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We Lose an Hour this Weekend

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Don’t forget to “spring ahead,” and lose an hour of sleep, this weekend. Daylight Saving Time begins this Sunday, March 14, at 2 a.m. It will end on Sunday, November 7.

If it seems to you that DST has been coming earlier in recent years, there’s a good reason. In 2007, the Energy Policy Act of 2005 took effect, lengthening DST to 245 days, or about two-thirds of the year. That same year, the Farmers’ Almanac launched one of our famous crusades, asking, “How much daylight are we really saving?”

I believe the primary aim of DST should be to capture the maximum amount of daylight, without causing more morning darkness. If we assume that most people rise at around 6 a.m., it makes sense that DST should begin during the first week of April, when the time change would cause civil twilight — or the period of low light that begins about a half an hour before sunrise — to coincide with that rising time.

After the time change, mornings will become gradually earlier until the summer solstice, which usually falls on June 20. Civil twilight would again occur at 6 a.m. during the first week of September, which is logically when clocks should be set back to standard time. I think that the change should occur on the second Sunday in September, though, in order to avoid conflict with the Labor Day holiday weekend.

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What do you think? Do you like the new Daylight Savings Time Schedule? Did you prefer the old one? Do you have better idea recommend? I’d love to hear your thoughts, or whether you’ve found any creative ways to make up for that hour of lost sleep.

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If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1919, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.

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