My apologies because I need to vent. I don’t know about you, but I’m so done with the time changes. It takes several days for my body to adjust to the DST change which, as everyone knows, took place yesterday. Is it not time to get rid of it? A couple of provinces here in Canada and a couple of states in the U.S. don’t change. In fact 39 states have written to eliminate the time changes. So why do we have to continue to suffer?
Before I make my case for staying with one time or the other, here’s a little history. The first recorded time change in the modern era took place July 1, 1908 in Port Arthur, Canada. Gradually some other places adopted the practice. It wasn’t until 1916 that Germany incorporated DST. Soon other European countries followed. At the time it was to save the use of fuel during the war. When the war ended, they returned to standard time. DST wasn’t used again until WW2.
Although modern DST has only been used for about 100 years, ancient civilizations are known to have engaged in comparable practices thousands of years ago. For example, the Roman water clocks used different scales for different months of the year to adjust the daily schedules to the solar time
Now for reasons to cancel one of the time changes. A century ago, when DST was introduced, more daylight was a good thing because it meant less use of artificial light, helping to save energy. Modern society, with its computers, TV-screens, and air conditioning units uses more energy, no matter if the Sun is up or not. Today, the amount of energy saved from DST is negligible.
When Indiana decided to introduce DST in 2006, a study found that the measure actually increased energy use in the state.
Changing the time, even if it is only by 1 hour, disrupts our body clocks or circadian rhythm. For most people, the resulting tiredness is simply an inconvenience. For some, however, the time change can have more serious consequences.
Studies link the lack of sleep at the start of DST to car accidents, workplace injuries, suicide, and miscarriages.
The early evening darkness after the end of the DST period is linked to depression.
The risk of suffering a heart attack is also increased when DST begins.
Setting your clock forward 1 hour for DST in spring might mean losing an hour of sleep on the morning after the change. For some people, this may just be a minor annoyance. However, the lack of sleep can have unfortunate effects in those predisposed.
A Swedish study found that the risk of having a heart attack increases in the first 3 weekdays after switching to DST in the spring.
Tiredness induced by the clock change is thought to be the main cause for the increase in traffic accidents on the Monday following the start of DST.
On Mondays after the start of DST there were more workplace injuries, and the injuries were of greater severity compared with other Mondays.
I would like to add the poignant words of my good friend, Ben Franklin. “Lost time is never found again.” You got that, you who make us turn the clocks ahead.
Losing 1 hour of afternoon daylight after setting the clocks back to standard time can trigger mental illness, including bipolar disorder, and seasonal affective disorder (SAD), also known as winter depression.
A Danish study found an 11% increase in depression cases after the time seasonal change. The cases dissipated gradually after 10 weeks.
Australian study found that male suicide rates increased the days after the spring and fall DST shift.
I’m sure there some positives to the time changes. However, they are not convincing enough to make me change my position. So government people, Father Time, Clock Men,* the Mad Hatter or whoever’s in charge, it’s time to stop messing with time. Give us either Standard time or Daylight Saving time* and let it be. End of vent.
*The Clock Men are a pair of robot masters with time manipulation abilities.
*To be accurate, there is no ‘s’ at the end of ‘saving.’
Comments are welcomed.
What would you say to being able to add 7 ½ more minutes of life to each day? Sound good? It is easier than you might think. It has also been scientifically proven. And, we know, if science says so, it must be true, right? In this case it is true. Before I give you the magic formula, here is a little more from the world of science on longevity.
Geneticists might say that the length of one’s life is mainly determined by how long his or her ancestors lived.
But Dr. Kenneth Pelletier, authority on longevity, disputes the geneticists. “Good genes give you an edge,” he says, “but this doesn’t account for people who live 30 to 40 years beyond the average life expectancy. A strong sense of purpose and commitment to higher values, as well as lifelong physical and mental activity, play a more important role in longevity than purely biological factors such as hormonal changes.”
He asserts that the single most important predictor of longevity is enthusiasm for life: staying busy, being curious, feeling that you are accomplishing something worthwhile.
In addition, studies have also shown that of all the things we have control over in our lives, the number one predictor of longevity, is social connections. Positive interactions with others greatly improves our health and well being. This all makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it?
Okay. Now back to the 7 1/2 minute formula. It is more of a challenge on 4 fronts – physical, mental, emotional, social. No groaning. It is much simpler than you might imagine. Here we go.
Challenge #1: Pick one: Stand up and take three steps, or make your hands into fists, raise them over your head as high as you can for five seconds.
That is physical resilience, which means that your body can withstand more stress and heal faster.
We know from the research that the number one thing you can do to boost your physical resilience is to not sit still. That’s all it takes. Every single second that you are not sitting still, you are actively improving the health of your heart, lungs and brain.
Challenge #2: snap your fingers exactly 50 times, or count backwards from 100 by seven’s. That's mental resilience, which means you have more mental focus, more discipline, determination and willpower. We know from research that willpower actually works like a muscle. It gets stronger the more you exercise it. So tackling a tiny challenge without giving up, even one as absurd as those just given is actually a scientifically validated way to boost your willpower.
Challenge #3:Do a quick YouTube or Google image search for your favorite baby animal.
What you are feeling is emotional resilience, which means you have the ability to provoke powerful, positive emotions like curiosity or love, which we feel looking at baby animals. If you can manage to experience three positive emotions for every one negative emotion over the course of an hour, a day, a week, you dramatically improve your health and your ability to successfully tackle any problem you’re facing.
