Hibernation: Not just for picnic basket stealing bears anymore…Revisited!

Colorado - Estes Park: Yogi Bear’s Jellystone ...

Colorado – Estes Park: Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park of Estes (Photo credit: wallyg)

Occasionally I look to old blog posts to find inspiration for new blog posts. This usually occurs when my mind is blank of new topics or I’m not doing very well at managing the time to write something new. Somewhere in between those reasons is where I find myself now. I’ve found an old blog post, from my previous blog titled Ajax’s Whimsical Revolution, that is entertaining and left an opening for some extra commentary, so here is that post followed by the new commentary:

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2010

Hibernation: Not Just For Picnic Basket-Stealing Bears Anymore

I suggest that since humans are mammals we are susceptible to hibernation characteristics. As always, I will offer supporting evidence of my claim. I am good about giving evidence, my weakness is in the weakness of my evidence, it’s usually nothing but anecdotal – but then what evidence isn’t anecdotal (think about it). Example one: years ago I was working at Subway. My friends would come in all the time in the afternoon. During the summer we’d go over to someones house and play rock and roll music. Most of us played guitar or something. They could come in at 4pm and want to go do something when I got out of work at 5pm and I’d go. Then it turned to Winter and it was dark and cold by 5pm. My friends would come and ask if I wanted to do something and I’d say it was late and I wanted to go home. Nothing in the situation changed except the temperature and amount of light from the sun still visible (how’s that for an accurate statement?). I figure it must be the cold and dark that make me want to just go home and not be out. I guess that’s really the only example I have to give, it just happens a lot. I’m noticing it again now as Summer is ending. It is still light until 7pm or so, and it’s not so cold that I need a heavy coat yet, but I’m starting to feel like not going out in the evening. Either I’m feeling some hibernation tendencies or I’m developing evening-specific agoraphobia. I’ve lost interest in this topic rather rapidly. I would at this point do some research on hibernation and make some ridiculous comparison to human brain function or behavior, so ridiculous that you would believe it, but I think I’d rather not. Another time, perhaps.

—–

That’s how I used to blog, just one giant paragraph, not all of the time, but often. I’ve since learned that people don’t pay attention to long paragraphs when reading blogs, so I make them shorter. I never thought about it before, but the people who suggest that blog writing tip is implying that people who read blogs are impatient or too dimwitted to comprehend a long paragraph. I guess we showed them! We both made it through that long paragraph and we’re doing fine, right?

Well, I did a quick search on human hibernation and apparently it is almost possible, if you are a Tibetan monk with a black belt in meditation. According to Popsci.com, reducing the oxygen needs of your body can help delay damage to cells during periods of oxygen deprivation. I’m not a biologist so I’m not really sure how that relates to the topic of hibernation. The same article also mentions reducing the core body temperature as a prerequisite for hibernation. That’s how the bears do it, the hairy ones in the forest, not the hairy ones on the football field.

Cryogenics Marines supply 2nd MAW with oxygen,...

Cryogenics Marines supply 2nd MAW with oxygen, nitrogen (Photo credit: CherryPoint)

Bears hibernate by staying still and reducing their core body temperature, according to the same Popsci.com article. I don’t know about you, but I can’t willingly alter my core temperature. The only way I can alter my temperature is to lick the doorknob of a public restroom and wait a few days for the incubation period of infection to kick in, or, take a fever reducing medication. Otherwise, my temperature does its own thing. Besides, isn’t a reduction in core temperature also known as hypothermia? A fatal condition if left unchecked, last I heard.

Another article, this one from livescience.com, is more insulting and perhaps less informative than the first article. Apparently huffing some types of gas will help you hibernate. Again, if I’m not mistaken, huffing gas can help you hibernate forever, as it can be lethal, according to 1980’s era public service announcements. The insulting part? The article claims humans are a lot like bacteria.

As I said, I’m not a biologist, so I don’t really know how similar or not we are to bacteria, but I’d just like them to say “some of us” rather than a more absolute “we are.” I don’t have any issue with comparing some people to bacteria, but I’d like to think some others of us aren’t as bacteria like. And now I’m at the 800 word level. The same folks who imply you are too impatient to read long paragraphs also have something to say about posts longer than 800 words.

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About paulbrodie

I am a writer and a musician. My education is in psychology with emphasis in industrial/organizational psychology. My work experience has been primarily with electronic document management. Academically and intellectually I am interested in criminology and sociology. I am married to my favorite person in the world and we have one daughter.
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