Sunday, November 7, 2010

Lucia Daylight Savings attributed to NZ bug collector

What an amazing fact. A NZ bug collector is responsible for the whole idea of daylight savings time. The guy wanted more daylight in order to collect his bugs after work, and so came up with the idea. Only he wanted the shift in time to be two hours, rather than one.
Modern daylight saving time wasn’t proposed until the late 1800s. New Zealand entomologist George Vernon Hudson would spend his spare time after work collecting insects, an activity limited by daylight. Inspired to extend his extracurricular activities, he presented a paper to the Wellington Philosophical Society proposing a two-hour daylight-saving shift.

Hudson’s paper would provide the foundation for modern daylight saving time.
So when we moan and groan about daylight savings time (as we do on this blog), those of us who live in NZ (and especially Wellington) could think fondly of the bug collector from days gone past. I wonder if this is why NZ thinks we have to lead the world in everything else. Keep up with the grandeur of our past.
The concept wasn’t internationally embraced until the World Wars, however, when Germany and its allies first employed the time shift as a way to conserve coal. Many other countries eventually followed suit, including the U.S.
Great. Weren't we enemies of Germany in both wars? And they thought to copy us. We should be so proud.
After the war, U.S. states were free to choose whether to observe daylight saving time -- and the start and end dates for the time change -- but a lack of uniformity created confusion among newscasters and travelers. Congress responded in 1966 with the Uniform Time Act, setting uniform protocol for daylight saving time.

Except it was such a good idea, that even the US took on daylight savings. This weekend, all their clocks have gone back (well those that were forward in the first place). And so we have this little story from Fox News about where daylight savings came from.

Related link: Daylight Savings Time: The Things We Do for an Hour of Sleep ~ Fox News

5 comment(s):

ZenTiger said...

But if it was on Fox News, it must be lies :-).

So what is Hillary Clinton really here to talk about? Is the world really going to (finally) make a 2 hour shift to daylight savings time?

Muerk said...

Heh, who knew?

I loved daylight savings until I became a mother, now I struggle getting kids to bed when their bodies are telling them to stay up and play.

Lucia Maria said...


Yes! And there's the kids that get up early, and so daylight savings (or is when it disappears?) gets them totally confused.

I have blockout curtains in my kids' room. It seems to help. Only the sun doesn't wake them up in the morning, which is good for the early riser who then gets to sleep in.

Unknown said...

My alarm on my iOS v4.1 iPhone 4, which was set for 5:30am, just went off at 4:30am. I'm in North Carolina.

Lucia Maria said...

Hi Jennifer,

That would just ruin your day. But then again, do you normally get up at 5:30 am? That's seriously early!

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