Good morning and greetings, daylight savings fans. Yes, sports fans, it’s the time of year when most of us spring forward to take advantage of more daylight. Or as Phil Collins so delightfully put it in the Book of Genesis, “Let there be light.”
And as every season turns, on Sunday we shifted from Standard Time to Daylight Savings Time. The extra hour gives us a chance to savor the daylight, letting our love lights shine by not sleeping while the sun beams away. However, I haven’t awoken after the sun has come up since before there was history, so I am unaffected and emotionally unavailable.
Let’s face it, I don’t think anyone is thrilled when it gets dark at 5 pm. Furthermore, I’m really not crazy about dark chocolate. As Dr. Martin Luther King wrote, “Darkness is only driven out with light, not with more darkness.” Or in the words of Muhammed Ali, “Prejudice comes from being in the dark, sunlight disinfects it.” Then he knocked out Sonny Liston.
So everyone’s happy when when the days are longer and the nights are stronger than moonshine, which is my shout out to U.S. Marshall Raylan Givens and the wonderful cast of FX’s drama “Justified.”
So who came up with this brilliant idea of more daylight? Well, the credit goes to one of our Founding Father’s, Ben Franklin. According to his friend Jerry, back in 1784, Ben noticed people burning candles and incense late at night, yet sleeping in past sunrise in the morning. Thus, Franklin’s famous quote: “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” And this notion helped pave the way for one of Ben’s first major inventions, the VCR.
Now this founding father didn’t actually invent DST, but as Ambassador to Paris, he wrote an amusing letter to the Journal of Paris about his “discovery” that the sun gives light as soon as it rises, and needled Parisians for their night-owl, candle-burning ways. He wanted people rise up and go to bed earlier, to get up and make their lives shine. Or in the words of Oscar host Ellen DeGeneres, “Go to bed in your fireplace and you’ll sleep like a log.”
Ben Franklin wanted people to take advantage of the light, to open up their shutters and blinds and let the sunshine in. In his words, “Do not anticipate trouble or worry what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.” But always use sunblock to absorb the sun’s ultra violet rays. Or wear a hat or bonnet.
So the U.S. officially started observing DST in 1918, one year after my 96 year old father was born. There are two states that don’t observe this practice, Hawaii and Arizona. Indiana came around and adopted the program back in 2006 in response to the wishes of Hoosier native David Letterman, who ironically, shares the same birthdate as my father, April 12.
Coincidence? I think not.
The Hawaiians don’t observe it because the U.S. government took their islands away from them, so they don’t have to listen to anything besides Don Ho. Besides, they’re our only tropical state and we don’t want to mess with paradise. We’ve already paved enough paradises and put up parking lots.
And what can we say about Arizona? They didn’t want to recognize Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday as a federal holiday, are not crazy about diversity and aren’t big on immigration. The only thing growing in Arizona is the crime rate. It’s like the old joke, how many Arizona State freshman does it take to change a light bulb? None, it’s a sophomore course. Sorry, Wildcat fans.
We know that crime goes down during DST, as muggers and low lifes prefer to operate in the dark. And here’s a little known fact. According to the website www.acurite.com, back in September 1999, the West Bank was on Daylight Saving Time while Israel had just switched back to standard time. West Bank terrorists prepared time bombs and smuggled them to their Israeli counterparts, who misunderstood the time on the bombs. As the bombs were being planted, they exploded–one hour too early–killing three terrorists instead of the intended victims–two busloads of people. Sounds like they had a blast.
So take advantage of the light. There’s an old proverb, “The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is now.” We all know that we are but a moment’s sunlight, fading in the grass. So don’t forget to smile on your brother. Or sister. Right now.
So not only is the time changing, but so are the patterns of the clouds, as I haven’t shot anything sunrise or sunset worthy in over two weeks. So for today’s photo ensemble we are returning to the morning of December 8. Just a beautiful culmination of red, orange and yellow colored clouds in the sky, which is not the worst visual to start off the day. Throw in some waves, the reflection on the Pacific Ocean and you got yourself a Santa Cruz sunrise.
Oh, and by the way, I got my blood test results back and the results were “greatly improved in all areas.” In a two month period, my total cholesterol was down 32 points, my triglycerides down 56, my good HDL cholesterol was up 4, my LDL 26, and my non-HDL down 37. So thanks to all of you who were praying for me. It just goes to show what a little exercise and low-wheat, low-carb starvation diet can do for you.
On to some late night humor. “This week the Russian government gave all 44 of its Olympic medalists a new Mercedes. When asked what happened to the athletes who didn’t medal, Putin said, ‘Do not open trunk.’” –Jimmy Fallon “Russia gave all of its gold medalists from the Sochi Games $120,000 plus a brand-new Mercedes SUV. While the silver and bronze medalists all received life in prison.” –Seth Meyers
Despite the fact that the Ukraine has been all over the news for the past few weeks, a survey found that 64 percent of U.S. students still couldn’t find Ukraine on a map. Said Vladimir Putin, “Soon nobody will.” – Seth Meyers “Because of Russia’s actions in Ukraine, President Obama is threatening them with economic sanctions. Obama said if Russia doesn’t pull out of Kiev we’re not going to let them borrow any of the money that we borrowed from China.” – Conan O’Brien
“President Obama this week launched a new effort to help young minority men warning them not to make the same mistakes he did when he was their age such as get high and not take school seriously – unless, of course, they definitely want to be president.” –Cecily Strong on Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update” “Yesterday was the 5th anniversary of the birth of the Tea Party. They had a big celebration and played their favorite party game: pin the blame on the darky.” –Bill Maher
“Vladimir Putin said the tanks that you see rolling through the streets are just part of the closing ceremonies of the Olympics.
This situation in Ukraine is very serious. As a matter of fact, today George Clooney and Matt Damon flew in to rescue the artwork. Anybody see the Academy Awards last night? I watch every year to make sure I’m not in the dead actors montage.” – David Letterman “A new survey found that the average American child watches 24 hours of TV every week. In fact, experts say it’s important for parents to lay down the law and tell their kids to get outside and look at their phones. – Jimmy Fallon
So bring on the light. We’ll catch you putting up most improved player like numbers while dazzling NBA fans with your spectacular dunks on a nightly basis. Aloha, mahalo and later, Gerald Green fans.