Cows, Kaiser Wilhelm and Daylight Saving Time

Billions of people around the world experience general fatigue all day after losing an hour of sleep to daylight saving time. For years, conventional wisdom has been that it benefits one particular group: farmers, but that’s not actually true. There are no farming activities that benefit from daylight saving.

‘Of course daylight saving doesn’t benefit farmers, cows don’t care what time it is, because they’re cows, and cows are idiots.[1] So if it’s not for them, who is it for?

The modern daylight saving was introduced during the first world war as a fuel saving measure by the Germans. – That’s right, you lost an hour of sleep this morning thanks to Kaiser Wilhelm!

And while back then, daylight saving may indeed have saved fuel, in the modern era, energy consumption is a little more complicated. In fact, when Indiana adopted daylight saving in 2006, guess what happened: the data shows that daylight saving actually led to a 1% overall rise in residential electricity.

Of course it did, because switching on a lamp an hour later in the summer doesn’t really matter when you’re blasting an air conditioner and staying up all night psychotically scrolling through instagrams of your ex’s honeymoon to Morocco.

But that’s not to say daylight saving doesn’t have any effects at all. Studies show there is an increase of car accidents and work-related injuries the week after the time change. – That’s right, what you lose in sleep, you gain in mortal danger.

Despite all this, 70 countries around the world still observe daylight saving and yet by going by local news reports, none of them could tell you why. […]

So if it doesn’t benefit our energy bill, our health or our stupid, stupid cows, it has to make you wonder: daylight saving time, how is this still a thing?’

– Oliver. J. et. al. (2015, March 8) Daylight Saving Time – How Is This Still A Thing?: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

[1] The authors would like to underline they do not endorse the view that all cows are idiots. A 2004 study by Cambridge University researchers revealed cows have “eureka” moments, taking pleasure in their own learning achievements. When the cows made improvements in learning, they showed emotional and behavioral reactions that indicated excitement.

On Relativity

“When you sit with a nice girl for two hours, you think it’s only a minute. But when you sit on a hot stove for a minute, you think it’s two hours. That’s relativity.”

– Albert Einstein

One Hundred Quintillion Years

Not taking into account the first 10,000,000,000 years, the following events make up a very brief overview of the next 100,000,000,000,000,000,000 years:

  • [+14,400,000,000] Sun = Black Dwarf: Its temperature and luminosity will plummet, making it invisible to human eyes (not that they exist any more).
  • [+20,000,000,000] The Big Rip: One potential end of the universe. All matter will be torn apart by the expansion of the universe. All distances will become infinite – not good.
  • [+100,000,000,000] Local Group Merge: All local galaxies will start to merge. This process will take nearly one trillion years.
  • [+150,000,000,000] Cosmic Microwave Background: The afterglow of radiation from the Big Bang will cool from -27OC to near absolute zero, making it undetectable to current technology.
  • [+1,000,000,000,000] Earliest End Of Star Formation: Galaxies will have lost the gas clouds needed for star-formation. – Earliest estimate.
  • [+100,000,000,000,000] Latest End Of Star Formation: Lowest estimate for the end of stellar birth. The beginning of the ‘Degenerate Era’ of universe-wide star death.
  • [+110,000,000,000,000] Star’s Fuel Exhausted: All stars will have died. The only objects left are remnants: white dwarfs, neutron stars, black holes.
  • [+100,000,000,000,000,000,000] Earth Dies: If not consumed by a swollen Sun at 5.4 billion years, the Earth’s orbit will have finally decayed and it will plunge into the Sun.

