Coded gray.

Friday 18 May 2001

Flowering bushes

Pic of the day: Spring is in the air, flowers and bees are doing what they do best. But I am still me. Well, sort of.

No hormones here

It's a well known factoid that women are in the clutches of their hormones, which move in mysterious ways. This is why they can't for instance elect a woman as president of the United States: On a bad day, she might suddenly break out all the nuclear weapons and end multicellular life on earth. Men are easier that way: We only have one hormone, and it is always on. So we're kind of used to it. Or isn't that so?

The truth is that the female hormone complexes are much better understood than the male, despite the consensus that males are hormonally much simpler. And intriguingly, even sex hormones are largely shared by the two, only the balance is different. So men have a reasonable amount of estrogen, and would probably grow severely ill if not. Women have testosteron and need it too. To further complicate things, some chemicals act as a hormone when released in the adrenal glands, but as neurotransmitters when released in the brain.


I'm not an endocrinologist, and a good thing too. With a slight tendency to hypochondria, it would be a scary job. Still, I sometimes wonder what goes on in a human body. Such as, for instance, mine.

I have mentioned before that I have a daily "mood swing", from impersonal and optimistic in the morning to personal and vulnerable late in the evening. This is just a general trend, and external factors like illness or friends can bend the curve one way or another.

I have also mentioned in the past that I tend to feel more horny and restless when there's a full moon. Conversely, a weekend without female company tends to leave me clearer, more levelheaded and less excitable for a while. A lonely vacation even more so. (This is kind of opposite to the poor hermits who were plagued by lifelike but unclothed female shapes out in the desert. Perhaps those really were evil spirits. Or perhaps the hermits were deeply troubled men, and God knows what would have happened if they had stayed in the city.)

The reason why I suddenly think of this now is that I got up this morning and my imagination was gone. Incidentally, so was the haze of ecchiness that has surrounded me for the last several days. (Indecency, in English, but I maintain that the Japanese (?) expression "ecchi" sounds more like the real thing.) I almost looked forward to working. If you know me, that is a rather disturbing thought. Heh.

Of course, it could have any number of reasons. A day at home is one of them, a waning moon another. Even the colder weather again. Or perhaps someone simply has been praying for my poor misguided soul. You never know. (I am not joking about that, either. I hear there are several experiments that indicate that prayers, blessings, spells and focused intentions can affect simple organism like small plants. The effect on complex systems such as humans are obviously very hard to document. Perhaps it is kind of like homeopathic chemistry: It works regularly as long as the experiments are conducted by people who believe in it, but is never replicated by anyone else. The question when it comes to prayer is of course: Whose belief counts? The one that prays or the one that is prayed for?)

Whatever the reason, there seems to be a temporary change in body chemistry. But with changes that don't follow a simple cycle, it is quite hard to say what is cause and what is effect.


You know, what if we guys had some cyclical change? In just a few thousand years, after all, my ancestors developed a lot more beard and body hair than other humans. (Well, not just my ancestors, but Caucasians - "whites" - in general. But not least around here.) What if we had started to grow a thick winter coat, then shed it in the spring? There would be all manner of myths and superstitions. Men would not be allowed out of the house in the weeks around shedding ... In modern times, there might be all manner of worries about the effect on our brains ...

But luckily, there is no such external change, and so we are supposed to be, what is it they say, captain of our fate? Something like that.

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