Tomorrow, March 14th, will be the start of Daylight Saving Time (DST). DST is also known as “summer time” in Britain.

It is the practice of advancing clocks so that afternoons have more daylight but mornings have less light.  The phrase “spring ahead” has been associated with the practice, and “fall back” for the autumnal turning back of clocks.

The concept was first proposed in 1895 by George Vernon Hudson, a New Zealand entomologist.

Though many countries use it, the details vary by location and change occasionally, and there are still some arguments pro and con for using this system.

Probably all of us have had some problems when DST forces us to shift clocks and our sense of time. This might be exacerbated in a country as large as the United States where several time zones exist.

Adding daylight probably has benefits for the retail businesses, sports, and other activities that benefit from extending the business day. But there are also claims that the extra daylight of DST causes some problems for farming, evening activities (like entertainment) and activities that are connected to the sun and daylight.

Some studies show that traffic fatalities seem to be reduced when there is extra afternoon daylight. DST may have some positive effect on health and may reduce crime in some areas.

One reason DST was actually introduced was to reduce the use of electric lighting.

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