News of the Week: The Daylight Debate, Classic TV, and What Exactly Is a Late-Night Snack?

In the news for the week ending March 25, 2022, are horological headaches, comic-book cash-ins, discarded dentures, grilled chocolate sandwiches, and more.

Women wearing clocks during a stage show
(Shutterstock)

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Saving vs. Standard

“Time has little to do with infinity and jelly doughnuts.”

—Mac’s ghost, on Magnum, P.I.

It’s not often that people in Washington can agree on something, and of course when they do they get it wrong.

Everyone in the Senate, both sides of the aisle, voted for year-round daylight saving time recently (it still has to pass the House and it’s not going to be easy). They want to add more daylight hours in the evening, even if that means that some months of the year will see some parts of the country staying dark until 9 a.m. Kids will have to go to school in the dark and people have to drive to work that way too.

Of course, we’re not really adding “more” hours of daylight, we’re just shifting where they go, and I’ve always been a much bigger fan of earlier sunsets, especially in the colder months. I don’t spend most of my time outside and I don’t like the beach, and I don’t understand this adult obsession with making the days as long as possible (it reminds me of the adult obsession with warmer weather and the assumption that warmer is better). I have no interest in the sun staying out until 8:30 or 9 p.m., but this is always seen as the “right” viewpoint. If you like early darkness you’re seen as “depressing.” It’s an annual tradition that the local news anchors will lament the end of summer, the end of longer days, and the start of the fall, which every single one of them will see as a bad thing.

But permanent daylight saving might not be as popular as our politicians think it is. We tried it in the 1970s and the public hated it. Even some scientists are against it because it’s not as natural as standard time and might increase health problems due to getting less sleep. In a wildly unscientific poll I took on my own site, permanent standard time and keeping spring ahead/fall back got all the votes. Permanent daylight saving time didn’t get any votes at all.

I think people often confuse “I don’t like turning the clocks back twice a year” with “we should switch to daylight saving time permanently!” They’re not necessarily the same thing to everyone. Just because you don’t like changing the clocks doesn’t mean the only other option is permanent daylight saving time.

People in Washington assume we all have the same schedules, the same lifestyles, and the same viewpoint. I have a much harder time adjusting to setting the clocks ahead in the spring than I do setting the clocks back in the fall. In fact, I don’t know if I ever get used to it. I spend the summer impatiently waiting for standard time.

If I absolutely had to make a choice between the two, I’d choose standard. It balances the day better and makes more sense. But maybe the best thing to do is to do … nothing at all? Maybe the best compromise is to just keep things the same as they are now. It’s the best of all options if we want to be fair and please the most people. Do you really hate that it gets dark early for part of the year? Is it really that hard to set the clocks twice a year? Do you really decide to not shop because it’s dark out? Are we really saving that much energy?

No matter what time becomes the official time, we can always do what we want. Right now, Hawaii and parts of Arizona don’t do anything with their clocks, and why should we as individuals do anything? If we have year-round daylight saving time, I’m still going to set the clocks ahead in the spring and back in the fall. I’ll adjust my life and schedule accordingly and live in a time of my own choosing. I’ll call it “Bob Time.”

Check Your Attic

The first issue of Marvel Comics from 1939 is one of the top three most-sought-after comic books in history, and it sold for $2.4 million at an auction last week.

It went for so much because not only is it in good condition and introduced the characters of The Human Torch and Submariner, this particular copy (called a “pay copy”) has original handwritten notes by the publisher explaining how much the artists and writers of the comic got paid.

The original cover price? Ten cents.

The Greatest Web Site You’ve Never Heard Of

I like to think that I’ve seen everything online in my 26 years of surfing around. But I still come across websites, even sites that have been around a while, that I haven’t heard of before. Like the fantastic Uncle Earl’s Classic Television Channel.

Of course, you’ll only find it fantastic if you like classic TV, but if you’ve read this far you probably do. Uncle Earl has episodes of TV shows (public domain episodes and episodes from the collections of contributors, The Internet Archive, and other sources) you’d expect, like I Love Lucy, You Bet Your Life, Dragnet, and What’s My Line?, but also rare shows you may have never heard of or have but have never seen because they’re rarely shown, like Your Hit Parade, Captain Video, Pantomime Quiz, and Betty White’s Life with Elizabeth.

I feel like I’m shortchanging the site by just listing a few examples. The volume of content is actually rather staggering, and includes newer shows and movies too.

This is one of those sites where you’ll be looking around and then you glance at the clock and realize three hours have gone by.

Headline of the Week

“Full Set of Teeth Left Behind at British Restaurant”

RIP Madeleine Albright, Ralph Terry, Jimmy Lydon, Chris Madden, Akira Takarada, Don Young, Barbara Morrison, and Jack Willis

Madeleine Albright was the first female secretary of state. Before that she was the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. She died Wednesday at the age of 84.

Ralph Terry was a pitcher for the New York Yankees who gave up the walk-off home run to Bill Mazeroski of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1960 World Series. He was redeemed two years later when he got the final out in the World Series against the San Francisco Giants. He was named MVP of that series. He died last week at the age of 86.

Jimmy Lydon appeared in the “Henry Aldrich” series of films in the 1940s and played William Powell’s son in Life with Father. He appeared in dozens of other movies, TV shows like The First Hundred Years (often cited as the first daytime soap opera but that distinction goes to These Are My Children), Oh! Susanna, The Life of Riley, and Rocky Jones, Space Ranger, and was later a TV producer. He died earlier this month at the age of 98.

Chris Madden was a lifestyle author and businesswoman and a former HGTV host. She died earlier this month at the age of 73.

