Thursday, October 5, 2017

Waiomu NZ To Chicago + The Power of Circadian Rhythms

Well, that was a lot of flying. 17 hours plus three in LA between flights, enough time to look up from my seat in the waiting area and see a guy across from me wearing a red Make America Great Again hoodie.

And then I wondered: am I jetlagged or did I read that the US president threw paper towels at Puerto Ricans?


Rocko is the Springer spaniel who ran the motel (at least he thought he did) in Waiomu, where we stayed our last night in NZ. Hard to believe that was only yesterday. We hit the road toward Auckland around 11 and dropped the trusty Rover with Selwyn and Rawyn before having lunch with them near the airport. One last piece of NZ fish, this time tarakihi.

That fish didn't hold me for 20 hours, despite a decent effort on the airlines' part to feed us. When we arrived home just before 10 pm last night we weren't hungry, but after attempting sleep for 3.5 hours with no luck, I finally realized in the middle of the night that I was famished.

The 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine went to a group for their discoveries of the molecular mechanisms controlling circadian rhythms. I spent the hours between midnight and 3 am pondering the power of the biological clock (ours was certain it was seven hours earlier).
The biological clock is involved in many aspects of our complex physiology. We now know that all multicellular organisms, including humans, utilize a similar mechanism to control circadian rhythms. A large proportion of our genes are regulated by the biological clock and, consequently, a carefully calibrated circadian rhythm adapts our physiology to the different phases of the day. Since the seminal discoveries by the three laureates, circadian biology has developed into a vast and highly dynamic research field, with implications for our health and well-being.

On the last NZ newsstand we glimpsed, a chilling headline. These two were engaged in NZ, she murdered in the Las Vegas massacre.

Our arrival home was a bountiful one, with piles of produce and snacks and a fridge stocked with homemade soups and cleaned French breakfast radishes and cheese and salmon. We are very lucky indeed to have friends who are like family and family who are friends. Thank you all for helping us ease back into...breakfast salmon.

One last map (click here to view if you're reading in email):


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.