March 12

Stop Daylight Savings!

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Underdogs, if you are reading this on the upload date, then you are experiencing  one of the most dangerous days of the year. Please be very careful on your travels to and from work today. The Monday following the Daylight Savings Time is scarier than New Years Eve. It’s not just because you have to start your work week with an hour less sleep, and your body isn’t used to the time change yet. It is literally dangerous for you to be on the road. This is one of  biggest days of the year for car accidents due to people falling asleep behind the wheel both before and after work. If you are like me, and you work week is anything bit traditional, meaning your days off are not only rare, but all over the place, you are even in higher risk for an accident than those who work Monday through Friday. We are going to explore the reasons why Daylight Savings needs to be banned for everyone’s health and well being.

If you aren’t familiar with Daylight Savings Time (DST) or live in area of the world where it isn’t practiced, let me explain. This is the practice of setting your clock ahead one hour during the Spring, and then moving the clock back an hour during the Fall. Why would someone do something so stupid that messes with something as precious as sleep?  When I was in school and learning about DST, we all had questions. I remember my teacher telling us it was all very scientific, and it had to do with the phases of the moon. Later on, I would hear that it was all due to farming.  Turns out, they were all wrong. Daylight Savings Time started in Germany due to World War One. It was a way to conserve energy, and many countries adapted this practice. After the conclusion of the war, many countries stopped and only returned to it in times of war or struggle.

Today, the majority of the wold does not participate in DST. In fact, it’s basically just parts of Europe and the United States. So why are we still doing this when the rest of the world isn’t? First, not all of the States participate. Hawaii, and Arizona currently don’t, as well as US Territories like Puerto Rico.  Many more states are working on changing this outdated practice, which is a great step in the right direction. It is a myth that Daylight Savings time does any good.  In fact, many people don’t understand why we blindly follow a practice that is not only useless but deadly? Let’s take a look at why this is so dangerous.

As I said before, one of the biggest days for car accidents the start of DST. They aren’t just fender benders either, but more likely to result in fatality. It’s both the beginning and the end of the day since people are more run down when they get behind the wheel. You are more likely to have a heart attack the Monday after DST starts. This has been proven year and year with hospital statistics. The stats also prove that you are more likely to have a stroke. In fact, many people who get into the car accident is due to the fact that the driver had a sudden stroke. It is also the height of the cold and flu season, and with people more run down, their immune system is more compromised. They are more likely to get very sick. Your body is also trying to adjust to a time change quickly, which is the equivalent of jet lag. If you have never experience jet lag, it is terrible. You feel stressed, your head hurts  and you feel sick. In some cases, depending on your normal sleep patterns, it could lead to insomnia or a large increase in sleeping. There are theories that it will take your body 3 weeks to adjust for every hour in the time difference.

Besides physical health, there is also a lot of issues for people who suffer from mental illness. They are more likely to have an episode, or become increasing depressed the Monday after DST starts. It is especially bad for people who suffer from Seasonal Depressive Disorder. There are other issues besides one’s health. The very reason that Daylight Savings Time was started no longer has any merit. There is no proof that DST saves on any sort of energy. In fact, there is an increase of energy use the weeks following the change. The myth that I heard over and over again was the DST had to do with farmers. I always wanted to know why the farmers didn’t just get up earlier to reflect the changes of the seasons. Turns out, farmers actually hate DST and wish it would end. They have to deal with animals with their internal clocks being messed up. This increases accidents and making situations more dangerous for them.

Speaking of animals, it’s not just farm animals that have issues with the time change. Your pets have an internal clock just like we do. They aren’t going to be ready for their walk when it is still their bed time. This is also very hard and stressful for young children.I would hate to be an extra tired parent with a small child that doesn’t understand the clock magically changed. One of the worst parts about DST is for elderly adults who have memory issues. Any change in routine can be detrimental, and when they already are at risk for health issues, this is a perfect storm for a terrible result. There is also the issue of money. Many traders from around the world have problems understanding the time change, and this always ends up costing people millions of dollars.

So what happens if we do away with Daylight Savings Time? There have been many suggestions including, do nothing, separate America into two Time Zone instead of four, or adopt a universal time system. There are many pros and cons for each of these, and it seems impossible to have a universal time system. I think we need to try abandoning DST across the United States and see what happens. We need to at least try because we know that DST does nothing to help anyone, or anything out. It causes a lot more havoc than any good. Honestly, I couldn’t find any one saying anything good about it besides the fact that it’s been around for so long, so who cares? We should care because it is proven to not only  be costly, but deadly. Just because it’s “always” been done that way doesn’t mean we need to continue to do something. Especially when we have no clue why! What do you think? Do you think DST is important, or an outdated practice?