Akira Takarada starred in the original 1954 Godzilla. He died last week at the age of 87.

Alaska’s Don Young was the longest-serving Republican in the history of the House. He died last week at the age of 88.

Barbara Morrison was an acclaimed jazz and blues singer who performed with people like Dizzy Gillespie, Tony Bennett, Etta James, and Ray Charles. She died last week at the age of 72.

Jack Willis was an Emmy-winning filmmaker and journalist who not only directed and produced several documentaries, but he was also the director of programming at WNET and executive producer of The Great American Dream Machine, the ’70s PBS show with a cast that included Andy Rooney, Chevy Chase, Albert Brooks, Marshall Efron, Studs Terkel, and Penny Marshall. He died last month at the age of 87.

 Uploaded to YouTube by THIRTEEN.

This Week in History

David Livingstone Born (March 19, 1813)

The Scottish doctor and missionary is probably best known by the greeting said to him by reporter Henry Stanley: “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?”

Uncle Tom’s Cabin Published (March 20, 1852)

Harriet Beecher Stowe’s anti-slavery novel was first serialized in the abolitionist newspaper The National Era.

This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: Late Night Snack (March 22, 1941)

"Late Night Snack" by John LaGatta. March 22,1941. © SEPS 2014
“Late Night Snack” by John LaGatta.
March 22,1941.
© SEPS

In the ’40s, people really dressed up to go to a diner.

Late Night Snacks (Of Course)

The definition of snack varies, doesn’t it? The well-dressed couple above see a burger and fries as a snack, which means that many people think it’s the time of day (or in this case, night) you eat whatever it is that makes something a snack. I guess that’s true to a certain extent, though I think there are late night “meals” and late night “snacks.” To me, snacks are foods that can be prepared quickly or need no prep at all.

But everyone might not share that definition, and I don’t want to limit things by getting too bogged down by it. Potato chips can be a late-night snack, as can a bowl of ice cream, leftover cold pizza, or pasta you make from scratch. And the following recipes can be too.

Taste of Home has recipes for Chewy Caramel-Coated Popcorn, Hand-Held Apple Pies, and No-Guilt Beefy Nachos. How about some eggs? Saveur has a recipe for Mexican-Style Scrambled Eggs, and Food.com has this Midnight Eggs and Cheese Sandwich. Chocolate? Food52 has a Grilled Chocolate Sandwich (yes) and Kirbie’s Cravings has this Brownie Mug Cake.

There’s another reason to set the clocks back. The earlier it gets dark, the sooner you can get to your late-night snacks.

Next Week’s Holidays and Events

The Academy Awards (March 27)

The 94th ceremony starts at 6:30 p.m. ET on ABC with red carpet coverage and everyone asking “who are you wearing?” And as usual, this year’s show has a big controversy.

Weed Appreciation Day (March 28)

It’s not what you think, and what does that say about you that you assumed it was?

Featured image: Shutterstock

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Comments

  1. I do not know why no one has taken up my suggestion. When the next change date comes up, change the clocks 30 minutes in whichever direction and call it quits!

  2. I’m with you on the matter of time. I favor standard time year ’round. I feel nothing less than assaulted by the increased evening light every year, and look forward to the summer solstice as the beginning of the setting right of things.

    As you say, those nitwits in Congress – at least on the Senate side – take it for granted that we all want that extra daylight, which is one more good reason to toss the bums out.

  3. Of course putting the time on “Bob Time” as you suggest is the best solution. Having already angry, stressed, miserable Americans more so having to go to work, school, driving in the morning dark is a horrible idea. One I’m sure Washington would love, to further knife us all in the back. (“Love my country, HATE my government!”) I play with my clock to get the extra hours of sleep in I need, Quality sleep is our only escape now; God!

    That comic book will probably be re-sold for twice that before you know it. The only comic books I have are the semi=recent (2012-’14) ‘Dark Shadows’ (’66) and ‘Batman 66’. The peak year of that decade. I also loved the Sunday comics in The Los Angeles Times in the early 70’s. By the way, wasn’t familiar with ‘The Great American Dream Machine’ on PBS. Seeing the link here, it could only have been from that same section of the decade.

    Thanks for letting us know about Uncle Earl’s Classic TV. Love the ’40s Diner cover by John LaGatta. I’m thinking this couple had a night on the town that went really late, and were lucky to find this place. For a healthy late night snack, may I recommend an apple or some mini carrots?

    Let’s hope the coffin lid REALLY is closing on the long dead Academy Awards spectacle. My fantasy for it is to have Jamie Leigh Curtis dressed in her new ‘let it all hang out’ picture, showing up ON that horrible red carpet, and not having anyone there being able to do a damn thing about it! Not a word! She could bring up how they humiliated Kim Novak about 10 years ago regarding her faeelift. YES. That AWFUL, hypocritcal crowd. Most people in the viewing audience are better looking and have more talent than they do, and even they know it!

    Jamie Leigh could also have “her people” usher in as many adjacent homeless people as possible they’re trying to hide into that Dolby Theater! Always hearing about “beautiful L.A.” aren’t we? Mm hmm. Here’s what L.A. REALLY looks like! Hopefully this overly-hyped mess fest will be one of the last. The rear-end caboose of how many of these look-alike awards shows leading up to it? Please!!

    It all needs to go away except maybe some kind of degrading Zoom/whatever format. I mean the movie theaters themselves too, of course. Think of the land developers wringing their hands, just waiting to tear it all down. My only exceptions are theaters for foreign films, and those for live productions and concerts.

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