[[Readers--please don't miss the other inspiring blog entry I posted earlier today]]
For those of my readers NOT living in Hawaii, Arizona (with the exception of the Navajo Nation), or the American territories of American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, you experienced with me the semi-annual (bi-annual?) changing of the clock this past weekend.
We observed the age-old (originating in 1918) tradition of Daylight Savings Time, whereby we 'fall back' in the autumn and 'spring ahead' 6 months later. If you're anything like me, you relish the once-a-year opportunity to get an extra hour of sleep in the fall (as we had this past weekend) but dread the springtime loss of an hour of much-needed, hard-earned rest. We awoke this past Sunday morning refreshed, rejuvenated, ready for all the challenges of the crisp autumn Sunday that lay ahead of us. We felt a burst of energy that has carried us this far into the week... a natural high replicable only by consuming unhealthy quantities of caffeine.
But, in the spring, you will arise groggy, confused, unable to function at full capacity for days until your body comes to terms with the fact that it has lost a precious hour of rest that it will not soon recover.
The joy of 'fall back' and the treachery of 'spring ahead' has led me to a novel proposal... one that will serve to re-create the joy of falling back several times over and eliminate the need for 'leap year' all in one fell swoop.
We need to completely eliminate 'spring ahead,' relegating the concept to history books studied by well-rested schoolchildren.
Instead of falling back once a year, we can increase the opportunities for extra sleep. I propose a fall back every two months. That's right... the first Sundays of January, March, May, July, September, and November, we will all turn our clocks one hour back, giving us an extra six hours (count 'em, 6 hours!) of sleep a year.
Plus, over the course of four years, we will have gained an extra 24 hours, exactly the time added by the ever complicated 'leap year' fad imposed upon us. You will never again have to perform complex mathematical calculations (i.e. is this current year divisible by four?) to determine whether or not a given year is a leap year.
The benefits don't stop there. In addition to 6 hours of additional sleep per year and the elimination of confusing leap years, we will improve the safety of our citizens. Studies have shown that the 'spring ahead' ahead leads to an increase in traffic accidents and fatalities. (It's science--just ask Wikipedia).
Finally, falling back every two months will introduce us to a variation that some would consider a detriment to my plan. That is, our waking hours would gradually shift from light to dark and back again over the course of 4 years. This should certainly be viewed as a positive, enabling us to engage in activities previously available only to night owls such as astronomy.
So, readers, I urge you, call your congressmen and congresswomen, and ask them to consider supporting this proposal. Or, if you are so inclined, as I know at least some of my readers are, run for office yourself so that you can make a difference in the sleeping habits, safety, and happiness of our nation.
I humbly step down from my soapbox.
Originally Posted: Tuesday, November 1, 2006
(Then) Curent Mood: ingenious