Challenge #4: Shake someone's hand for six seconds, or send someone a quick thank you by text, email, Facebook or Twitter.
That is social resilience, which means you actually get more strength from your friends, your neighbors, your family, your community. Now, a great way to boost social resilience is gratitude. Touch is even better. Shaking someone's hand for six seconds dramatically raises the level of oxytocin, the trust hormone, in your bloodstream. That means that if you’ve shaken hands with someone, you are biochemically primed to like and want to help each other. - (CAUTION: it would be wise to bump elbows instead while Covid 19 is going around.)
These 4 challenges will give you 7 and 1/2 min. more of life each day. What do you say? I say, “Let’s go for it.”
Comments are welcomed.
According to the age-old practice of astrology, we are all influenced by the effect of Mercury in retrograde. What is Mercury retrograde anyway?
Due to the way our planet’s orbit interacts with the orbits of the other planets, they might sometimes appear to be travelling backward through the night sky with respect to the zodiac. This is, in fact, an illusion, which is called apparent retrograde motion.
Three times a year, it appears as if Mercury is travelling backwards. These periods are referred to as times when Mercury is in retrograde motion, or simply “Mercury retrograde.” These times in particular were traditionally associated with confusions, delay, and frustration.
However, this is an excellent time to reflect on the past. It’s said that intuition is high during these periods, and coincidences can be extraordinary.
We are right smack in the midst of the first of 2020’s trinity. It began February 17 and goes through March 10. The other two are June 18 to July 1 and October 14 to November 3. Mark it on your calendar. If you find things are pretty wonky you can always check your calendar to see if you can pin it on Mercury.
The planet Mercury rules communication, travel, contracts, automobiles, and such. So, when Mercury is retrograde, it is advisable to remain flexible, allow extra time for travel, and avoid signing contracts. Double check your email responses, check in with reservations before taking that trip. Review projects and plans at these times, but wait until Mercury is direct again before making any final decisions. You can’t stop your life, but plan ahead, have back-up plans, and be prepared for angrier people and miscommunication.
Some people blame Mercury retrograde for bad things that happen in their lives. It is sometimes easier to blame someone or something else than to take responsibility for the messes in their lives. In fact this is a good time to reflect. Mercury retrograde can be an excellent time to take a step back and reanalyze who you are and what you are doing, but do refrain from making any drastic changes until after retrograde has ended.
How it may affect us personally depends on our zodiac sign and that’s for astrology gurus. Not my purview. One final piece of advice – be judicious in exercising the fickle finger that loves to hit the send key.
Comments are welcomed.
Do you have those nights or even several nights when you just can’t get to sleep or stay asleep? Have you try herbal remedies, meditation or some over the counter meds which fail to satisfy? I’ve been there. Sometimes various remedies seem to be effective at different times for a couple of days. Then nada. What is one to do? My right brain’s resourcefulness came to the rescue and I concocted some word games that work wonders for me. Thought I would share a few. Maybe they might give any non-sleepers out there ideas that might be suitable.
Truth be told there was a time when some of these games just got my mind going and kept me awake even longer, which is the danger of too much thinking. Then a mysterious change occurred. Maybe it was hormones. Who knows? Yet, glad of it. Here are samples of the earlier games which were not long-term effective, but might be for someone else. There was listing song titles which included a color. Next I tried song titles with either a male or female name. An added challenge to this game was going through the alphabet citing a name for each letter. I discovered I liked using the alphabet as a basis for most of the games.
Some other examples were naming flowers, trees, fruits or vegetables for each letter. I only selected one category per night. The x, y, z’s could get tricky. Another alphabet game that worked for several months was one we used to play as kids. Maybe you know it. Starting with A, it goes – A my name is Alice and my husband’s name is Adam. We come from Alabama and we sell apples. You do the same for each letter using whatever names, places, products, you choose.
The next long term game included coming up with a myriad of male or female names for each alphabet letter. I might do female names one night and male names the next. This was a great success. What I think happened was my brain would get either tired or bored after a few letters and I’d fall asleep. When this game started to wear thin, I stumbled onto a new scheme.
My subscribing to the Merriam-Webster’s word of the day spawned the current sleeping pill formula. I actually alternate this one with another pill. I will explain both. Using the M-W daily word’s first and last letter, I think of as many words as possible that start and end with those same letters. I surprised myself at how many words I actually know. Along the way I added some twists and turns to keep things interesting. It doesn’t take long for brain boredom to set in. After that it’s all good until the alarm goes off in the morning.
The final pill I will describe is a recent one I discovered which I alternate with the M-W daily word. I’m not sure how this would suit anyone who relies on seeing the printed word and writing things down. Being blind, I envision everything in my mind so this pill goes down easily. This game appears in puzzle books or puzzle sections of the newspaper. A word is presented and you have to make as many other words as possible using the letters of that word. I tend to select words like matriculate, shenanigans, candelabra for example. There are nearly endless words that can be formed from their letters. The more that can be formulated the faster I fall asleep. It’s like my brain is telling me, “Listen, lady. We are supposed to do our clearest, most creative, most focused thinking during waking hours. Kindly stop bugging me with those stupid games. I need to get my zees so I can be at my best for us.”
Homer once said, “There is a time for many words, and there is also a time for sleep.” Strangely, curiously, pairing the two resulted in my formula for sleep. Go figure.
Comments are welcomed.