Friday, December 23, 2011



You will note that I have been putting some of the files in this folder on the web server that is primarily dedicated to making blocking filters:
This folder has just been opened to the world.  It does need some cleaning up.  Basically it lets people see all the nuts and bolts that went into the making of those filters I created and I just used it for a parking point for the files that are used for this issue.  It has even led to my blocking cookie filter list being made a part of the Cookie Safe add-on for Firefox.  It is an optional portion of Cookie Safe.  My only question is, who would want these tracking cookies?  Now, does that mean people dedicated to doing away with DST have been given the boot?  No.  It just means they have been given their own folder that can be indexed into from the public folder which is just above it.  Here is where the NoMoreDST folder is at:
It does contain some things that are not in the blog.  Let me know if I have anything amiss.  I will have most of the files not at the top level but in sub-folders that are in year-month in numerics from now on.  I made it this way so if others have things of interest they can send them to me and I will add them into the folder.  This especially holds if it is something that gets rid of DST.

I did have a chuckle while cleaning up the links in the old blog entries.  The one for the bug in iPhone TZ (Time Zone) data-base for 2010 had disappeared.  So when I went to find another one, the iPhone had yet another new TZ database problem in 2011.  Here it is and maybe I better give them by date from now on to keep track of all of them:
If the people writing the TZ code at Apple can't get it right, then who can?  The people writing the code aren't stupid.  They may have a problem of thinking in local time instead of UTC time which make their lives more difficult but DST makes things infinitely more complicated than it should be.  I will say this over and over until we get the point through.  DST is way too complicated even for top tier computer scientists to write code to handle it.  Why do you think I use UTC time for my computers and everything else I can?  If you look in the folder you will see an entry for 2011-11 for my Opera Linux machine.  DST is too complicated, even for highly intelligent computer programmers!  If they can't handle it, then who can?  What got me started on this was the fact that Microsoft set the hardware clock for local time but Unix time systems use UTC time and the TZ database.  But every shift led to problems.

Circadian Rhythms

This blog is not dedicated to just random rambling.  In the near future I will be coming up with ideas where we can take this to the people.  What we want is some way of forcing a vote on the ballot to do away with DST.  On my part I have informed all the US Congresss people in my state about this blog.  I strongly urge others to do the same thing.  We are not going to get rid of Daylight Saving Time unless we have a grass roots effort.  Talk to your friends.  Talk to your families.  Just me writing a blog is not going to do it.  We need a ground swell movement until we get something sensible.

