Spring forward

Woohoo, daylight saving time! Now, if only the rain would stop, it might feel like this winter will end at some point…

The following conversation occurred last week, during a regular conference call with some US collaborators:

Collaborator: “We were just wondering for our next call – do you guys change your clocks at the same time as us, now that we’ve brought our date forward?”

PI: “Yes, except for Saskatchewan

Collaborator: “Oh! Really?! What time zone are they in?”

PI: “1978”



About Cath@VWXYNot?

"one of the sillier science bloggers [...] I thought I should give a warning to the more staid members of the community." - Bob O'Hara, December 2010
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19 Responses to Spring forward

  1. Steve Caplan says:

    1978? You do them too much credit…

    About 15 years ago, my wife and I came to visit my father in the great metropolis and mosquito capital of the world, Winnipeg.While it was nice to visit, we had a secret agenda, which was to drive out to the Rockies and spend 10 days camping there.

    Along the way, after about 12 h of driving, and about halfway there, we found ourselves in a small town in “Hicksville, Saskatchewan”, looking for a motel for the night. We went in to the motel office, asked for a room, and I pulled out my international credit card from Israel. The guy looked at it, puzzled, and said “You’re not from around here, eh?”

    I choked back most of my cynicism and said “Well I wouldn’t need a motel if I lived here, eh?”

    “So where you from?”


    There was a pause. A pregnant pause. An pregnant elephant pause. And longer.

    “You a Jew?”

    “Yes.” (I left my horn in the car–want to see it? That’s what I was about to say)

    “You don’t look like a Jew. Ain’t never seen one before.”

    “How do you know what a Jew looks like if you haven’t seen one before? You can tell your grandkids about it. Can I have the key now?”

    That was my experience in Saskatchewan of the 1990s…

  2. Alyssa says:

    LOL! Apparently Arizona doesn’t change their clocks either. Guess all the snowbirds refuse to put up with that crap.

  3. cromercrox says:

    Not just Saskatchewan, but Los Angeles. In 1996 I went to UCLA to teach for a semester. I would be paid in arrears … but needed to pay my rent upfront. Before I left UK I cleverly acquired a Gold Card which I could use to withdraw $$$$$ from any bank, to bridge me for a month. Notwithstanding inasmuch as which I went into the First National Bank of National Firstness in Westwood, presented my Gold Card and passport and asked for $$$$$. The poor lady behind the counter looked at me like I was an alien (which I guess I was) and ran off into a backroom to consult the manager. After much huffing and puffing by the cashier, I left the bank with my $$$$$ and the conviction that US banking lagged some way behind that of the UK.

  4. chall says:

    🙂 it’s a bit confusing at times, isn’t it?!

    For two weeks we’re “closer” to Europe and then they change….. I’ll relish the shorter time difference!

  5. I remember hearing this same joke told a couple of times about New Zealand – usually in the form of the Captain of the airplane making the announcement as the flight from the UK prepares to land in NZ:

    “…And for those of you wishing to re-set your watch to local time in New Zealand….”

    • cromercrox says:

      Bob May used to get a cheap laugh in lectures by saying ‘All the intelligent New Zealanders have emigrated to Australia, thus lowering the average IQ in both countries’.

  6. Mike Licht says:

    Arizona does not observe Daylight Saving Time. Only one state in Mexico does not observe DST — Sonora, which abuts Arizona.



  7. rpg says:

    Reminds me of the directions for getting to Queensland from Sydney (about 600 miles, straight up the coast):

    Drive North for 10 hours, then turn back a hundred years.

  8. ricardipus says:

    I am of the opinion that Daylight Savings Time is a silly and pointless exercise. If it’s dark, it’s dark. If it’s light, it’s light. Get over it.

    [possibly grumpy due to lost hour of sleep]

    @rpg – I once worked with an Australian from UniMelb who would refer to “Queensland – where the talk slowly… because they have to”.*

    *anecdote related for comedic purposes only. Queenslanders, don’t take it personally. E&OE.

  9. Steve, that’s an incredibly depressing story 🙁

    But I do like your response, particularly this part: “How do you know what a Jew looks like if you haven’t seen one before? You can tell your grandkids about it.”

    Nice one!

    Alyssa, but in that case, wouldn’t Florida refuse to do it too?!

    Henry, I agree that the UK banking system is decades ahead of the North American one. The hassle I had getting a credit card here, despite years of perfect credit scores in the UK… but apparently Visa Canada don’t talk to Visa UK. And try transferring money electronically from the UK… I’ve had so many hours of fun at banks since moving here!

    Chall, I like the smaller time difference too! Very convenient for calling home!

    Austin, I’ve heard a few people say that about NZ! I met someone once who moaned about flying for hours and hours and hours, only to get off the plane in a city that looked just like Vancouver did 20 years ago.

    I still really, really want to go, though!

    Mike, welcome to the blog! I like your hypothesis “that the state’s many retirees couldn’t figure out how to change the time settings on their old VHS machines.”

    RPG, I still want to go there, too 🙂

  10. Ricardipus, our comments crossed.

    I LOVE DST. I hate having to switch back in the winter. I crave light during the winter, rather than warmth, and I hate it when I ride to AND from work in the dark. Even if it’s still pouring down (which it is), cycling home in the light is sooooo much nicer!

  11. antipodean says:

    South Australia stuck itself in a 30 minute time zone for some stupid reason.

    • ricardipus says:

      So did Newfoundland. No, I don’t know why either.

      @Cath – I don’t care which it is (DST or standard time) as long as we can pick one and stick with it. Flipflopping back and forth twice a year is just silly.

      • Cath@VWXYNot? says:

        The option that gives you more light, please.

        The person who made the joke about Saskatchewan is actually a Newfie, btw.

  12. I’m all for Daylight Saving, as is The Boss (aka ‘Er Indoors). In fact, I think in the UK we should be an hour ahead of Greenwich Mean the whole year round. For people with jobs AND children, having an extra hour of ‘usable’ daylight in the late afternoon/early evening (i.e. after work/school) is incredibly useful. Or at least we think so.

    Re Cath’s “going back in time” effect when visiting smaller provincial cities, I remember having that feeling in the mid-90s visiting both Dundee and Cork. I couldn’t work out what it was they reminded me of, until I realised it was the late 70s / early 80s.

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