The Siesta and the Midnight Sun

The Siesta and the Midnight Sun

Book - 2011
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When a retiring worker is given a gold watch, Jessa Gamble observes, she symbolically gets back the freedom to keep her own hours.

There were no mechanical timepieces before the industrial revolution. The day's activities were dictated by the spinning Earth's circuit around the Sun and by the seasons. Because people adjusted their lives to these natural rhythms, they may have experienced less stress than their modern counterparts. They almost certainly enjoyed more sleep.

In The Siesta and the Midnight Sun, award-winning science writer Jessa Gamble explores the continuing significance of the biological clocks that governed our lives before modern technology annihilated the night. She describes experiments that show both rats and people adhere to a 24-hour schedule even when deprived of daylight. When our days are disrupted by shift work, jet lag or space travel, things go wrong. The disastrous chemical leak at Bhopal, India and the calamitous launch of the Space Shuttle Challenger both were caused partly by sleepless workers. Insomnia is rampant in the Western world.

By investigating patterns of behaviour in many societies both past and current, Gamble gives us a glimpse of different ways of scheduling time. In this superbly insightful and entertaining book she examines the crises and creative adaptations that occur on the embattled border where biology, culture and technology clash.

Publisher: Toronto : Viking Canada, [2011]
Copyright Date: ©2011
ISBN: 9780670065110
Branch Call Number: 571.77 GAM
Characteristics: vii, 230 pages ;,24 cm

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m
mit
Jun 14, 2012

I was disappointed with this book. It is a bunch of thoughts related to internal clocks with an occasional tangent on something completely unrelated. It is poorly structured and gives small bits of interesting information without follow-up. I didn't finish it.

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