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CHRIS KATTERJOHN Commentary: Reflections on DST, Governmentium

June 26, 2006

I love it. It makes summer even better than it already was.

I don't believe, as a friend of mine recently suggested, that DST is a plot by Republican businessmen to play more golf in the summer.

No, it was a sound economic development move, and I'm glad the Legislature wised up and made it happen. Big picture, it's good for business. Speaking of which, I haven't talked to a single businessperson who's seriously complaining about the time change. If there are any out there, I'd like to hear from them.

From what I've heard and read, even drivein movie theaters-some of the biggest DST opponents-aren't moaning. In fact, they're happy now because it hasn't had the negative impact they expected on their business.

The only two complaints I've heard so far have been from parents of young children who are struggling to get their kids to go to bed when it's still light out, and from a friend who doesn't really appreciate his neighbor's lawn mower going at 9:30 p.m.

Small prices to pay.

I love the freedom of getting home from work and having more time to work out or play in my yard or go for long bike rides in the country. That's what summer is all about: more light during the waking hours and warm weather to take advantage of it.

I find myself eating dinner a lot later because I get so carried away with what I'm doing. But it doesn't seem to be affecting my weight or sleep habits, so, again, no big deal.

The brouhaha over DST was much ado about nothing and an example of the Hoosier aversion to change.

But somehow, amid all the hubbub, I missed the big news: Thanks to the Energy Policy Act of 2005 signed last year by President Bush, DST will be extended four weeks next year, beginning on the second Sunday in March and ending the first Sunday in November.

The good news keeps on coming. A new element for the Periodic Table

A neighbor sent the following via e-mail. I attempted to find the origin of the piece to give its creator the proper credit, but was unsuccessful. I did discover that it's at least a year old. I'm surprised I haven't seen it before now.

"The recent hurricanes and gasoline issues are proof of the existence of a new chemical element. A major research institution has recently announced the discovery of the heaviest element yet known to science.

"The new element has been named Governmentium. Governmentium (Gv) has one neutron, 25 assistant neutrons, 88 deputy neutrons, and 198 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312.

"These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons.

"Since Governmentium has no electrons, it is inert. However, it can be detected, because it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. A minute amount of Governmentium can cause a reaction that would normally take less than a second to take over four days to complete.

"Governmentium has a normal half-life of 4 years; it does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places. In fact, Governmentium's mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganization will cause more morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes.

"This characteristic of moron promotion leads some scientists to believe that Governmentium is formed whenever morons reach a critical concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as critical morass. When catalyzed with money, Governmentium becomes Administratium-an element which radiates just as much energy as Governmentium since it has half as many peons, but twice as many morons."

Somehow, that and DST are a good combination.

Have a great summer.



Katterjohn is publisher of IBJ. To comment on this column, go to IBJ Forum at www.ibj.comor send e-mail to ckatterjohn@ibj.com.
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