Twins and Daylight Savings Time

the short storyHere’s a story.

A mother is giving birth to twins. The first twin is born at 1:55 am on the Sunday that Daylight Saving Time ends.

In Canada, Daylight Saving Time ends at 2 am, where, instead of 1:59 rolling to 2 am, it rolls back to 1 am. So five minutes after the first twin is born, the clock rolls back an hour.

The second twin is born 5 minutes after this, at 1:05 am.

So, despite being born 10 minutes apart, on paper twin #2 is born first, 50 minutes before their sibling.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, a baby is born at the same moment as twin #2, at 1:05 pm.

How messed up is that?

the long story

Since I wasn’t able to post something yesterday, I’m going to post two things today.

Despite being already tired at 3:40 pm because my body thinks it’s 4:40 pm. (Still pathetically early to be tired, but I digress.)

Daylight Saving Time ended yesterday here in Canada–you know, that strange phenomena where parts of the world mutually agree to change their time zone by one hour for a fraction of the year for an archaic and obsolete purpose.

But I’m not going to rant about how dumb Daylight Saving Time is and how it’s ruined my sleep. Plenty of other people have done that.

I could rant about it, but I won’t. Daylight Saving Time sparks a bunch of interesting discussions: the effect on the population’s circadian cycle and productivity, the way we stick to things that were useful in the past but are now kind of stupid in modern day (hello, pennies) because we’re afraid of change, how much brighter it is in the morning.

I mean, just this morning I bought breakfast at a coffee shop and I forgot my coffee at the counter and the cashier forgot to give me my muffin–until I went back to get my coffee and he remembered my muffin and we both put it to a weird shift in our sleep cycles.

What’s interesting is this idea of “time travel”.

Once, when I was trying to research time travel for a story idea, I came across an interesting perspective: we are all time travellers.

Granted, we are all simply travelling in the same direction at the same rate (a second per second) with no ability to change course, but we are technically travelling through time. After all, time and tide wait for no man.

But when we travel to a different time zone, we joke as if we’ve gone back and forth in time, despite doing nothing except changing the perspective through which we see time. Whenever this time of year rolls around, people joke about what they’ll do with their extra hour. But Daylight Saving ending doesn’t give me an hour I stored away when Daylight Saving started. Time is still going, one second per second every second.

Maybe we joke because we know time won’t stop or change with our will. We think we’ve gained something when Daylight Savings ends and we roll the clocks back an hour, or when we travel to a timezone a few hours behind. The slight thrill in thinking we can manipulate a force that simply doesn’t care.

Maybe the second twin born 50 minutes earlier and 10 mins later blows our minds because it sounds like they somehow superseded the flow of time.

Or maybe this is just some tortured philosophical rant.


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