Amazon Tribe has no Words for Time

22 July 2012

An exception that proves theAbysmal.

Once again, what we take for granted has been thrown out the window – or at least put on the windowsill to cool for reconsideration. Our idea of time, embedded in our language and day-to-day life, is not innate. The Amondawa, who we’ve only come to discover in 1986, don’t keep track of time the way we do. They are still subject to the body’s diurnal and monthly rhythms, however, time is not a separate abstraction as it is for us, and the idea of saving time would be unfathomable to them.

As the Amondawa learn Portuguese, they will be exposed more and more to the ideas of time associated with the language, and undoubtedly to the calendar and clocks which are absent in their culture. There is an argument that the Amondawa have a concept of time similar to ours, however, because they exist in an intimate society, the terms they use would seem shorthand to us. Their vocabulary is more absolute, such that they refer to “the riverbank” as opposed to generic “rivers.” This same absolute language may be used with the time concept.

At any rate, it’s an interesting subject for consideration.

Amondawa Tribe lacks Abstract Idea of Time

An Amazonian tribe has no abstract concept of time, say researchers.

The Amondawa lacks the linguistic structures that relate time and space – as in our idea of, for example, “working through the night”.

The study, in Language and Cognition, shows that while the Amondawa recognise events occuring in time, it does not exist as a separate concept.

The idea is a controversial one, and further study will bear out if it is also true among other Amazon languages.

The Amondawa were first contacted by the outside world in 1986, and now researchers from the University of Portsmouth and the Federal University of Rondonia in Brazil have begun to analyse the idea of time as it appears in Amondawa language.

“We’re really not saying these are a ‘people without time’ or ‘outside time’,” said Chris Sinha, a professor of psychology of language at the University of Portsmouth.

“Amondawa people, like any other people, can talk about events and sequences of events,” he told BBC News.

“What we don’t find is a notion of time as being independent of the events which are occuring; they don’t have a notion of time which is something the events occur in.”

The Amondawa language has no word for “time”, or indeed of time periods such as “month” or “year”.

The people do not refer to their ages, but rather assume different names in different stages of their lives or as they achieve different status within the community.

But perhaps most surprising is the team’s suggestion that there is no “mapping” between concepts of time passage and movement through space.

Ideas such as an event having “passed” or being “well ahead” of another are familiar from many languages, forming the basis of what is known as the “mapping hypothesis”.

The Amondawa have no words for time periods such as “month” or “year”

But in Amondawa, no such constructs exist.

“None of this implies that such mappings are beyond the cognitive capacities of the people,” Professor Sinha explained. “It’s just that it doesn’t happen in everyday life.”

When the Amondawa learn Portuguese – which is happening more all the time – they have no problem acquiring and using these mappings from the language.

The team hypothesises that the lack of the time concept arises from the lack of “time technology” – a calendar system or clocks – and that this in turn may be related to the fact that, like many tribes, their number system is limited in detail.

Absolute termsThese arguments do not convince Pierre Pica, a theoretical linguist at France’s National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), who focuses on a related Amazonian language known as Mundurucu.

“To link number, time, tense, mood and space by a single causal relationship seems to me hopeless, based on the linguistic diversity that I know of,” he told BBC News.

Dr Pica said the study “shows very interesting data” but argues quite simply that failing to show the space/time mapping does not refute the “mapping hypothesis”.

Small societies like the Amondawa tend to use absolute terms for normal, spatial relations – for example, referring to a particular river location that everyone in the culture will know intimately rather than using generic words for river or riverbank.

These, Dr Pica argued, do not readily lend themselves to being co-opted in the description of time.

“When you have an absolute vocabulary – ‘at the water’, ‘upstream’, ‘downstream’ and so on, you just cannot use it for other domains, you cannot use the mapping hypothesis in this way,” he said.

In other words, while the Amondawa may perceive themselves moving through time and spatial arrangements of events in time, the language may not necessarily reflect it in an obvious way.

What may resolve the conflict is further study, Professor Sinha said.

“We’d like to go back and simply verify it again before the language disappears – before the majority of the population have been brought up knowing about calendar systems.”

152 Days to Dec 21st 2012

Solstice with the Mostice

20 June 2012

Renaming the Tropics

Today marks the Solstice (Summer in the Northern Hemisphere, Winter in the Southern), when the Sun is directly above the Tropic of Cancer. Likewise, the Solstice in December puts the Sun over the Tropic of Capricorn. At the Equinoxes, its over the Equator. Simple enough, right? Where did the Tropics get their names?

