Changing the clocks doesn’t give more daylight

It must be time to change the clocks again, the news is full of the biannual demand to mess around with the timekeeping system still further. 123

One of the proposals to it move to what is being termed “Single/Double Summer Time” (SDST) — why not just call it what it is — Central European Time. Although I suppose that this wouldn’t go down too well with some parts of the electorate — after all, it has the word “European” in it, so it must be bad.

There are plenty claims and counter-claims about whether this would save lives & energy, or increase accidents in the summer/winter (delete as applicable). Fordyce Maxwell agrees somewhat

There are still enthusiasts for double summer time, plucking figures freely from the air. This month it is “introduce double summer time to provide more than 8,000 jobs and boost tourism income by £3.5 billion”.

I still stand by what I wrote 3½ years ago (although I can’t say I actually follow this, I like lying in bed in the mornings too much).

The obvious answer, with no associated cost, is for people to just get up earlier! We have changed our habits over the past few hundred years, with the advent of the electric light, to stay up well past sunset. If we want to enjoy more of the natural sunlight, why don’t we just match our activities to the daylight, rather than messing about with our clock system!

Plus, the laws planetary motion dictate when the sun rises and sets. Adding one to our arbitrary counting system isn’t going to change that. Unless Newton et. al. missed something rather critical!

My favourite photos from 2009

Now that the new year has begun, it is time for the annual retrospective look back at the year just past. I’ve started by trying to gather together some of the photos I’ve taken over the past 12 months which I like best. It has been difficult — not because I’ve taken so many good photos — but that the photos I’ve uploaded to the web each mean something different to me.

Anyway, I’ve collected together 25 photos in a set at Flickr. These are in a rough sort of order of preference, but there are others I could have chosen. The top three of which are also shown below:

Gulls at Sunset

The sun setting towards Dunnet Head (the most northerly point on the Scottish mainland) from Dunnet Beach where I camped overnight before meeting up with the Flickr Scotland crew for a great weekend of photography at Durness and along the north coast.

Backlit Steam

Taken whilst out chasing the steam special across the Highlands with Sandy, along with hundreds (if not thousands) of other people. I was amazed just how many people turned out with still and video cameras to witness this trip — one man we spoke to had followed the train all the way from the north of England where he lived, over the course of 4 days.

Golden Light on Branches

Taken on Christmas Day, on the Wildcat Trail walk around Newtonmore, this tries to capture the wonderful winter light and snow hanging in the branches, that lasted all week while I was home (and the snow still falls…).

Hopefully 2010 (aka tenpasteight) will be a great year for everyone.