylight Savings Time. I don't like the time change, but I love having the light in the evenings rather than the uselessly early mornings. I'll gladly take the hour less sleep in exchange for it being light when I get home in the evening. The fall transition, when suddenly it's full dark when I leave work? That's brutal. I suspect that whether people prefer Daylight or Standard time depends a lot on what side of the time zone you're on, and thus whether you notice the morning or evening darkness more.

#74 ::: Fade Manley ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2012, 09:35 AM:

I have no particular opinion on "more sunlight in evenings" vs. "more sunlight in mornings," because after living on the equator for most of my childhood, I still consider the entire process of day lengths changing throughout the year with great suspicion. (Damn you, axial tilt!) ...but I really wish they'd just pick one and STICK to it. I don't care which! I just find the whole clock-changing process annoying and confusing, and would rather it not happen at all.

#75 ::: Roy G. Ovrebo ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2012, 09:51 AM:

The changeover itself isn't bad for me. I work rotating shifts so I have no circadian rhythms anyway. It's when we get the changeover on a working weekend it can suck. And (sigh) we get the 11 hour break between 12-hour dayshifts later this month.

Last October, we got a 13-hour night shift as the clocks went back...

#76 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2012, 10:08 AM:

I like the time change in the spring, and loathe it in the autumn. But it's not that I'm particularly in favor of DST; it's just that the clock changes roughly coincide with the ebb and flow of my SAD.

#77 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2012, 12:09 PM:

lorax @ 73... I love having the light in the evenings rather than the uselessly early mornings

On the other hand, some of us are up and running at 5am.
("What is this sleep that Earth people refer to?")

#78 ::: Chris W. ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2012, 12:20 PM:

Re: Roy @75

I've heard horror stories of employers trying to screw their employees out of the extra hour they've worked saying "Sure you worked for 9 hours, but the schedule says you worked from 12:00am to 8:00am, so you get paid 8 hours."

Apparently this is common enough that the Labor Department specifically mentions it on their web site.

#79 ::: Roy G. Ovrebo ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2012, 12:27 PM:

Chris W @ 78:

That's funny. The rule in Norway is that the shortened shift in the spring or the elongated shift in the autumn pays the same as a normal one. I suppose pretending the difference doesn't exist makes the paperwork a lot easier - and it all evens out over time anyway.

#80 ::: pedantic peasant ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2012, 12:47 PM:

Roy G. Ovrebo @ 79

I suppose pretending the difference doesn't exist makes the paperwork a lot easier - and it all evens out over time anyway

It may even out for the company, but for any number of low end jobs (convenience store clerks, gas stations, food service, etc.) the fact that you're working the short overnight shift doesn't mean you'll be working the extended one, or vice versa.

I'd much rather be paid for "hours worked" than for "clock time."

#81 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2012, 01:32 PM:

Steve C. (70): The study I read about* showed a noticeable jump in fatal car accidents the Monday after the switch to DST, but it tailed off over the next week. There was a corresponding drop in fatal accidents after the switch back to Standard time in the fall.

*either in Sleep Thieves by Stanley Coren, or The Promise of Sleep by William Dement

#82 ::: David Wald ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2012, 01:50 PM:

elise@57: Thanks, I was 95% sure the reference was in the Hobbit rather than LoTR, but didn't have my Tolkien to hand. (I did think there was a good chance, to say the least, that someone else here would remember it.) And thanks for the Wikipedia pointer: I didn't know any other use of the term, though it makes sense. It certainly arose naturally enough in the context I described, and at about the same time.

On time zones and software: this is one of those areas where there's always one more layer of complication than you think -- political disagreements, zones that aren't whole hours off of GMT, historical variation in zone definitions, etc. The detailed comments in the IANA time zone database can make interesting reading. (Check out Sri Lanka's long chain of comments ending with, "wait for a bit for the dust to settle down and then see what people actually say in practice.")

#83 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2012, 01:56 PM:

I just want to point at IANA time zone and giggle at my parsing error.

#84 ::: Nickp ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2012, 02:06 PM:

Like some others, I'd be happy with DST year round. Even after the changeover in autumn, I still get up in the dark, so falling back just robs me of light in the evening.