Although the origin remains murky, the reason for the names has to do with astrology. The Sun enters Cancer on the June Solstice, and enters Capricorn on the December Solstice. However, these signs are fixed, and although they are named after the constellations, they have no bearing on their actual location in our skies.

According to the International Astronomical Union, the Sun is in Taurus on the June Solstice, and sidereal astrology (based on the actual constellations), the Sun is in Gemini. At the December Solstice, the Sun is in Sagittarius.

Should we use scientific means to name the key lines of latitude; the Equator, the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, and the Arctic Circles? Why are we relying on a system that most astronomers dismiss out of hand?

As such, do we rely on the IAU to label these the Tropics of Taurus and Sagittarius, or sidereal astrologers to rename them Gemini and Sagittarius?

Regardless of how we change the names of the Tropics, they will continue to change as the Precession of the Equinox shifts the location of the Stars in our skies. Eventually, Gemini will shift to Taurus, Sagittarius will shift to Ophiuchus, and so on, until eventually the Northern Tropic will be Capricorn, and the Southern becomes Cancer. This is over 20,000 years away, so we have time to consider how confusing that might be.

Now if I could only get some input from people living above the Arctic Circle as to how they perceive the world – the four directions and the Sun rising in the East, setting in the West just doesn’t work up there…

184 Days to Dec 21st 2012

Human Gestation, Time and the stages of becoming

26 November 2008

Gestation: counting by the calendar, daylight, moonlight


Chronobiology, the study of periodicity in living things, points towards human association with sunlight, and what is healthiest for the greatest majority of us. Sunlight is best at around dusk and dawn, and can be too harsh during the middle of the day (depends on where you live). Likewise, our bodies calibrate themselves to the seasons near the vernal equinox, in the twilight. Often there are festivals scheduled at this time, so that entire communities spend these hours outside together, synchonizing themselves not only with the seasons, but with one another. The Full Moon also sees its share of celebrants, and in days before electric lighting, it provided enough light for us to gather outside together.

In any case, our bodies are tied to the rhythm of the day, the moon (lunar month) and the seasons, regardless of where we live. These three characteristics define our understanding of time: the rotation of the Earth around its axis, the orbit of the Moon around the Earth: the orbit of the Earth~Moon around the Sun.

During our earliest moments of existence, just after the egg and sperm come together, we are under the influence of two different times: the time according to our mother’s body, which is tied to the day, moon and season, and; the time according to the development of ourselves from a single cell to an entire person in under 270 days.

The presumption is that midday, when the Sun is highest in the sky, and the Full Moon, and the Summer Solstice are all equivalent, in that they are the time at which we receive the most sunlight, and therefore the most energy from the Sun. In looking at the development in utero against the phases of the Moon, keep in mind that the waxing Moon is growing and getting brighter, therefore day~to~day, we receive more energy from it. Same as we approach the Summer Solstice and the Days grow longer.

Ideally, women menstruate at the New Moon, and ovulate at the Full Moon. Therefore, conception occurs at the Full Moon in all of the examples below. People are most fertile in the spring. The model pregnancy in this case takes place from the Full Moon at the Vernal Equinox (as occurred in 2008) to the birth just prior to the Winter Solstice.


the Moon and Fertility:

from New Moon, when its gravitational pull is in the same direction as the Sun’s. It appears dark to us.


as First Quarter, the Moon’s gravity has now drawn away from the Sun’s so that it has become noticeably distinct. We see half of its surface illuminated by the Sun.

at the Full Moon, the draw of the Moon’s gravity is opposite that of the Sun’s. It’s entire face is illuminated.

at the Last Quarter, the Moon’s gravity returns towards that of the Sun, lessing. Half of its face is illuminated.

