Category: Science

We rock.

Your bones are made of calcium and magnesium, and there’s seawater in your blood. You are the living Earth in this particular form. 4 1/2 billion years ago, the Earth was a flaming ball of molten rock. Now . . . it can sing opera.

— Cosmologist Brian Swimme

I need lithium for my political mood swings

I’m really eff’ing cranky right now.

Every six months I go see my psychiatrist, who asks me if I want more antidepressants, and every six months I tell her no. When I was there a few weeks ago, my answer was the same. I don’t believe my bad mood is a biological issue, but rather circumstantial. Not that I’m denying being one of those cursed artistic personalities, with a brain as sensitive as it is curious, acting like a seismograph strapped onto the head of a woodpecker. No, that’s not right. A sea sponge covered with taste buds? No . . .

“Lemme just get more exercise,” I tell her, winding down our appointment. She asks me if there’s anything else.

kleenex-boxAlmost as an afterthought I say, “It’s been really hard since the election.” And then out of nowhere, tears well up in my eyes. I struggle to elaborate, but she remains quiet. “Wow, I didn’t expect this,” I say, reaching for a Kleenex.

“You’re not alone,” she tells me. “Everyone’s affected. All of my patients. I’m affected, too.”

Not that she’s suggesting lithium. That would imply that I get the manic highs of bipolar people. Instead it’s just a rotten mood interjected with the occasional sigh of relief when one of Trump’s stupid bills or Executive Orders is shot down. It looks a little like this:

  • Trump announces his Muslim Travel Ban. It’s discriminatory, and doesn’t address the problem. In fact, it will probably make terrorism worse. Sh*t. This is our new President.

Read More…

Have you got the new D.T.s?

screen-shot-2016-12-12-at-4-39-20-pmIt used to stand for delirium tremens. But I’m re-dubbing it the Donald Trumps. Interestingly, the symptoms of the two are almost exactly the same, based on a quick Google search of the former:

Bodily symptoms include shaking, confusion, high blood pressure, fever and heavy sweating. You may also experience an increased startle reflex or a water-electrolyte imbalance, and in the case of the Donald Trumps, rapid eye movement when trying to make sense of the New York Times on your phone.

Also common is fast heart rate, physical substance dependance, tremor, anxiety, dilated pupils, insomnia, seizures or shallow breathing. Watery eyes are mostly seen in women, but can occasionally present in men as well, if exposed to enough information.

Psychological symptoms can include: increased irritability or restlessness; seeing or hearing things other people do not; and tactile hallucinations such the sensation of something of crawling on oneself. DTs usually include extremely intense feelings of “impending doom,” along with delirium or mental hallucinations, such as Russia hacking our government computers. (Oh, wait — that’s real.)

Severe anxiety and feelings of imminent death are common symptoms of the DTs, as is paranoia. Altered mental status (a.k.a. “global confusion”) and sympathetic overdrive can progress to cardiovascular collapse. As well as climate collapse.

Confusion is often noticeable to onlookers, as those with the DTs will have trouble forming simple sentences or making basic logical calculations. The DTs are characterized by the presence of altered sensorium, that is, a complete hallucination without any recognition of the real world.  Read More…