The thing about depression is it may not always feel like depression

Thursday, 21 August, 2014

Depression can be an elusive, slippery, illness to contend with, given many sufferers don’t fully realise how afflicted they are, until they start being treated:

Until I started taking my antidepressants, though, I didn’t actually know that I was depressed. I thought the dark staticky corners were part of who I was. It was the same way I felt before I put on my first pair of glasses at age 14 and suddenly realized that trees weren’t green blobs but intricate filigrees of thousands of individual leaves; I hadn’t known, before, that I couldn’t see the leaves, because I didn’t realize that seeing leaves was a possibility at all. And it wasn’t until I started using tools to counterbalance my depression that I even realized there was depression there to need counterbalancing.

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Personality, sometimes it is stable, sometimes it is not…

Wednesday, 20 August, 2014

Key aspects of our personality, such as extraversion, neuroticism, and agreeableness, vary in stability as we go through life, rather than remaining constant, with the greatest fluctuations being experienced in youth, and then later life:

Stability of personality increases through youth, peaks in mid-life and then gradually reduces again into old age, presumably in response to the variations in social and biological pressures we experience at the different stages of life.

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In space no one can sleep… or rather sleep all that well

Tuesday, 19 August, 2014

Crews aboard long haul space flights, such as trips to Mars, should one, be introverts, and two, be possessed of the gene variant that allows them to function on less sleep than others since space, it seems, is not particularly conducive to slumber

Researchers tracked the sleep patterns of 85 crew members aboard the ISS and space shuttle and found that despite an official flight schedule mandating 8.5 hours of sleep per night, they rarely got more than five. In fact, getting a full night’s rest was so difficult that three-quarters of shuttle mission crew members used sleep medication, and sometimes entire teams were sedated on the same night.

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Could you condition yourself to go without shampoo?

Monday, 18 August, 2014

While the notion of a single, global, time zone is something I could quite easily get my head around, the thought of ditching shampoo and conditioner, something that appears to make an equal amount of sense, would be another matter entirely.

Left to its own devices or washed with natural substitutes, the scalp eventually theoretically returns to its natural balance, producing enough oil to keep hair soft and smooth without the associated grease-slick. The oils produced by the scalp – notably sebum – keep the shaft of the hair clean, smooth and protected, performing the role of “shampoo and conditioner” far more effectively than the manufactured alternatives. The upshot should be healthier hair that is stronger, thicker and fuller as it is less damaged than shampooed hair.

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Ebola, some hard facts, not hearsay

Thursday, 14 August, 2014

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is making headlines, and rightly so. But while the virus – that has a mortality rate of fifty to ninety percent – is not to be taken lightly, it’s not as if it spreads like the flu:

Let’s start with the basics: Ebola is spread only through bodily fluids from an infected person, or from objects such as needles that have been in contact with infected bodily fluids. Ebola is not spread through air, food, water, or by touching money and keyboards.

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All work and no play makes you far worse than just dull

Tuesday, 29 July, 2014

A degree of playfulness, as opposed to playing the fool, and we are talking about in adults here by the way, is far from a bad thing, in fact being possessed of a… spirited nature may have health and well being benefits.

What Proyer and the other researchers who have recently moved to fill that gap are discovering is that playfulness, as a personality trait, is not only complex but consequential. People who exhibit high levels of playfulness – those who are predisposed to being spontaneous, outgoing, creative, fun-loving, and lighthearted – appear to be better at coping with stress, more likely to report leading active lifestyles, and more likely to succeed academically. According to a group of researchers at Pennsylvania State University, playfulness makes both men and women more attractive to the opposite sex.

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Yes, we have different blood types, but why?

Friday, 25 July, 2014

People have different blood types. That much we all know. What’s not so certain is exactly why there are varied types of blood in the first place:

Being type A is not a legacy of my proto-farmer ancestors, in other words. It’s a legacy of my monkey-like ancestors. Surely, if my blood type has endured for millions of years, it must be providing me with some obvious biological benefit. Otherwise, why do my blood cells bother building such complicated molecular structures?

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Being depressed… how does it actually feel though?

Wednesday, 23 July, 2014

A number of London based depression patients discuss their day to day experiences of the disorder… it’s one thing to understand the symptoms of depression, but another to know how it must actually feel.

Depression for me is not liking yourself, having no confidence in yourself, seeking reassurance, hanging onto anything that you can, pretty much anything emotionally, get your hands on. Lacking courage.

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Geniuses usually sleep eight hours, unless the world worries them

Wednesday, 16 July, 2014

The sleeping habits of geniuses… twenty-seven of them to be precise. I was hoping to find something that I might be able to take advantage of, and it looks pretty straightforward, seven to eight hours sleep seems to be the norm among smart people.

Then again no fewer than one hundred and fifty items, problems in the world and the like, may also be keeping the same people awake at night.

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Longevity may soon be something we’re able to take at face value

Friday, 11 July, 2014

A facial recognition technology variant may soon be able to predict how long someone might live, by scanning and studying the signs of ageing on their face:

The technology involves using a computer to scan a photograph of a face for signs of ageing. Factoring in the subject’s race, gender, education level and smoking history – all known to affect longevity prospects – it would analyse each section of cheek, eye, brow, mouth and jowl looking for shading variations that signal lines, dark spots, drooping and other age-related changes that might indicate how the person is doing compared with others of the same age and background.

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