BITS 'N TIDBITS -- April 2, 2004

SPRING FORWARD

Don't forget to adjust your clocks forward tonight (if necessary). If you should get confused, or forget like I do, the time on your computer will be right if it is set properly. Click on the time in your task bar and make sure that there's a check in front of "Automatically adjust clock for daylight savings changes". While you're at it, you might want to synchronize your clock with the World Time Server at

http://www.worldtimeserver.com/  .

By the way, if you're concerned with the increasing challenge of attending scheduled tele-conferences and internet meetings, you may want to add one, or all, of the following to your list of favorites:

http://times.clari.net.au/index.htm 
http://www.thetimenow.com/worldclock.php 
http://www.timeanddate.com/ 
http://www.timezoneconverter.com/ 
http://www.worldtimezone.com/ 
http://www.ntp-systems.com/symmtime.asp 

WHY?

It's said that Benjamin Franklin first suggested the idea in an essay titled "An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light" published in 1784. That may be questionable. Actually time keeping has become increasingly more important since the railroads first began wrestling with how to manage cross country travel schedules. Huge spikes in the use of electricity resulting in disabling brownouts in recent years is playing it's part. And, of course, increasing use of telephones -- and, now, internet -- for cross-country and international conduct of business has made it ever more important to find a way to manage time schedules.

Today roughly 70 countries follow the practice of seasonally adjusting time, but localities within those countries may not. Even then the changes may not always based on an hourly adjustment. Be that as it may, it's increasingly important that we undersand just how time works and recognize that what we experience at home may be vastly different for people around the world that we now can communicate with at a moment's notice.

PROS & CONS

U.S. Department of Transportation studies in the 1970s showed that by following Daylight Saving Time we can cut the country's use of electricity by one percent per day. Theoretically 25 percent of all the electricity we use is for lighting and small appliances, such as TVs, VCRs and stereos -- mostly in the evening when families are home. This may change as more people migrate out of the traditional 9-5 corporate environment.

Some say disrupting sleep patterns, correlates with a spike in the number of severe auto accidents, as well as emotional trauma. My grandfather, a rancher, always opposed this practice. He said the animals just didn't understand time changes and his business was directly tied to the natural rhythms of nature, putting him out of sync with the rest of the community including schools, businesses, radio and tv broadcast schedules.

To learn more about time keeping:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daylight_saving_time 
http://webexhibits.org/daylightsaving/d.html 

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