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Springing forward: Lose some sleep, increase your risk of an accident

March 09, 2013 @ 22:25 By: gordon Category: Astronomy, Current affairs, General

I almost forgot about it, but fortunately someone (Thanks, Ken!) reminded me earlier this week: This is the weekend that we set our clocks forward an hour (unless you live in Saskatchewan in which case don’t worry about it). As I’ve mentioned once or twice in the past, there isn’t any reliable evidence that daylight saving time has resulted in energy savings (ever) and there is research that shows an increase in accidents in the days immediately following the switch.

If you want to learn more about the history of daylight saving time, check out David Prerau’s book Seize the Daylight: The Curious and Contentious Story of Daylight Saving Time (hardcover: 1560256559; softcover: 1560257962). It’s actually more interesting than it sounds. (But don’t tell Ken because he doesn’t want to hear about it!)

If you’re a *NIX system administrator you probably updated your systems a couple of 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 2013

/etc/localtime  Sun Mar 10 06:59:59 2013 UTC = Sun Mar 10 01:59:59 2013 EST isdst=0 gmtoff=-18000

/etc/localtime  Sun Mar 10 07:00:00 2013 UTC = Sun Mar 10 03:00:00 2013 EDT isdst=1 gmtoff=-14400

/etc/localtime  Sun Nov  3 05:59:59 2013 UTC = Sun Nov  3 01:59:59 2013 EDT isdst=1 gmtoff=-14400

/etc/localtime  Sun Nov  3 06:00:00 2013 UTC = Sun Nov  3 01:00:00 2013 EST isdst=0 gmtoff=-18000

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