 

*Sources: 

www.nationalgeographic.com

www.mayoclinic.com

 

 

October 13

Superstition

I decided to skip Theory Thursday in honor of Friday, the 13th and explore some traditional superstitions. Now, I am not a superstitious person, but I find them very interesting. If you aren’t familiar with superstitions, then let me explain. They are collection of legends, stories, and old wives tales that either encourage you to be cautious or you will have bad luck, or if you do this, it will bring you good luck.  You may not realize that some of these things are even a superstition and might confuse them with a tradition. Either way, they bring up some very real fears and people have even rearranged their lives around these thoughts and beliefs.

Half of the world is terrified by the number 13. It has been associated with bad luck for countless years. This superstition is so strong that many hotels will not even acknowledge the number 13. For example, if they have many floors and you go into the elevator, you will see listed for the floors numbers 1-12, and then right directly to number 14. If you are on the “real” 13th floor, you won’t see anything that says you are on that floor. Instead, you will see the 14th floor. Why is the number 13 such a big deal? There is actually a fear of the number 13 called Triskaidekaphobia.  This is a very real fear, because people honestly believe that something awful will happen to them involving the number 13. Bible traditions say that there were 13 people at the last supper, and they count Judas as the 13th person. So why is Friday the 13th so bad?

 

Friday the 13th has been associated with evil and bad luck. Mostly because in modern times there is a whole series of spooky movies.  The superstition of Friday the 13th goes back so much farther than a movie. For whatever reason, people believe that during Friday the 13th,  all the little bad omens we all heard while growing up will happen, and the results will be so much worse than any other day of the week! History says the Knight’s Templar may have been killed on this day by the order of the King. The real date is not clear, but this is the most agreed upon date for this terrible event. It seems like this was such a violent and unpleasant situation, this date because associated with terror and horror, and eventually evolved into a superstition.

Some of those childhood superstitions are silly, but many people live their lives by them! For example, if you step on a crack, you are going to break your Mother’s back! If you open up an umbrella inside, then you will have bad luck. If you walk under a ladder, you will have bad luck. If you don’t say the phrase, “Bless you,” after a sneeze, then a spirit may enter the body of the person who sneezed! People don’t make doctor appointments, or do major business such as closing a house on Friday the 13th! People also believe that the phases of the moon effect a person’s thoughts and actions. Nurses and Doctors have reported an increase in people coming to the ER on full moons, as well as police saying there is an increase in crime!

Of course, people believe that if a black cat crosses your path, then you will have bad luck. This is a very common superstition, but the origins of this goes way back to Egyptian times! In Egypt, cats were revered and feared. They believed that cats were guardians to the underworld, and could slip back and forth into both worlds. This could be considered scary. Eventually, this evolved into witches and black cats. This is because cats wonder at night, and that could be considered evil. The belief is witches work at night as well, so they both are cut from the same cloth! Just as scary is breaking a mirror that will cause you to have 7 years bad luck. The origins of this superstition goes back to the days of the Romans. People believed that a mirror carries a piece of the person’s soul who is looking into it. If you break it, then your soul is in jeopardy. Of course, mirrors used to be very expensive, and it could take 7 years to replace one if you broke it a long time ago!

 

Many of you have either been to a wedding, or have been involved in a wedding at some point in your life. There are actually many superstitions that happen during a wedding that people don’t even realize! Have you ever wondered why the wedding couple can’t see each other the night before their wedding? People say it’s bad luck, but this goes back to the days of mostly arranged marriages to make sure the couple wouldn’t change their minds. The groom carries the bride over the threshold not for a romantic gesture, but as a superstition. They are doing this to sweep the bride over the evil spirits attaching themselves to her, so they won’t enter their home and new life. Why do weddings have tiered wedding cakes? It is a good omen because they want a child to come soon after. By combining the wedding cake with more than one tier means you will have many things to celebrate!

Those were some of the typical and traditional superstitions. I hope you enjoyed reading about them, and I am curious if you believe in any superstitions yourself? If you do, leave a comment below and let me know!