What I don't understand is the gnashing of teeth over a one hour change. People who can adapt to five or six hours of jet lag in less than a week argue that a one hour change completely discombobulates them. As for me, I was a bit groggy when the alarm went off this morning, but by tomorrow I doubt I'll notice any change. Plenty of people shift their sleep schedule by more than one hour every single weekend.

#85 ::: David Wald ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2012, 03:15 PM:

TexAnne@83: I just want to point at IANA time zone and giggle at my parsing error.

Yes, it's remarkable how many lawyers, doctors, and other assorted professionals on the net work for the IANA.

#86 ::: J Homes ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2012, 03:49 PM:

Nickp @84

"What I don't understand is the gnashing of teeth over a one hour change."

You are obviously not a dairy farmer.

The cows know when they are due to be milked, and are ready and waiting. Then, twice a year, these supposedly more intelligent beings that arrange it insist on doing it at the wrong time, because some silly piece of clockwork says so. The Fall Back is particularly bad, because when one is full of milk, it gets painful.

And the farmers cannot keep to a sane schedule, because the drivers for the collection do not. The drivers, in turn, are under orders from a bunch of townies who think that a piece of clockwork is more intelligent that they are (and may well be right).

The dairy farmers are in an extreme position, but there are plenty of other examples of the changeover causing difficulties.

I have said on occasion that DST is "you get up and go about your business an hour earlier that you would have, while pretending that you are not so doing." Many of the problems are due to the need to keep up the pretense.

As an amateur astronomer, I detest Damn Stupid Time with an incandescent loathing, but that is my personal view, and I would not want to enforce it on others if they were not so eager to enforce their views on me.

A final thought. The extra daylight is not, after all, causing my curtains to fade any faster, and I want to know why not.

J Homes.

#87 ::: Melissa Singer ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2012, 04:22 PM:

Given that I am also in the SAD camp, I find it fairly oppressive to have to go _back_ to rising in the dark for an extra several weeks.

I get up at 6 AM, and since the sun was rising lately around 6:15-6:20, when I woke, there was at least pre-dawn light in my apt, and has been for a while already. It was so nice to wake in the light and not have to kick-start my feeble brain while it was still black outside (yeah, there's light pollution in NYC, but I have a courtyard view, so no street lights. When it's dark, it's _dark_).

The one-hour change puts me back in black darkness. It's awful, psychologically, and not much fun physiologically either.

I know that many people complain about leaving work into a dark night, but evenings are "supposed" to be dark, or at least darkening, and because by then, I've been up and about and functional for hours, it doesn't have the same bleak impact of rising in the dark. At least for me.

What makes DST all the worse for me is that because of the "adjustment" of the start time, instead of moving from "morning light" to "pre-dawn," which isn't so bad, I go from "pre-dawn" to "black" in an unnatural transition. The natural transition of the shortening day is hard enough; to have it literally change overnight is horrendous.

I feel as crappy as I did in New Orleans last weekend, when I did not adjust to Central Time (there was no point for a short stay) and consequently went around feeling "off" a lot of the time. Yeah, the crappy will wear off in a few days, but getting up in the dark will last for weeks more.


And next year, my kid will probably take a couple of AP classes, which meet 0 period, which means she'll have to leave for school at around 6:15 and we'll be getting up around 5:15. So lots and lots of dark mornings for weeks and weeks and weeks. Not sure how either one of us will cope with that yet.

#88 ::: Dave Crisp ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2012, 04:34 PM:

The UK is actually the only GMT-using country in Europe that's in the "right" time zone as far as longitude is concerned.

Two-thirds of the ROI and most of Portugal actually lie west of 7.5˚W, so should both be on GMT-1 if allocated on a "majority land-mass" basis. (Though there are good sociopolitical reasons for Ireland at least to be in the same TZ as the UK, not least because Dublin *is* in the GMT bracket)

Going the other way, 7.5˚E is about the longitude of Dortmund, so - as Dave Bell @28 has already pointed out - Spain, France and the Low Countries should really all be on GMT.

Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Andorra and Monaco are the only Euopean countries that are entirely between 7.5E and 7.5W - about half of County Fermanagh, part of County Tyrone and a few of the Hebrides lie west of the border, so not even all of the UK is within the limits.

