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On this day in history, Nov. 18, 1883, North American railroads create time zones, reshape global life

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American and Canadian railroads enacted time zones — a concept that schedules all aspects of life today — on this day in history, Nov. 18, 1883. 

The rail industry’s creation of time zones was a brazen attempt to bend time to its will. 

It brought sanity to a sprawling patchwork system of local timekeeping based on the ancient method of following the sun, the system used since human time began.

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“Back in the early 1800s, the sun served as the official ‘clock’ in the U.S., and time was based on each city’s own solar noon, or the point when the sun is highest in the sky,” Union Pacific railroad writes in its history of time zones. 

“This timekeeping method resulted in the creation of more than 300 local time zones across the country — not to mention disparity in local time depending on your location. So, for example, while it could be 12:09 p.m. in New York, it could also be 12:17 p.m. in Chicago.”

Union Pacific Diesel Locomotive Train, Cajon Pass near Ono, California, 1964. Sprawling distances across North America and a patchwork of local methods of timekeeping encouraged railroads to adopt time zones in 1883.

Union Pacific Diesel Locomotive Train, Cajon Pass near Ono, California, 1964. Sprawling distances across North America and a patchwork of local methods of timekeeping encouraged railroads to adopt time zones in 1883.
(Photo by: GHI/Universal History Archive via Getty Images)

The system that railroads pioneered did not become federal law until the passage of the Standard Time Act on March 19, 1918, amid World War I

With an estimated 100,000 Americans alive today over the age of 100, tens of thousands of U.S. citizens still alive now were born into a world without uniform time. 

“Back in the early 1800s, the sun served as the official ‘clock’ in the U.S.” — Union Pacific railroad

Charles F. Dowd, an educator at what’s now Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York, first proposed the concept of time zones across the U.S. in 1870. 

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“Dowd’s plan divided the country into four time zones. He used the 75th meridian, which runs through New York State, as the base for his Eastern Standard Time,” explains the Madison Historical Society from the Connecticut hometown of the time pioneer. 

A color map showing the divisions of standard time, Pacific, Mountain, Central and Eastern, across the United States, 1922. 

A color map showing the divisions of standard time, Pacific, Mountain, Central and Eastern, across the United States, 1922. 
(Photo by Interim Archives/Getty Images)

“He then assigned three cross-country meridians: Central Standard (90th); Mountain Standard (105th); Pacific Standard (120th). Each zone time was set one hour apart.”

Dowd slowly built support for his plan from academics. But the fractured railroad industry, with hundreds of companies competing for traffic and dollars, proved harder to harness.

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He found an influential ally in William F. Allen, a railroad engineer and editor of the “Traveler’s Official Railway Guide.”

“With his helpful modifications — and Dowd’s continual work — Allen convinced railroad officials to adopt (time zones),” the Madison Historical Society explains. 

Grand Central Terminal in midtown Manhattan opened in 1913 just 30 years after railroads pioneered the creation of time zones — and five years before the system became federal law in the United States.

Grand Central Terminal in midtown Manhattan opened in 1913 just 30 years after railroads pioneered the creation of time zones — and five years before the system became federal law in the United States.
(Kerry J. Byrne/Fox News Digital)

“On November 18, 1883, Allen was on hand at the Western Union Telegraph System building in New York City to witness the plan’s implementation. Room 148 contained the company’s regulator clock. At 9 a.m., the clock was stopped for precisely three minutes and 58:38 seconds. The clock was then restarted, and Eastern Standard Time was born.”

The concept of time zones quickly spread around the world.

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“The following year a conference was held in New York City to determine the location of the prime meridian, which refers to zero degrees longitude,” reports the website of California cartographer GeoJango Maps. 

“It was decided that Greenwich, England, would act as the Earth’s prime meridian and that the 24 time zones would be based off … this location.”

The four continental North American time zones used today — Eastern, Central, Mountain, Pacific — look substantially similar to those envisioned by Dowd in the 1870s. 

In this November 1943 file photo, bodies and wrecked amphibious tractors litter a battlefield after U.S. Marines from the 2nd Division forced back the Japanese on Betio island in the Tarawa Atoll, Kiribati. The nation of Kiribati sprawls across both the International Date Line and the equator. 

