The Senate moves us one step closer to ending Daylight Saving Time
“We are very much in favor of stopping time change because we know there are these big effects twice a year that are at their worst right as we change the time,” a sleep expert said.
👋🏾 Hi, hey, hello! Good Wednesday morning and Happy Freedom of Information Day, an observance of the principle that the public is aware of and has access to the information they need from their government to make informed decisions. Let’s catch up.
FIRST THINGS FIRST
The Senate on Wednesday quietly passed a bill that would make Daylight Saving Time permanent.
The vote is a culmination of a years-long movement to stop changing the clocks twice a year.
63 percent of Americans favor a national, fixed, year-round time, according to a 2020 survey of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
The issue re-emerged ahead of this past Sunday’s DST during a House subcommittee hearing to explore the pros and cons of ending the practice.
There’s also overwhelming research on how setting clocks back by one hour in fall is detrimental to our well-being.
“When we have the clock change, our bodies don’t adjust the clocks. And also, especially in the springtime, we tend to lose sleep because we lose that hour,” Dr. Karin Johnson, an associate professor of neurology at UMass Chan Medical School – Baystate in Springfield, Massachusetts and a sleep specialist, said. “So, we end up with a mix of both sleep deprivation, as well as misalignment of the clocks.”
Johnson cited studies that have found more heart attacks, strokes and arrhythmias after the spring change. Fatal car crashes also spike in the week after the time change and people tend to miss more medical appointments and underperform at work.
“We are very much in favor of stopping time change because we know there are these big effects twice a year that are at their worst right as we change the time.”
Daylight Saving Time was introduced in the mid-1960s as an energy conservation measure: The rationale was that a later sunset would lead to less electricity use in the evening. (Arizona, Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Marianas Islands, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands stick with permanent standard time.)
Johnson said that while lights have become more efficient, we use a lot more electricity for other things — including the phone you may reading this on or the computer on which I’m writing.
“And on daylight savings time, when it’s lighter later, we tend to have cooler mornings, so we tend to need more heat to warm up the house or the office to get things warm enough,” she said. “When it’s lighter later, it’s also hotter later, and so people are using more air conditioning.”
It’s not just about ending Daylight Saving Time but how we do it.
Experts like Johnson recommend switching to standard time because it aligns with the sun time, which is ideal to prevent conditions like obesity and diabetes and promote heart health and quality sleep.
“The people that are most at risk from these changes, both from health consequences as well as consequences that might affect things like their productivity and salary, are the people that have to get up for work or school by 7 a.m.,” Johnson said. “While on average people lose about 19 minutes of sleep for every day on daylight savings time, people who get up early lose about 36 minutes of sleep. And that might seem like a little time, but that actually is a big effect.”
If the bill were to pass the House, not all states would be thrilled about it.
The sun wouldn’t rise until after 9 a.m. during December and January in major cities like Detroit, Indianapolis and Seattle. New York and Chicago wouldn’t see daylight until around 8:30 a.m.
So people would be going to school and working in the dark for at least a quarter of the year, which puts minority workers and people with lower socioeconomic status at higher risk.
“We’re putting that young population, who are at the prime of their life in terms of learning, in terms of getting good behaviors, making good decisions, at a particularly risky period and putting them at more risk from sleep deprivation, which we know affects academic performance, future, you know, attainment of salaries and different aspects like that,” Johnson said. “So, those are the at-risk people that are going to be most affected by a decision to make us get up earlier each day.”
— ICYMI: For Equal Pay Day on Tuesday, I wrote about why it’s worth exploring how nonwhite women creators suffer from the same types of economic barriers corporate workers face:
March 15 — two months and 15 days into the new year — is the earliest we’ve ever marked the occasion.
But since, as you read a few sentences up, the pay gap widens based on race and ethnicity. So technically, Asian Women’s Equal Pay Day is May 3. We’ll have to wait until fall (Sep. 21) for Black Women’s Equal Day, after Thanksgiving for Indigenous women (Nov. 30), and nearly three weeks before Christmas for Latinas (Dec. 8).