See other: Events of the Far Future

Ten Billion Years

Not taking into account the first 1,000,000,000 years, the following events make up a very brief overview of the next 10,000,000,000 years:

  • [+1,300,000,000] End Of Most Cellular Life: CO2 starvation will kill all cells with a nucleus (eukaryotes), only those without nuclei (prokaryotes) will survive.
  • [+2,300,000,000] End Of Earth’s Magnetic Field: The Earth’s core will freeze. Rotation generates the magnetic field – no rotation and no field means no protection from the Sun.
  • [+2,800,000,000] The End Of Life: Surface temperature will rise to 147C. Virtually all life as we know it has no chance.
  • [+3,500,000,000] Earth Like Venus: The surface conditions will become near identical to that of Venus (read: very nasty).
  • [+4,000,000,000] Milky Way vs Andromeda: Our galaxy will collide with a massive neighbour forming a single, super Milkomeda galaxy.
  • [+5,400,000,000] Sun’s Hydrogen Exhausted: The sun will become a red giant.
  • [+7,900,000,000] Sun Hits Max Radius: The sun will expand to 256 times its current size. Mercury, Venus and Earth may be destroyed.
  • [+8,000,000,000] Sun Is White Dwarf: The sun becomes a carbon-oxygen star with about 54% of its current mass.

See other: Events of the Far Future

One Billion Years

Not taking into account the first 100,000,000 years, the following events make up a very brief overview of the next 1,000,000,000 years:

  • [+150,000,000] Atlantic Ocean Shrinks: America and Africa will start moving back until they collide.
  • [+240,000,000] Galactic Orbit: The solar system will have completed an entire orbit around the Milky Way.
  • [+250,000,000] All Continents Fused: All the continents will have fused into a new supercontinent along the lines of either Novopangea, Amasia or Pangea Proxima.
  • [+600,000,000] End Of C3 Photosynthesis: One of the three types of photosynthesis will no longer be possible; 99% of species will die out.
  • [+600,000,000] Total Solar Eclipses Impossible: Tidal accelerations will push the moon too far away from the Earth for total eclipses to be possible.
  • [+800,000,000] End Of C4 Photosynthesis: C4 photosynthesis will no longer be possible; all multicellular life will die out.
  • [+1,000,000,000] Game Over: The sun’s luminosity will increase by 10%, the Earth’s surface temperature will therefore rise to 47 degrees centigrade. As a result, all oceans will evaporate and the atmosphere will become a “moist greenhouse” – small pockets of water may still exist near the poles, allowing simple life.

See other: Events of the Far Future

One Hundred Million Years

Not taking into account the first 10,000,000 years, the following events make up a very brief overview of the next 100,000,000 years:

  • [+50,000,000] Mediterranean Gone: Africa will collide with Eurasia, sealing off the Mediterranean Basin and creating a mountain range similar to the Himalayas.
  • [+50,000,000] Antarctica Ice Melt: The Antarctic ice will travel north and melt, causing the sea levels to rise with 75 meters.
  • [+50,000,000] Merging Islands: The islands of Indonesia will merge with Australia.
  • [+50,000,000] Galactic Empire: At this time, the entire galaxy could probably be colonised even at sub-light speeds.
  • [+60,000,000] Earth’s Orbit Unpredictable: The effects of gravity multiply over long periods, this will make orbits chaotic and impossible to predict.

See other: Events of the Far Future

One Million Years

Not taking into account the first 100,000 years, the following events make up a very brief overview of the next 1,000,000 years:

  • [+296,000] Voyager 2 vs Sirius: The space probe will pass within 4.7 light years of the brightest star in the sky.
  • [+500,000] Asteroid Strike: The Earth will probably have been hit by an asteroid with a +1km diameter by now.
  • [+500,000] Safe Plutonium: The spent nuclear fuel in today’s reactors will be safe.
  • [+500,000] New Ice Age: A new global freeze will probably have made life on Earth very difficult for a large number of organisms by now.
  • [+1,000,000] Betelgeuse Explosion: The red supergiant will have exploded by now; the explosion will probably be visible in daylight.
  • [+1,000,000] Monuments: Massive stone structure like the Giza pyramid or stone sculptures like Mount Rushmore may still exist – everything else we see around us today will no longer be around.
  • [+1,000,000] Glass Decomposed: All glass created to date will have degraded.

See other: Events of the Far Future