...because you thought Sweden was Switzerland!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Saving Daylight

Later this coming morning, Sweden along with some 70 other countries move to "summer time", or Daylight Savings Time, DST. A whole hour of the day magically disappears on the last Sunday of March, turning 2:00 AM to 3:00 AM. That's when the official summer time begins, in order to give least disturbance, unless if you're working a graveyard shift. Practically, it means one hour's worth less of sleep if you wake up the same time as the day before (or one hour's less of work than the previous workday, if you're in that graveyard shift). But it also means – as is the point of Daylight Savings Time – that the sun will set an hour "later" than the day before, effectively giving you an hour's more of sunlight. Say, if the sun today set at 6:31 PM, tomorrow it will set at 7:31. Combine that with the increasing sunlight hours leading to summer (at least in the upper latitudes right now), it means that we will get longer, lighter evenings – up to about 10 or 11 PM where we are.

So those science fiction writers must have gotten inspiration from these latitudes when they wrote about planets of constant daylight and multiple suns. The creator of the modern DST, George Vernon Hudson, had a more down-to-earth idea though: to give workers like himself more leisure time after work. It turns out that DST also saves electricity, and causes less traffic accidents – at least in the summer time.

In the autumn, the reverse happens: we take the clock back again to "normal time", you get to sleep an hour more than the previous day, the sun will set one hour "earlier" that afternoon, and – as the days get shorter, the sun will set earlier and earlier until it will already be dark by 3PM! No wonder that Russia, starting from this year, is thinking of never going back to "normal time"; they will have DST or "summer time" all year round from now on!

Swedish friends: Don't forget to set the clock an hour forward!
Filipino friends and family: Our time difference will effectively be an hour more!


Anonymous Jessica Perez said...

Dear Ahoy!,

This is a friendly follow-up to our first message to you (May 2010), to warmly invite you again to list your blog on our Expat Women Blog Directory (http://www.expatwomen.com/expatblog/). Blogs like yours are excellent sources of information for relocating expats, so we would love to include it with our other 1,700+ self-listed blogs.

We are also excited to let you know that we just re-launched our main website (http://www.expatwomen.com/), so please drop by and have a look if you are interested.

Many, many thanks and wishing you success abroad!

Jessica Perez for ExpatWomen.com

4:58 AM

Blogger Ahoy! said...

Thanks, Jessica! Will check it out. Just a bit busy these days, but I'll sign up after Easter break!

5:06 PM


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