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Daylight savings saves more than just daylight


Fri, Feb 16th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

Microsoft Corp. software gurus (or geeks, as many people refer to them as) have been doing a little hand-wringing as the monumental date March 11, 2007 draws nigh. "Y2K07," as March 11 has been referred to, is the new date the federal government has decided we "spring ahead." As an energy-saving measure, the folks in Washington DC handed down an edict in 2005 decreeing daylight-saving time would start three weeks earlier in the spring and end one week later in the fall, beginning this year.

While the concern over Y2K07 is just a puff in the wind, compared to the near-hysteria that occurred seven years ago when we entered the new millennium, Microsoft has been issuing some warnings to folks who utilize its calendar programs, just the same. Any software programmed before Congress passed the law in 2005 is set to automatically advance its timekeeping by one hour on the first Sunday in April, not the second Sunday in March.

The result is a glitch reminiscent of the Y2K bug, when there was world-wide fear computers would interpret the year 2000 as 1900, and entire systems would crash.

The problem won't show up only in computers, however. It will affect many non-networked devices that store the time and automatically adjust for daylight saving, including some digital watches, clocks, and cell phones.

But why do we have daylight-saving time? Was it created just to give folks more time to enjoy the evening hours following a day at work, or is it actually an energy-saving measure?

According to an informational piece provided by the California Energy Commission, the demand for electricity for lighting our homes is directly connected to when we go to bed and when we get up. When we go to bed, we turn off the lights and TV.

In the average home, 25 percent of all the electricity we use is for lighting and small appliances, such as TVs, VCRs, computers, and stereos. A good percentage of energy consumed by lighting and appliances occurs in the evening when families are home. By moving the clock ahead one hour, we can cut the amount of electricity we consume each day.

Studies conducted in the 1970s by the U.S. Department of Transportation show we trim the entire country's electricity usage by about one percent every day with daylight-saving time.

Daylight-saving time "makes" the sun "set" one hour later and therefore reduces the period between sunset and bedtime by one hour. This means less electricity wou .....
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Personality and politics

Fri, Feb 2nd, 2007
Posted in Commentary

While certainly not new news, the personal image projected by politicians is a major factor in their ability to be believed and thus elected. Many may recall the debates between John Kennedy and Richard Nixon during the 1960 presidential campaign. P ..... 
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Buggy whips, garter belts and for profit health insurance

Fri, Jan 26th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

"Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane."

~Martin Luther King Jr.

When I started practicing medicine most rural doctors still made house calls. We could carry most of the diagnostic ..... 
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The Bridge to Nowhere and the politics of earmarks

Fri, Jan 19th, 2007
Posted in Commentary



Just yesterday someone told me they thought our past US Representative Gil Gutknecht lost his seat in Congress because he forgot about constituent service.

"You mean," I said, "he quit returning peoples calls?"

"No," he sai ..... 
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If you think medicine is expensive now, just wait until it's free

Fri, Jan 19th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

I see that Tim Walz is in favor of socialized medicine. Of course he says that it's really not socialized medicine, it's a single-payer system. Let's not play word games with this. It is what it is even if some aspects of it might be privatized. If ..... 
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What do we owe the environment?

Fri, Jan 12th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

"Hey Sara, is this a real job?"

This question was posed to me as I was out recently with some students doing a winter pond study. At first, I thought that maybe the question was an unintentional insult in regard to my choice of careers.
..... 
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To rise high and roll onward

Fri, Jan 12th, 2007
Posted in Commentary



Surge, they are calling it.

Insert more than 20,000 troops into Iraq, deploy them in Baghdad, take control of security, stay a short time and get the hell out.

A linguist I heard on the radio analyzed surge as being a wave o ..... 
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The Swamp

Fri, Dec 22nd, 2006
Posted in Commentary

Democrat Nancy Pelosi, the House speaker to be, promised to "drain the swamp" of ethical corruption if the Democrats captured control. They did and the back tracking by the old bulls of the party has started all ready.

Here are some quotes pu ..... 
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White Christmas

Fri, Dec 8th, 2006
Posted in Commentary

The Iraq Study Group has issued its report, instilling some well-needed reality to the debate on Iraq.

The greatest accomplishment of the study group, given the political weight of its members, is truly a political one - changing the level ..... 
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