The idle ramblings of a Jack of some trades, Master of none

Mar 30, 2014

Daylight Saving Scam

Here we go: another shortened Sunday. The clocks went forward a few hours ago. I woke up feeling cheated. An entire hour - lost. I understand exactly why people rioted when daylight saving time was introduced all those years ago. The loss of this hour, sneakily taken away in the middle of the night by a perfidious government, feels intrusive enough to make me want to join the Tea Party.

It was worse for me in the 90s when I travelled to the US on work from India. Each of my two stints were in spring and coincided with the time switch forward. Those were two hours I never got back because my stays ended in early summer, and by the time the clocks fell back in the fall, I was already in India.

Is this true, though? Did I really lose those two hours? It certainly felt like it when I woke up groggily at my usual hour and realised that the time was actually an hour ahead. Twice!

Here's what I thought. Imagine that the clocks switch forward at 1:00 am eastern time. Eastern standard time is 10.5 hours behind Indian time, so it would be 11:30am in India at that moment. Imagine that at 11:29am I was magically transported from India to New York. It would be 12:59am in New York. A minute later, the time would become 02:00. An hour lost! Now if I went back to India, it would only be 11:30. Did I lose an hour? Not in India! The mind boggles.

If someone can explain all this to me, I'll be much obliged.


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