Everything I thought I knew about daylight saving time was wrong.

On the first Sunday in November, millions of people will set their clocks back an hour, marking the end of daylight saving time.

But while this autumnal tradition is engrained in our brains (and the extra hour of sleep circled on our calendars), most of us still don't know the scoop behind this semi-annual event.

Photo by iStock.


But don't worry — I've got you. Let's take a few minutes out of your free hour to bust some myths about why we even have daylight saving time to begin with.

1. This is all because of farmers, right?

Historically, no. It turns out they kind of hate it.

Farmers are known the world over for two things: 1) getting up early and 2) working really hard. But, historically, it's the sun, not the clock that kicks off their day, so while people often blame daylight saving time on the farmers, that time jump is actually really disruptive for them. Shipments and orders still need to be filled at the same time, but there's one less hour of morning daylight to get things done.

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images.

What you might know is that farmers and the agriculture lobby actually fought to repeal daylight saving time in 1919, and it passed after Congress overrode President Woodrow Wilson's veto. But, as you may have guessed, that veto didn't last long.

2. OK, but springing forward saves a ton of energy and money, right?

Well, that was the plan anyway.

At the dawn of World War I, Germany thought, "Hey, we should turn the clocks back to help save coal and reduce lighting needs for the war effort." So, in 1916, they became the first country to give it a try (a few places in Canada had tried it before then as well). Before long, other countries were like, "Yeah, they're onto something." Daylight saving time arrived in the U.K. a few weeks later and then in the U.S. (as a temporary measure) in 1918.

After a few more experiments with daylight saving time, the U.S. made it permanent in 1966 with the Uniform Time Act.

Photo by iStock.

But does it actually save us energy? Kind of.

In a 2007 study, economists at the California Energy Commission found that extending daylight saving time a few weeks had little effect on energy use in the state. In fact, the drop was 0.2%, within the study's margin of error.  But a 2008 study by the federal energy department found extending daylight saving time saved 0.5% in total electricity each day. It doesn't sound like much, but that's about 1.3 billion kilowatt hours, enough to power 100,000 homes for a year.

Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images.

3. But most people like it and that's why everyone participates, right?

Nope. Not quite.

The United States aren't so united on this issue, with Arizona (with the exception of the Navajo Nation) and Hawaii electing to sit out the semi-annual time jump. Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and American Samoa don't participate either.

The U.S. is one of more than 70 countries around the world that observe some form of daylight saving time. (As a reminder, there are just under 200 countries on Earth.)

This clock vendor in Seoul, South Korea, is probably really glad the country doesn't observe daylight saving time. Photo by Ed JonesAFP/Getty Images.

4. Money saving or not, the time change is good for your body and mind, right?

Again, that depends.

The smart folks at Scientific American examined two daylight saving time related health phenomena.

First, the incidence of heart attacks rose about 5% during the first week of daylight, at least according to a study conducted in Sweden in the late-1980s. The same researchers published a paper in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2008 suggesting the increase may be due to sleep disruptions and biological rhythms getting out of whack.

By the same token, there are fewer automobile versus pedestrian traffic accidents since more people are driving home during sunlight.

Then again, correlation is not causation. So what do I (or those smart folks) know? Basically, the jury's out on this one.

Heart attack? Car accident? Was a time jump (or lack thereof) to blame? Photo by iStock.

5. Fine. But there's definitely an S on "daylight savings," right?

No, I haven't been using the wrong word this entire time. It's daylight saving time. I promise. Google it.

Somewhere along the way, we all made it plural when we started explaining it. But you know what, don't worry about trying to break the habit. Language is fluid. Time is a construct. Just roll with it.

GIF via "Steven Universe."

So, you ask, why are we still trying to make this a thing?

Well, twice a year, plenty of people ask that very question. And the chorus against daylight saving time is growing stronger and stronger at the state level, where elected officials are pushing bills from coast to coast to relegate daylight saving time to the history books.

"What is the use in having this?" Texas State Representative Dan Flynn (R) told the NBC affiliate in Dallas. "And no one has a good reason."

He's not wrong.

But no matter how you feel about daylight saving versus standard time, it's here, and we all get an extra hour this weekend.

My recommendation: Use your hour to do what makes you happy. (And by the way, it's not really an extra hour, it's just the hour the government swiped from you in the spring.) Either way, make the most of it. Sleep in. Volunteer. Take a hike. Catch up on "Luke Cage."

But get going, you only have a few more minutes.

Photo by Haidar Hamdani/AFP/Getty Images.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."

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Dr. David McPhee offers advice for talking to someone living in a different time in their head.

Few things are more difficult than watching a loved one's grip on reality slipping away. Dementia can be brutal for families and caregivers, and knowing how to handle the various stages can be tricky to figure out.

