Skip to main content

Daylight Saving time is tonight … is it really necessary?

Daylight Savings Time: Tricks for Remembering to Set Clocks Back
It’s a staple of the fall season. Following the springing forward of the clocks in the springtime where everyone loses an hour of sleep, we now get that hour back. Tonight before you go to bed, make sure the clocks are set back one hour. In the United States, DST runs from the second Sunday in March until the first Sunday in November. Other countries observe DST with their own time frames. And you may not be aware of this, but the origins of Daylight Saving Time go back to the concept of saving energy.

According to AccuWeather, The Standard Time Act was passed in 1918, with established time zones and daylight savings put into effect. This was done for World War I. The idea was that if daytime hours would sync up better with natural light, fewer tasks would need to be done at night, so we’d save energy.

Related Videos

After World War I, the government pulled the plug on DST. But with the onset of WWII, it was reinstated, spanning early February until the end of September. After the war ended, DST began to be dealt with at local levels. Who thought this was a good idea?

So along came the Uniform Time Act in 1966, and that was that. States could opt out of DST “if they passed proper ordinances.” Arizona and Hawaii do not observe DST, along with some U.S. territories. Arizona in particular takes the weather into account — with such heat, there’s no upside to people being out in as much daylight as possible. AccuWeather also notes that Hawaii’s location closer to the equator gives it more consistency when it comes to daylight hours. It would not gain too much by making the DST switch. Besides, who cares about the time if you live in Hawaii? Mahalo and all that.

You have to wonder if DST is really needed anymore. Work schedules are fragmented and energy conservation is at the top of everyone’s minds (or should be), so it bears asking if this is one of those outdated concepts that we can file away.

Here’s just the website to make sure your clocks are accurate to the second. As an aside to all inventors out there — wouldn’t it be great to have a gadget where you hit one button, and all the clocks in your house changed at the same time? Just a dream. Oh, and don’t worry about that extra second.

Editors' Recommendations

The next big thing in science is already in your pocket
A researcher looks at a protein diagram on his monitor

Supercomputers are an essential part of modern science. By crunching numbers and performing calculations that would take eons for us humans to complete by ourselves, they help us do things that would otherwise be impossible, like predicting hurricane flight paths, simulating nuclear disasters, or modeling how experimental drugs might effect human cells. But that computing power comes at a price -- literally. Supercomputer-dependent research is notoriously expensive. It's not uncommon for research institutions to pay upward of $1,000 for a single hour of supercomputer use, and sometimes more, depending on the hardware that's required.

But lately, rather than relying on big, expensive supercomputers, more and more scientists are turning to a different method for their number-crunching needs: distributed supercomputing. You've probably heard of this before. Instead of relying on a single, centralized computer to perform a given task, this crowdsourced style of computing draws computational power from a distributed network of volunteers, typically by running special software on home PCs or smartphones. Individually, these volunteer computers aren't particularly powerful, but if you string enough of them together, their collective power can easily eclipse that of any centralized supercomputer -- and often for a fraction of the cost.

Read more
Why AI will never rule the world
image depicting AI, with neurons branching out from humanoid head

Call it the Skynet hypothesis, Artificial General Intelligence, or the advent of the Singularity -- for years, AI experts and non-experts alike have fretted (and, for a small group, celebrated) the idea that artificial intelligence may one day become smarter than humans.

According to the theory, advances in AI -- specifically of the machine learning type that's able to take on new information and rewrite its code accordingly -- will eventually catch up with the wetware of the biological brain. In this interpretation of events, every AI advance from Jeopardy-winning IBM machines to the massive AI language model GPT-3 is taking humanity one step closer to an existential threat. We're literally building our soon-to-be-sentient successors.

Read more
The best hurricane trackers for Android and iOS in 2022
Truck caught in gale force winds.

Hurricane season strikes fear into the hearts of those who live in its direct path, as well as distanced loved ones who worry for their safety. If you've ever sat up all night in a state of panic for a family member caught home alone in the middle of a destructive storm, dependent only on intermittent live TV reports for updates, a hurricane tracker app is a must-have tool. There are plenty of hurricane trackers that can help you prepare for these perilous events, monitor their progress while underway, and assist in recovery. We've gathered the best apps for following storms, predicting storm paths, and delivering on-the-ground advice for shelter and emergency services. Most are free to download and are ad-supported. Premium versions remove ads and add additional features.

You may lose power during a storm, so consider purchasing a portable power source,  just in case. We have a few handy suggestions for some of the best portable generators and power stations available. 

Read more