Thoughty Thursday: Popping your mental corn, Sept 4-10, 2022

Tomorrow is Friday, and we’re halfway through September (!). Get your mental corn popping in time for the weekend 🙂

Jordan Laird provides a timeline of the Columbus police fatal shooting of Donovan Lewis. The Columbus Dispatch

Jamie Ducharme reports that US medical schools are struggling to overcome centuries of racism in healthcare. Time

Matthew Wills reveals the truth about Isabella Van Wagenen. JSTOR Daily

Lorenzo Tondo and Julian Borger: UN calls for demilitarised zone around Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant. The Guardian

Hanna Arhirova and Yuras Karmanau report that Ukraine claws back territory. Associated Press

China earthquake death count rises to 74 as lockdown anger grows. Associated Press

Two suspects sought for Saskatchewan stabbings now face charges, 10 dead and injured count rises to 18. CBC

Julie Steenhuysen and Jennifer Rigby reveal long covid’s link to suicide: scientists warn of hidden crisis. Reuters

James Gallagher: new malaria vaccine is world-changing, say scientists. BBC

Buckingham Castle announces that Queen Elizabeth II died on September 8, 2022. BBC

Clark Quinn recommends you test and tune your learning solutions. Learnlets

Derek Thompson: your career is just one eighth of your life. The Atlantic

Why you should daydream. Elizabeth Cox | TED-Ed

Simon Lewson explains what Canada’s largest art heist reveals about the art world’s shady side. The Walrus

Manuel Ausloos and Sybille de La Hamaide report that restoration of Notre Dame’s smoke-damaged stained glass begins. Reuters

Maggie Zhou: you’re not scared of failing, you’re scared of succeeding. Refinery 29

Guy Kawasaki interviews Cassie Holmes about applying the science of happiness to life. The Remakable People Podcast

Hasima Khatib tells you how to survive 2022’s third Mercury retrograde starting September 9th. Vogue

Will Sullivan reveals that a lunchbox-sized device is making oxygen on Mars. The Smithsonian Magazine

Donna Lu reports that a new solar-powered invention creates hydrogen fuel from the atmosphere. The Guardian

Scott FaLee explains how changes in length of day affect the brain and subsequent behaviour. UC San Diego

Yvaine Ye reports that embryos with DNA from three people develop normally in first safety study. Nature

Brian Handwerk: the earliest known amputation was performed 31,000 years ago in Borneo. The Smithsonian Magazine

Yvonne Gordon wonders what ancient secrets lie beneath this little-known Irish bog? National Geographic

Bob Yirka reports that over 90% of identifiable trash in the North Pacific Garbage Patch comes from just six countries. And Canada and the US are two of them 😦 Phys.org

Clodagh Kilcoyne and Conor Humphries: Irish nuns bid to turn their convent green. Reuters

True facts: parasitic birds. Ze Frank

How tardigrades bear dehydration. University of Tokyo

Giulia de Amicis presents a fascinating infographic depicting 40 different animal sleep patterns. Visual Capitalist

Thank you for visiting, and I hope you found something to inspire a future creative project.

Until next tipsday, be well and stay safe; be kind and stay strong. The world needs your stories!

Muse-inks: SAD and pupdate

AKA, Another week in the writerly life.

I seem to write about this every year: seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Winter up here is northeastern Ontario is a dark season. It’s not as dark as the communities further north, but the sun doesn’t rise until after we go to work in the mornings and it sets about the time we come home.

My new desk at work (moved in the spring of last year) had lovely, large windows, but many days are overcast. My usual level of tired, driven by anemia and hormones and neurotransmitters, is exaggerated by the low levels of light.

I’ve mentioned in a past post that the snow came early this winter. Or rather it came on time. The previous two years, we had green Christmases. When the snow arrived in early November, it was followed by bitter cold, then unseasonably warm. It’s been vacillating between the two extremes since. It’s been a brutal season for colds and flu. I’m so glad I got my flu shot early.

When I was young, I was an early bird. Up at 6 am without a complaint, but I’d fall asleep any time after 10 pm. I remember one late dinner after several hours of travel during which I could not keep my eyes open. Now … I drag myself out of bed with difficulty in the morning. Everything takes longer because I’m fighting to keep my eyes open. As a consequence, I’m usually writing later into the night.

This past week, I’ve generally gone to bed around midnight and still had to get up early, so I could walk Torvi before breakfast and heading to work.