#89 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2012, 06:12 PM:

Back when I had the Great Cat Sophie (whom some of you may remember) I was glad of DST; it meant that any kitty opera performances of the panicked "feed me now!' variety triggered by daylight happened after we were already awake and supposed to be doing things anyway.

#90 ::: Ken Brown ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2012, 06:15 PM:

Nickp@85: "What I don't understand is the gnashing of teeth over a one hour change."

Seriously, if you and the other fans of summer time don't understand, why did you get laws passed to try to force the rest of us to get up an hour early? What business is it of yours?

Leave the clocks alone, stick to GMT all year round (or other appropriate timezone if you are in some remote longitude), and stop messing with our clocks! I have to get up earlier than is natural for my body almost every single day of my life, and I have since the day I first went to school over fifty years ago. Its hateful.

#91 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2012, 07:02 PM:

The only good thing about DST is that I'm retired and I don't have to "rise and shine" if I don't want to...

I STILL hate DST with a passion -- I'll second Ken Brown -- if you bloody well must have your extra hour in the afternoon/evening for golf, then YOU get up early and leave the rest of us alone.

I am so glad that I finally don't have to get up in the dark.

#92 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2012, 07:10 PM:

I rather like having DST in the summer since I like the extra hour of sunlight in the evening. The extra hour isn't as useful in the winter, so we might as well be off DST then.

Now if there was only some way of managing that without having to move the clocks... :-)

#93 ::: chris ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2012, 08:23 PM:

Two-thirds of the ROI and most of Portugal actually lie west of 7.5˚W, so should both be on GMT-1 if allocated on a "majority land-mass" basis.

Land doesn't care for clocks, wouldn't a majority population basis make more sense?

#94 ::: john who is incognito and definitely not at work ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2012, 08:25 PM:

Xopher @ 40: That was actually a plot point in National Treasure.

Abigail Chase: What do you see?
Ben Gates: 2:22.
Abigail Chase: What time is it now?
Clothing Store Clerk: Almost 3.
Abigail Chase: [sighs] We missed it.
Riley Poole: No, we didn't. We didn't miss it because... you don't know this? I know something about history that you don't know.
Ben Gates: I'd be very excited to learn about it, Riley.
Riley Poole: Hold on one second, let me just take in this moment. This is cool. Is this how you feel all the time? Well, except now.
Abigail Chase: Riley!
Riley Poole: All right! What I know is that daylight savings wasn't established until World War I. If it's 3 p.m. now that means that in 1776 it would be 2 p.m.
Ben Gates: Riley, you're a genius.

#95 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2012, 08:39 PM:

But that's Daylight time again. Not Standard Time vs. Sidereal Time. A relief, since it would quite spoil my fun if someone really had done it before.

And geez, are there really people who don't know that DST hasn't always been around? I mean, Benjamin Franklin proposed it, but he was joking. I remember when it was voted in in Michigan; this one lady wrote in to the newspaper to say that with an extra hour of sunlight her grass would die. Even as an 8th grader I was stunned by the ignorance of this.

#96 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2012, 08:47 PM:

One benefit of DST: I can put the plants out in the evening for their time in the sun.

#97 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2012, 09:49 PM:

#50 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers)
Each of those lives occurs in a dream in the other

Scenarios like this are more likely to have me worrying over the psychological effects of getting no normal dream sleep.

#98 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2012, 11:35 PM:

Perhaps relatedly, when I spent a week in Hawaii, I magically became an upstanding and productive "early to bed, early to rise" sort. Woke up naturally and happily every morning about 6:30, fell asleep every night by 10-11.

Being on vacation and therefore de-stressed helped. Getting lots of exercise every day helped, too. Two sides of the bedroom being screen-only windows helped a lot -- lots of morning light, plus birds singing (and some roosters crowing, but far enough down the road to be tolerable).

But mostly, it's just that my natural sleep schedule seems to be about 6 hours ahead of what it should be to function in an 8-5 world -- so going 6 hours back meant things canceled out perfectly. I wonder if my sleep schedule would creep forward again if I were to move to Hawaii.