I finally boiled down the major cause of why there are so many suicides and health problems associated with two things.  The first is literally a loss of one hour of sleep.  People today are over-worked, under-paid, and tired!  Losing just one hour of sleep can be the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back.  But that is just one part of it. The other part may be an even bigger problem.  DST is throwing our Circadian rhythm off twice each year.  Many studies have been done showing that people who have their work schedules constantly changing have lower life-time expectancy and far more health problems.  Here are some URLs that will hopefully get us started:
The reason this blog entry has been so long in coming is because I have had a hard time getting a good handle on the issue of the health issues that are connected to DST.  Latitude is easy to see.  Even if the issues of Einstein's Theory of General Relativity and Quantum Physics are easier (at least for me) to understand than this issue which is terribly complicated.  I will come back and write more later when I get what I feel is a fair look at the issues.  I think what is making DST even worse now than it was 40 years ago from a health stand-point is because we have much more pressure now.  The DST spring shift with a loss of just one hour of sleep is just too much for the human body to handle any more.
First, here is a major clearing house for the health effects of Daylight Saving Time:
Health Effects of DST - Index
Here is the Swedish study and despite all of it's negative information, Sweden does have DST and has had it since 1980.  Before then the earlier period they had it was 1916.
Swedish Study
Here is an abstract of its effects on male suicide and it is highly technical:
Spring DST Effect on male suicide rates
I think something needs to be said here.  Just because we shift to doing things an hour earlier in the spring does not mean that wouldn't also have an affect on suicidal rates.  It is quite likely it would.  The only way I see out of it is having a shift of 30 minutes around the first of April and then another 30 minutes the first of May.  Would it be confusing?  It probably would be confusing the first few times but it actually be less confusing than which direction to shift the clock.  But it is obvious the lack of sleep is what is causing much of the problem  Having it chopped into two half hour losses may be better.  There is nothing wrong with the change of doing things an hour later in the fall.
Here are the affects it has on myocardial infaction (heart attacks) as published in the New England Journal of Medicine:
Heart Attacks
Here again, it is that spring time loss of one hour but in a way that tries to fool you that causes the problem.  Again, splitting it up into two half hour losses may help considerably.
Here is a fairly clear ordinary summation of the problems as given by Carrie Mayes, a licensed Chiropractic:
DST Problem Summation
Here is what the LA Times has to say about this idiotic way of doing things:
LA Times - Effects of DST
With so much conclusive evidence that it has bad health effects, especially in the spring then why does the entire world use Daylight Saving Time?  The answer is not blowing in the wind.  It is no farther away than a Wiki article:
Who Uses DST
I have only two words to say to the people maintaining that page.  Good luck.  I have yet to not have at least 6-12 updates to my TZ database on Linux per year.  Now, Russia has permanently shifted forward but with so many time zones (seven?) it must have been madness trying to keep it all in sync.
All that you can really say here is that there are very definite bad health effects of DST on people.  I think what I would do if I was New Zealand is use UTC time at the South Pole.  Can we have less bad effects by just shifting when people do things?  There are two answers here but realize that it is the spring shift that causes the problems.  The first is that if the shift is an entire hour at least by shifting it an hour you aren't messing with Circadian Rhythm except in an honest and open way.  But by losing only half hour twice with the clock held the same I believe you can minimize the bad health effects considerably.  Without trying it for say a three year time span we will never know. Next, TV schedules which I have already touched on.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Fortunately for all of us this is going to be a very short blog entry.  I must say though that every time I have turned around during the past few months I have had multiple time zone updates for my Linux / Unix type systems.  Since Time Zone updates are buried deep in the bowels of major updates for Windows systems they were also in them. You just do not see them but they cause problems for Microsoft as well.  But lets start off with the effects of latitude by asking a question, who can benefit from DST?  Surprisingly, unless your latitude lies within the range of 30 degrees to 45 degrees latitude North or South you just cannot benefit.  Why?  Well, if you are closer to the equator you just don't have that much difference between the daylight hours between the summer and winter solstices.  What you are trying to take advantage of is the fact that there are more minutes of daylight in the summer than there are in the winter, but not too many more minutes. You get these differences because the Earth's axis of rotation isn't vertical in relation to the sun but on a slant.  If you go farther away than 45 degrees of latitude away from the equator the differences between summer and winter minutes get abnormally large.  In fact they are so large you have a perpetual night in winter and if you only sleep when the sun is down in summer you aren't going to get enough sleep unless all you need is two to three hours per day.  But if you are in Miami the differences between the two just aren't that great.  Here is a starter URL:


I am not going to go out and find a cross section of the links of the effects of latitude on the number of daylight hours because almost all of them are wrong.  Just rest assured that the number of daylight seconds in Anchorage during the summer solstice is much greater than they are in Miami. You don't believe me?  Then look at this Mathematician's way of looking at it (and he is probably wrong on most of it because he didn't grasp the most salient point - the actual amount of seconds for day and night at any given day of the year at various latitudes):


Note when all of this is going on and when the person wrote it. It is very close to the 23 September, the fall equinox.  Guess what?  There isn't much difference between the number of daylight seconds at any given latitude for either the fall or spring equinox.  They are very close to 43,200 seconds for both daylight and night hours when you are at an equinox no matter what latitude you are at.  Where the differences are the greatest are when you are near the summer or winter solstices. Okay, isn't there really something that will show me why I got only 6 hours of sleep at the end of June in Tok Junction, Alaska?  Will it also show me I would have got almost my required ten to twelve hours of sleep down at Key West at that same time of year during the night?  Well, yes there is something that will show it and it is graphical:


Thank you University of Nebraska at Lincoln!  You have it correct!  You get an A not only for having it correct but by giving people a visual way of seeing how latitude affects things.  It enables you to see that the time shifts far more the farther you go away from the equinox by latitude.  You can actually see all of this by for example selecting either March 20 or September 23 and then varying the latitude.  If there is a difference  it is so minute most people don't see it.  Now select the day that DST ended in the US for the year 2010: 7 November.  Drag the latitude control from the southern tip of Florida to the Great Lakes area.  In the Keys at about 24.5 degrees North latitude you will have about 11 hours of daylight.  But in Duluth Minnesota at about 46.8 degrees you will have less than 9.6 hours of daylight.  There is definitely a difference of time for the two latitudes and it gets more pronounced both the farther you are away from the equator in latitude and the farther you are away from the equinoxes / closer you are to the solstices.

