Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Feb 2-8, 2020

Happy Friday eve! It’s time to get your mental corn popping to see you through to the weekend.

Philip Moscovitch believes that people with mental illness don’t need more talk. While this is a year old, the message bears repeating. Bell Let’s Talk days is great, but what about the other 364 days of the year? And what about actual change? The Globe and Mail

Jorge Barrera reports that the Robinson-Huron Treaty First Nations demand that Ottawa and Ontario cease land claim talks that affect their rights. CBC

Māori water rights case aims to stop water bottling. RNZ

Zöe Ettinger introduces us to 20 inspiring black women making history in 2020. Insider

Max Read presents five theories about conspiracy theories. Intelligencer

Why did the Vikings have “Allah” embroidered into their clothes? BBC

James Urquhart reveals how yarn made from human skin can be knit into your body. New Scientist

Mary Robinette Kowal: Christina Koch lands on Earth and crosses a threshold for women in space. The New York Times

Rebecca Hill introduces us to the outer space sailing captain. Ozy

Nadia Drake says, the sun is still a burning mystery, but that may be about to change. National Geographic

Are there infinite versions of you? (Mind bendy stuff) PBS Space time

Kristine Mitchell presents the Golden Ratio Colouring Book. My Modern Met

Mayukh Saha: photographer captures the beauty of looking up at trees. Truth Theory

Nina Pullano: first squid MRI study shows brain complexity similar to dogs. Inverse

Truly Mind visits Nepal, where an annual festival thanking dogs for being our friends takes place.

True facts about the skeleton shrimp. Ze Frank

Thank you for visiting, and I hope you’re taking away something to inspire your next creative project.

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

ThoughtyThursday2019

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?