Blog March 2015

ST. PATRICK'S DAY IN USA

Posted On: March 17, 2015

253 years ago, we celebrated the first St. Patrick’s Day Parade, in New York City.

But New York is not the state with the most residents with Irish ancestry. Actually, Massachusetts, has more than 21 percent of residents who have some Irish in them.

As we get ready to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, here’s a look at some facts about the Irish in America.:

  • Foreign-born residents with Irish ancestry: 251,033. Nearly 60 percent are naturalized citizens, according to the US Immigration bureau.
  • Education. Irish Americans are more educated than the nation as a whole, with more than 35 percent older than 25 holding a bachelor’s degree or higher. For the nation as a whole, that rate is nearly 30 percent.
  • There’s no place like home. There are 16 places in the United States named Dublin, which is Ireland’s capital. Dublin, Calif., claims the largest population of any of them, with more than 52,000 people.
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SPRING FORWARD

Posted On: March 03, 2015

WHY DO WE CHANGE THE CLOCKS ?

 

Some things always seem to signal the change from winter to spring. The first crocus. The sound of birds chirping. Turning the clocks ahead an hour.

On Sunday, March 8, at 2 a.m., people in most areas of the U.S. will turn their clocks ahead one hour to Daylight Saving (not “Savings”) Time.

You may have already noticed that it’s staying lighter later, thanks to the normal course of the Earth’s movements in relation to the sun, but Daylight Saving Time turbocharges this process. Of course, no daylight is actually being saved. We’re just moving an hour of daylight to later in the day — so, for example, on March 8 when the clock reads 6 p.m., it will look pretty much as bright as it was at 5 p.m. the day before. By the time June is here we’ll be able to enjoy the twilight well into the evening.

Not everyone participates in this temporal engineering. A handful of U.S. states and territories, including most of Arizona, Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, stick to Standard Time. 

Many people welcome the tradition of “springing” forward. It means an extra hour of daylight in the evenings, and signals the approach of spring and summer. So what’s the problem?

Well, some people complain about the lost hour of sleep (although they’ll probably be back on their game within a day or so), as well as the dark mornings for early-bird commuters. And be careful: Some studies show there’s an uptick in morning accidents after the switch because people aren’t used to traveling in the darkness.

Haters can start counting down the days until we (in the U.S.) turn our clocks back an hour and “fall” back to Standard Time on the second Sunday in November.

So even though we still have a few weeks to go until it’s officially spring, and in much of the country a lot longer until it actually feels like spring, celebrating Daylight Saving Time is a first step.

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