The Seasons and Fertility


The Seasons and Lunations

Here we have Year 8~XIV (dec 21st 2007 to dec 20th 2008) with the 12 lunations and when they occur relative to the months of the year. Following, we have the lunar cycle according to gestation beginning with the Full Moon at the Vernal Equinox.

year-8xiv-months-and-moonsYear 8~XIV, Months & Moons

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

gestation-by-months-and-moonsGestation from Vernal Equinox to Winter Solstice by the Moon

Gestation, Time and Becoming

The duration from conception to birth varies from person to person, however, it tends to falls within range of 9 months. 9 Lunar Months comes to 266 Days. The Maya tzolkin Calendar counts 260 Days, which also stands for the duration of gestation. The Lunar 266 Days lasts from Full Moon to Full Moon, the tzolkin follows its own metre based on 13 numbers and 20 glyphs.

Here is a breakdown of some of the occurrences in the first 60 days of gestation, which is about 2 lunar months, from full moon to fulll moon. 13 x 5 = 65 days, which is close to this on the 13~XX Calendar




1 1 cell (zygote) fetilisation – polar bodies form
2 2 cells (blastomeres) (30 hours), 4 cells (40 hours).
3 16-32 cells (morula) – morula passes out of fallopian
4 64 cells (blastocyst) – inner cavity (blastocele)cell mass inside blastocele (embryoblast)
5-6 the blastocyst implants itself in the blood-rich uteran wallcirculation between mother & blastocyst begins
7-12 trophoblast cells begin to form placenta with uterine wallembryoblast differentiates into upper, dark blue (epiblast –
becomes embryo) & lower, yellow layers of cells (hypoblast –
becomes yolk sac)
13 embryo anchored to the uterus via placentaembryo anchored to placenta by precursor to umbilical cord

yolk sac produces blood cells (without nuclei)

14 (gastrula) 2-layer embryonic disc forms the primitive streakthe outer layer of cells folds into the primitive streak
15 Mesoderm – middle layer – muscles, bones,
lymphatic tissue, spleen, blood cells, heart, lungs, reproductive
& excratory systems
16 Ectoderm – top layer – skin, hair, lenses of eyes,
lining of internal & external ear, nose, sinuses, mouth,
anus, tooth enamel, pituitary and mammary glands & all parts
of the nervous systemneural crest cells differentiate into neurons, glial cells,
epidermis pigment cells, various skeletal & connective
tissues of the head

Endoderm – inner layer – lining of lungs, tongue,
tonsils, urethra & associated glands, bladder & digestive

17-19 ectoderm thickens to form neural plateconcave groove forms in neural plate (neural groove –

precursor to nervous system – one of the first organs to

blood cells develop & forming channels along epithelial

19-21 mesoderm forms somites on either side of the neural groovefirst 3-pair somites appear at tail, forming towards head

head fold rises on either side of primitive streak

secondary blood vessels in placenta & chorion (2-layer

muscle cells begin to fuse forming into 2 heart tubes

21-23 4-12-pair somiteseye & ear cells appear beside neural fold

2 heart tubes fuse together into an S-shape, and cardiac
muscle contraction begins

23-25 13-20 pairs somitesprimitive heart beating, major vessels along neural system

peristalsis begins

with 20 somites, the forebrain is completely closed

25-27 face & neck arches evident under developing forebrainblood system develops on surface of yolk sac, move to maternal
blood system

valves & septa appear in heart

liver cells appear (beginning of digestive system)

26-30 digestive epithelium layer differentiates into locations for
liver, lung, stomach & pancreas
31-35 mandibular & hyoid arches evident in headspinal cord wall in 3 zones (ventricular, mantle &

ventricular – neurons, glial, & ependymal cells

mantle – neuron clusters

marginal – processes of neurons

pituitary precusor defined

lens vesicle nestled in optic cup opens to surface

nasal plate evident

digestive tube differentiates into esophagus & trachea

semilunar valves form in heart – 4 major subdivisions

right & left lung sacs lie on either side of esophagus

ureteric bud appears

metanephros – precursor to kidney, develops

upper limbs elongate & innervation begins

35-38 stomodeum (ectodermic precursor to mouth & oral cavity)swelling of external ear begin

lens pit has closed, retinal pigment may appear, lens fibres

depressions in nasal disc form into nasal pits

esophagus lengthens

blood flows through left & right streams

lobar buds appear in bronchial tree

intestines lengthen (in umbilicus)

ureteric bud lengthens, tip lengthening towards kidney

lower limb buds lengthen & innervate

37-42 cerebral hemispheres evidenthindbrain develops (responsible for heart, breath &

