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Archive for the ‘General’

Switching to Daylight Saving Time

March 10, 2018 @ 17:07 By: gordon Category: Current affairs, General

Here we go again… changing the clocks forward an hour at 2AM early tomorrow morning in a misguided attempt to save energy. While we’ll shift when we see the sunlight, it won’t actually save an energy.

Instead, we’ll see an increase in accidents for the next week or so because people are discombobulated by the change in their sleep pattern. As an added “bonus”, there’s a 10% increase the likelihood that you’ll experience a heart attack during the days immediately following the time change.

We really need to pick one (preferably the summer version) and stick with it. A whole provinces of farmers (i.e. Saskatchewan) can’t be completely wrong. (more…)

How do I know you are who you say you are?

January 11, 2018 @ 12:31 By: gordon Category: General

I had a marketing call from a credit card company whose card I have the other day. They wanted to tell me about an offer that was tailored specifically for me. But before they could tell me about it, they wanted me to confirm my postal code.

I said “uh, no”.

(more…)

Happy New Year!

January 01, 2018 @ 00:00 By: gordon Category: General

Welcome to 2018! I hope everyone has a safe, happy and prosperous new year! Champagne flutes (2018)

Merry Christmas!

December 25, 2017 @ 00:00 By: gordon Category: Current affairs, General

Merry Christmas, everyone! May you be surrounded by the warmth and happiness of family and friends at this time of the season! Have a save, happy and prosperous 2018!

Remembrance Day

November 11, 2017 @ 11:00 By: gordon Category: Current affairs, General

Today we pause to remember those people who have made the ultimate sacrifice over the years so that we have the peace, security and freedom that we enjoy today.

To them and their families I say “Thank you”.

Time for the semi-annual silliness (again)

November 03, 2017 @ 17:00 By: gordon Category: Astronomy, Current affairs, General

Tomorrow evening, we North Americans (well, most of us) are supposed to turn our clocks back an hour in the vain quest of pursuit of saving energy.

Why “vain pursuit”? Well, because although daylight saving time is promoted as leading to an overall reduction in energy consumption, there hasn’t been any proof that this has ever been accomplished. 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. It’s actually more interesting than it sounds.

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]$ zdump -v /etc/localtime|grep 2017
/etc/localtime  Sun Mar 12 06:59:59 2017 UTC = Sun Mar 12 01:59:59 2017 EST isdst=0 gmtoff=-18000
/etc/localtime  Sun Mar 12 07:00:00 2017 UTC = Sun Mar 12 03:00:00 2017 EDT isdst=1 gmtoff=-14400
/etc/localtime  Sun Nov  5 05:59:59 2017 UTC = Sun Nov  5 01:59:59 2017 EDT isdst=1 gmtoff=-14400
/etc/localtime  Sun Nov  5 06:00:00 2017 UTC = Sun Nov  5 01:00:00 2017 EST isdst=0 gmtoff=-18000

Springing forward

March 10, 2017 @ 19:00 By: gordon Category: Astronomy, Current affairs, General

Early Sunday morning, at 2AM, we move our clocks forward an hour in a futile attempt to save energy. As I’ve mentioned in previous years’ versions of this post, daylight save time hasn’t been shown to actually save energy.

Instead of saving energy, there will be an increase in accidents because people are discombobulated by the change in their sleep pattern. As an added “bonus”, there’s a 10% increase the likelihood that you’ll experience a heart attack during the days immediately following the time change. Is it worth it? Not in my opinion. (more…)