28 March, 2010

daylight savings

Today is the last Sunday in March, and we stayed out until 3:30am (or was it really 2:30? or 4:30?) and slept 'til nearly noon to observe the time change in Sweden.

A little history: DST didn't become permanent practice in Sweden until 1980. They tried to introduce the time change in spring and autumn in 1916, but it proved so unpopular, they reversed the decision within 6 months. Since the 1980s, most of Europe and North America changed time on the same date, until under the last Bush administration, in an effort to conserve electricity, the Energy Policy Act was enacted and in 2007, the DST period was lengthened by about 3 weeks in the US (2 weeks earlier in March, 1 week earlier in October.) So, for the last 2 weeks, we have only been 5 hours different from you east coast folks.
We are back to a 6-hour difference. Sleeping until noon might seem extreme considering how few hours of daylight we have had until recently, but now, the sun won't set until after 7:30pm. And it only gets later from there! We earned it this winter. Seriously.

A related interesting fact: Iceland does not observe DST, neither does most of Asia, the countries of the former Soviet Union, large chunks of the African continent, nor Arizona or Hawaii.

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