Check out this editorial in the New York Times. It made me smile, I'm not sure why. A snip:
- â€Short days,â€ 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. â€Here in Ohio, weâ€™re at about the same latitude as you, and the shortest day is about eight hours of light,â€ Dr. Nelson said. â€Anywhere less than 11 hours is a short day.â€
Short days lead to winter blues. Short days cause hamstersâ€™ brains to shrink. Short days impair their ability to remember and to learn.
â€Do hamsters ever get too listless to shop?â€ I asked.
â€Itâ€™s tricky to measure mood in animals because they arenâ€™t verbal,â€ Dr. Nelson said. â€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.â€
â€Or white wine?â€ I asked.
â€We havenâ€™t tried that,â€ he said.