Sunday, March 14, 2010

This Post Should Not Exist!

We have sprung forward, as of this morning, and now things happen earlier than they should. I say that this post shouldn’t exist because the Sunday that we spring forward has only 23 hours. The clock goes from 1:59 a.m. to 3 a.m. Thus, as far as the U.S. government is concerned, nothing could have happened in California at 2:01 a.m. on March 14, 2010. Ha! I have found a loophole! I am a Billy Pilgrim, skipping as I please through the malleable medium of time!

It’s… not as much fun as I thought it would be, I’ll admit. Anyone else a little tired?

EDIT: Above is the original post, as I intended to put it up. However, in actually going about entering the necessary data to make these words appear online, I hit a snag: Blogger actually wouldn’t let me post anything between 2 a.m. and 2:59 a.m. on March 14, 2010, hence the 1:59 a.m. time stamp. This chunk of time really doesn’t exist, at least according to the computers that run Blogger. I am no Billy Pilgrim. I have failed.

And, yes, I realize that computers are programmed to manually adjust their clocks when Daylight Savings Time comes and goes, but is anyone else surprised that the system won’t let users manually adjust it back? I mean, what if I was in Arizona?


  1. It's not that the clock is "manually adjusted" at all. Most times (including the time of your post) is stored in a simple format: number of seconds since midnight UTC on January 1st, 1970. Then it uses the timezone setting to decide how to display that time. 2010-03-14 01:59:59 PST was 1,268,560,799 seconds; 2010-03-14 03:00:00 PDT was 1,268,560,800. There's a distinct lack of numbers available between 1,268,560,799 and 1,268,560,800 to represent the hour that never happened, which is why you can't enter it.

    Had you been in a locale that didn't observe DST, the same exact 1,268,560,800 would have been printed as 2:00:00 PST instead of 3:00:00 PDT, but it would be the same moment. Dig?

  2. Mr Hobbs: That actually makes sense. Thanks for clearing it up, and thanks for doing so in a way a non-math-person like myself could understand.