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Warning: Setting clocks back will result in increased accidents and messed up sleep patterns

November 03, 2012 @ 22:33 By: gordon Category: Astronomy, Current affairs, General

It’s time for my semi-annual rant about having to adjust the clocks by an hour for no particularly good reason. It’s also a good time to change the batteries in your battery-powered smoke detectors.

I rant on a semi-annual basis because daylight saving time has been promoted as a means to save energy, it’s generally accepted that it doesn’t. In fact, it almost certainly costs more to implement than it would save and the increase in accidents in the days immediately following the time change aren’t worth it. Check out David Prerau’s book Seize the Daylight: The Curious and Contentious Story of Daylight Saving Time (hardcover: 1560256559; softcover: 1560257962) if you want to learn more about the history of daylight saving time.

If you’re a *NIX system administrator you probably updated your systems a few years ago, but in case you haven’t you probably should take a look at this. The zdump command should give you something like this:

[gordon@seedling gordon]$ /usr/sbin/zdump -v /etc/localtime |grep 2012

/etc/localtime  Sun Mar 11 06:59:59 2012 UTC = Sun Mar 11 01:59:59 2012 EST isdst=0 gmtoff=-18000

/etc/localtime  Sun Mar 11 07:00:00 2012 UTC = Sun Mar 11 03:00:00 2012 EDT isdst=1 gmtoff=-14400

/etc/localtime  Sun Nov  4 05:59:59 2012 UTC = Sun Nov  4 01:59:59 2012 EDT isdst=1 gmtoff=-14400

/etc/localtime  Sun Nov  4 06:00:00 2012 UTC = Sun Nov  4 01:00:00 2012 EST isdst=0 gmtoff=-18000

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