I feel like that meme: I’m not an early bird or a night hawk; I’m some kind of permanently exhausted pigeon.

In other health-related news, I’m going to be off work this week due to a medical procedure I’ve been waiting for since last March. I’m hopeful that it will improve my quality of life, but nervous because it means anaesthetic.

Due to another condition, I can’t have regular anaesthetics. My surgery is booked first thing so that the special anaesthetic I can have can be used before the systems are contaminated with other anaesthetics. It means an even earlier day. I’ll get to catch up on my sleep later, though.

Onto the pupdate.

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Last week, Torvi had what we can only conclude was a case of the new dog flu that’s supposed to be going around. We have no idea where she picked it up, but she was splitty for three days. No parasites, no blood, no vomiting. She continued to eat and drink as normal. She wasn’t dehydrated. She hadn’t gotten into anything that could have cause her to be sick. She didn’t have anything to eat that she hadn’t had in the last couple of months.

We sorted things by restricting her food and administering a puppy-appropriate dose of Pepto-Bismol. Since then, she’s been fine and no signs of a resurgence.

That’s all for this week.

Be well, be kind, and stay strong. The world needs your stories.

Muse-inks

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Dec 21-27, 2014

Sixteen tips for dealing with seasonal affective disorder (SAD). The Toast.

Anna Maria Tremonti of CBC’s The Current interviews psychologist Brian Little about personality types.

The elusive art of inner wholeness. Parker Palmer on Brainpickings.

Wendell Barry on solitude and why pride and despair are the two great enemies of creativity. Brainpickings.

The power of applied physics. i09.

Crows understand analogies. So much for calling someone a bird brain 😉 IFLS.

How to find faster than light particles. IFLS.

Say hello to our new galactic neighbour. IFLS.

The dominant life form in the cosmos is probably superintelligent robots. Really? Motherboard.

American management explained. Tickld.

25 of the most creative sculptures you’ll ever see. EarthPorm.com

25 wild parenting moments from EarthPorm.com.

Looking back at Christmas with a couple of videos.

The Pogues:

 

And your Christmas kawaii:

 

It may be January first, but Janus looks back as well as forwards 😉

Have a great rest of the week, y’all!

Thoughty Thursday

The SADness of winter in northern Ontario

This winter has been a challenging one pretty much everywhere this year. Though we’ve only broken a couple of records in the cold temperature category, I don’t think we’ve broken any for snowfall, which feels strange to me, because we’ve had more snow this winter than we have in … well a lot of years.

They say we have global warming to thank for all of this, but that seems counterintuitive to me. This whole winter has been alternating snow and freezing temperatures. It even snowed as far south as New Orleans. New York and the Maritime Provinces have been repeatedly slammed. Our weather certainly is messed up this year.

Winter has always been a difficult season for me. As a person with depression, the seasonal reduction of daylight combined with the number of overcast days makes me prone to seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

I’m more tired than usual, and I’m tired most of the time. I just want to hibernate.

It’s a struggle to remain productive, both at work and in my writing life. I miss more days of writing in the winter than I do at other times of the year, which distresses me. It’s more difficult to feel enthusiastic about things, even things that I enjoy. I have to fake it until I make it.

I also eat more and am less active in the winter. I gain weight. Fortunately, this doesn’t distress me so much, but it can lower my self-esteem.

I feel like I’m falling behind. There aren’t enough hours in a day. Everything seems to take longer to do.

The light is returning, though. We’re in March and only weeks away from the Spring Equinox. I’m starting to feel better already.

We’re also one week away from the “spring forward” of Daylight Savings Time (DST).

It’s frustrating that we still follow it. I call it self-imposed jet lag. Just as I’m beginning to feel better because of the increased daylight, we leap forward an hour, plunging my mornings back into darkness. It’s once more a challenge to get out of bed and start my day.

Plus I lose an hour and that messes with my already fragile circadian rhythm. Insomnia abounds.

It can take me days, sometimes weeks to recover.

The claim is that DST saves energy from the use of incandescent lighting and has economic benefits in the summer because of increased retail, sporting events, and other activities that can more easily be conducted in the evenings due to the shifted hour.

I really don’t see it. We use lights when it’s dark regardless of whether it’s dark in the morning, evening, or both. We’d take advantage of the daylight regardless.

I can’t change legislation, though. So for now, I must simply deal.

What about you? Do you get SAD in the winter? Has this winter’s wonky weather patterns got you down? Do you see the point of DST, or does it bother you? Do you even have to deal with DST where you live?