That leads to some problems.  Children in Key West may safely go to and from school on 5 November since they will probably have ample daylight between sun up and when they go to school.  But children in Duluth, Seattle, and other places will have difficulty because usually when they are traveling to school it is sometimes actually dark.  In addition to the danger they face, precious energy is wasted because they are getting up too early so lights are turned on, and temperatures are raised.  What this is leading to is that there is no one size fits all.  What is appropriate in Key West is not appropriate in Northern states or closer to the equator.  In fact it is so bad that in most of Alaska and Hawaii things are so bad that DST just doesn't make sense any more due to latitude.  But even for northern states in the 48 contiguous states of the US it also does not make sense.  In fact it is so bad that one thing that those time zone updates for Linux are indicating is that DST is going to come to an end sooner in the year 2011 than it did in 2010 in the Pacific time zone and other places.  I have a better solution.  Just shift the clock to the standard time this fall when they do that and leave it there.  Drop DST and just shift to doing things a little earlier if it makes sense for your given latitude and temperature conditions.  The reason Arizona doesn't do DST has gone on for 40 plus years now and it is very simple.  They shut down during the middle of the day during the summer because it is just too hot to do anything.  It is this kind of common sense thinking that needs to be done and to do it DST has to be brought to an end.  I don't want little children being killed in Duluth MN, Bismarck ND, Great Falls MT, or Seattle WA just because of an inflexible time system called DST.  It is time to send DST to the scrap heap and allow these people to decide regionally when it makes sense to starting doing things an hour later or maybe even splitting it up into two shifts of 30 minutes each.  By that I mean they would shift from a start time of 08:00 to 08:30, and then 09:00 a few weeks or month after that. That would be in the fall.  In late spring it could go the other way. But you don't have to shift the clock to do it.  All you need to is to change the start times to earilier in the spring and shift them back later in the fall. For some states like Tennessee (low change in latitude) it probably can be done by state.  For states like California it could be done by locale.  Crescent City is at about 41.45 degrees northern latitude, San Francisco is at 37.45, and San Diego is at 32.43.  If you start looking at those differences on that interactive graph provided by the University of Nebraska you should be able to see you may need something different in all of those locales. You may want to do the time shift eariler / later at each latitude or maybe no shift at all.  But you should do it without using DST!  I am committed to doing away with this stupid insane nonsense called DST once and for all.  It may have got started with the claims of saving energy with incandescent bulbs but I am not the only person that has swapped out incandescent for fluorescent which I did twenty years ago.  The biggest way to save energy is simple - use more insulation.  That and fluorescent bulbs reduce your electrical needs considerably.  The people in the Andalusian area of Spain have saved energy by having lots of cave dwellings.  They are much cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter and use much less energy.  That is the kind of thinking we need more of.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Hours Minuntes and Seconds of Time - Part 2

It is official.  In the United States on the 13th March 2011, the 02:00 will also be 03:00.  So if you have things that are set to local time that don't shift instantaneously from 02:00 to 03:00 you will have to do it yourself. In the past just making your time pieces spring forward an hour was enough.

I finally finished that humoungous NIST document on time.  Whew!  They even went through the concerns of whether or not time runs either forwards or backwards.  It seems that ever since the big bang and as the Universe has expanded entropy (randomness) has increased.  In fact it is the concern that if randomness could decrease that we could have been fooled and because of relativity that time could be going backwards.  Or it could even be that time could actually pulse backwards and forwards.  Then I confront this Darwin character who tells me that the Theory of Evolution does just that, that order comes out of chaos!  That makes me very suspicious that I should not accept Evolution.  Maybe the order was there from the beginning and still is.  I don't think Darwin gave the whole thing enough thought.  But then I doubt he knew all that much about Physics.

