internal biological clock

Today’s post was written by Guest Professor Austin, a Chemical Engineering major who is interested in robotics and, of course, pokémon.

Darkrai’s name literally translates to “dark king”, and he is a nightmare. It comes out during the new moon, which is the darkest phase of the moon, to inflict nightmares on unsuspecting towns. Its signature move is Dark Void, which causes its victims to fall asleep, but how? Let’s look at the move description from the games:

Opposing Pokémon are dragged into a world of total darkness that makes them sleep.

And from the anime:

Darkrai puts its hands together and forms a crimson and black or purple and black ball in its hands. It then fires it at the opponent. When the opponent is hit, a crimson or pink bubble appears around the opponent's body that soon disappears and makes them fall asleep.

From this description, we can gather that Darkrai causes them to fall asleep just from forming a bubble around them. How does the bubble accomplish this? Well, first of all, we need to establish exactly what sleep is.

Sleep is a state of mind where the body becomes inactive, however the brain remains active. It is a stable conditions for animals. Being awake is also a steady condition for animals; however, the transition states are unstable and the body tries to quickly transition between being awake and being asleep. In most animals, falling asleep or waking up follows an electronic flip-flop model.

Now back to Dark Void. It’s possible that there is an anesthetic chemical released during the process that knocks its victims out, but there’s nothing that would particularly support this theory. Instead, Dark Void likely tricks the brain into thinking it is night time and falling asleep; an accelerated version of placing a blanket over a bird cage.

Animals have a biological clock called the circadian clock. This clock is basically the brain’s clock that tells it when it needs to sleep. In mammals, this clock is controlled by the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), which is just a small part of the brain. The retina (of your eye) contains specialized ganglion cells that are photosensitive and project directly to the SCN. The SCN passes the information onto the pineal gland, which produces the hormone melatonin. Melatonin, in animals, helps regulate blood pressure, reproduction, and when you fall asleep. Production of melatonin peaks at night, and is believed to speed up the darker it is.

In other words, when it gets dark, your internal biological clock triggers a response in the brain to produce a chemical that makes you fall asleep. The darker it is, the faster this chemical will be produced. So, when Darkrai hits a victim with Dark Void, it surrounds them with a bubble that creates an artificially dark environment, tricking the body into mass producing melatonin. The victim then quickly goes into the transition state of falling asleep, which, being very unstable, causes them to fall asleep quickly.

Darkrai’s signature move, Dark Void, creates an artificially dark environment around its victims. This tricks the victim’s brain into producing massive amounts of melatonin, which causes them to quickly fall asleep.

Darkrai is most known for giving people and pokemon nightmares. Unfortunately, dreams and nightmares are still not well understood, still sort of a mystery in science today. All we know is that nightmares tend to be correlated with stress. The target of Dark Void might get nightmares just from the stress of being trapped in an unknown, dark sphere; or Darkrai might tamper with the stress hormone cortisol as well. He might give them nightmares after they’re asleep, or perhaps he uses another unknown supernatural force altogether.

Requested by liquorhole and pokecrettes

n-zzorth  asked:

Solangelo ofc

Starting off with the OTP. :3

Solangelo (Will Solace X Nico di Angelo, from Percy Jackson)

