Saturday, March 7, 2009

Hate the Idea of Springing Foward? Blame Ben Franklin

Ben Franklin couldn’t abide wastefulness. So, as an American envoy in Paris, he thought nothing of firing off a crotchety letter to a French newspaper complaining of Parisians who daily squandered daylight.

Les Parisiens, he complained, stayed up late into the night and awoke at noon, wasting 96 million pounds of wax and tallow each year.

Franklin’s solution wasn’t to spring clocks forward and back, as is the modern custom with daylight saving time, which begins at 2 a.m. Sunday.

Instead, he proposed a mandatory awakening at 4 a.m. from mid-spring to mid-fall, an idea that laid the groundwork for our twice-a year time change.

“Every morning, as soon as the sun rises, let all the bells in every church be set ringing,” he proposed in 1784. “And if that is not sufficient, let cannon be fired in every street to wake the sluggards effectually.”

So, if you wake up groggy Sunday, just remember that it could be worse. Cannon fire could have roused you.

As for Cedar Posts, y'all enjoy that Sunday Church coffee I'll be sleeping in.

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