Chronobiology

30 November 2006

The life and times of Time and Life.

Introducing Biological Rhythms: a primer on the temporal organization of life, with implications for health, society, reproduction and natural environment
by Willard L. Koukkari & Robert B Sothern

Ch 1 – the study of the biology of rhythms

“Life moves in synchrony to the beat of locks and calendars, some outside he body, some within the very cells of all living things.”

“By definition, a rhythm is a change that is repeated with a similar pattern.””

see also
Crowds and Power,
Language and Feet,
Cadence, Ratio and Ratiocination

“Accidents, catastrophes, and illnesses are inevitable when the time cycle of society does not heed the biological rules that underlie the rhythms of humans or other organisms.”

Three-Mile Island’s nuclear accident, Bhopal’s methyl isocyanate leak, the Exxon Valdez’ oil spill and Chernobyl’s nuclear disaster as well as a train collision in Western Canada on February 8th 1986 – all attributed to human error due to disrupted rhythms resulting from shift-work.

< 1 second – EEG (delta waves) & ECG
4 – 15 minutes – reaction time
75 – 100 minutes – pupillary motility
90 – 100 minutes – REM – NREM sleep
24 hours – body temperature, sleep-wake
7 days – organ transplant rejection
27 – 34 days – menstrual cycle

Ch 2 –

Equivalency

time frequency time label spectrum wavelength
1 second ultradian ultraviolet 4 x 10 (17) s
1 minute
1 hour
1/2 day
1 day Circadian visible spectrum 4 – 8 x 10 (14) s
1/2 week infradian infrared 5 x 10 (11) s
1 week
1 month
1 year ultrasound 1 x 10 (9) s
11 years audible sound 1 x 10 (5) s
1 century infrasound 1 x 10 (3) s

Human rhythms:
core temperature – 64 +/- 8 minutes
sleep EEG – 80-120 minutes
insulin – 6-10 & 140 minutes

Superchiasmatic Nuclei (SCN)

“Anatomically, this area [SCN] is located above the optic chiasm where the two optic nerves cross and include two clumps of nuclei, each containing about 10, 000 neurons.”

rhodopsin – opsin based visual pigment of rods & cones
melanopsin – same mRNA in it & SCN & retinal ganglion

Retinohypothalamic Tract (RHT)
terminates at the SCN
glutamate & PACAP (a polypeptide) involved

Ch 3 –

“Time has no divisions to mark its passage, there is never a thunderstorm or blare of trumpets to announce the beginning of a new month or year. Even when a new century begins, it is we mortals who ring bells and fire pistols.”
Thomas Mann

bases for calendars:

Sun, Moon, stars & planets
River flooding
Shadows (sundials)
water flow

Prime Meridian and Time Zones introduced in 1884
Daylight Savings Time introduced with WWI
US moved up the Spring Daylight Savings Date in 1986

Ch 4 –

“Time is very bankrupt and owes more than he’s worth to season.
Nay, he’s a thief too: have you not heard men say,
that Time comes stealing on by night and day?”
William Shakespeare

“Today, the trends of urbanization and the utilization of electrical power and rapid transportation shield most of us from witnessing much of the seasonal biological diversity found in nature.”

photoperiodism – seasonal changes to light
“response of an organism to the timing and duration of light and dark.”

Ch 5 –

“Time, space, and causality are only metaphors of knowledge, with which we explain things to ourselves.”
Friedrich Nietzsche

attractor
bifurcation
unstable, neutrally stable and stable focus
isochron
saddle point
node
singularity

Ch 6 –

12.4 hour circatidal cycle
24.8 hour circalunidian (lunar day)
29.5 days circalunar

Ch 10 –

“The clock, not the steam engine, is the key machine of the modern industrial age…even today no other machine is so ubiquitous.”
Lewis Mumford

Ch 11 –

observe one’s own:
body temperature, mood, vigor, perception of elapsed time, heart rate, blood pressure, speed of adding, short-term memory.


Seven Days of the Week

30 November 2006

Why Sunday to Saturday anyway?

Conclusive answers have yet to be discovered. It appears that weekdays, symbolising the Sun, Moon, and 5 visible Planets, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn. This has been adopted globally, with the names of the weekdays particular to the language of the user in question.

The Chinese system equivocates each of the 5 visible Planets with one of the 5 Elements of their holistic system of time, medicine, cooking, health and so on, based in the elegant simplicity of tao. Fire, Water, Wood, Metal, Earth.

from ancient Greece:
Gaia, the Earth gave birth to Ouranos, an elder Sky deity, who then married her. They parented the 12 Titans, including Cronos (Saturn a cthonic or Earth deity), the 3 Cyclops, the 3 Hecantonchires and the 3 Erinyes. Gaia persuaded Cronos to emasculate Ouranos while he was in Gaia (Tartarus – the bowels of the Earth). Ouranos severed generative organs fell into the sea, with a great foamy wash, and from it rose Aphrodite.

Quite a story. The separation of Heaven and Earth.

In the Islands of the Pacific, the Trickster Hero Maui severs the arms of the Octopus holding the Sky to the Earth, which fall to the Ocean below, creating the Islands.