While doing other things and not even searching for something I run across this and at first thought it was just five things that would affect your health:

How they got five when I counted only four I don't know.  But it does show the problems that will be caused and that the time is upon us to yank the clock forward an hour, lose a precious hour of sleep, and have 02:00 instantaneously and mysteriously become 03:00.  Thanks goodness I do not have to worry about two programs at the same time since there will be no TV program from 02:00 to 03:00 since that hour doesn't even exist.  But the History Channel's on-line listing for MT will still be off and will be that forever.  I have no idea how they intend to resolve the Arizona versus the rest of MT zone issue, but my solution is simple - scrap DST!  Then the History Channel may finally get it correct but only if they finally calculate the local viewing time based on which of the two feeds given in UTC time that you get.  For the Universal Sports channel it is a little simpler. They have only one feed given in ET, so just subtract one hour in CT, two in MT, and three in PT. Okay, on to how we got hours, minutes, and seconds.

My avocation was to provide filters for people to protect them from
the abuses of the Internet:

I regularly pulled down and studied dozens of malware files per week.  If I keep them (zipped with encryption naturally) there is an entry like this as one of the description lines to identify what it is:

Date:   2010-10-22 14:06   (35411)

This date corresponds with a file named WrongPopCorn.pdf.  Boy do they have the name right.  It is a PDF file where the malicious Javascript is obfuscated by coding / encryption.  It is designated by AV companies as being either a Trojan.Pidief or Exploit.JS.Pdfka.cuk.  Now you know why I backed up and looked into the year calendar problem.  You can also see that business calendar that was proposed by the US Congress has a problem.  What do I do for the timing if I pull down the sample on the end of year day between December 30 and January 1st?


The other one is the leap day, but on that one we already have a problem with a birth on February 29th.  Instead of some people celebrating their 92nd birthday it is only their 23rd.  That is the up side.  The down side is that they have to wait 72 years for their 18th birth date so they have the right to vote. For me the answer is simple:

Date:   2010/2011 15:33

So there is a way out of it. Similarly, I can also handle the leap day with:

Date:   2012-(06-30)/(07-01) 02:23

I am not going to get into how to identify a file pulled down at 02:27 local time on 7 Nov 2010 and another one almost an hour later at 02:22 on the same year month, and day. Why not?  Because I use UTC time on my computers.  It is the ONLY way to fly for an IT person if they have a choice.  DST just causes way too many problems, especially if you have Linux and Microsoft Windows on the same machine.  Linux makes the internal clock time UTC and calculates your local time based on how you set your TZ variable.  Microsoft makes the internal clock in local time.  You will never get the two to ever agree.  Microsoft did it wrong just like the History channel has it wrong.  Specify it in UTC time as long as possible performing the conversion to local time at the last instant.

Several years back I watched a humorous episode of Northern Exposure where Maurice J. Minnifield purchased an ancient German clock for a huge amount of money.  Holling Vincoeur and Shelly Marie Tambo come by to see the marvelous clock only to point out that it is at least one hour out of time according to their inexpensive wrist watches that probably lose or gain no more than a few seconds at best or just a few minutes at worst every year unless the battery dies. Maurice has to put up with his clicking lemon but it does illustrate just how bad older chronographs were.

Then how did people handle this way back when?  They used the sun!  The sun came up, they got up or at least closed their shutters if they wanted to sleep more.  Most people didn't have clocks until the end of the late 19th or early 20th centuries.  Only the rich had them and for most people it was much later than the development of the first accurate mechanical clock by Huygens.


Actually.  most of Tennessee didn't have electrification until the mid 20th century with the Corp of Engineers TVA project which was instrumental in the making of the nuclear bomb during World War II.  The amount of energy expended in extracting the right isotope of Uranium for the bombs used more electric power than almost all other uses of electric power in the United States combined.  So if DST was meant to minimize the use of electrical power the solution is simple.  Stop making nuclear bombs!