But yeah. When my sleep schedule is already delayed, DST suddenly makes it worse by an hour. I adjust, but it's not fun. (I did not get up at 7.)

However, I love the later evening light.

#99 ::: shadowsong ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2012, 12:18 AM:

I live in Seattle, so during winter it's dark in both the morning and the evening, and would be even without DST adjustments. While I prefer light mornings to light evenings, what I REALLY want is an equal amount of sunlight on either side of noon. If mid-day is not the middle of daylight, your time system is doing it wrong. :P

#100 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2012, 09:36 AM:

6:30 am and it's dark as night out there -- in fact, it is night. *Grumble.* It's raining and cold and I want to walk the dog, and it's dark. *Grumble.*

Also, I've been awake since 4 am, which has not put me in a good mood.

#101 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2012, 11:09 AM:

AKICIML: Wasn't there a time when DST started at the end of May and ended Labor Day weekend?

If it was just for the summer months, I might be able to endure it.

#102 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2012, 11:57 AM:

Lori Coulson (101): When I was a kid*, it started the end of April and ended the beginning of October, so roughly a month longer than that on either end.

*1960s and 1970s, roughly

#103 ::: lorax ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2012, 12:08 PM:

Lori @101:

I don't ever remember DST ever being that brief, so if there was such a time it was earlier than I can remember (so prior to the early-mid 1980s). Daylight Savings Time was lengthened a few years ago, but not by nearly that much; until 2006 the dates were the beginning of April through the end of October.

More generally, I'm not fond of the time change itself (I'd prefer year-round "DST", effectively shifting time zones), but it seems a bit strange that some fans of standard time view the time system in use for the majority of the year as a forced imposition, and the one in use for just over four months as the natural order of things -- would they be as upset if we called them "Standard Time" and "Winter Time"? Any standardized time system is of course an artificial imposition divorced from sun-based time, and it's fruitless to attack people for preferring morning or evening sunlight or to blame them for the changeover. I wonder if the reason these discussions are far more frequent in the spring than the fall is just because the spring change comes with the loss of an hour's sleep, so people who don't care much one way or the other about the daylight and just resent that aspect of the change speak up now?

#104 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2012, 06:15 PM:

Amusing anecdote: DH is never able to wake up anywhere near on time for at least a week after a switch to DST, and has an aversion to alarm clocks except in cases of ultimate necessity. So the last two mornings we've gotten up more than a bit late, and he's more than a bit confused about what time it is.

When he made the appointment for me this morning for Urgent Care at the clinic, he said 9:30 was OK--not noticing that it was already 9:05. The clinic is twenty minutes away. I made him call back and reschedule, as I was still in bed. He swore up, down, and sideways that it was just after 8:00.

#105 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2012, 09:46 PM:

Crossing the streams on Incognito John's National Treasure snippet and Mary Aileen's '60s/'70s reminiscence...

In the mid/late '90s I got interested in astrology, this mainly because my mother-in-law got a copy of The Only Astrology Book You'll Ever Need! and suddenly figuring out everyone's full charts became an intensely entertaining pastime. Like Sudoku but with numbers attached to Actual, if Tenuous, Things.

I share Shakespeare's birthday, and I'm a 1976 baby. This brief draw-up-your-own-chart craze prompted me to research when daylight savings time started in that era, and thus to realize that the "1st Weekend in April / Last Weekend in October" schedule that I'd been used to was not, in fact, an eternal fact of natural science.

So when they started messing with it in 2007 (cf. NIST 'cause I couldn't remember exactly), my inclination to mutter about Kids These Days and My Lawn, Get Off It is tempered a bit by knowing that the change that occurred in 1987 probably occasioned similar mutterings.

(I have included 2 links. I hope the gnomes find them tasty.)

#106 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2012, 08:57 AM:

Irrelevantly popping in to hi-5 Nicole: I'm the same year as you, but last week. :-> Also, a Pisces born in the year of the Dragon, which is a fairly horrendous double-down on traits if you believe that sort of thing. The rest of my chart is almost almost entirely Pisces, which while not unheard of is reasonably rare.