  • Who cooks:
    Nico, mostly.  Whenever Will cooks Nico is always over his shoulder, watching, waiting for Will to mess up, and taking over as soon as he does.  Also, Will is super big on the healthy food and finds how Nico adds either butter or garlic or some sort of cheesy sauce to everything both delicious and dangerous.
  • Who does the laundry and other chores:
    They both do, but Will is much more cheery about it.
  • How many children do they have:
    They adopt a little girl ;w; (cough Chiara cough)
  • Who’s more dominate:
    Overall?  Will.  During the frickle-frackle?  Nico, probs.
  • Favorite nonsexual activity:
    Watching the stars and talking until the sun comes up.
  • Their favorite place to be together:
    Camp ;w;
  • Any traditions:
    They often make deals with each other.  Like “you do this, I’ll do this.”  They bicker a lot.  They have an unspoken competition to come up with the most embarrassing pet name.  They steal each other’s clothing all the time.
  • Their “song”:
    Oh, god, there are so many I want to say.  “Always” by Panic at the Disco, “Fix You” by Coldplay, “Photograph” by Ed Sheeran, any love song EVAR?
  • What they do for each other on holidays:
    At first, Nico hates the fuss Will makes for the holidays, but after a few years, they both go overboard with it, especially once they have kids
  • Where did they go for their honeymoon:
  • Where did they first meet:
    Camp Half Blood, obvs.
  • Any pets:
    I can see them having a cat and then raising the occasional hellhound ;w;
  • What do they fight over:
    Anything and everything, but they love every second of it.
  • Who wakes up first:
    Will.  He has a literal biological internal clock that refuses to let him sleep in.

anonymous asked:

Can I ask you a question about medieval timekeeping? I get how people would know the time of day (clocks, sundials, the height of the sun, maybe which flowers were open and closed?) but how would they tell the length of time passed? I'm reading a Brother Cadfael story and everyone seems to know quite easily when half an hour or an hour has gone by, and I just keep wondering 'how??!' Do you happen to know?

The first thing that comes to mind is that people living near monasteries and churches heard the bell each three hours (this is how the monastic rituals divided the day) and that is pretty often. So I imagine it was easy to make an estimate of when the first and second third had passed.

The other thing, and one of my favorite timekeeping devices, are candles. People either put markings directly on the candles, or made fancy metal or silver holders with markings for each half an hour or an hour that pass. Specific materials and widths were determined, so these were quite accurate. You can still buy them today! 

And my personal note - I think people back then were a lot more attuned to listening to their own internal biological clocks, and were a lot more connected with nature, if you will. Plus, their days were pretty consistently organised, much like ours are, so they were naturally good at these things.

Hope this helped.


Pairing: Shizaya
Theme: dressing

Izaya wondered how in the world Shizuo was able to deal with getting dressed every single day in his bartender uniform if the blond got annoyed at having to pull his t-shirt off to shower.

So when Orihara Izaya awoke to Shizuo’s signature outfit thrown in his face, annoyance was only second to a very dull expectancy that presented itself that morning for the first time.

“Dress me.”

Izaya didn’t like being woken up. He never did and even alarm clocks faced his wrath if they tried to rouse him from sleep before his internal biological clock did. But since it was Shizuo and he was standing in his room in only his boxers, the raven’s amusement outweighed his anger by just the tiniest of margins.

Standing, he sighed and ran a hand through his hair. Laying out Shizuo’s clothes on his bed, Izaya fixed his own pajamas of a shirt and boxers before picking up his pants and crouching in front of him.

“Left foot into the left leg…”

“I know that!!”

“That’s your right foot, Shizu-chan.”

“…Well, you didn’t specify whose left, damn louse!”

Simply shaking his head, Izaya teased the fabric up Shizuo’s legs, resisting the urge to pass his fingers over his boxers in a certain area because the thought of going back to bed was too tempting. “You’re twenty five, Shizu-chan,” he muttered dryly as he let the pants hang off of his hips and reached for the shirt to put on, doing the buttons quickly and accurately, tucking the ends into the pants that he fixed. “What did you do before me?”

“Make Kasuka dress me.”


Shaking his head again, the belt was looped through the pants, buckle precisely where it should be. The vest was next and then the tie, white collar folded over it and Izaya sighed, patting his chest. “Now go to work, Shizu-chan.”

Nodding, a hand was raised as a goodbye and Izaya crawled back into bed, realizing that this would be the start of several similar mornings.

What a kid…

The next morning, the same scenario happened except Izaya was surprised to see boxers with his clothes and looked up, hardly hearing ‘just took a shower so do the boxers too.’

An hour later, Tom received a phone call.

“Ah, Tom-san? Yeah, I… forgot to go to work today.”