 

August 21

Myths about the Sun and Moon

In honor of the eclipse, I thought we would honor the Sun and Moon by telling some of their myths. The universe is an amazing place, Underdogs, and we understand very little about it. We don’t have the power and technology to really see into the deep depths of space, or be able to test the contents of the Sun and Moon. We can study them, and sometimes, if we are very lucky, we can observe some wonders of nature such as today’s eclipse. Many cultures still believe in the power of the Sun and the Moon and there isn’t anything wrong with that. Nature is awe inspiring and something that we can never replicate in a lab, or in a big budget movie. Here are some interesting myths about two of our sky favorites.

Sun and Moon kid myths:

Image result for moon made out of cheese orgins free images

Who doesn’t love a good hunk of cheese once in awhile. If that means you are eating it by itself, or are putting it on a grilled cheese sandwich, cheese is out of this world! Why would someone think that the moon is made out of cheese? This is something that most of us have heard since we were children, and it makes many of us laugh. The simple explanation is that when  you look at the Moon, you will see dark spots which are craters. This resembles holes in a cheese wheel.  There has been references to the Moon being made out of cheese since the 16th century and continues up until present day, with many of these myths appearing in children’s story books. Many people say the Moon is made of green cheese which can be traced back to seeing the reflection of the moon in the water and the color appearing to be green. As far as a children’s sun myth, there are not many famous ones. However, many believed that the Sun and the Moon were married. When the Sun went to bed, the Moon would go to work. When the Moon went to bed, the Sun would go to work. That is how you can explain the differences between night and day.

 

The Sun and Moon and Behavior:

Image result for sun and moon

Have you ever gone outside and howled at the Moon? What about feeling energized after spending some time in the Sun? Have you heard the tales of how Emergency Rooms are filled during the full Moon, or have heard of the term Moonstruck? People from all over believe that the cycles of the Sun and the Moon can cause human’s to act or behave in a certain fashion. In fact, the female menstrual cycle has been refereed to as her moon for years. There have even been Presidents, such as Ronald Reagan, who have looked to the skies to plan big events and speeches. We aren’t really sure why, but the Sun and the Moon seem to be related to how humans act. It can be tied to how animals act, so it’s not too far of to believe that humans might be enchanted as well. While it is hard to explain the why of this, you are far more likely to get into an accident when the Moon is full, and the Sun is at it’s greatest point in the sky. Researchers can connect a spike in crime during a Full Moon. Interestingly enough, there is an actual phenomena called Photic Sneeze which happens to a small percentage of people who sneeze after looking at the Sun.  The Sun and Moon make the world a more amazing place for more than one reason!

The Sun and Moon in the cards:

Image result for sun and moon tarot combination

In Tarot Cards, which many people are familiar with or have read them before, the Sun and the Moon have cards that are very meaningful. For instance, the Moon card can represent fear, anxiety, unhappiness, or confusion. It can represent the unconscious mind. There are some who say that if you draw a Moon card as your very first card, replace the cared and put it away for at least 24 hours. While this might seem like a negative thing, this of course, matters on the subject at hand, and the other cards that have been drawn. Getting a Moon card could mean that you need to dive deeper into your untapped self. The Sun is very opposite of the Moon card. It can mean warmth, fun, happiness, and brightness in the future. When you see the Sun, your are either getting a message of strength and encouragement, or you are being shown that the path you are on is a good one. If you get this card and have asked a yes and no question, the answer is saying yes! Tarot cards may be controversial to some, entertainment to others, and deeply meaningful to many. It is a way for some to get insight by using tools.

Those are just some fun myths about the Sun and the Moon. I am very grateful to be able to have been able to witness the solar eclipse. The world is amazing, and sometimes you take for granted the little gifts it gives us. Such as a bright and sunny day, or a night filled with light from the moon. We tend to get to the point where we ignore it, but deep down inside, we all hear the call from nature. That might mean we act a certain way when the Moon is full, or we feel our happiest when the Sun is shining over our heads. I hope you got to enjoy the eclipse today. If not, it is online for viewing!

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August 20

Supernatural Sunday: Solar Eclipse

The Solar Eclipse is coming, Underdogs! We need to be prepared either for the end of the world, or just seeing something really cool! While a solar eclipse is something that happens about every 18 months, the one coming up on August 21st, 2017, is rare for the Untied States because we will be in the direct path to see a total eclipse. It will depend on where you live in the country if you will be able to see the full or a partial eclipse. This makes the eclipse rare for many of us who may not get many chances to see this in our life time. If you are not sure what a solar eclipse, it is when the Moon passes between the Sun and the Earth. This means that for a temporary time, the Sun will be blocked out by the Moon and it will be dark. The Sun will slowly reappear as they Moon goes on it’s merry way. There are many strange things that will happen during the eclipse, and there is a lot of amazing myths that are associated with them.  An eclipse can be very amazing or terrifying depending on what you believe.