In this November 1943 file photo, bodies and wrecked amphibious tractors litter a battlefield after U.S. Marines from the 2nd Division forced back the Japanese on Betio island in the Tarawa Atoll, Kiribati. The nation of Kiribati sprawls across both the International Date Line and the equator. 
(AP Photo, File)

The time zone concept, as clean as it may appear, creates chaos in one isolated Pacific Ocean island nation.

Kiribati sprawls across about 1.4 million square miles of ocean. The World War II Battle of Tarawa, pitting United States Marines against entrenched Japanese defenders, took place in what’s now Kiribati.

The nation straddles both the International Date Line and the equator. So it can be Friday and Saturday in Kiribati — and both summer and winter — all at the same time.

The nation created its own unilateral time zones, bucking the international standard, on Dec. 31, 1994, to solve the problem.

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“These rarest of time zones were established by Kiribati,” writes watchmaker TAG Heuer, “for the purpose of removing certain absurdities from the daily lives of its citizens.”

“Today, the U.S Department of Transportation oversees the nation’s time zones and the uniform observance of Daylight Saving Time,” writes Union Pacific, “including exercising the authority that allows a state to change its official time zone.”

Source: https://www.foxnews.com/lifestyle/this-day-history-nov-18-1883-north-american-railroads-create-time-zones-reshape-life

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Prescription to party? Celebrations of life’s best moments are good for our health, study suggests

Most people don’t need an excuse to throw a party — yet it might just be what the doctor ordered.

Recent research suggests that celebrations might benefit our health and well-being, according to a paper published in the Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, a peer-reviewed academic journal put out by the American Marketing Association.

The research showed that these celebrations need three components: 1) gathering with other people; 2) having food and drink; and 3) highlighting an important milestone.

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Celebrations reinforce participants’ social support and provide reassurance they have a social network when adversity strikes, the study’s press release indicated.

“Buying yourself a congratulatory gift to celebrate an accomplishment just isn’t the same as celebrating with a dinner and drinks with friends,’’ said lead author Danielle Brick, assistant marketing professor at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Connecticut, in the study’s press release. 

Cheerful teenagers celebrating a birthday. "Perceived social support" is associated with a variety of health benefits, according to new research. 

Cheerful teenagers celebrating a birthday. “Perceived social support” is associated with a variety of health benefits, according to new research. 
(iStock)

Celebrations don’t necessarily need to be extravagant to be beneficial, Brick told Fox News Digital. 

“They just have to mark someone’s positive life event and involve food or drink with other people,” added Brick.

Variety of health benefits

Previous research defined “perceived social support” as the belief that people are there for you in times of future adversity. 

Perceived social support is associated with a variety of health benefits, including decreased mortality rates, better mental health outcomes, decreased levels of anxiety and depression, decreased heart rate, lower blood pressure and improved quality of sleep.

“We find that celebrations increase social support.”

“Social support has been consistently and repeatedly associated with better physical and mental health (including reducing anxiety and depression) in previous research — and our research contributes knowledge about an important first step to this process,” Brick told Fox News Digital. 

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Although perceived social support consistently leads to positive outcomes, actually receiving support, also known as “enacted support,” does not necessarily lead to positive outcomes, according to previous research.

In some cases, receiving support can lead to either no effect or negative effects.

A positive life event

A positive life event “could be a promotion, a successful task completed, the end of a busy week, a birthday, achieving a goal, or anything positive in your life,” said lead author Danielle Brick of a new study’s findings.
(iStock)

Based on these contradictory findings of perceived and enacted support, the researchers set out to discover how perceptions of social support originate, what influences these perceptions — and why enacted support does not function the same way as perceived social support. 

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Since celebrations are one common way that people can build perceptions of social support, the researchers focused their study on celebrations. 

‘Highlight someone’s positive life event’

The researchers performed eight experimental studies on thousands of participants to examine why celebrations are important, Brick said. 

From these studies, “We find that celebrations increase social support,” she told Fox News Digital.

“That means going out to eat or even making something special at home and eating with other people is enough — as long as you’re doing it to highlight someone’s positive life event.”