The Alzheimer's Association offers tips for communicating in the early, middle and late stages of the disease, as dementia manifests differently as the disease progresses. The Family Caregiver Alliance also offers advice for talking to someone with various forms and phases of dementia. Some communication tips deal with confusion, agitation and other challenging behaviors that can come along with losing one's memory, and those tips are incredibly important. But what about when the person is seemingly living in a different time, immersed in their memories of the past, unaware of what has happened since then?

Psychologist David McPhee shared some advice with a person on Quora who asked, "How do I answer my dad with dementia when he talks about his mom and dad being alive? Do I go along with it or tell him they have passed away?"

McPhee wrote:

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When Sue Hoppin was in college, she met the man she was going to marry. "I was attending the University of Denver, and he was at the Air Force Academy," she says. "My dad had also attended the University of Denver and warned me not to date those flyboys from the Springs."

"He didn't say anything about marrying one of them," she says. And so began her life as a military spouse.

The life brings some real advantages, like opportunities to live abroad — her family got to live all around the US, Japan, and Germany — but it also comes with some downsides, like having to put your spouse's career over your own goals.

"Though we choose to marry someone in the military, we had career goals before we got married, and those didn't just disappear."

Career aspirations become more difficult to achieve, and progress comes with lots of starts and stops. After experiencing these unique challenges firsthand, Sue founded an organization to help other military spouses in similar situations.

Sue had gotten a degree in international relations because she wanted to pursue a career in diplomacy, but for fourteen years she wasn't able to make any headway — not until they moved back to the DC area. "Eighteen months later, many rejections later, it became apparent that this was going to be more challenging than I could ever imagine," she says.

Eighteen months is halfway through a typical assignment, and by then, most spouses are looking for their next assignment. "If I couldn't find a job in my own 'hometown' with multiple degrees and a great network, this didn't bode well for other military spouses," she says.

She's not wrong. Military spouses spend most of their lives moving with their partners, which means they're often far from family and other support networks. When they do find a job, they often make less than their civilian counterparts — and they're more likely to experience underemployment or unemployment. In fact, on some deployments, spouses are not even allowed to work.

Before the pandemic, military spouse unemployment was 22%. Since the pandemic, it's expected to rise to 35%.

Sue eventually found a job working at a military-focused nonprofit, and it helped her get the experience she needed to create her own dedicated military spouse program. She wrote a book and started saving up enough money to start the National Military Spouse Network (NMSN), which she founded in 2010 as the first organization of its kind.

"I founded the NMSN to help professional military spouses develop flexible careers they could perform from any location."

"Over the years, the program has expanded to include a free digital magazine, professional development events, drafting annual White Papers and organizing national and local advocacy to address the issues of most concern to the professional military spouse community," she says.

Not only was NMSN's mission important to Sue on a personal level she also saw it as part of something bigger than herself.

"Gone are the days when families can thrive on one salary. Like everyone else, most military families rely on two salaries to make ends meet. If a military spouse wants or needs to work, they should be able to," she says.

"When less than one percent of our population serves in the military," she continues, "we need to be able to not only recruit the best and the brightest but also retain them."

"We lose out as a nation when service members leave the force because their spouse is unable to find employment. We see it as a national security issue."

"The NMSN team has worked tirelessly to jumpstart the discussion and keep the challenges affecting military spouses top of mind. We have elevated the conversation to Congress and the White House," she continues. "I'm so proud of the fact that corporations, the government, and the general public are increasingly interested in the issues affecting military spouses and recognizing the employment roadblocks they unfairly have faced."

"We have collectively made other people care, and in doing so, we elevated the issues of military spouse unemployment to a national and global level," she adds. "In the process, we've also empowered military spouses to advocate for themselves and our community so that military spouse employment issues can continue to remain at the forefront."

Not only has NMSN become a sought-after leader in the military spouse employment space, but Sue has also seen the career she dreamed of materializing for herself. She was recently invited to participate in the public re-launch of Joining Forces, a White House initiative supporting military and veteran families, with First Lady Dr. Jill Biden.

She has also had two of her recommendations for practical solutions introduced into legislation just this year. She was the first in the Air Force community to show leadership the power of social media to reach both their airmen and their military families.

That is why Sue is one of Tory Burch's "Empowered Women" this year. The $5,000 donation will be going to The Madeira School, a school that Sue herself attended when she was in high school because, she says, "the lessons I learned there as a student pretty much set the tone for my personal and professional life. It's so meaningful to know that the donation will go towards making a Madeira education more accessible to those who may not otherwise be able to afford it and providing them with a life-changing opportunity."

Most military children will move one to three times during high school so having a continuous four-year experience at one high school can be an important gift. After traveling for much of her formative years, Sue attended Madeira and found herself "in an environment that fostered confidence and empowerment. As young women, we were expected to have a voice and advocate not just for ourselves, but for those around us."

To learn more about Tory Burch and Upworthy's Empowered Women program visit https://www.toryburch.com/empoweredwomen/. Nominate an inspiring woman in your community today!