The science of sleep – Depression and the 24 hour mind

I am subscribed to Brain Pickings as it has interesting short articles on literature, quotes, science etc. Today I read one of their articles on sleep and depression. How depressed people have a different sleep cycle to the norm, and how this effects them. The article was based on infrmation from the book The twenty-four hour mind: The role of sleep and dreaming on our emotional lives by Rosalind D. Cartwright. A good excerpt of the book is on google docs, the book is for sale on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Better World BooksBokkliden, eBooks, FishPond, and many more.

I have not read the book but I plan to as it sounds facinating. I read Dream Power by Dr Ann Faraday, when I was a young teenager and have been facinated by sleep and dreams ever since. Dream Power tells you scientifically how to interpret your dreams. This new book will update that old knowledge I have from Ann as lots will have happened in teh field since I was a teenager. I look forward to reading how different sleep and dream patterns effect our daily lives and maybe learn how I can sleep better and be healthier and more focused in daily life from having refreshing sleep.

Can human activity cause an earthquake? … Short answer is surprisingly yes.

My twitter feed enticed me with the line “Human activity triggered fatal Spanish #earthquake” I had to read the article.

To summarise the article:

There was a fault line which had pressure built up in it. In other words there was going to be an earth quake or more likely many small earthquakes slowly releasing pressure. The Lorca earthquake on 11 May 2011 was unusually shallow and was one large quake. Shallow quakes cause more damage than deep quakes.

If you or your partner have had a baby born after induction, you know that the labour is quicker than a natural birth. The pains come quicker and harder. Well with humans draining large amounts of ground water for irrigation, this worked a little like inducing a baby. The earthquake cam quicker and more violent than if it had occurred naturally. That meant more loss of life and injuries on top of more damage of homes and buildings.

The only upside to the whole thing is that seismologists gained information which might help assess the potential for triggering such earthquakes in future so we do not trigger worse earthquakes than would occur naturally, and maybe in the distant future we may even learn how to trigger small, deep earthquakes to release pressure even slower than nature does and prevent disasters. We can only hope.