future mandible visible

nasal pits rotate to face ventrally

cardiac tube divides into aortic & pulmonary channels

mammary tissues begin to mature

mesentery defined

hand region differentiates

lower limb sections evident

42-44 jaw & facial muscles developingolfactory bulb forms

teeth buds begin forms

pituitary forms

trachea, larynx & bronchi system forms

heart separates into 4 chambers

diaphragm forms

intestines develop in umbilical cord

primitive germ cells forms at genital area

hand region forming digital plate

digital rays appear in foot plates

44-48 intersections of nerve networks (plexuses) develop in scalp
regioneyes pigmented

eyelids developing

trunk of pulmonary artery separates from trunk of aorta

nipples appear

kidneys produce first urine

urogenital & anal membranes appear

arms at proper location, hand plates finish in another 2 days.

ossification of the skeleton begins

48-51 first detectable brain wavessemicircular canals form in inner ear

septum primum fuses with septum intermedium in the heart

gonads form

legs now at proper location, toes almost completed

bone cartilage solidifies

muscles develop & strengthen

51-53 Brain connected by nerves & muscles – spontaneous
movementnasal openings & tip of nose fully formed

anal membrane perforated

urogenital membranes differentiate

skin folds between future toes

53-54 tongue development finishesintestines migrate from umbilical cord to embryo
54-56 upper lip fully formedbrain can move muscles

clitoris begins to form

primary ossification in long bones (upper limbs first)

56-60 External ear completely developedeyes cosed, retina fully pigmented

taste buds form

primary teeth at cap stage

bones of palate fuse

scalp plexus reaches head vertex

intestines migrate into body cavity

toes no longer webbed all digits fully distinct

thin precursor to skin covers ectoderm of embryo

tail has disappeared

B0003308 6 day old human embryo implanting - coloured

that’s a human embryo folks.

An appeal to readers of theAbysmal

19 July 2008

Help make this calendar a global success ~ it will only take a moment, and give back all the time in the world.

theAbysmal Calendar has been a labour of love ~ as such, the marketing budget comes in at just under $0. If this site has proven of interest and benefit, then please print out a copy of one of the two images below and place it somewhere where people are likely to see it.

This Calendar has been designed to suit the breadth of the world’s peoples and their cultures. It was developed to align us once again with the cycles of the Moon, the Seasons, and our physical selves accordingly.

Your assistance and support is greatly appreciated.

theAbysmal Calendar ~ Northern Hemisphere

theAbysmal Calendar ~ Northern Hemisphere

theAbysmal Calendar ~ Southern Hemisphere

theAbysmal Calendar ~ Southern Hemisphere

May you never thirst ~ and may there always be room for one more at your table.

Remogrifying the Calendar

6 June 2007

from theAbyss to theAbysmal

check here instead:  theAbysmal from theAbyss

The simplest way to approach the division of the Days of the Year lies in leaving the Leap Year question until later. Consider the 365 complete Days that occur for every Year.

In considering the Year, the Days can be further divided into 364 Weekdays plus 1 Day. In this case, the 364 Weekdays exclude the Norther Winter Solstice and Southern Summer Solstice. A 364 Weekday Year contains exactly 52 Weeks.

The Circle of 365 Days

Each individual circle represents 1 Day, whereas the large circle created by them represents 1 Year of 365 Days. The 100% Black Day represents the Winter Solstice, as the longest Night of the Year, and finds its place at the bottom of the circle. The 100% White Day represents the Summer Solstice, as the longest Day of the Year, and finds its place at the top of the circle.

The Circle of 364 Days

The 364 Days of the Year (excluding the Winter Solstice), divided into 52 Weeks of 7 Days,  13 Months of 28 Days, 4 Quarters of 91 Days.


91 = 13 + 12 + 11 + 10 + 9 + 8 + 7 + 6 + 5 + 4 + 3 + 2 + 1
Northern Hemisphere – The Circle of 360 + 5 Days

The 364 Weekdays plus the Northern Winter/Southern Summer Solstice, divided into 4 Quarters, marking the Day that falls midway between the Equinox and Solstice. This image represents the Year in the Northern Hemisphere.