Celebrations and increased feelings of social support led participants to want to give back to their community, a new study's findings suggest.

Celebrations and increased feelings of social support led participants to want to give back to their community, a new study’s findings suggest.
(iStock)

Virtual celebrations will also work, as long as they involve the three important components: 1) gathering of people; 2) food and drink; and 3) acknowledging a life’s event. 

The benefits of celebrations extend beyond the people participating in them, according to a new study. 

A positive life event “could be a promotion, a successful task completed, the end of a busy week, a birthday, achieving a goal, or anything positive in your life,” Brick said.

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The study also found that celebrations and increased feelings of social support led participants to want to give back to their community — which suggests the benefits of celebrations extend beyond the people participating in them.

One limitation of the study, Brick noted, was that the research focused on shared consumption in the form of food and drink. 

"Policymakers should be aware of the downsides of limiting celebrations — and highlight ways to effectively celebrate with others."

“Policymakers should be aware of the downsides of limiting celebrations — and highlight ways to effectively celebrate with others.”
(iStock)

“We don’t know if other types of shared consumption besides food and drink — like going to a concert together with friends to mark a positive life event — would be as effective at increasing social support.”

Celebrations may benefit volunteerism

Brick, however, noted that the research suggested some meaningful policy implications. 

“Thinking back to the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us were restricted in our ability to get together with others,” she told Fox News Digital.

After a celebration, those who feel supported are more willing to volunteer or donate to a cause. 

“This research suggests that policymakers should be aware of the downsides of limiting celebrations — and highlight ways to effectively celebrate with others.”

Nursing homes and community centers may also consider hosting celebrations for those who are at risk of loneliness and isolation, per the release.

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After a celebration, those who feel supported are more willing to volunteer or donate to a cause — so this can help fundraising, marketing and the organization of institutional and community events, the release added. 

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“This would be a good time for nonprofits to market donation campaigns, around the time many people are celebrating holidays, graduations, weddings and other big events,” Brick noted in the press release. 

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Reddit mom admits to feeling ‘hugely triggered’ by her own child as she tries ‘gentle parenting’

A mom shared a pressing parenting concern on Reddit recently — and asked for help.

The parenting philosophy known as “gentle parenting” has not been working for her, the concerned mother told the online community — and said she felt like “an emotional punching bag” for her four-year-old child.

“I was not raised by gentle parents and I knew I needed to do better for my kids, so I really latched onto the gentle parenting philosophy,” a Reddit user known as “mamaearthdumpling” wrote in the parenting subreddit in a post titled, “Gentle parenting burnout.”

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The post continued, “I’m now four years into it and I feel so burnt out after four years of validating emotions and being an emotional punching bag for my kid …”

The woman revealed that she’s burned out from “coming up with compromises” and “turning everything into a fun game” — and biting her tongue when her young son “gets hurt doing something I asked him not to do.”

Gentle parenting "focuses on fostering the qualities you want in your child by being compassionate and enforcing consistent boundaries," notes one parenting site. But one mom is having a very tough time with it — and wanted help from others.

Gentle parenting “focuses on fostering the qualities you want in your child by being compassionate and enforcing consistent boundaries,” notes one parenting site. But one mom is having a very tough time with it — and wanted help from others.
(iStock)

But what is gentle parenting, anyway?

‘Fostering the qualities you want’

It’s made up of four main elements, according to parenting website Verywellfamily.com. The elements of gentle parenting are “empathy, respect, understanding and boundaries.”

Gentle parenting “focuses on fostering the qualities you want in your child by being compassionate and enforcing consistent boundaries,” the site points out.  

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“Unlike some more lenient parenting methods, gentle parenting encourages age-appropriate discipline that teaches valuable life lessons,” it also says.

“I’ve resorted to raising my voice more often than I like and threatening [a] loss of privileges.”

The parenting style embraces “understanding a child’s feelings at the moment and responding accordingly in a way that is beneficial to the child’s emotional well-being,” Verywellfamily says.

The Reddit poster continued sharing her situation, admitting, “I feel like I just can’t do it anymore.”

