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"My next post will be from my Honolulu hotel. Aloha!"

[Looks outside at Somerville, Massachusetts.]

[Shakes fist at fate.]

Aloha and welcome to the islands! The Sheraton Waikiki has beautiful postcard views and is a spot where you can see turtles close to shore. My November 6 post has me on the beach near the hotel. (Someone tell Sean that airfares are low if he wants to surprise a fiancee.) I would love to tell you more, maybe over lunch.

You're a martial artist. Ask around your dojo about jet lag. I study an internal kung fu style, and one of the things I picked up was a set of techniques that appear to reset the Circadian clock.

I'm a physicist, and a bit obsessive about testing things, so the two metrics I work with are my internal clock (when I'm in a stable time zone it's good to five minutes usually), and a qualitative "misery index." The clock declares that the techniques work flawlessly (N=4 with the technique, two in each direction, N=2 without, one in each direction...not significant yet). The misery index says the same. During one of the controls, a young mother in the Frankfurt airport looked at me when I tried to ask her something in German, and said in English, "You really need to sleep. You look awful." With the techniques, I stepped off the plane in Corsica bright and chipper and ready for a swim.

And the techniques themselves? Rubbing certain acupuncture points for about thirty seconds at intervals during the flight. Trivial, though your fellow passengers may look at you funny when you take off your shoes to rub the side of your big toe at one point.

Oh, and they reset wakefulness, but appear not to affect the clock that controls the digestion, which thereafter shifts at about an hour a day towards the wakefulness clock (yes, I measured that, too).

Jet lag: use your common sense. Drinking a lot of water never hurt under any circumstances, and it means you have to get up, send your blood a little more quickly around your body, and squish some of that lymph out of your lower legs and back into the bloodstream by walking to the toilet more frequently. The famine/feast thing works to some extent, because melatonin levels may also be related to intestinal production after meals, as you probably know since you referred to the Blog Around the Clock post. [One uses the same eating rhythm to prepare for the fast day of Yom Kippur, for the Jewish tradition. Is that why everyone is so exhausted by the end? ;-)] However, natural, intense daylight is the best thing for that pineal gland of yours, to get it to STOP making the melatonin when you don't want it (during the day in the new time zone). So, if you arrive early, get outside as much as possible or close to a window that first day. If you arrive late, go to bed. You're probably tired, anyhow. Stay in the dark even if you wake up at 3AM; don't eat, even if you are hungry, until a plausible breakfast time, after which you can expect to be wide awake, and pretty tired 15 hours later. It won't kill you to be a little hungry then (you can drink, though). If you have to cave in, go for a milk product. I find this gets me on track pretty quickly and I've been in a heck of a lot of time zones by now.

Alethea makes some good points. Also, there were two articles I was looking at (strangely) just prior to Jennifer's posting this about use of blue light for depression, jet lag, etc. It's something to think about, and maybe the use of blue lighting on planes would help.

"SALT LIKE CITY— Treatment for patients with circadian rhythm disorders is being cast in a new light—blue. Researchers believe that blue light therapy, though still in the experimental stage, could help patients with certain types of sleep and mood disorders, improve alertness during shift work, overcome jet lag, and even help resolve circadian disruptions in astronauts during spaceflight."

Here was another one about blue light:

..Just like cities grew up around the harbours and
later around the train stations,
so will new cities grow up around our larger airports.

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    Physics Cocktails

    • Heavy G
      The perfect pick-me-up when gravity gets you down.
      2 oz Tequila
      2 oz Triple sec
      2 oz Rose's sweetened lime juice
      7-Up or Sprite
      Mix tequila, triple sec and lime juice in a shaker and pour into a margarita glass. (Salted rim and ice are optional.) Top off with 7-Up/Sprite and let the weight of the world lift off your shoulders.
    • Listening to the Drums of Feynman
      The perfect nightcap after a long day struggling with QED equations.
      1 oz dark rum
      1/2 oz light rum
      1 oz Tia Maria
      2 oz light cream
      Crushed ice
      1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
      In a shaker half-filled with ice, combine the dark and light rum, Tia Maria, and cream. Shake well. Strain into an old fashioned glass almost filled with crushed ice. Dust with the nutmeg, and serve. Bongos optional.
    • Combustible Edison
      Electrify your friends with amazing pyrotechnics!
      2 oz brandy
      1 oz Campari
      1 oz fresh lemon juice
      Combine Campari and lemon juice in shaker filled with cracked ice. Shake and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Heat brandy in chafing dish, then ignite and pour into glass. Cocktail Go BOOM! Plus, Fire = Pretty!
    • Hiroshima Bomber
      Dr. Strangelove's drink of choice.
      3/4 Triple sec
      1/4 oz Bailey's Irish Cream
      2-3 drops Grenadine
      Fill shot glass 3/4 with Triple Sec. Layer Bailey's on top. Drop Grenadine in center of shot; it should billow up like a mushroom cloud. Remember to "duck and cover."
    • Mad Scientist
      Any mad scientist will tell you that flames make drinking more fun. What good is science if no one gets hurt?
      1 oz Midori melon liqueur
      1-1/2 oz sour mix
      1 splash soda water
      151 proof rum
      Mix melon liqueur, sour mix and soda water with ice in shaker. Shake and strain into martini glass. Top with rum and ignite. Try to take over the world.
    • Laser Beam
      Warning: may result in amplified stimulated emission.
      1 oz Southern Comfort
      1/2 oz Amaretto
      1/2 oz sloe gin
      1/2 oz vodka
      1/2 oz Triple sec
      7 oz orange juice
      Combine all liquor in a full glass of ice. Shake well. Garnish with orange and cherry. Serve to attractive target of choice.
    • Quantum Theory
      Guaranteed to collapse your wave function:
      3/4 oz Rum
      1/2 oz Strega
      1/4 oz Grand Marnier
      2 oz Pineapple juice
      Fill with Sweet and sour
      Pour rum, strega and Grand Marnier into a collins glass. Add pineapple and fill with sweet and sour. Sip until all the day's super-positioned states disappear.
    • The Black Hole
      So called because after one of these, you have already passed the event horizon of inebriation.
      1 oz. Kahlua
      1 oz. vodka
      .5 oz. Cointreau or Triple Sec
      .5 oz. dark rum
      .5 oz. Amaretto
      Pour into an old-fashioned glass over (scant) ice. Stir gently. Watch time slow.