by Paul Riegler

While St. Patrick’s Day gets all the attention, March 17 is also World Sleep Day.
Held on the Friday before the Northern Hemisphere vernal equinox, the annual observance is focused on raising awareness on the topic and advancing our knowledge of sleep including sleep disorders and circadian rhythms.  This takes place largely in part due special events held by the World Sleep Day Committee of the World Sleep Society, formerly World …

Summer Time for 2023 Begins Sunday in the European Union

by Kurt Stolz

It was just three years ago that Europe changed its clocks in the grip of a great unknown, a new coronavirus that was moving rapidly across the Continent. Today, many of the pandemic restrictions that were imposed have been lifted and life has somewhat returned to normal as people begin to live with the virus.
This weekend, clocks in the European Union will change on Sunday at 1 a.m. GMT. At …

The World’s Happiest Country in 2023 is (Once Again) Finland, But What Does That Even Mean?

by Jonathan Spira

Happiness is a vague, multifaceted, and subjective phenomenon that is difficult to define precisely for measurement and hard to measure in a manner that would allow for meaningful comparisons.
Yet, Monday was World Happiness Day and the United Nation’s tenth annual International Day of Happiness and the day on which the 2023 World Happiness Report was released, a report that ranks countries based on how happy they are.
A global pandemic was …

Want to Make an In-Flight PB&J or Smuggle a Gun? According to the TSA, Peanut Butter is a Liquid

by Kurt Stolz

The question of what constitutes a liquid had, physicists and the TSA thought, long been settled, that is until now.  The case of a podcaster, Patrick Neve, who complained about having to surrender his jar of Jif triggered a wave of sympathy as well as numerous complaints, including a cheeky reply from the U.S. Transportation Security Administration.
Neve was en route to a speaking engagement with a jar of Jif peanut …

Say Goodbye to Winter: The Spring Equinox is Monday

by Kurt Stolz

Depending on where you are in the Northern Hemisphere, you’ve either been enjoying spring-like weather for weeks or you’ve wondered whether the calendar had gotten stuck in mid-January.
But as of late Monday, it will be definitive: The vernal equinox, the official start of astronomical spring, will take place on Monday at 5:24 p.m. EDT, 10:24 p.m. CET on the European continent, and 2:24 p.m. on the West Coast of the …

Covid’s Origin Linked to Racoon Dogs at Wuhan Market

by Jonathan Spira

We are now looking at the strongest evidence yet that the pandemic was not caused by a lab leak but rather by an animal at a wet market.  A report with the research team’s complete findings hasn’t yet been published but is expected to be released within several weeks.  Their analysis was first reported in the Atlantic.
Since the start of the pandemic, many scientists have stood by the notion that …

Millionaire and Silicon Valley ‘Creep’ Steve Kirsch Offers Woman in First Class on Delta Flight $100,000 to Remove Face Mask

by Anna Breuer

Just because someone is a tech innovator doesn’t mean he isn’t also a creep or worse.
Steve Kirsch, an American entrepreneur, is one of two people who independently invented the optical mouse in 1980 and created the search engine Infoseek, which was launched in 1994.  More recently he has been a promoter of misinformation about coronavirus vaccines as well as a philanthropic supporter of medical research.
In 2020, the first full year …

Fewer Than Six Hours of Sleep Cuts Immune Response to Vaccines, Study Says

by Jonathan Spira

Regular readers of this space know of my great interest in sleep.  Not only do I enjoy getting a good night’s sleep but I’ve studied its effects from both the perspective of a frequent traveler as well as a Covid researcher.
We know that, when you are jet lagged, your body still sees the time as the 2 a.m. New York time, when you should be fast asleep, not having a …