Friday, April 07, 2006

Here comes the sun...

The sun is rising now into an overcast sky after another one of those sleepless nights that seem to be the subject of many news “infotainment” segments nowadays.

In my opinion, this is just fear mongering on a lighter level. The media decided long ago that fear equals ratings. My cynical eye however, sees through it usually rather quickly. These particular “stories” about sleep disorders often lead to the fear about particular people that you interact with daily being half asleep while doing their job. These are jobs where it would prove much more beneficial to have the performer as alert a possible. For example, the driver of the semi hauling a tank full of hazardous cargo next to you on the interstate, your plastic surgeon, the lady dishing out slop to your kid in the cafeteria, or worse of all – your hair stylist.

The popular term seems to be “epidemic”. According to, an epidemic is something that spreads “rapidly and extensively by infection and affecting many individuals in an area or a population at the same time”. Is it possible that restless nights are – god forbid – contagious? Recently, I saw another fear based news story about an “epidemic” of obese children that were too big for their car safety seats. Is this contagious as well? True, I don’t sit in a car safety seat, but I do wear a seatbelt. The next time I happen to see a particularly rotund toddler smashing his face full of mashed potatoes and tootsie rolls, should I wear a protective mask?

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