These disparities cost women thousands of dollars per month — some pre-pandemic estimates calculate the figure at $400,000 over the course of a woman’s career.
IN THE KNOW
— President Biden will travel to Brussels next week to meet with European leaders on the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The White House provided few details on if he will meet with President Zelenskyy or visit Poland, the neighboring country where thousands of civilians have evacuated.
— Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff tested positive for COVID-19. Vice President Harris tested negative and will continue to test. The White House said President Biden was tested negative on Sunday.
— The State Department announced it has provided an additional $186 million in humanitarian assistance to support internally displaced people and the more than three million refugees affected by Russia’s war on Ukraine. The funds are intended to provide food, safe drinking water, shelter, protection and emergency health care through US partnerships with international and non-governmental organizations. It will also help victims keep in touch with family members who have been separated.
— Pfizer asked the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to authorize a fourth booster dose for seniors. The company cites data from Israel that suggests older adults, who have been hardest hit by the pandemic, would benefit from an additional booster. [Zeke Miller and Lauran Neergaard / AP News]
— The Senate confirmed Shalanda Young to be Director of the Office of Management and Budget in a 61-36 vote. OMB is the largest office in the Executive Office of the President and Young is the first woman to lead it in its 41-year history.
— Sarah Bloom Raskin, President Biden’s pick for a top post at the Federal Reserve, withdrew her nomination. Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia joined all 50 Senate Republicans to block her from advancing to a final vote. Now the Senate will vote on four other nominees for the Fed.
— The Tennessee House advanced legislation that would ban abortion at any stage of pregnancy. The bill is a more extreme version of a Texas law that has so far withstood court challenges because it empowers citizens, not the government, to enforce it. [Lydia O’Connor / HuffPost]
— Creators on membership app Patreon claim Vimeo, a video hosting app, has told them to suddenly pay thousands of dollars or leave the platform. The creators say the move is due to a shift in Vimeo’s corporate strategy. [Mia Sato / The Verge]
— TikTok is the official partner of the Cannes Film Festival, a partnership that will accelerate the short-form video app’s goal of becoming a top entertainment destination. Cannes will provide TikTok users with exclusive content from backstage, red carpet scenes and interviews with talent. [Elsa Keslassy / Variety]
— Poodles reemerged in the list of top five most popular dog breeds for the first time in nearly a quarter-century, according to the American Kennel Club. Labrador retrievers rank number one for an unprecedented 31 years. [Jennifer Peltz / AP News]
TODAY IN POLITICS
— President Biden this morning will receive his daily intelligence briefing and then speak about the assistance the US is providing Ukraine. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley will attend. This afternoon, the president will speak about the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. Attorney General Merrick Garland and Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra will attend. Biden will also speak this evening at The Ireland Funds 30th National Gala.
— Vice President Harris this afternoon will speak on community safety, including the campuses of HBCUs. Attorney General Garland and Education Secretary Miguel Cardona will also speak.
— First Lady Jill Biden this afternoon will attend a cancer cabinet meeting, the first since President Biden reignited the Cancer Moonshot initiative in February.
— The House is in and will consider legislation eliminating forced arbitration clauses in employment, consumer and civil rights cases and a bill that would ban discrimination based on a person’s hair texture or hairstyle.
— The Senate is in and will vote on several of President Biden’s judicial nominees.
READ ALL ABOUT IT
— Sarah Jones on the anti-abortion movement’s pseudoscience:
For proof, examine the movement’s record. Anti-abortion activists commonly make a variety of medical and scientific claims about contraception and abortion that have no evidential basis. They have insisted that abortion leads to cancer, infertility, and psychological disorders. The owners of Hobby Lobby believed that intrauterine devices, or IUDs, and the Plan B pill cause abortions. In Ohio, a previously proposed bill “would have prohibited insurers from covering abortion services but provided an exception for doctors to ‘reimplant’ an ectopic pregnancy into a woman’s uterus,” Bloomberg News reports, which is impossible. Current bills in Ohio and South Carolina would require doctors to tell patients who receive medication abortions that the procedure can be halted or reversed. A dozen other states have already passed similar laws, even though the claim they advance is based on an unproven, potentially dangerous treatment that isn’t endorsed by the medical community.
