We Sprung Forward Yesterday, But Why?

clock-650753_1920Daylight saving time (DST) is the practice of advancing clocks during summer months by one hour (“springing forward”) so that evening daylight lasts an hour longer.

Despite common misconception, Daylight Savings Time has nothing to do with farmers, who generally dislike the practice.  The first mention of changing the clock came from Benjamin Franklin when he proposed a form of daylight time in 1784. He wrote an essay “An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light” to the editor of The Journal of Paris, suggesting, somewhat jokingly, that Parisians could economize candle usage by getting people out of bed earlier in the morning, making use of the natural morning light instead.

A few individual Canadian cities started using Daylight Savings Time, starting in 1908.  The German Empire and Austria-Hungary organized the first nationwide implementation, starting on April 30, 1916. Many countries have used it at various times since then, particularly since the energy crisis of the 1970s.

The practice has both advocates and critics. Some early proponents of DST aimed to reduce evening use of incandescent lighting—once a primary use of electricity.  However, today Daylight Savings generally coincides with an increased use of energy.  While the use of electricity for light does decrease, it is more than counteracted by increased energy usage of cooling and heating systems.

Fewer Americans find Daylight Saving Time worth it. A Rasmussen poll conducted in 2014 showed that only 33 percent of people in the country didn’t mind changing the clock. And that number has decreased each year. In 2013, it was 37 percent, compared to 45 percent in 2012. It’s proving so unpopular that some states are moving to ban it completely. Texans may get a reprieve from the bi-annual tradition of adjusting their clock — three bills have recently been filed in the state legislature to quash DLS altogether.

Mardi Gras in Boise

The residents, family and friends of Garden Plaza and the Bridge at Valley View celebrated Mardi Gras with masks, music, and merriment. Guests nibbled on traditional King’s Cake, sipped on beverages and moved and grooved to the Dixieland sounds of the Americana Jazz Saxophones.

Fat Tuesday at Park Place

Residents enjoyed a grand Mardi Gras Celebration in New Orleans’ style complete with jazz music performed by the Dixie Land Band. Guests of the party enjoyed a traditional King Cake, bead necklaces and discovering who would discover the hidden baby in the cake. Everyone enjoyed the mask contest, and winners were announced as Miriam Foerster, Marge Bradshaw and Dorothea Johnson.

Welcome March!

flowers-1037624_1920On Wednesday, we welcome to the third month of the year—or, if you were born before 150 B.C., the first! According to the oldest Roman calendars, one year was ten months long, beginning in March and ending in December.                                                                                                                         It may sound crazy, but you can still see traces of this old system in our modern calendar: because December was the tenth month, it was named for the number ten in Latin (decem), just like September was named for seven (septem).

So, what about January and February? They were just two nameless months called “winter,” proving that winter is literally so awful it doesn’t even deserve a spot on the calendar.