My mom's professional astrologer friend, who'd run me a quick chart for my curiosity, opened the conversation with "I'm sorry." :->

#107 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2012, 09:40 AM:

born in the year of the Dragon

I'm in the year of the Dragon by literally hours; Chinese New Year happened the morning of my birthday that year.

#108 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2012, 09:51 AM:

To the other Dragons in the thread: I spent a lot of time when I was twelve calculating when I would hit a year of the Dragon again -- wow, **2000**! That's, like, the FUTURE! -- and somehow failed to think about the triple-Dragon year, which is now. It snuck up on me.

My quad will be 2024, at which point my kid will be in high school (presuming she doesn't pull a Doogie Howser or something) at the ripe old age of 15 ... and she'll have hit her Chinese repeat (she's an Earth Ox, which isn't nearly as funny as the Year of the Wooden Cock we had recently).

Some people like to go by big round numbers; I'm a geek, so of course.

My husband has been planning for decades now to throw an 'End Of The Year' party on August 6th, 2026, thanks to a book-on-tape of the Martian Chronicles read by Leonard Nimoy he played to death as a kid (specifically, "There Shall Come Soft Rains"). I fully support this plan. :->

#109 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2012, 09:51 AM:

Argh, argh, end of THE WORLD party.

#110 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2012, 10:25 AM:

Elliott Mason... Party like it's 1999?

#111 ::: Gray Woodland ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2012, 11:00 AM:

Elliott Mason @ 108: I'm a Fire Horse, which sure beats some of the alternatives in their English forms! But it's the Year of the Dragon that generally dominates the others in my mind, thanks to Martha Wainwright's coming-of-age song of the same name. I met it on The McGarrigle Hour album, an awesome family-and-friends effort by the McGarrigle/Wainwright folk constellation which I can't recommend too highly.

#112 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2012, 01:29 PM:

Another Dragon here, though just barely. Hadn't thought about this being the 5-Dragon year since I'm not hitting the birthday until next Feb.

#113 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2012, 03:53 PM:

I'm a Pig. Yes, it's true. I am a Pig. *makes sad face*

#114 ::: GlendaP ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2012, 04:09 PM:


When you factor in the five elements, it's a 60-year cycle. So those of us celebrating five Dragons are actually on our first full repeat of Water Dragon.

#115 ::: Melissa Singer ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2012, 04:15 PM:

Xopher: I am a Pig too, though a different cycle.

Many years ago, some friends introduced me to one of their friends, and later expressed surprise that this woman and I had gotten along so well, because we are so different in many ways and separated by more than a decade.

We were, of course, both Pigs, and have said ever since that this lies at the bottom of our ongoing friendship.

#116 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2012, 05:25 PM:

I know I'm a Horse, but am unsure about the detailed significance thereof. When I did a bit of astrology way-back-when, I discovered that I'm not just a Scorpio, I'm on the cusp -- an hour into the sign. Unfortunately, this makes sense....

#117 ::: Nancy C. Mittens ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2012, 06:45 PM:

I'm a wood rabbit, born in Gemini within a few days of Taurus, with a stellium on my chart. I am unsure what the stellium means.

#118 ::: Mycroft W ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2012, 07:21 PM:

... and those of use in Stockholm et al smile at all of this. What "hour extra of daylight" in the evening? Right now, for me (and, as I say the Nordic Peninsula people have it worse), it's dark when I go home from work, DST or no DST. The only thing that happens for me is that the sun, which has crawled it's blinding way up my windshield on the way to work for the past month, has dropped back down to "right in front of my fscking eyes again". And it times just perfectly in the fall, as well.

But oddly enough, I don't really have a problem with going to DST, given that my body is irretrievably a Civilized Person (who never goes to bed the same day he gets up). I think that's because I struggle to get to work at 0900 every day, so getting to church Sunday at 0930 (oops, I mean 1030) isn't that big a stretch. Those who don't have a Sunday Alarm Place-to-be I could see having more trouble Monday.

But I would Much Rather it be light in the morning when I'm struggling to wake up than light in the evening when doesn't matter, it'll be dark before I'm done with the day anyway. Of course, come real summer, it's not going to matter (sunrise 0530, sunset 2150. Where I spent my summers when I was young, 0510 - 2240)

#119 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2012, 07:34 PM:

Fire Dog here. Oddly enough, I have many Dragon friends. (Oddly, because Dogs and Dragons tend to conflict, in traditional Chinese astrology.)

