Spring Ahead – again





Like most of America, I freaking HATE daylight savings time.

I hated it when I was a kid and suddenly had to get up an hour early for school. I hate it as an adult and have to get up an hour early for work. What’s more, I absolutely don’t understand why we do it!

It all started with a freaking New Zealander named George Vernon Hudson.

Ok, first off, who the fuck gives their kid the middle name “Vernon”??? That alone guarantees that the guy will be freaking bizarre! George was an astronomer, but apparently he was also a bug collector, and really liked to collect bugs in the afternoon and evening. At some point, it occurred to him that setting all the clocks forward one hour in spring would give him more daylight in which to traipse across New Zealand catching fucking bugs …

The rest of the world, however, didn’t give a shit about his bug catching, so he needed another reason to propose it … something other people might be stupid enough to buy … in 1895, he presented a paper to the New Zealand Philosophical society, proposing a 2 hour time shift, and pointing out how much fuel would be saved if we simply postponed darkness by an hour or two. It was 1895, and all sorts of new-fangled ideas were being proposed, and accepted, simply because things had always been done a different way, and it was about to be the 20th century, and, by God, we ought to modernize!

The sun had been rising over the Earth in exactly the same way for four and a half billion years.  People evolved to wake up at sunrise. They had evolved to go to sleep after sunset. Our bodies have internal circuitry that’s fucking designed to respond to changes in ambient light!  It’s why dark and gloomy days make everyone want to take a nap! But Nooooooo, George wants to collect bugs, and says we can save fuel if we do it this way …




Just look at him. He’s half a second away from laughing in our faces. Because his idiotic proposal was actually catching on …

Not all that long afterward, World War I broke out. Apart from killing people at an astonishing rate, it also used up fuel oil. A lot of it. Ships burned it. Infantrymen used it to warm their miserable muddy camps. Brand new airplanes ran on it. Trucks, trains, cars, and the ridiculous-looking new tanks all used it. And there wasn’t enough left over from all that to heat people’s homes …

… unless you add a couple of hours of daylight.

“Whu-huh???” People said, precisely as they have ever since, “you can … add daylight???

George nodded enthusiastically, while restraining his laughter.

Yes. If you start the day earlier, the sun will stay in the sky for more of it. Fucking idiots.

The policy was adopted, and, ever since, the wisdom of it has been questioned. Intelligent people keep on saying things like “But the Sun rises and sets as it always has … we aren’t actually adding daylight!” only to be shouted down by the ignoramuses who run things. Study, after study, after study has been conducted. It complicates time-keeping, messes up scheduling, fucks with virtually every facet of our lives, and still doesn’t seem to save much energy …

But George’s collection of bugs became the largest in New Zealand, and, if you look at a portrait of him late in life, you can see how freaking amused he is, that he managed to pull this shit off …





Stupid silly son of a bitch.  That look should be used to define the word “Smug”.

I need a cup of coffee.



~ by dourscot on March 11, 2013.

3 Responses to “Spring Ahead – again”

  1. I nominated you for the Liebster Award. Congratulations! For details, go here: http://randomdorkness.wordpress.com/2013/03/11/passing-on-the-liebster/

  2. ‘Vernon’ was only one of the many ills that beset since some lunatic decided to give us the means to measure time accurately opening the door to all those pedantry loving idiots that permeate our world. I live on a yacht in the Med, rise with the sun and get out of my face after the sun goes down. After a few weeks on a boat you throw the watch away and after a few months you throw the calendar away. Time only became a regular feature after the invention of trains and is therefore only a recent invasion of our happiness. Rebel! Does whatever you want whenever you want and the devil take the hindmost!

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