Setting the clock forward and losing an hour (AP)

Setting the clock forward and losing an hour (Matt York/AP)

The semi-annual gamesmanship with clocks has its Spring fling at 2 a.m. Sunday as most of the nation, including all of Virginia, springs forward one hour for the beginning of Daylight Savings Time.

In theory, DST makes the day longer.  Of course it doesn’t.  It just puts the end of daylight an hour later and as the length of days increases between now and the start of summer in June, it provides more daylight hours later in the day.

My grandmother used to say DST was “like trying to make a blanket longer by cutting a foot off one end and sewing it onto the other end.”

My stepfather said he could never get his cows to change their feeding habits when daylight savings time kicked in.

As noted earlier, most of America, along with much of Europe, goes on DST at 2 a.m. (local time) Sunday but nearly all of Arizona says on standard times, along with Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Marianas Islands.

Although DST becomes standard time for most of the nation, it is not mandated by the federal government so states each year look at options.

Michael Downing, a Tufts University profession and author of Spring Forward: The Annual Madness of Daylight Savings Time, tells National Geographic that 10-30 bills appear in state legislatures around the nation each year to either stop going on DST or just keeping clocks an hour ahead all year long.

Says Downing:

It’s an annual treat. This year I think the Kentucky/Tennessee situation is particularly interesting. Each state has two time zones, which adds to the complications, but if their two proposals went through their independent legislatures, Tennessee would be on permanent DST while Kentucky would be on permanent standard time.

That would mean—and this is ridiculous but true—cities in Tennessee’s eastern time zone and Kentucky’s central time zone that are only 5 or 10 miles [8 to 16 kilometers] apart would have two-hour time differences.

The usual cliche about DST is “Spring forward, fall back.”

Which also means we lose an hour’s sleep on Saturday night in the Spring and don’t get it back until Fall.

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