She added, “Gentle parenting doesn’t come naturally to me, so every time [her child] yells or screams, I consciously have to work hard not to get triggered myself, and I’m just exhausted.”

"Gentle parenting doesn’t come naturally to me, so every time" her child yells or screams at her, said one frazzled mom (not pictured), "I consciously have to work hard not to get triggered myself, and I’m just exhausted."

“Gentle parenting doesn’t come naturally to me, so every time” her child yells or screams at her, said one frazzled mom (not pictured), “I consciously have to work hard not to get triggered myself, and I’m just exhausted.”
(iStock)

Noting that she still admires the philosophy, the mom said that “in a perfect world,” she would love to be a “100% gentle parent.”

She also said she’s beginning to feel “a massive lack of empathy when my child is screaming the house down or [whining] or demanding things from me.” 

She said she’s “resorted to raising my voice more often than I like, and threatening him with loss of privileges.”

“I was a raging mess — and I tried every parenting system under the sun to fix it.”

The Redditor continued, “I would love some advice to get back on track to being the best parent I can be …”

She said she regularly feels “hugely triggered” by her child and is “finding it hard to self-regulate, let alone co-regulate.”

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Fox News Digital reached out to the Redditor for additional comment.

Wanted to ’do better’

One California-based expert said that if a parent isn’t taking care of her own mental health first, then parenting willpower “will only last so long.” 

“Just like this Reddit mom, I wanted to ‘do better’ for my children when I became a parent 14 years ago,” Stef Tousignant, a former nanny and a parenting expert for Parentdifferently.com, told Fox News Digital in an email.

After she became a mother, one parenting expert said she was "shocked" by how "triggered" she became by her own kids. 

After she became a mother, one parenting expert said she was “shocked” by how “triggered” she became by her own kids. 
(iStock)

“But unlike her,” she continued, “as a professional nanny I already had a decade of caregiving under my belt.”

She continued, “No matter the parenting style of the home, I did my job and I did it well — because I went home every night and took care of myself.”

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After she became a mother, however, Tousignant was “shocked” by how “triggered” she was by her own kids.

“No longer ‘Mary Poppins,’ I was a raging mess — and I tried every parenting system under the sun to fix it,” she continued.

“Behaviors such as screaming, whining or demanding are not behaviors that need to be tolerated to be in line with gentle parenting.”

“Still, nothing changed until I turned the magnifying glass on myself and started caring for my mental health through therapy, mindfulness, physical exercise and sleep,” she also said.

“That’s when things changed,” Tousignant noted — “and gentle parenting became as simple as it professes itself to be.”

Parenting can be exhausting, and it’s “not uncommon” to feel “drained and emotionally overloaded” at times, said one Pennsylvania mental health professional.

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“Gentle parenting is based on the idea that we need to let our children become more self-aware and [be able to] self-regulate,” Natalie Bernstein, a psychologist in the Pittsburgh area, told Fox News Digital.

Clear and consistent boundaries can be helpful for all children and can be enforced "while still educating about emotions and allowing the child to express them," said one psychologist.

Clear and consistent boundaries can be helpful for all children and can be enforced “while still educating about emotions and allowing the child to express them,” said one psychologist.
(iStock)

This approach, however, does not mean that parents “engage in a hands-off approach” or “do not need to discipline or guide their children,” she said. 

Clear and consistent boundaries can be helpful for all children, Bernstein noted, and can be enforced “while still educating about emotions and allowing the child to express them.”

Bernstein emphasized, “Without structure and discipline, it is easy to cross the line into permissive parenting.”

“I would encourage the mother to consider therapy for herself and/or her family …”

She also said, “Behaviors such as screaming, whining or demanding are not behaviors that need to be tolerated to be in line with gentle parenting.”

In addition, she said, if the parents are not consistent with this parenting model, “confusion can arise.”

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Bernstein said in regard to the Reddit mom, “I would encourage the mother to consider therapy for herself and/or her family in order to feel more balanced and less overwhelmed in the home.”

"Kids feel loved when they have boundaries," Michigan-based pediatrician Meg Meeker told Fox News Digital.

