Switzerland is a country that is obsessed with time. From the punctuality of the rail network to expensive timepieces, the country is in thrall to old father time. It is no surprise that CERN is based here. Where better to study the very fabric of time than Switzerland?
But for people that have a tenuous grasp of relativity and particle physics the main event that affects our daily lives is the daylight saving changes that happen this Sunday at 2am. At this time the clock on your phone will mysteriously fast forward an hour to 3am leaving you dazed and confused as you stumble from the club and leave you feeling exhausted or worse, late for work on Monday morning.
It is no surprise then that Switzerland has a history of non-conformity when it comes to daylight saving. Imagine having to change all those expensive watches. Who changes the clocks at the railway stations? Imagine the poor confused cows. The bewildered scientists at CERN celebrating the invention of time travel when it’s simply the clocks going forward.
The debate over daylight saving has been ongoing for the past 100 years and with all Swiss decisions a 1978 referendum decided against adopting daylight saving time. That should have been the end of the story but the Federal Government were pressured to override the referendum after the introduction of directives from the European commission.
What’s the situation now? Well, the EU would like to remove daylight savings and, although Switzerland is not a member, the practicalities of trade and transportation logistics with her neighbours would force the issue. But it is far from decided as Europe is split between permanently adopting summer time or winter time. But whatever the future holds, i’m prepared for the missing hour. And for once it’s not alcohol related.
I’m a big fan or recycling so you’ll be glad to know i’m recycling this article from last year. Yes, it’s mushroom picking season and for those of you who don’t just consume the hallucinogenic type, picking
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Buckhauserstrasse 35, 8048 Zürich
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