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Switch in Time Shift Fools Clocks


Do not adjust your clock. Daylight saving time did not come to an end over the weekend. We did not fall back one hour. And if you did get an extra hour of sleep, you were late for something.



The last weekend in October has traditionally marked the end of daylight saving time - not daylight savings, by the way. But starting this year, that's going to happen the first Sunday in November.

STEWART: You see, Congress made the change in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which also moved the start of daylight saving time to be three weeks earlier. The change is intended to conserve electricity by keeping lights off in the afternoon and evenings for a few extra weeks each year.

BURBANK: Advocates claim that the shift can save up to 100,000 barrels of oil for every day of extra daylight saved, although others dispute that figure. Another predictive benefit is a reduction in the child-pedestrian deaths on Halloween, which are four times higher that day than any other.

STEWART: Now, of course, this being the first year of this new policy, not everyone and not every computer got the memo or e-mail. Many cell phones, BlackBerrys, cable boxes, laptops and automated alarm clocks set themselves back one hour over the weekend, although most have straightened it out by now.

BURBANK: All right, if you're still not sure if you are on or off by an hour, we're going to help you out right now. This is the BPP People Helper segment. Here is the official time according to the U.S. Naval Observatory Master Clock.


Unidentified Man: U.S. Naval Observatory Master Clock. At the tone, Eastern Daylight Time: seven hours, three minutes, forty-five seconds. Universal Time: 11 hours…

BURBANK: Okay. If you're Podcasting the show, then that's absolutely no good to you. But if you're savvy enough to Podcast we figure you can probably figure out what time it is. Is that clock at Dick Cheney's house?

(Soundbite of laughter)

BURBANK: He lives in the Naval Observatory.

STEWART: And if you think this wasn't really a problem, on Google trends of the top 20 searches, five of them this morning - daylight saving time. Now, if your clock device is still off, you may have to download a software upgrade, or you can just live in a parallel universe for the next couple of days until the rest of the country syncs up with you next Sunday.

BURBANK: That's what I'm going to do. That is today's BPP Big Story. Now, we've got the rest of the news with our own Rachel Martin. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.