Image result for Gabe from the Office: Sun

Of course, I want to take a moment to give a stern warning. I know this may be annoying to some, but you only have your eye sight to protect!  Do not look directly at the solar eclipse! It is always dangerous to look at the sun, and even more so during an eclipse. Regular sunglasses are not strong enough to help you out, so if you want to watch you will need NASA approved glasses.  You can also get wielder’s glasses, or use the pin hole method. You can’t use your cell phone to take a video because it will not only damage your eyes, but it could fry your phone as well! Here is a link to some ways that you can safely observe the eclipse. https://www.nytimes.com/guides/science/how-to-watch-a-solar-eclipse

Image result for solar eclipse and astrology

Now that is taken care of, let’s talk about the real life strange things that can happen during a total eclipse of the sun. First, since there will be total or very close to total darkness, animals will be confused. The temperature will drop slightly and it will be dark, which will make the animals believe that it is actually night time. This means that many animals will be agitated because they feel “off.” They could start acting like they do before night time including eating, chirping, and going to sleep. Don’t be surprised if you hear roosters crowing when the eclipse is over and the sun is visible again. This could also cause a lot of mass confusion for animals because it’s only been a short amount of time. They may act aggressive due to their confusion. One of the coolest things is like I stated above, that in some places it will be so dark that it will appear to be night. In those spots, you will be able to see the stars and other planets. This is very cool because how many times can you see such a wonderful things during the day? You may also be able to see rainbow spots due to so many natural prisms. There will be shadows going across the ground as the Moon moves and there might be a ring around the Sun.

Of course, when it comes to something as this event has many legends attached to it. Not that long ago, in 1995, a solar eclipse happened where Japan had the total darkness. Some soldiers grew very fearful, thinking that the blackout was due to a dragon. They then fired several rounds of gunfire into the air, killing several innocent people.  This goes back to several cultures believing that the sun is being eaten by a huge being such as a dragon. Other cultures believe that the Sun and the Moon are fighting and it’s result is the eclipse. People also believe that if they go outside and bang pots and pans, it will scare away all the monsters away who are trying to steal the sun. They have had a 100% success rate, and the sun has always come back.

Some of the more supernatural aspects of a solar eclipse are very different. There is a legend that women who are pregnant are in some danger. People are afraid that there is danger to the unborn child because of radiation spikes. (This is not true so don’t worry.) The flip side is that if you are born during a solar eclipse it is an Oman. You might be a very spiritual being, or even evil. The total darkness during the day can be very unnerving to many. This means that some will take this as a sign of unbalance. It can be taken as a message of impending doom or a warning of bad things to come. Other’s take a more positive approach such as Buddhist who believe that this is a very powerful time and you should do more good deeds. The sun and the moment of the planets are very powerful, so it is best to do good things because the ripple effect will be very powerful and positive.

From the astrology side of things, there are people who think that the effects of the solar eclipse happen a few weeks before, and up to a few weeks after. Some describe this time when people are feeling a lot of anxiety and they can’t pin point why. The anxiety may not be because of any impending doom or anything negative. However, it might be due to change. According to some in astrology, a solar eclipse brings new possibility, and change can cause anxiety. They also think that this is the time where the world of the living and the world of the dead are connected for a few moments. You should take this time to reach out to lost loved ones and let them know how much they are missed, or just  listen for the messages you might receive.

People think this is a very magical time that many possibilities are born. It might be good or bad, but you can take the chance and make it your own. These myths and legends are just a small example of many in the world. It is very interesting to read about and I encourage you to do your own research.  No matter what you think or you believe that will happen during an eclipse, it is truly amazing part of nature. We are lucky to be able to experience things in nature every single day, and we don’t always appreciate how awe inspiring it can be. We are so immersed in the wonders of technology that we fail to see the real wonders of the world that are right in front of us every single day. Take a moment every single day to observe the sun, the stars, the trees, and all of the animals. True wonder can never be matched with technology. Take time to smell the roses, or take a walk in nature

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