Friday, February 3, 2012

Zeitgeber

Yes, I got the badge.
As far as "holidays" go, I think Groundhog Day is pretty stupid. I'm willing to bet there's no scientific correlation between rodent shadows and seasonal climate progression. But at this time of year, I certainly understand the longing to spot any sign of Spring on the horizon, no matter how significant.

I came across a nice word the other day that I had to look up in my dog-eared dictionary app: "Zeitgeber". Borrowed from German where it literally means "time giver", it's defined as an external cue used by an organism to adjust it's internal clock.

The day/night cycle certainly qualifies as a zeitgeber. Many people suffer from a condition called Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as the "winter blues". Symptoms include lack of energy, withdrawal from friends and social activities, and an increased craving for carbohydrates. I'm not immune to this malady, which I call SCD (SAD Cow Disease).

I always thought that if someone wanted to concoct the most perfectly evil business scheme, all they would need to do is design a seasonal product which disguises itself as a sign of spring while opportunistically exploiting the suffering of those with SCD. There's a name for an organization which would stoop to such sinister business tactics...


3 comments:

  1. Here's an interesting thing I learned. GSA sells their cookies at diff times in diff parts of the county (or so I've heard). Check ebay - some troop is always selling these. We never have anyone come door to door anymore, I have to find a scout to get my fix.

    Oh - and this year they are brining back the lemon powdered cookie. I will buy a case of them. Yes, you heard correctly.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well, as someone who has NO holidays to look forward to between New Years Day and Memorial Day, at least Groundhog Day breaks up the monotony.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I will only take Groundhog Day seriously if I can take the day off from work...with pay...

    ReplyDelete