#120 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2012, 07:52 PM:

Also Fire Dog. Interesting; I'm a Leo in the Western Zodiac, also a fire sign.

#121 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2012, 09:11 PM:

Green Rabbit, born in White Tiger. For whatever that might be worth.

#122 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2012, 09:26 PM:

Nancy Mittens @117: Metal Rat here, with a honking great big stellium. Where's yours and what's in it?

#123 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2012, 09:28 PM:

I am an Earth Pig.

...isn't that an aardvark?

#124 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2012, 10:02 PM:

Wood Dragon (and the FG is a Metal Rat; Son is a Wood Pig). Scorpio in the Western Zodiac, although if I'd been born about 30 minutes earlier, I'd have been a Libra.

#125 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2012, 10:04 PM:

Nancy C. Mittens @117: A stellium means there was a planetary conjunction going on at the time of your birth -- not only are planets X, Y, and Z all in the same 'house' at that time, but were actually very very very near each other (visually) in the sky, possibly touching or overlapping.

What it is meant to mean for your personality, I have no idea, I just geek out here and there.

#126 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2012, 10:30 PM:

Earth Monkey here. Which actually fits my personality pretty well, all things considered.

#127 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2012, 02:46 AM:

Hi-5s back to all the Dragons out there. Not sure what my Element is, but I'm sure it's just a Google away.

What was so much fun about figuring out my entire (western) chart was getting into houses, ascendants, and the rest of the planets. I've got my moon in my husband's sun sign (no, you got YOUR peanut butter in MY chocolate! *flashback*), that one's fun.

The one I really like is something a friend said to me around that time: "Your Sun sign isn't everything. It's more like your Sun sign is the vehicle, and the Ascendant is what's driving the vehicle. You could say that Aries is driving your Taurus." That plus Taurus-cusp-of-Aries adds up to someone who follows through from start to finish in careful, methodical steps--and who wants to start on Step 1 immediately. This rather puts into perspective all the times in my teens when I asked Dad for the car at 10:45 PM or so.

"Well, I got this idea for a project. It requires components X, Y, and Z, and process AB and CDQ. I'm pretty sure the K-Mart at West Esp and Causeway is still open, but only for another 15 minutes."

"Can't this wait until tomorrow?"

"--what? No! Why? It's in my head now!"

(Both Dad and my brother are Scorpios. Fun, right? Dunno what their ascendants are.)

#128 ::: Ian C. Racey ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2012, 09:36 AM:

I'm a Metal Monkey. I've got no idea what that means for my personality, but I do love alliteration.

#129 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2012, 10:00 AM:

OK -- Sun in Scorpio, Taurus rising, Moon in Cancer.

In Leo: Jupiter, Uranus, and Pluto

In Libra: Mercury, Mars, and Neptune

In Scorpio: Venus and Saturn

Chart looks like a basket....

I'm a Wood Sheep.

#130 ::: lorax ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2012, 10:11 AM:

I'm a Fire Dragon, which I thought was very neat when I first learned about the elemental portion of the Chinese zodiac - to my Western brain it seems extra-Dragonish.

#131 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2012, 10:40 AM:

Fire Dragon too, Aquarius, Leo ascendant, Moon in Pisces.

So I'm a drama queen who goes about my drama by being weird and overly emotional. :)

#132 ::: pedantic peasant ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2012, 11:51 AM:

Xopher @ 95:

I saw a new version of the same editorial two or three years ago in my local paper. A woman had written in to complain about Global Warming, and to say it was the government's fault for expanding daylight savings time. Obviously adding a whole extra hour of sunlight every day for a month was going to make the earth warmer and they were stupid for not having realized it.

#133 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2012, 12:07 PM:

I wonder what I am.
Pete's Dragon?

#134 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2012, 12:25 PM:

Give us your birthday, Serge, and we can work out Chinese zodiac and Western sun sign. And if you know what time of day you were born, a decent guess at ascendant too.

#135 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2012, 01:07 PM:

Carrie S... 09/09/1955... Thanks!

