Spring Forward-Fall Backwards Newsletter 11.10.11

Spring Forward – Fall Backwards

I have a bit of a bone to pick with Daylight Savings Time. Living in the Pacific Northwest. It’s dark about 300 days out of the year. What possible advantage could there be to be had messing with my circadian clock? The typical results are a foggy brain and persistent crankiness. For example, Monday morning I awoke to the pitch of the night, while my alarm insisted it was 6:00 a.m. Numbly grumbling through my morning ritual I inadvertently doctored my coffee with orange juice. Realizing my misstep I stared vacantly into the cup at a liquid whose color is best described as baby’s first solid meal. I took two deep breaths and drank it anyway (yes, it was awful) and cursed the Uniform Time Act.

Simultaneously the cause of insomnia and hypersomnia, the modern incarnation of Daylight Saving Time is credited to the twisted mind of George Vernon Hudson, New Zealand’s not-so-famous farmhand-cum-postal clerk, had an affinity with killing insects; this should have been an indication that his attempts and warping temporal mechanics should have been avoided.

The amateur entomologist rattled his killing jar in the afternoon/evening when his shift-job ended and he had time to creep around the countryside. One can almost imagine Hudson sticking a pin through a writhing earwig thinking: “Wouldn’t be great if I could do this MORE?” The overwhelming answer is “No.”

Hudson’s 1895 paper to the Wellington Philosophical Society suggested a two hour shift in the daily clock garnered a bit of groundswell in Christchurch, prompting another paper in 1898 which spurred a debate ending with not very much other than: “Interesting idea, let’s see if anyone else adopts it first.” Ground breaking innovation is hard.

In an interesting historical footnote: Ben Franklin anonymously posted a letter advocating for an hourly switch while he was living in France. Franklin’s plan amounted to this – just get up earlier –  and was met with disdain and ridicule.  Paris’ collective response was “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise – our ass!” (It sounds much cooler in French. “Tôt au lit, se lever tôt, rend un homme en bonne santé, riche, et sage – notre âne!” Oh Babblefish; you’re fun.)

The first adopters were in a country known for taking kooky ideas to the extreme. In 1916, Germany and it’s allies attempted to conserve coal during the World War I by employing Daylight Savings Time. Subsequently based on the rickety, inconclusive results, Europe, Russia and the United States all had adopted Daylight Savings Time (also known as Daylight Slavings Time) by the end of the War in 1918.

Great now we’re taking tips from the losers. Man! I’m really grumpy.

The result being the sun is still up when you get off work but has set by the time you turn the key in your ignition.

Pappa Was a Gingerbread Fiend 

A deep, dark family secret: my father would consume Gingerbread with a fierceness and voracity only rivaled by a shark.

Around mid-November, Pop’s eyes would roll back as the scent of Nutmeg, Ginger, and Cinnamon first hit his nose. One year, my parents hosted a Gingerbread House contest. It was akin to watching a Gamera movie. There was screaming, running, and lots of gumdrops flying. Later, we found him in the front yard in his boxers and moon boots making snow angels. It hadn’t snowed yet. The neighbors called the cops.

Regardless, Pop would be thrilled that TWIF is participating in two Gingerbread related events in December: Gingerbread Baking Party, Sat December 3, 2011 and YWCA Gingerbread House Party, Sat December 10, 2011.

Yes, the two events are related. One is in preparation of the other, and yes all volunteers positions have been filled. But think of it, Gingerbread, man. Imagine. Acres of iced, spicy deliciousness waiting to be crunched.

Oh no, I’m just like my father.

Anyway, these are examples of the creative and fun events TWIF takes part in. Keep up on events on the website.

***TWIF 2012 SPOILER ALERT!*** 

Word on the street is that due to the overwhelming popularity of our Get Cookin’ program, TWIF will be expanding the cooking-related volunteer opportunities in 2012 by adding two brand new programs and revamping the original. For all you non-mathletes out there, that means there’s A LOT more chances for you to get elbow deep in flour and fun :)

Get Cookin’ (soon to be renamed Kitchen Social) will be moving on up into a bigger kitchen to better accommodate the massive amounts of food and fun we’ll be fixing up. Location TBD. Get excited.

Operation Sack Lunch gives volunteers the opportunity to catch up while cooking up dinner for the Compass Center. The Compass Center provides meals to low-income and homeless community members and relies on the help from people like our fabulous TWIF volunteers to serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner everyday. Expect to roll up your sleeves and unleash your inner chef as you cook away an afternoon with friends.

Kitchen Challenge is an exciting new way to up your karma points while unleashing your inner inventive chef. Armed with only the guidance of a respected Seattle-area chef and whatever ingredients are on hand that day in the kitchen, you’ll be crafting creative meals for those in need. This event is geared to a more seasoned chef, but anyone is welcome! Think of it as Seattle’s own Iron Chef, minus the cameras. Dramatic background music and overly enthusiastic commentator TBD.

Check back tomorrow for the rest of the newsletter to read about what else TWIF’s brewing up.

-Amber Carrigan