Now here comes the first myth.  I keep reading idiots who say that Benjamin Franklin proposed DST.  He did no such thing!  He observed Parisians burning candles until late in the night, snd then closing their shutters in the morning to sleep longer.  So he humorously suggested the passing of a law that shutters should be taxed and candles rationed.  He also suggested that cannons be fired at first ight in the morning as a sort of communal alarm clock that would shift a few seconds or minutes plus seconds each day. But Franklin couldn't possbily have suggested DST because nobody had any accurate time pieces. There were no time zone standards and much of the other work that needed to be done to even consider time zones wasn't done until more than a century after his death. Franklin did some work on discovering what electricity was but it took almost 50 more years before the work of Faraday in understanding electricity and magnetism took place.  It took another 50 plus years before James Clerk Maxwell created his unifying theory of electricity and magnetism along with his famous equations. After that came the telegraph. Another 25 plus years and we have Nikola Tesla who gave us the AC current we use today.  DC is fine locally but it just can't be used any time the distance exceeds 5+ miles.

So what brought about the accurate time pieces we take for granted today?  A disaster involving the loss of many seamen by the Britsh Navy although the French also made earlier efforts:


John Harrison was the brilliant man who stepped up to the almost impossible task of creating a mechanical chronometer to measure the longitude:

Basically a mechanical chronometer or later a Cesium based chronometer are nothing more than extremely accurate time pieces.  But if you read that long NIST document you eventually understand that if you have a fixed rate of either velocity or starting velocity plus acceleration then distance traveled which is the known can be used to measure time elapsed. But it also correlates to the angular rotation of the earth where the distances aren't fixed because the distance traveled to move fifteen degrees at the equator is far more than it is near the poles.  But degrees of rotation can be used to calculate the time and given the latitude and knowledge of the mean radius of the earth distance traveled as well.

Dava Sobel wrote a book about the effort that was turned into a joint BBC and Arts and Entertainment series to dramatize the effort, comprising mainly the work that John Harrison did. Some have compared what Harrison did with an analogy of somebody coming up today and saying I have created a car that gets a thousand kilometers on a measley 4 liters of petrol.  The accuracy of his chronometers was just too good to believe.


This is all fine and well but how does that align with normal people do things?  Did Benjamin Franklin have a good watch?  I doubt it.  He probably had a clock which was not very reliable.  I doubt that they could count on them.  The lubricants they had were awful, frequently gumming up and sometimes even turning completely solid within less than one to two years. John Harrison got around that problem by using a wood named lignum vitae to reduce the friction and then invented what is called the grasshopper escapement which reduced the friction of the regulator movement almost to zero.  Harrison also found a way to fight the effects of heat and cold in a pendulum clock by creating the gridiorn pendulum which used alternating brass and iron rods to have the effects of cold and heat to cancel out due to the nature of the different properties of the two metals.

Eventually, what Harrison created spread widedly, was copied and eventually less expensive mechanical chronometers were created.  But people still used the lunar method on land to calculate the longitude even well into the 19th century.  What drove the change for the wider spread use of accurate chronometers was first the needs of seamen to find their longitude to prevent disasters.  It was further enhanced by a need for synchronizing railroads in the 19th century so that multiple locomotives could share the railroad lines and avoid collisions.  Even in the early 20th century the Trans-Siberian railway which was created consisted of just one ribbon of two rails where one train going the opposite direction of another had to go off on a siding to allow another train going the opposite direction to pass. It was critical to have accurate time with telegraph and then telephone to avoid collisions.  But finally it was the industrialization that hastened the adoption of time keepers and schedules and the abandoning of when the sun is x amount of degrees up from either east or west, please show up.  Time zones were finally created, primarily for railroads in the United States and Russia to give some standardization to time.  Time zones were not needed in England and most of western Europe which was just set as one hour later than it was in England. But time zones were needed in India and throughout the rest of the British empire, the United States, the rest of Europe, and Russia.

The needs of the navies and the railroads finally led to the creation of the GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) and standardized time zones in the late 19th Century:

DST was first implemented during World War I as an energy saving measure.  It was dropped almost immediately.  It should be obvious that World War II was what drove the US military to adopt Zulu time (GMT) as their standard time. It finally all led up with the invention of the Cesium atomic clock to create the replacement of GMT time with what we use today, UTC time which is now the standard:

Actually, the UTC acronym is a French designation which seems to be lost.  I think it was Universale Time Coordinaire.  Okay, what is going on here?  At the start we have seamen dying because of inaccurate chronometers (clocks / watches) who didn't know their correct longitude.  Before they had accurate chronometers seamen had to estimate their longitude solely by dead reckoning.  If they reckoned wrong, they frequently ended up dead.