#136 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2012, 01:31 PM:

OK, that's Wood Sheep, and smack in the middle of Virgo. No way to get any more specific without time and location of birth. :)

#137 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2012, 01:52 PM:

Carrie S... I was born near Quebec City, but I have no idea of the time. Knowing my mom, she couldn't tell me either.

Wood Sheep?
Better than Wood Chipper.

#138 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2012, 02:07 PM:

If you don't know what time you were born, we can't work out your ascendant; that's the sign coming over the horizon at the time of birth.

I don't have any of the tools handy that I'd need to do a birth chart using Quebec City's coordinates, though there are online tools that you can do it for free on.

#139 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2012, 02:15 PM:

Carrie S... Thanks again.

#140 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2012, 03:07 PM:

janetl @51: In my experience, little gadgets that claim to pick up a satellite clock signal -- but don't otherwise have any functionality that requires connectivity -- don't get the clock info reliably.

Many many years ago, I purchased a little radio-controlled travel clock from Radio Shack. It has been startlingly reliable. I even use it (and confirm with my networked computer) to check my "auto-set" alarm clocks. My previous generation of "auto-sets" apparently had the pre-Dubya DST changes hard-coded, which meant that when Dubya did his thing, I went from having no manual resets per year to having four. Either my new "auto-sets" get their info off the air, like my little RS does, or they're hard-coded for the current configuration.

Little RS has had trouble lately sticking to Mountain Time. It wants to display Pacific Time. It also wants to display seconds instead of days-of-the-week. It is otherwise keeping time adequately. I deduce that it's getting on towards time for new batteries.

At work I'm currently on a campaign to get IT to push the pre-DST-shift Fridays to our outlook calendars, along with the office holidays. Strangely, Front Office is saying "It's IT's decision," while IT is saying "It's the Front Office's decision."

I just want to slap everybody. ::sigh::

#141 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2012, 03:17 PM:

What Fade @74 said. Really. Changing day-lengths? Srsly? What is up with that? Bad design on Somebody's part. And I grew up in the temperate zone.

#142 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2012, 03:23 PM:

Why has it never occurred to anyone that *today* is the most appropriate day for a DST changeover? Already got its fate built in, as it were: "Beware the Ides of March".

#143 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2012, 05:37 PM:

Lori Coulson @129: Neat! You're halfway to being a settlement all by yourself.

#144 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2012, 05:56 PM:

The reason why the days are longer in the summer is the heat makes them expand.

#145 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2012, 06:28 PM:

Just to note, Chinese astrology is a little more complex than that; I just turned up this site to do your whole four-sign Stem and Branches reading. Note that they give colors instead of elements; the key is, or should be, Wood=Green Fire=Red Earth=Brown (Yellow) Metal=White Water=Black. They also offer daily readings, but the English is faintly shaky. Here is another site which seems to have a smörgåsbord of Chinese astrology, it's how I got to the first site.

My Year is Fire Horse, but then I've got a Month of Earth Dog, Day of Fire Dragon, and Hour of Earth Rat. I haven't a clue what the alternation of elements would signify, but Fire supports (or produces) Earth in the Chinese elemental cycle (Fire produces ashes, which are Earth). All four signs are male, again I don't know what that portends.

#146 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2012, 06:42 PM:

David, that first site doesn't appear to be accurate, unless I've entered my data in some completely wrong but un-obviously-so way. It has my year, month and hour animals wrong, though I can't find a way to check the day.

#147 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2012, 06:53 PM:

And that should be "Stems and Branches".

#148 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2012, 06:56 PM:

Carrie S. #146: Interesting -- I know it got my year right, but I don't have another source for the others.

#149 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2012, 07:00 PM:

I suspect it's because I'm so close to the beginning of the year, so it might not be a problem for most people. The new year that year was early morning of 31 January; my birthday is afternoon of 2 Feb. It's putting me in the last month of Rabbit rather than the first month of Dragon. Dunno why it's got the hour wrong though.

#150 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2012, 07:42 PM:

Carrie S. #149: Did you correct for DST? That calculator explicitly said it wouldn't. (With good reason -- as I learned back when I played with Western astrology, figuring DST in the general case requires looking up the date and locality, because there have been so many changes, many of them rather local.