The Circle of 52 Weeks

364 Weekdays divided into 4 Quarters of 91 Days or 13 Weeks.
Northern Hemisphere – Quarter 0, Weeks 0 to 12

Northern Hemisphere – Quarter 1, Weeks 0 to 12

Northern Hemisphere – Quarter 2, Weeks 0 to 12

Northern Hemisphere – Quarter 3, Weeks 0 to 12

Southern Hemisphere – Quarter 0, Weeks 0 to 12

Southern Hemisphere – Quarter 1, Weeks 0 to 12

Southern Hemisphere – Quarter 2, Weeks 0 to 12

Southern Hemisphere – Quarter 3, Weeks 0 to 12

The Circle of 13 Months

364 Weekdays of the Year equal 13 Months of 4 Weeks or 28 Days each.

Northern Hemisphere – 13 Month Calendar

Southern Hemisphere – 13 Month Calendar

The Circle of 7 Weekdays

The 7 Days of the Week evolved from the Hebrew and Hellenic traditions. Their Weeks began with Saturday. The Circles below indicate order of the weekdays.

The sequence around the circumference represents the order of the furthest Planet from the Sun to the nearest, where the Sun, stands in for Earth, and the Moon comes last, as it orbits the Earth.

Northern Hemisphere – The Weekday Circle

Southern Hemisphere – The Weekday Circle

Symbol Key

24-Hours by 7-Weekdays

h Sat Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri
0 Saturn Sun Moon Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus
1 Jupiter Venus Saturn Sun Moon Mars Mercury
2 Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn Sun Moon
3 Sun Moon Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn
4 Venus Saturn Sun Moon Mars Mercury Jupiter
5 Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn Sun Moon Mars
6 Moon Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn Sun
7 Saturn Sun Moon Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus
8 Jupiter Venus Saturn Sun Moon Mars Mercury
9 Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn Sun Moon
10 Sun Moon Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn
11 Venus Saturn Sun Moon Mars Mercury Jupiter
12 Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn Sun Moon Mars
13 Moon Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn Sun
14 Saturn Sun Moon Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus
15 Jupiter Venus Saturn Sun Moon Mars Mercury
16 Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn Sun Moon
17 Sun Moon Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn
18 Venus Saturn Sun Moon Mars Mercury Jupiter
19 Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn Sun Moon Mars
20 Moon Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn Sun
21 Saturn Sun Moon Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus
22 Jupiter Venus Saturn Sun Moon Mars Mercury
23 Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn Sun Moon

The sequence, if read vertically, corresponds to the sequence around the circumference of the 7 Weekday circles above. The top square of each column represents the first Hour of the Day, and if read horizontally from left to right, corresponds to the sequence of Weekdays.

The Perpetual Month

This perpetual Calendar has 13 perpetual Months or 52 perpetual Weeks, or 4 perpetual Quarters, or 26 perpetual Fortnights for that matter.

Northern Hemisphere – Perpetual Calendar Month

Southern Hemisphere – Perpetual Calendar Month

Universal Cycles and the Lives & Times of great Cultures

15 April 2007

considering Spengler’s the Decline of the West in theAbysmal terms.

see The Decline of the West
vol 1
vol 2

Oswald Spengler proposes that when people assemble to a certain point, when they develop Cities based upon a fundamental Idea, they embark upon expressing a particular Destiny through the lifetime of the Civilisation in question, through to its inevitable death.

The pattern of the Cultural lifetime is described in terms of Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. (see Spengler’s Civilization Model)

So the lifetime of a Culture and Civilzation follow the pattern of human lifetimes, as well as the celestial patterns in the play of light across the celestial canvas.

The 13 Months labeled with the signs of the 13 Constellations of the Zodiac

[n.b. At the Vernal and Autumnal Equinox every person in the world, regardless of whether they live at the Equator, in the Tropics, in the Northern or Southern Hemisphere or the far reaches of the Boreal and Austral Poles, lives through a Day and Night of equal length.]

As a civilization develops, grows, differentiates, expands, codifies, rigidifies, and decomposes into the chaos from which its sprouting successor will emerge, so do the patterns of time cycle.

As with the Daily round of the Sun, from Midnight to Dawn, Midday, Dusk, and the return to Midnight.

As with the New Moon, which waxes to Full and wanes back to New.

As with our own growth, development, maturation, and final dissolution.

For articles regarding light, biological cycles, the body, & health, see also:
The Light Book
Human Development and Fertility Cycles
Time and Health

5 Months, 4 Cherubim and 1 non-living Symbol

Consider the following symbols, signs and elements from the image above:

Taurus ~ Earth
Leo ~ Fire
Libra ~ Aether
the Eagle ~ Water
Aquarius ~ Air

Spengler describes the development of the Culture as emerging from the chaos of the dissolution of its predecessor.

