Time Is All The Time

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In her proponent stance on keeping Daylight Saving Time (DST), Marisa Demarco [Throwdown!, “Vote Yes for the Mutability of Time!” March 8-14] states “Man made time …” Actually, man developed methods of measuring time. Time exists no matter how it is measured (just as the physical three-dimensional space of length, width and depth exists independent of the system of measurement applied to them—meters, feet or rods, for instance).

More to the point of whether we should maintain DST are the considerations of energy saving and the effect it has on human life.

The claim that DST saves energy, although stated somewhat frequently as a reason for maintaining it, has not been proven. Generally left out of consideration is the energy expended by people resetting clocks, watches, VHS/CD/DVD players/recorders, etc. as well as other tasks which may be required by the twice a year time-keeping adjustment. Also, there is the impact that twice a year time-keeping change (artificial) has on each of our body’s circadian rhythms (natural). Continuing with this year’s earlier change to DST, we are spending more time on DST than we are on Standard Time. Why not eliminate DST altogether (some states in the U.S. and other countries of the world already use Standard Time throughout the year)? If necessary, businesses and other institutions may adjust their hours of operation.

One of the effects on human life, caused by the use of DST, is pointed out by Devin O’Leary [Throwdown!, “Down with Daylight (Saving)!” March 8-14]. He states that, when we change to DST, there are “… more [traffic] accidents in the morning. (School bus accidents went up …)” Even if energy were saved by DST, how many human lives is it worth?

Let’s move to having Standard Time all the time.

Spacey Museum

As Vice-Chair of the Governor’s Commission to the New Mexico Museum of Space History in Alamogordo, I offer a different view of the facility than the one stated in John Bear’s recent article “New Mexico Museum of Space History” [Feature, March 1-7]. The museum is currently in a state of transition, as all good museums should be. For example, during the past two years, several floors have been completely renovated. These new exhibits include “Icons of Exploration,” “X PRIZE,” the ViewSpace Theater and “Messengers from Space.” In addition, the Daisy Track Exhibit Building now hosts a mock-up of SpaceShipOne, the $10 million Ansari X PRIZE winner. Currently, the International Space Hall of Fame exhibit is being redesigned and a Smithsonian “Museum on Main Street” exhibit called “Yesterday’s Tomorrows” is scheduled to open in early May, thanks to the New Mexico Humanities Council.

The museum has changed its focus. Aware that the best artifacts are often retained by NASA or acquired by larger facilities such as the Smithsonian or the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center, the museum will be looking closer to home for artifacts. With our state poised to become the home of Spaceport America, the history of man’s venture into the universe will be written right here in the Land of Enchantment. The museum was recently honored to become the designated repository for Spaceport America and has already begun to acquire artifacts related to the spaceport.

The future holds much excitement for the museum. Plans are in the works to construct a new exhibits building on the grounds and to return the “Golden Cube” to its original purpose, that of the International Space Hall of Fame. The new building, when fully funded by Gov. Richardson and the N.M. Legislature, will allow the museum to display large artifacts currently in storage as well as new acquisitions.

Each of these endeavors and accomplishments has required the commitment and dedication of the museum staff, the International Space Hall of Fame Foundation and the 11 governor’s commissioners. We all care deeply about the museum, its future, its visitors, and its significant and positive impact on the surrounding community.

Very few facilities such as this are funded to the level they need to be, and the museum is no exception. The staff is to be commended for doing so much with so little. We empathize with John Bear’s feelings that southern New Mexico destinations such as the museum are at times overlooked. We invite you to do what we have done: Take action. Join the International Space Hall of Fame Foundation and help them make a difference. Work with us as we strive to maintain and expand this “jewel of Alamogordo.” It’s as easy as making a phone call to the museum at 437-2840 and telling them that you want to help.

Killing Me Softly

I don’t know who disgusts me more … the U.S. president and vice-president whose lies marched our country to war; the politicians in Washington, D.C. who refuse to investigate these lies through impeachment proceedings; or the politicians in Santa Fe who quietly killed any debate on the Senate Floor regarding SJR5—the measure which would have called upon Congress to initiate an investigation.

Shame on them all. The sooner the next generation can take control of the helm, the better off our country will be.

Letters should be sent with the writer’s name, address and daytime phone number via e-mail to letters@alibi.com. They can also be faxed to (505) 256-9651. Letters may be edited for length and clarity, and may be published in any medium; we regret that owing to the volume of correspondence we cannot reply to every letter.

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