Which is also why I remembered that DST pushes my own birth into the next calendar day....

#151 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2012, 07:52 PM:

Since I was born during Standard Time, I don't think DST can be the issue on the hour.

#152 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2012, 09:26 PM:

okay, pulling up that Chinese astrology page for me (saved from chinesefortunecalendar dot com):
year is metal tiger
month is fire pig
day is wood rabbit
hour is earth tiger
and it says I'm way heavy on wood in the five elements, and light on fire, so my lucky element needs to be fire.

#153 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2012, 09:37 PM:

I had the same problem on the other end of the year, Carrie S (@149) -- it has me as Snake when I should be Dragon (the new year happening on Feb 12, I believe, in 1953).

#154 ::: Nancy C. Mittens ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2012, 10:07 PM:

I found a calculator here:

The stellium is a negative node at 0 Sagitarius, the moon at 7, and Neptune at 10. The person who did my chart seemed to feel it was special.

#155 ::: Melissa Singer ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2012, 11:08 PM:

Nancy Mittens: That calculator looks pretty accurate, in the sense that the chart it generated for me looks pretty nearly identical to a chart done for me by an acquaintance a number of years ago.

The plants seem to be in the right place (all clustered in the bottom half of the disc--4 in Virgo, 4 in Leo, 2 in Scorpio, 1 in Cancer, 1 in Capricorn).

#156 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: March 16, 2012, 09:09 AM:

Melissa Singer @ #155: The plants seem to be in the right place

Yes, well, plants don't tend to move around much.

Unless they're triffids, and if you've got a cluster of triffids there's more important things to be worrying about than your horoscope.

#157 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: March 16, 2012, 09:57 AM:

Nancy Mittens @154: The person who did my chart seemed to feel it was special.

I think stelliums (stellia?) make them happy. Little flocks of planets, or big ones for that matter, get them all excited. Maybe it's all the interactions. One chart-maker said that a stellium means people usually either love you or hate you but are seldom indifferent. (Maybe she meant chart-makers. Heh.)

My chart's all lopsided. For a while I was amusing myself by showing it to people I knew who were playing with astrology, which included a few professional chart makers and readers. One saw my chart and said, "Holy shit!" I remarked on this to another, who said, "It's really unprofessional to react that way when reading somebody's chart," and then, as I handed her mine, she said, "Holy shit!" The stellium in my chart includes Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Uranus, Pluto, and two node thingies which I have no idea about. (Mean node and true node, whatever they are.)

That's not the weirdest thing about my chart, oen of them told me. Apparently the weirdest thing is having sun and moon conjunct in different houses.

People playing with this stuff seem to like playing with patterns. It looks like a cross between a complicated spirograph picture and an easter egg hunt, with fanfic on top. And a cherry.

#158 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: March 16, 2012, 01:44 PM:

A few years ago I was doing the calendar for our dinner group, and it was about to be Chinese New Year, for a Fire Pig year. Obvious thing to do would be to go out for BBQ pork, but the more realistic choice was "don't even think about trying to go to a Chinese restaurant the next two weeks."

As far as Dragons go, they don't seem to get along well with Athyra, but maybe that's my latent Teckla genes showing up...

#159 ::: Melissa Singer ::: (view all by) ::: March 16, 2012, 05:36 PM:

Paul A: Thanks for the laugh--I snorked liquid through my nose.

I deserve it for posting after bedtime.

#160 ::: Henry Troup ::: (view all by) ::: March 16, 2012, 11:16 PM:

Long years ago, several zodiacal cycles anyway, I was one of the team with the care and keeping of an early email system on an IBM mainframe of that time. In those dark days, we ran the system clocks on local time, by the way, so setting back to standard time involved resetting the clock. One of the operations team sent an email during the fall "duplicated hour", and someone else read it. As a result of the internal bookkeeping of that email system, the mail has never correctly accounted for as read, and was re-delivered to every one of its recipients every time there was any other mail for them.

The "fix" was instructions to shut the systems down at 1:59 am EDT, and restart them after 2:01 EST - 62 minutes later. Crude, but effective.

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