As the elements necessary coalesce, the Culture’s development accelerates, (as with the change in Sunlight as we pass the Vernal Equinox), it establishes itself aggressively against its equal-others, falls into codification of its ideology, intellectualises its function, and eventually declines into senility.

Earth is the foundational element, from which the plants grow, and stake their claim of the ground with their roots. The establishment of the foundational elements.

Fire is the energetic application and expression of will.

Aether, the numenous ephemera representing Libra, the only sign of the zodiac (from Greek for circle of animals, as with the Chinese system) that is not a living being, floats over the Summer Solstice, and the longest Day. It represents the ideal representation and expression of a Culture, in the form of the architecture of its greatest Cities.

Water, the condensation of the ideals represented by the Aetherial into a code by which those who fall under the influence of the culture may quickly adapt to its customs. This stage represents the beginning of the increase in abstraction into intellectual models over those connected to direct individual experience and observable phenomena. A distillation of the ideal, coagulating it away from its nebulous perfection.

Air, the element of the sword, the rational mind, the intellect, or in Spengler’s terms, the waking-consciousness. The over-intellectualisation of the civilisation’s operation, abstract and detached from the facts of living, signifies the descend of the culture into senility and stagnation.

This bears further research, however, upon initial consideration, a compelling pattern reveals itself, regardless of geography, ethnicity, or time period. It bears both cyclical and linear characteristics, suggesting a spiral or helical structure.

compare Spengler’s pattern of the life of Culture to Arguelles’ reanalysis of History according to the Mayan Great Cycle.

the image in Large

from Time Is Art dot Net

Human biological rhythms by light

1 December 2006

The body’s ticks and tocks

The Light Book: how natural and artificial light affect our health, mood and behaviour
by Jane Wegscheider Hyman, 1990

Ch 1 –

“Our bodies may begin measuring time before birth. In animals, and perhaps in humans, the fetus is first cued to the 24-hour cycle in the womb. Nutrients and hormones regularly cross the placenta and enter the bloodstream of the fetus. This flow from the mother, as well as her body temperature and activities, reflect her circadian rhythms, and the fetus cues its internal day according to hers.”

see also
Human Development and Fertility Cycles

The Abysmal Wheel of the Day

Midnight is placed at the bottom, to reflect the pattern of the Winter Solstice, the New Moon in their respective cycles in the Synaptic Reform Calendar.

Beginning around about midnight (individual experience guaranteed to vary)

00h00 prolactin (growth hormone) increases
02h00 body temperature at its lowest, melatonin at its highest, cortisal increases
05h00 adrenaline, heart rate and blood pressure increase
04h00 – 12h00 inflow of blood
06h00 prolactin decreases, cortisol peaks, heart rate increases
09h00 melatonin decreases, noradrenaline increases
11h00 – 12h00 sympathetic nervous system activity, and body temp. increase
15h00 blood pressure peaks
16h00 body temp. decreases, melatonin increases
22h00 blood pressure and heart rate decrease

“Researchers think that circadian rhythms are as old as life itself, enabling selected organisms to function in time to astronomical rhythms.”

10h00 – 12h00 concentration & short-term memory
13h00 – 18h00 sports, physical activity
17h00 – 21h00 practice, musical instrument
19h00 – 00h00 study & long-term memory

Zeitgeber = time giver = sunlight, the Sun

“The SCN [superchiasmatic neuclei] is called an oscillator or pacemaker because it sets the pace of the body’s various rhythms, keeping them coordinated with one another and with the Earth’s rotation.”

The SCN are connected with the pituitary and pineal glands, as well as the brain stem, which emit hormones to control the heart, adrenal glands, liver, kidneys and intestines.

“Other time cues, such as acoustic signals (e.g., an alarm clock) and a regular schedule of sleeping, waking and eating may help reinforce the Zeitgeiber.”

