For March 7/07
Remember when the trite saying of "spring ahead, fall back" was sufficent?
Not any more since we're in the computer age and your machinery could go slightly "haywire," to use a non-scientific term on Sunday.
That's right, Anna Schecter, who is part of Brian Ross' investigative team at ABC News, reports: "A new law requiring daylight savings time to start March 11, three weeks earlier than normal threatens a widespread Y2K-like computer glitch in U.S. computers preset for the later start date of April."
And, it's all George Bush's fault, or, at least we'll blame him, for the U.S. president is the one responsible for approving the March 11 date in order to save energy since most states (and provinces) don't need to turn their lights on as early in the evening.
In Schecter's report, she clearly states: "The DST extension is part of an energy bill passed in 2005 in an effort to cut back on the use of electricity."
Of course, whatever happens south of the border, certainly affects its northern neighbours, and even in the Vernon area there might be mini-Y2K "headaches" with computers unless software patches have been installed to adjust computer settings to the change.
Is this a serious issue?
In Schecter's reports, she quotes former White House counterterror and cyber crime chief Richard Clarke as saying "traffic lights and switches on train rails are two candidates that could cause an accident." Clarke also theorizes bank vaults could open an hour later, but then downplayed the problems by saying, "The difference between this and Y2K is that systems continue to work, they're just an hour off, wheras with Y2K we had reason to believe that systems would stop working."
Although the date has shifted from April back to March 11 and stretches to the first Sunday in November this year, DST first kicked off in 1915 and had been mulled around a great deal longer. In fact, Benjamin Franklin, when not flying a kite, saw the advantage of an extra hour of daylight in the spring with the days getting shorter in the fall while he was an envoy to France in the 1770s.
According to the CBC, the Americans adopted the Uniform Time Act in 1966. This meant each state could adopt DST in each time zone and then in 2006, most states and Canadian provinces moved their clocks ahead one hour "on the first Sunday in April."
Of course, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and "pockets" in Ontario and northern British Columbia had to be different with their own time zones. But what's an hour here or a half-hour there?
There has even been considerable discussion on other reasons for changing to an earlier DST date as set by the U.S. and it involves economics. For as Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty was quoted as saying: "We're not anxious to have a disconnect between us and our chief trading partner."
"I don't really care how time is reckoned as long as there is some agreement about it, but I object to be told that I am saving daylight when my reason tells me that I am doing nothing of the kind. I even object to the implication that I am wasting something valuable if I stay in bed after the sun has risen. As an admirer of moonlight I resent the bossy insistence of those who want to reduce my time for enjoying it. At the back of the Daylight Saving scheme I detect the bony, blue-fingered hand of Puritanism, eager to push people into bed earlier, and get them up earlier, to make them healthy, wealthy and wise in spit of themselves." (Robertson Davies, The Diary of Samuel Marchbanks, 1947, XIX, Sunday.)
HERE A-HUTCH, THERE A-HUTCH: Canmore, Alta. mayor, Ron Casey, has a chewing and burrowing problem in his mountain vacation spot. It seems the town, pop. 11,500, on the outskirts of Banff National Park, is being overrun with rabbits. Yes, those bunnies numbering more than 1,000 are everywhere and causing havoc. It seems Peter Cottontail and friends were kept under control in the past by predators such as the now-vanishing coyotes, but they're free to roam on their own in 2007.
BOGART SHOULD HAVE BEEN THRILLED: "And the Oscar for African Queen goes to Humphrey Bogart." His response: "&^%$, I hope I'm never nominated again. It's meat and potatoes roles for me from now on." (From Uncle John's Bathroom Reader).