Got the wintertime blues?

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Check out this editorial in the New York Times. It made me smile, I'm not sure why. A snip:


    “Short days,” said Randy J. Nelson, a professor of psychology at the Ohio State University Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research, whose studies of depression and anxiety in hamsters lend insight into how seasonal changes affect humans. “Here in Ohio, we’re at about the same latitude as you, and the shortest day is about eight hours of light,” Dr. Nelson said. “Anywhere less than 11 hours is a short day.”


    Short days lead to winter blues. Short days cause hamsters’ brains to shrink. Short days impair their ability to remember and to learn.


    “Do hamsters ever get too listless to shop?” I asked.


    “It’s tricky to measure mood in animals because they aren’t verbal,” Dr. Nelson said. “Most rodents tend to stay out of an open area during short days, and to stay on the periphery. If you gave a hamster Valium, it might venture out into the open.”


    “Or white wine?” I asked.


    “We haven’t tried that,” he said.

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