— Eric Levitz on modern capitalism:
In the 21st century, however, pension funds have been superseded by a new breed of shareholder, the asset manager. Whereas pension funds pool the retirement savings of households, asset managers pool the holdings of pension funds, insurers, sovereign wealth funds, and myriad other investors. In other words, they’re huge.
— Josh Eidelson on weight-based discrimination:
Unlike other forms of discrimination, companies can get away with such treatment because, in most places in the U.S., there’s no clear law against it. Only the state of Michigan and a handful of cities, such as San Francisco; Madison, Wis.; and Urbana, Ill., ban discrimination based on weight. (In contrast, more than half of U.S. states have laws protecting people who smoke cigarettes on their own time.) In 2013 a New Jersey Superior Court judge ruled that because the state hadn’t clearly outlawed weight discrimination, an Atlantic City casino was within its rights to regulate the weight of its “Borgata Babe” cocktail waitresses. “Plaintiffs cannot shed the label ‘babe’; they embraced it when they went to work for the Borgata,” wrote Judge Nelson Johnson, who’s also the author of Boardwalk Empire.
— Robin Givhan on how Ralph Lauren’s new collaboration with Morehouse and Spelman recognizes the fashion history of Black students:
Personal presentation has always been part of the story at Morehouse and Spelman, which has focused on classic liberal arts education rather than vocational training. The students dressed to express personal dignity, as a statement of academic intent and as an ode to respectability before that word implied a certain political surrender. The collaboration with Ralph Lauren “centers Morehouse in the American story. You look at those pictures and you can see the connection to the same fashion sensibilities that have defined Ralph Lauren. They were at Morehouse before Ralph Lauren was even born,” said Morehouse President David Thomas. “If we really think about Morehouse in the period of those pictures, if we hadn’t had racial discrimination, many of those young men could have gone to the best colleges in this country. Many could have ended up at Ivy League colleges.”
The images are both a reminder of the ways in which this country has failed to deliver on its promise but also a celebration of how Black Americans succeeded despite those core lapses. Thomas, speaking slowly and deliberately, repeats something that he said years earlier in a campus speech that continues to resonate: “Morehouse is an idea in the same way that America is an idea, which is that in this country, you can create Black male excellence at scale,” Thomas said. “Ralph Lauren is one of our cultural icons. And Morehouse is a cultural and, more importantly, an educational icon of what the country could be.”
— Tracy Hadden Loh on how hybrid work could improve downtown spaces:
So what should the new office look like? For office buildings, employers and landlords can search for inspiration in all of the “third places” (not home, not the office) where we know people like to do independent work: libraries, campuses, and coffee shops. They can also provide appropriate facilities for convening and collaboration. Workers can acknowledge that employers need them in person for culture building and the sharing of tacit knowledge—the kind of information that is hard to write down in a document or learn from reading, and that boosts collaboration and innovation.
America’s downtowns can go hybrid too. In public spaces and rights-of-way, that means fully committing to how cities adapted streets during the pandemic to create more outdoor room, reallocating space from storing and moving cars to gathering people. Changing land use—such as mixing in other kinds of buildings with offices—will take more time and money, but is equally necessary and doable. Cities must get to work evaluating the policy frameworks that guide construction—zoning, permitting, building codes, tax codes and incentives, and more—to ease the conversion of obsolete office buildings into things we do need, such as housing, schools, and care facilities. There is also a huge amount of pent-up demand for things and experiences we want. Concerts are selling out, events and street festivals are packed, and in-person shopping is recovering from its pandemic collapse. Let’s bring all this activity downtown.
— Olivia Craighead on the meaning of “creator”:
While “creator” may have once referred to a writer or a painter or an inventor or maybe God, it now most commonly describes people who create videos. People who have enough followers to monetize their TikTok videos through the “Creator Fund” are creators. YouTubers who land six-figure brand deals are creators. Vloggers and cat owners and 20-year-olds who hold up a microphone to strangers on the street and ask “What’s your favorite song?” are creators.
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