This is your annual reminder to set your clocks ahead one hour before you go to bed tonight, or at least do it before 2AM if you're going to be up partying all night or, if you're like me, scrolling through Tumblr because you have no life.
Tonight marks the beginning of Daylight Saving Time, the annual tradition of changing our clocks to trick ourselves into thinking the days are longer than they really are. It's an antiquated practice along the same lines as eating dinner at noon on holidays or winding up in Mississippi on purpose.
I used a generic AP image of Quasimodo (or whoever that is) polishing clocks — which is the exact same image that every other news and weather website is using in these articles, mind you — to make sure you actually remember to set your clocks forward tonight (you won't).
Daylight Saving Time (not "Savings") was a concept thought up by this dude in the 1800s to trick stupid people into thinking that they're getting more daylight during the evening hours so they could work on the farms longer during the spring and summer months. In other words, instead of just getting up and going to sleep an hour earlier, we attempted to change our perception of time itself rather than make a small change in our habits.
The United States Congress passed a law that extended Daylight Saving Time by roughly four weeks beginning in 2007. Congress decided that it would be better to start DST on the second Sunday in March, and moved the end date to the first Sunday in November to give kids more daylight for trick-or-treating. No, really.
Proponents of Daylight Saving Time argue that an extra hour of daylight during the evening hours helps to conserve energy during hot summer weather, but studies are inconclusive and even slightly lean towards a net increase in energy use. It makes sense — if you're awake longer during daylight in the summer, you'll use more energy to cool yourself off.
So remember: set your clocks ahead one hour before you go to bed tonight.
Unless you live in most of Arizona, of course.
Or Puerto Rico.
Or Saudi Arabia.
[Clock image via AP / Hoe image via Wikimedia Commons]