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Daylight saving is something that I have grown up with and I must admit, I really like the day when everyone gains an hour. Here in Indiana, daylight saving has had a long history of being a controversial issue, so much so, that I am not even sure how to even to begin to explain it. But I’ll try.

In Indiana, daylight saving seems to have been on and off since the being introduced in the early 1900’s. However, many Gen X-ers have never had to worry about adjusting their clocks until fairly recently. Indiana legislature passed a law and daylight saving came into re-effect in April of 2006.

A major source of the controversy lies in the fact that the state falls in a zone that is between the Central and Eastern Time Zones.  To this day, although everyone in Indiana adjusts their clocks for daylight savings, not everyone is on the same time. Most of Indiana’s 92 counties are on Eastern Standard Time, but some counties are on Central Standard Time. To make matters more confusing, not all of these states are lined neatly along the western border of the state in a straight line, rather, it’s only the northwest corner counties and the southwest corner counties that are on Central Time. (Interesting fact: in the summer, solar noon occurs at 2pm in western areas of the state that are on Eastern Standard Time).

To stay economically competitive, businesses in Indiana favour Eastern Standard Time because they are on the same clock as the New York Stock Exchange.  The counties that practice Central Time, like in the northeast, prefer Central time because many people commute to areas on Central Time like metro Chicago. This is also the case for the southwestern corner which is close to major metropolitan areas in southern Illinois and western Kentucky.

Switching the clocks can disrupt life in Indiana. For example, farmers often lose daylight hours during the morning with the sun rising earlier. With the late rising of the sun in the winter, school buses often experience delays because the icy roads take longer to dethaw.

A recent study by the University of California examined energy costs during the last few years of the switch to daylight saving and found that there has been increased energy costs and increased fuel emissions. Hoosiers spent $8.6 million more each year because of Daylight Saving Time, which may largely be the result of air conditioners in higher use during the longer summer days. (See webpage Daylight Saving Time).

Despite the controversy of daylight savings in Indiana, (also referred to as Time in Indiana) it is one of my favourite days (mainly the fall back day). Unfortunately, I screwed that up for 2010 (I am so irritated with myself!). The night before the switch, I was talking to B.B. as I was setting my clock (we were having a minor disagreement about something) and I ended up setting my alarm clock incorrectly. I am not quite sure what I did, but I ended up waking up two hours earlier than intended. But I still like daylight saving.

B.B. told me about a date he once had with a girl from Chicago. They had arranged to meet at a restaurant in Chicago, but their date happened to be during the switch to daylight saving. At that time, Indiana was not yet on daylight saving so B.B. did not have to change his clock. The girl was from Chicago and she had adjusted her clock that day. The girl showed up an hour early and waited for an hour and then left. B.B. showed up an hour after her, waited an hour and then left. So they never met and they never had their date. Had it not been for daylight savings, who knows whether or not B.B. and I would be together today. (See also incidents and anecdotes http://www.webexhibits.org/daylightsaving/k.html).