Pat Shingleton: "Time Changes, Swinging Bridges and Porches..."
In 2005, Congress extended Daylight Saving Time by four weeks and tonight we will adjust our time devices as we say goodbye to Daylight-Saving-Time. Daylight-Saving-Time makes the sun "set" one hour later, reducing the period between sunset and bedtime by one hour. It was first mentioned by Benjamin Franklin in 1784 and advocated by London builder William Wellett in his pamphlet "Waste of Daylight." He proposed advancing clocks 20 minutes over four Sundays in April and retarding them by the same amount over four Sundays in September. In 1916, England followed Germany and adopted "British Summer Time." During World War II, clocks were put two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time, referred to as Double Time. Imagine 30 to 35 mph winds swaying, buckling and toppling the Sunshine Bridge. On this date in 1940, residents of Tacoma, WA were stunned as to what occurred the day before. On November 7, 30 to 35 mph winds caused the Narrows Bridge in Tacoma, WA, to vibrate excessively. Moments later, it collapsed into the water. The collapsed span was called "Galloping Gertie" and was later inducted into the Engineering Hall of Shame. It was also the start of the meteorological field of wind engineering. Now, meteorologists specializing in atmospheric winds collaborate with structural and civil engineers in the construction of high-rise buildings, sports stadiums, bridges and other large structures. "Wind-proofing" of coastal residences continues to save billions of dollars when storms make landfall. In closing, porches were originally designed to provide sufficient space for a person to pause before entering or exiting a home or building. Porches in England provided cover for worshipers and for liturgical use. Before a baptism, the priest would begin the service on the porch. In later medieval times, a room was added above the porch to be used as a school room, storeroom or armory. It was also used as a custodian residence for supervision of the church. I remember our back porch as a sitting area for removal of working clothes, boots and shoes, thus preventing the interior of the house from getting dirty. Our covered front porch provided protection from sun and rain. The porch was a place of interaction with family, friends and visitors. It seems that porches are for aesthetic reasons rather than relationship reasons.