Or the Angels of Heaven are cast through the Earth and into an Abyss. Or a fall from Heaven to Earth for man, the great Lapse of Adam and Eve.

And in the I-Ching, the radial symmetry of the 8 trigrams and 64 hexagrams depicts a circular path from Earth to Heaven to Earth again.

All of which is to say, why are our Weekdays in the order they are?

Heaven to Earth

As we stand on the ground, there is a limit to what we can see. In symbolic terms, beneath our feet is the underworld, the Abyss of the unknown, unseen and unknowable. Above the clouds, the brilliance of the sun, the depths of the sky, and the blackness of space.

The Sun is our source of light, heat, energy, of the matter of the Earth from which we’ve sprung, whether through divine intervention or fortune or d’oh, begins every Week. The following Days represent bodies that reflect the light.

the order of the Planets (Saturn is last where the sequence is cyclical).

from the nearest the Sun to the furthest:
Mercury, Venus, Moon, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn

from the least to most massive:
Moon, Mercury, Mars, Venus, Saturn, Jupiter

from the shortest synodic period to the longest:
Moon, Mercury, Saturn, Jupiter, Venus, Mars
from their brightness when at their brightest (apparent magnitude):
Moon, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Mercury, Saturn

according to the order of the 5 Chinese elements:

the cycle of creation:
Venus, Mercury, Jupiter, Mars, Saturn

the cycle of control:
Mercury, Mars, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn

In considering Heaven and Earth as compliments, that is, they define all that lies between them, it enrichens the otherwise opaque meaning in the symbolism of our weekdays. How does the energy and light of the Sun filter its way to us in the course of the changes of the Day and Year?

Much of it is reflected at us via the Moon, and some via the planets.
The Sun is the source of the Moon and all of the Planets, and as such, the cycle of creation may hold a key to a better understanding of their relationship.

If so, then the cycle of control could be used to denote the 5-Day Periods of the 360-Day Reform Calendar, from Earth upwards, thus:
Saturn, Mercury, Mars, Venus, Jupiter.


Happy Ultimate Month of the Year -7

23 November 2006

Last Month of the Synaptic Year  -7.

Synaptic Reform Calendar Summary

The Synaptic Reform Calendar’s Month 12 of Year -7

from:
Gregorian – Thursday November 23 2006
Synaptic — Sunday Day 0 Month 12 Year -7

to:
Gregorian – Wednesday December 20 2006
Synaptic — Saturday Day 27 Month 12 Year -7


going to any New Month parties, or making any New Month resolutions?

The New Year approaches – only 4 weeks away!

-2220 Days until Synaptic Reform Calendar Implementation


Human Development and Fertility Cycles

21 November 2006

from Birth to Reproduction and Conception

There are differing theories on the periodicity of women’s menstrual periods. Our urban environment, that in which the majority of the world’s people now live, becomes increasingly anthropocentric, as our points of reference are increasingly objects and technology that we have devised and created, as opposed to that into which we were born.

with the paradigm shift towards the anthropocentric, the relationship between menstrual cycles and cycles of the Moon, tides, and so on become increasingly disrupted.

It is generally accepted to be related to the phases of the Moon (29.53 Days from New Moon to New Moon), averaging about 28 Days. This latter number is a suitable representation for the menstrual cycle, the 28-Day Month of the Reform Calendar. The Lunar Calendar tracks the Moon, such that both cycles may be observed on the Calendar.

Given that every women’s experience is unique, these numbers are merely representational.

If we begin the Menstrual Cycle at Menstruaton, the 28-Days look like this:

Week 1: Menstruation
*Eumenorrhea – usually 3 to 5 but still normal at 2 to 7 Days.
*blood and sometimes endmetrium are shed.

Week 2: Follicular Phase
*5 t o7 ovarian follicles enter the cycle, compete with one another, until one remains, developing into an oocyte (ovum/egg).
*uterine endometrium begins development

Days 13-14-15 (midpoint): Ovulation
* the oocyte breaks out of the follicle in the ovary.
* heightened sense of smell

Week 3 & 4: Luteal Phase
*body temperature rises ~1/2 degree.
*endometrium swells and eventually sheds at the beginning of the next Cycle

if the oocyte should meet the spermatocyte of her dreams:

the Menstrual Cycle follows a pattern comparable to the amount of daylight through the Year, the change of Seasons, the phases of the Moon, Tides, and the Cycle of Life, for which it is the beginning before the beginning.

If these averages are considered with respect to the annual calendar, correlating the cycle of ovulation with the 28-Day Month, then the peak occurs at the midpoint, on the Weekend.

The Weekday symbolism can also be applied to ovulation and fertility in general. Saturday, represented by Saturn, the cthonic Roman deity, and the Chinese element Earth, could be seen as the mud of the physical, the womb.
Sunday, the Sun, the breath and fire of life that set the process of human development into motion.

symbolically speaking.

In physical terms, it still takes a man and a woman, an oocyte and a spermatocyte, to decide to play together.

Curiously, if the Menstrual Cycle were to begin at the Winter Solstice, and the oocyte were fertilised, then the child would be born at about the Autumnal Equinox.