“Kids feel loved when they have boundaries,” Michigan-based pediatrician Meg Meeker told Fox News Digital.
(iStock)

She said that “there are many research-supported parenting programs that can be effective and can reduce household stress.

One Michigan-based physician with over 30 years’ experience said discipline is crucial for a child’s development.

“After 32 years of practicing pediatrics and listening to thousands of kids, I can tell you exactly what the parents of strong, happy, well-adjusted kids did,” Dr. Meg Meeker shared with Fox News Digital via email.

“Gentle parenting means kind parenting — not powerless parenting.”

These parents “set firm limits” and let the child know that they were in charge — not the child, said Meeker. 

“Someone needs to teach boundaries,” she said.

These parents also “always allowed the child to feel what they felt” — but they never allowed those feelings to affect making the right decisions for the child’s best interests, Meeker also said.

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These successful parents also understood that “kids feel loved when they have boundaries,” Meeker emphasized.

“Not taking back your authority is cruel to both of you,” said Meeker. 

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“Gentle parenting means kind parenting — not child-centered, powerless parenting.”

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Fresh vegetables and other fresh food can be yours at home with planning, purpose: Connecticut farmers

With the high price of food today, more and more people are looking into growing their own fresh vegetables at home — and doing more hands-on planning and harvesting as a result.

Joe and Ida DeFrancesco of Farmer Joe’s Gardens in Connecticut joined “Fox & Friends Weekend” on Sunday to explain how to start growing food at home — and how to take on more responsibility for it rather than relying on grocery stores or other outlets when prices are rising.

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The couple first displayed some very young tomato plants.

“Even in the city, you can grow your own vegetables,” said Joe DeFrancesco, as he displayed container gardening, including pots holding both tomato plants and lettuce plants.

People can harvest their own tomatoes virtually all summer once they properly set up the plants, said the owners of a small family farm during an appearance on "Fox and Friends Weekend."

People can harvest their own tomatoes virtually all summer once they properly set up the plants, said the owners of a small family farm during an appearance on “Fox and Friends Weekend.”
(iStock)

He mentioned that people can find themselves harvesting tomatoes almost all summer long once they properly set up the plants. 

As the plants grow, they’ll need to be transferred into bigger and different pots — and in some cases, people will need to fence in their gardens to prevent wildlife from munching and crunching on them, he said.

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“Deer need an eight-foot fence,” he said.

He said that indeed, his small business is finding that many more people today want to do their own vegetable gardening.

Given today's high prices, more people are showing an interest in starting their own home gardens — and they can get started right now, said farmer Joe DeFrancesco on

Given today’s high prices, more people are showing an interest in starting their own home gardens — and they can get started right now, said farmer Joe DeFrancesco on “Fox and Friends Weekend” on Sunday.  
(iStock)

And if that doesn’t work for them, he said, then they can visit their local farmers for fresh produce.

Ida DeFrancesco brought along a chicken from the couple’s farm — and explained that people can try having chickens at their own home in a “stress-free” manner.

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The farm offers a six-month program, she said, and provides the coop, the feed and the chickens.

But if people “chicken out” and find “it’s not for them,” she said — then “we take them back to the farm,” she said. 

She said it “takes about six to eight months for the chickens,” once they’ve hatched, to begin laying eggs.

In light of the high price of eggs, more Americans are showing an interest in acquiring or renting chickens at home in order to get their own fresh eggs. 

In light of the high price of eggs, more Americans are showing an interest in acquiring or renting chickens at home in order to get their own fresh eggs. 
(iStock)

“It’s a $50 deposit to get you started,” she said.

And then “you figure out which coop that you want,” said DeFrancesco, depending on whether families prefer larger or smaller set-ups.

With four chickens laying eggs, Ida DeFrancesco said people can expect to see about two dozen fresh eggs a week.

With four chickens laying eggs, Ida DeFrancesco said people can expect to see about two dozen fresh eggs a week.
(iStock)

With four chickens a week, she said people can expect to see about two dozen eggs a week.

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“Rent a chicken” businesses are increasingly cropping up, providing availability for the temporary use of chickens. 

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To learn more, watch the video at the top of this article, or click here to see it.

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