At the end we have Maurice Minnifield finding out just how far people had progressed in creating more accurate chronometers in just a few hundred years. An inexpensive wrist watch costing less than $15 beat out his expensive multi-thousand dollar German clock that wasn't more than 250 years old.

But we also have this monster called Daylight Saving Time smashing forward an entire hour every spring and yanking it back another hour every fall.  It is worse than that.  In America there is one hour on one day in spring that no longer exists:  02:00 ... 03:00. In the fall we have one hour repeated twice: 02:00 ... 03:00. In the fall we have one hour repeated twice: 01:00 ... 02:00. Why do that? Here the brains behind this time business have worked for centuries to the point you can frequently find your longitude by just using the GPS capabilities stuffed into your cell phone (using UTC time, not local time).  But we also have these idiots in the Congress of the United States and various other legal bodies in other countries around the world that pass this insane nonsense called DST with no thought for the problems it causes just to satisfy the retailing lobby.  The biggest part of that lobbying effort that accrues the greatest benefits are the petro-chemical and sporting industies. At the very apex is the Golf industry.  We have this thrashing and destroying of the carefully crafted time by some people just so they can increase their profits up to a whopping extra 50% for the golf industry by using DST to achieve it.  Talk about the tail wagging the dog!  And to prove the point that it is bipartisan, Senators Hatch and Kennedy argued with each other non-stop all day only to join each other on the golf course at the end of the day.  I don't mind them loving golf. But I KNOW this thrashing of the time clock MUST come to an end! Tell Senator Hatch to play his extra round of golf at the time it is really at, 8:00 PM rather than 7:00 PM (for me 20:00 local time).  If they want to make it any longer just be honest and schedule congressional meetings an hour earlier from spring through fall.

Here are some extra links on time:

With metric time we have 24 hours per day versus 10 hours per day versus 30 which seems to be rather inconsistent.  Ten is definitely not enough.  Some of the time even 24 hours is not enough and we have some rather strange time zones at various places in the world.  Thirty may be even more appropriate measuring 12 degrees of longitude rather than 15 degrees with our current 24 hour days.

The main thing to remember is that compared to DST, there is a lot of very deep thinking going into measuring hours, minutes, and seconds extending all the way into the Theory of Relativity for the large (the cosmos) on down to Quantum Mechanics for the small (the atom and sub-atomic particles).  Compared to all of this deep thinking about time the thrashing around of Daylight Saving Time would be comical if it were not for the problems it causes.  But it is quite a contrast that highly skilled technical people have made great efforts to make time measurement better and better over hundreds of years.  But now we have Daylight Saving Time that is throwing a monkey wrench into the works.

Whew!  I am glad we got this out of the way.  Next we look at the safety issues and the effects of latitude.  What this is all leading up to is to say goodbye to DST and start with voluntarily doing things earlier that takes into account things like latitude and other things.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Hour Minutes and Seconds Of Time - Part 1

The HMS in the label does not stand for either "His Majesty's Service, nor "Her Majesty's Service.  It is a short-hand for Hours, Minutes and Seconds. It has been way too long since I last posted.  I am now going to show you the reason why.  NIST has some publications.  Here is their main URL on this:

NIST Timekeeping

Here is the short PDF file for you to look at:

NIST PDf (short)

I have of course already read it.  Now here is the long one which must have taken people a year to put together.  It is 300 pages long and even goes into the quantum physics among other things:

NIST PDF (long)

I saw a humorous episode of Black Adder the other day where the king was supposedly going to have to participate in a duel at 6:00 PM.  I wish it was true but for the time given it probably wasn't.  Time that accurate really didn't take off until the end of the 19th century.  They would have said, meet at sun-down. I am going to touch on that - how time in increments first of hours, then minutes, and then seconds came about.  At least now you can look at what goes into getting the time right.  Most people have never given it much thought but electric utility companies need ways of merging two power sources with each other so that both are in sync with each other which requires accurate time-keeping.  Ships at sea and railroads were the primary things that made it necessary for us to have more accurate time.  So read these and stay tuned.  I am just going to briefly summarize those 300 pages, most of which I already knew it but there are things that I am learning.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Days of Time

Before I get started on the next section I am going to take two more blog posts on how we got to where we are at today.