Gestation to Year in Days = 260:364 = 5:7
Menstruation + Gestation to Year in Days = 273:364 = 3:4


Our Body in Time

20 November 2006

Growth Development Progression Evolution Diversification

An initial consideration of source material for further research into Health, Sunlight and Time – it may very closely resemble a salt-shaker of jargon and foreign words spilled across the screen – so it begins.

Chinese:
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the yin and Yang forces of the Tao as well as the five elements Metal, Water, Wood, Fire, Earth are used to represent qualities of foods, their taste, effect on the body as well as the divisions of time.

the 64 hexagram structure of the I-Ching represents the linear and radial symmetries in the patterns  of ebbing and flowing light. It also has equivalence with the initial doubling of the fertilized egg beginning pregnancy. At 64 cells, major structural changes begin. DNA has 64-codons.

consider:
Calendar – Zodiac – 5 Elements – the Tao – I-Ching – DNA codons – gestation
Traditional Chinese Medicine

Japan:
Macrobiotic cooking uses the seasons as a basis for diet, among many other stipulations. As the most developed macrobiotic culture is in Japan, it may be possible to link this through to Traditional Chinese Medicine through the commonalities in the Calendar.

consider:
Calendar – Zodiac – 5 Elements – Macrobiotics
Traditional Japanese Medicine

India:
In Ayurvedic Medicine, the Day is divided into Prana, 1 respiration or breath, or 4 seconds by the clock. This isn’t the average length of a breath, nor the ideal length of a breath, but a representation time for a breath. The Ayurvedic system has five elements as well, Space, Water, Air, Fire, Earth with  equivalencies to the Chinese elements. They also relate these elements to the flavours of food and their properties.

However, the Ayurvedic system is based on the body’s approximate ratio of levels of development of tissues, glands, organs with respect to their embryonic tissue of origin: Kapha, Pitta, Vata (aka the endoderm, the mesoderm, the ectoderm).

consider
Calendar – Zodiac – 5 Elements –
Ayurveda

Mexico, Guatemala, Belize:
The Mayan 260-Day Calendar, divided into 20 periods of 13 Days each (among other divisions), measures certain early patterns in the development of the human embryo.

In the 2nd period of 13 Days;
Gastrulation! the primitive streak show up, and the  membranes differentiate. Most notably, the nervous system begins development, ending at this stage with the enclosure of the forebrain by the zippering up of the neural tube by the last pair of somites.

This period relates most significantly with the Ayurvedic system.

The 260-Days is  5/7 of a Year.  The waxing and waning of the Sun’s light by Day and time of Year, the Moon’s by Lunation, and the Planets’ reflected light by synodic period may have a direct effect on the developing embryo and fetus as well as one through the Mother’s perception of these phenomena.

consider:
Tzolkin – gestation –
Traditional Mayan Medicine

Brain:
In particular, the pineal gland, buried deep in the centre of our brains, is key to the hypothalamus’ regulation of our bodies according to the amount of daily and annual sunlight. In other species, lizards in particular, the pineal body has light sensitive cells very similar  in structure and function to retinal cells.

The field of chronobiology offers the most intriguing scientific approach to the relationship between living beings and natural periods.

consider:
chronobiology – brain function – diurnal cycle


Time and Health

13 November 2006

The Next Cycle – a Pre-logue.

TheAbysmal Year -7: Gregorian Year December 22 2005 – December 20 2006, has seen the development of a 13-Month Calendar to Re-form the International Standard Measure of Days to replace the Gregorian Calendar. The structure of the 13-Month Calendar was used to schedule the development of this project.

TheAbysmal Year -6: Dec 22 2006 – Dec 20 2007
the intention is to develop a cohesive holistic model of time, health, and urban living, with the Reform Calendar’s structure as the skeleton upon the which is to rest.

Most of the information contained herein was principally inspired by the Mayan Factor, by Jose Arguelles, the Tortuga and Law of Time 13-Moon change for peace movements. A holistic model of healthy living, within the limits of our environment, with the calendar as the central structure in the name of Peace, has been developed, and continues to grow.

TheAbysmal Reform Calendar seeks to use the structure of the most eloquently constructed Calendar system to offer as the International Standard, while still allowing for localised & individualised names for months, glyphs, years, and so on.

The New Year shall see the investigation of Human Development from Birth through Death, and mapping it onto the calendar, as well as creating a holistic model of dietary and preventative health based on diet, the time of year, the amount of daylight and so on, as with Chinese Traditional Medicine, Ayurveda and Macrobiotic Diets.

More recipes, particularly with fresh herbs, seeds, and flowers.

Time & Health Articles Previously Published:
Space Time & Medicine – book excerpts
Definition of Health
Gestation Time & Health – 260-Day Gestation, 260-Day Calendar
In Utero, Ex Utero – 260 Days, Weeks, Months, Years, Centuries
Ayurveda and the 3 embryonic membranes
Ayurveda and Allopathic Medicines
The 5s of Traditional Chinese Medicine
360 degrees of Space & Time

2230 Days until Inception


Image Gallery – Part 1

12 November 2006

For summation:

Part 5

Part 2