It’s time to set clocks forward an hour

Published 3:54 pm Saturday, March 11, 2017

Prepare to “lose” an hour of sleep this weekend.

That’s right; it’s time to move clocks ahead by an hour sometime before going to bed Saturday night or early Sunday morning. Most cellphones, computers and iPads automatically adjust to the “spring ahead” part of the old “spring ahead, fall back” adage. Fail to move those timepieces ahead an hour and run the risk of showing up late to church or the workplace Sunday.

Some eastern North Carolina residents have experiences with forgetting to change timepieces.

Doug Sliker, a former Washington resident who now lives in Snow Hill, wrote this Facebook comment: “I do remember one year living by myself when I sprang backwards instead. I was running a Circulation Department at a paper in Pennsylvania and I remember going in to work and taking my seat in the conference room for our 8am meeting. By 8:15 no one had shown up to the meeting so I went to the Publishers office to see why we were not meeting. Then of course I found out that it was 10:15 and I had missed the entire conference. The next morning I almost repeated the same timing error but the automatic body clock saved me, and I corrected the clock on my night stand.”

David Carraway, Washington’s information-technology director, posted on Facebook: “I recall years ago going the wrong way with the time. I fell back again in the spring and being two hours late.”

MJ Carbo, former director of the Beaufort-Hyde-Martin Regional Library, had this comment on Facebook: “There is one clock in my house that I never bothered to let ‘fall back’ last autumn. Let’s just hope I don’t ‘spring forward’ that one and end up being an hour early to everything! LOL!”

Daylight saving time — known as summer time in the British Isles — is the practice of moving timepieces ahead by an hour during the “lighter” months of the year (second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November) so mornings have less daylight and evenings have more daylight. Some people mistakenly credit Benjamin Franklin for “inventing” daylight saving time. He did not.

George Vernon Hudson first proposed the modern concept of daylight saving time in 1895. Hudson was an English-born astronomer and entomologist who lived his adult years in New Zealand. He was a member of the 1907 Sub-Antarctic Islands Scientific Expedition. Franklin, in a somewhat joking manner, proposed the concept of daylight saving time in 1784. Ancient civilizations engaged in a similar practice to modern DST.

Ten years ago, daylight saving time changed. Since that change, it has been approximately four weeks longer because of the passage of the federal Energy Policy Act in 2005. That act extended daylight saving time by four weeks from the second Sunday of March to the first Sunday of November, with expectations it would save about 10,000 barrels of oil each day through reduced use of power by businesses during daylight hours.

Not all states and U.S. territories observe daylight saving time. Arizona, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the American Virgin Islands and American Samoa elected not to observe daylight saving time.

After changing those clocks, it’s time to change the batteries in smoke detectors.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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