Mayan Calendar and Moon Cycles
I don't know how many times I have heard the Mayan Calendar is much more accurate than the Gregorian Calendar and that it ends in the year 2012. Please define the meaning of "more accurate" to me.  If by more accurate you mean that it does a better job of keeping in sync with how many actual days there are per year then the two Mayan Calendars are woefully inadequate compared to the Gregorian Calendar.  Two?  Yes, there are two of them.  Actually one could argue that the "Long Count" means they actually have three calendars. Here they are:

The shorter calendar is the Tzolk'in.  It consists of 13 equal periods of 20 days.  Other than it perhaps being used for crop planting or for the theories it is rather misunderstood why they picked the cycles of 20 days.  In the old world, the numbering system of science was the sexagesimal (base 60) system. It does appear likely that the Mayans were using a modified base 20 system though. Note that 13 * 20 gives us only 260 days per cycle.  The main thing of interest here is that it is not aligned with the cycles of the moon.  This is of particular note because both the Jewish and the Islamic and many other calendar systems are tied to the cycles of the moon.  It wasn't until the Julian calendar was created that the days per year were being used, albeit wrongly.  Here is a short program I wrote that shows how the Tzolkin and the Haab calendars finally align again after 73 Tzolkin years and 52 Haab years:

Tzolkin & Haab Year Synchronization

Do not panic.  Mostly what you are seeing is the output of the program itself which I merged into the comment header.  The tiny little program is down at the bottom.

The other calendar is an eye opener.  It is called the Haab which consists of eighteen periods of 20 days each with an extra non year time of five days called the Wayeb.  The fact that it also uses 20 day cycles strengthens the idea that they may have used a base 20 number system.  But note that means these years always have 365 days, not the 365.25 days of the Julian Calendar nor the 365.2425 days per year of the Gregorian Calendar.  And thus my statement that it is not the most accurate calendar system if you intend to synchronize as closely as possible to the sun from one vernal equinox to the next vernal equinox.

So what is the significance of the year 2012?  You will note that these two calendars are almost always staggered from each other. By using haab years as a baseline, they synchronize every 52 years.  For longer periods of time they use what is called the long count.  What the date in the Gregorian calendar of December 21, 2012 corresponds to is just the first day of the fourteenth b'ak'tun.  I have studied this system extensively and the first thing I can say is that this day is nothing more than that.  Their calendars don't end then and can in fact go on into perpetuity not only forwards but backwards as well. Not only that, but if there would be any adjustments made it would be handled much the same as the Gregorian.  The problem with the Gregorian is coming up with how many days there really are in a year.  If the actual measurement is only 365.24219 days per year as I have read some place, then the Gregorian length of 365.2425 days per year is is too big.  In that case we would be adding an extra day every 3225.8 years and would need to drop a day.  But if it is like this Wikipedia page on leap years indicates:

we are supposedly not having too much added each year but too little. Come back in 3226 years and see if a day needs to be added or dropped.  In the mean time please realize the "Leap Year" article is probably correct because all of the leap seconds so far are being added, not subtracted.  The Gregorian calendar is about as accurate as you can get in terms of how many days (360 degree rotation of the earth) there are in a year (a complete 360 degree revolution of the earth around the sun to come back to the same position from one vernal equinox to the next vernal equinox).

Okay, what does this have to do with our DST problem?  It shows that time measurement has always had anomalies. It has always been limited by the ability to measure it, and first getting away from lunar cycles and instead using the length of a solar year as expressed in days per year.  But we had to get how many days there were per year with the Julian as the first attempt at getting it right followed by the Gregorian.  Next, we will be showing how we got hours, minutes and seconds done. This isn't as easy as you think.  Galileo Galilei didn't come up with the idea of the squared rule for falling bodies very easily until he put the balls on an inclined plane and used distances covered as a way for showing that acceleration was proportional to the square of the time and a constant.  That is because he had no accurate time-piece to measure things.  But you can actually use distance traveled to measure time. So, next, hours minutes and seconds.  We didn't even have accurate hours for everybody until the end of the 19th century and accurate clocks for everybody until the 20th century.  Only sea-farers had accurate chronographs from the time John Harrsion invented them up into the 19th century.

Marine Chronometers

Railroads also needed accurate chronometers.  Oh yes, I forgot to mention that all of my operating systems have had two more time zone updates due to DST.  If DST is so simple then why do we keep having these changes?