A quaint old notion from the “Age of Reason” holds that knowledge allows better decisions than ignorance. ( That’s why you have “No Smoking” signs wherever gasoline’s likely to be spilled.)
Untrendy though this notion may be after the passing of 230 years, it’s still one of the most useful principles framing the U.S. Constitution.
Not for nothing did Thomas Jefferson consider his greatest accomplishment the founding of a free university.:
So let’s assume you have some power to affect this world of ours, and test your knowledge of something that affects us all, whether we want it or don’t:
___________DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME (DST) QUIZ:________________
1. who invented DST?
A. Rene’ DesCartes
B. Thomas Jefferson
C. Thomas Edison
D. Ben Franklin
2. Where was DST first adopted nationwide?
A. United States
D. Imperial Germany
3. How much daylight does DST save?
A. Across the 48 United States (excluding Alaska and Hawaii) , on average, 53 minutes per day.
B. A total which increases until the summer solstice, after which it diminishes.
C. Both A. and B.
4. What health effects have been attributed to DST?
A. Increased heart attacks and traffic fatalities.
B. Decreased heart attacks and traffic fatalities.
C. Decreased rates of pneumothorax
5. How does DST lengthen each day?
A. Changing clocks alters our perception of time, allowing greater productivity through multi-tasking.
B. DST actually shortens each day.
C. The length of any day will be unalterable by human hands until we’re extinct.
D .Don’t worry about it. Just pretend.
1. D. (Ben Franklin) This was Dr. Franklin’s most successful satire, published in the Journal de Paris in 1784 (but not peer-reviewed).
If you insist a Founding Parent couldn’t have been pulling our legs, consider Franklin’s predictive obituary of a rival gazetteer who published astrological forecasts — an obituary allegedly based on an astrological forecast.
Franklin dutifully published the death announcement on the day, and replied to his rival’s complaint that he still was much alive by disdaining the lack of respect for the dead showed by some fraudsters.
2. D. Germany, in 1916, to increase production for World War I. (They lost.)
Ecuador and other countries near the equator don’t bother changing their clocks.
3. D. The name “Daylight Saving Time” is fraudulent. DST changes the amount of daylight any locality receives by not the smallest fraction of a nanosecond. Anything gained by changing clocks is more easily and honestly achieved by altering our individual schedules.
Places distant from the equator experience lengthening days in one season and shortening days in the opposite season due to the 23.5-degree tilt of Earth’s axis. That’s why Australia’s Christmas comes in their summer.
4. A. A University of Michigan study found a 24% increase of heart attacks on “spring forward” Monday (healthblog.uofmhealth.org; 8 March 2017), while a 2020 effort by sleep researchers found a 6% increase in fatal traffic accidents in the week following that time change (healthline.com, 6 March 2020).
In response some politicians in various states have proposed to make compulsory lying about the time of day (DST) a year-around regime, on the principle it only hurts to lie if you’re exposed to truth.
5. (In case you didn’t attend the answer to Question 3) C. DST does nothing to lengthen or shorten any day anywhere on Earth. Arizona and Hawaii get along fine ignoring DST. So could all the other states