“The retina evolved as a protrusion of the brain. It functions, in part, as the starting point of the body’s circadian systems and appears to respond most sensitively to the green portion of the light spectrum. The retina’s light-receiving cells apparently change their structure during the day and may regulate the light information they receive.”

the eyes are most sensitive at twilight – dawn & dusk
at this time, the eyes calibrate the time of day with the season

“The retino-hypothalamic tract through which light transmits its time signals to the brain is separate from the visual pathway.”

pineal gland secretes melatonin circadianly, which in turn regulates the body’s circadian rhythm. This gland was thought to have evolved (if that’s your thing) from the reptilian parietal eye. In some species of reptile, the eye, which peeks through the top of the head, has a lens & retina.

the pineal gland is located in the centre of the brain.

29 Day cycle – skin cells rise to the surface of the skin.

Spring & Summer – heart responds better to exercise
Summer – lungs take in more oxygen

Seasonal changes in cortisol, testosterone, thyroxine and serotonin affects health, mood, sleep and sexuality.

the human immune system observes a circaseptan (7-day) cycle, however, it is thought to have been influenced by our observation of a 7-day week.

Our biological rhythms are affected by:
* artificial light
* electromagnetic fields
* stress
* chemicals (food additives, for example)
* medication
* jet lag

Ch 2 – Fertility & Childbirth

aquatic animals are tied to the rhythms of the Moon and Tides
mass breeding of aquatic species on the full moon
primate sexuality is active on the full moon
estruus and rutting have seasonal rhythms.

9 lunar cycles = 266 days

pineal gland tied to onset of puberty
ovary has melatonin receptor
menarche (onset of menstruation) at 12 1/2 years of age (9 – 18 years is normal)
in the Northern Hemisphere, menarche most often occurs in Winter.

gonadotrophins are scheduled by an hourly pulse from the hypothalamus.

light may also affect the onset of menopause (average 52 years of age)

Seasonal Peaks (in the Northern Hemisphere):
Dec Jan Feb – menarche
May – Aug/Sep + Oct – Dec – sexual activity
Mar – conception
Mar – Jun – estrogen target cells
Sep – Dec – testosterone

water breaks near New or Full Moon
labor begins & births in the dark hours

Ch 3 – Rhythms of Sleep

1 – waking to sleeping
2 – sleep
3 – deep sleep
4 – delta wave sleep
5 – REM

the nightly rhythm follows the pattern: 1-2-3-4-2-5-2-3-4-2-5-2-3-4-2-5-etc

* burst of rapid eye movement
* face & limbs twitch
* heartbeat, respiration, blood pressure irregular
* penis/clitoris engorge
* uterus may increase, or contract
* intensely active Central Nervous System
* limbs remain paralysed

REM closely related to body temperature
* we spend more time in deep sleep in the Winter
* REM timing changes with the seasonal temperature
* newborns & infants 30-50% of sleep is REM
* adults 20% of sleep is REM
* from 6-8 or 9 hours a night is normal for an adult.

Ch 4 – Eating & Drinking

norepinephrine stimulates appetite
serotonin triggers satiety

chewing well allows for our feedback system to process what we’re eating, and when we’re satiated. Aids digestion.

glucose, insulin, cortisol, epidermal growth factor (EGF) in blood affect hunger
cortisol is highest just before eating

at Noon the body puts carbohydrates to use
recommended – carbohydrates in the AM, proteins in the PM

our metabolic rhythm peaks in the Winter, as do glucose and glycogen levels

06h00 – 11h00 greatest use of carbohydrates
12h00 – maximal use of carbohydrates
13h00 – peak in food metabolism
08h00 – peak in male alcohol metabolism
15h00 – peak in female alcohol metabolism

recommended – big breakfast, medium lunch, small dinner

Ch 5 – Mood & Behaviour

hibernate= to pass the winter

in Winter:
* awaken later
* eat more & heavier food
* gain weight

[bears build muscle mass while in hibernation].

Ch 6 – Skin & Bones

* ozone & the atmosphere filter out almost all Ultra-violet C (UVC), and most UVB.
* melanin in the skin filters out the rest.
* the more melanin, the darker the skin, the thicker the UV filter

UVB -> epidermis -> vitamin D -> liver, kidney, bone building
vitamin D = phosphorus & calcium balance

Every 10 Years we have a whole new skeleton.
osteoblasts + collage = bone
add calcium + phosphorus to harden the tissue

vitamin D encourages the intestines to absorb more calcium & phosphorus

UVB (and possible UVA) is linked to the development of cataracts.

Langerhans cell in the epidermis provide early warning to the immune system, and they are weakened by UV.
this can affect Vitamin A production.