Sleep timing is controlled by the circadian clock, sleep-wake homeostasis, and in humans, willed behavior. The circadian clock is an inner timekeeping, temperature-fluctuating, enzyme-controlling mechanism that works in tandem with adenosine, a neurotransmitter that inhibits many of the bodily processes associated with wakefulness.

Adenosine is created over the course of the day, with high levels of adenosine leading to sleepiness. In diurnal animals, sleepiness occurs as the circadian element causes the release of the hormone melatonin and a gradual decrease in core body temperature.

The timing is affected by one’s chronotype, yet it is the circadian rhythm that determines the ideal timing of a correctly structured and restorative sleep episode. The need for sleep as a function of the amount of time elapsed since the last adequate sleep episode must be balanced against the circadian element for satisfactory sleep.

Along with corresponding messages from the circadian clock, this tells the body it needs to sleep. Sleep offset, or awakening, is primarily determined by circadian rhythm. A person who regularly awakens at an early hour will generally not be able to sleep much later than his or her normal waking time, even if moderately sleep-deprived.


The geostrophic wind is the theoretical wind that would result from an exact balance between the Coriolis effect and the pressure gradient force. This condition is called geostrophic balance. The geostrophic wind is directed parallel to isobars or lines of constant pressure at a given height.

Air naturally moves from areas of high pressure to areas of low pressure, due to the pressure gradient force. As soon as the air starts to move, however, the Coriolis force deflects it. The deflection is to the right in the northern hemisphere, and to the left in the southern hemisphere.

As the air moves from the high pressure area, its speed increases, and so does its Coriolis deflection. The deflection increases until the Coriolis and pressure gradient forces are in geostrophic balance, At this point, the air flow is no longer moving from high to low pressure, but instead moves along an isobar.

Flow of ocean water is also largely geostrophic. Measurements of density as a function of depth in the ocean are used to infer geostrophic currents. Satellite altimeters are also used to measure sea surface height anomaly, which permits a calculation of the geostrophic current at the surface.


Melissa officinalis, also known as Lemon Balm, is a perennial herb in the mint family native to the southern Mediterranean region. The leaves have a gentle lemon scent. At the end of the summer, small white flowers full of nectar appear. These attract bees, hence the genus name Melissa, Greek for ‘honey bee’.

It is used medicinally as a herbal tea or in extract form, and is claimed to have antibacterial and antiviral properties. It is also known as a mild sedative or calming agent. At least one study has found it to be effective at reducing stress.

Lemon balm is often used as a flavoring in ice cream and herbal teas, both hot and iced, often in combination with other herbs such as spearmint. It is also frequently paired with fruit dishes or candies. It can be used in any dish flavored with lemon juice to accent the lemony flavor.

The essential oil is very popular in aromatherapy. It is commonly co-distilled with lemon, citronella, or other oils. Lemon balm is used in some variations of the commerically available Colgate Herbal toothpaste for its soothing and aromatic properties.


The egg of Li Chun refers to a Chinese folk belief that it is much easier to balance an egg on a smooth surface during Li Chun, the official first day of spring in the Chinese lunar calendar which usually falls on February 4 or 5, than at any other time of the year. Balancing fresh chicken eggs on their broad end was a traditional Li Chun ritual in China.

In 1945 Life magazine reported on an egg-balancing craze among the population of Chungking, on that year’s Li Chu. That article and its follow-ups started a similar egg-balancing mania in the United States, but transposed to the astronomical vernal equinox in March. Japanese newspapers picked up the story in 1947. In 1978, New York artist Donna Henes started organizing egg-balancing ceremonies with the stated goal to bring about world peace and international and harmony.

As far as science knows, no physical influence of other celestial bodies on the egg can affect its balance as required by the folk belief. Gravitational and electromagnetic forces, in particular, are considerably weaker and steadier than the forces created by the person’s hand and breathing.

In 1947, Japanese physicist Ukichiro Nakaya verified experimentally that eggs in fact can be balanced with ease at any time of the year. He noticed that the shell of an egg usually has many small bumps and dimples, so that, by turning the egg in different directions, it can be made to touch a flat surface on three points at once. It is not hard to find an orientation such that the triangle spanned by the three contact points lies right under the egg’s center of mass, which is the condition for balancing any object. Of course, balancing an egg on a rough surface is easy too, for the same reason.

Martin Gardner also observed that if you are convinced that an egg will balance more easily on a certain day you will try a little harder, be more patient, and use steadier hands. If you believe that eggs won’t balance on other days, this belief is transmitted subconsciously to your hands.


A triskelion is a symbol consisting of three interlocked spirals or or any similar symbol with three protrusions and a threefold rotational symmetry. It appears in many early cultures as a heraldic emblem on shields depicted on Greek pottery. The triple spiral motif is a Neolithic symbol in Western Europe. It is carved into the rock of a stone lozenge near the main entrance of the prehistoric Newgrange monument in County Meath, Ireland.

The triskelion is used by some polytheistic reconstructionist and neopagan groups. As a Celtic symbol, it is found primarily amongst groups with a Celtic cultural orientation and, less frequently, can also be found in use by some Germanic neopagan groups and eclectic or syncretic traditions such as Wicca.

In the north of Spain, the triskelion is used as a symbol of Galizan and Asturian nationalists. The triskele was used by Galician nationalists as early as 1930, although its use as a contemporary fashion icon only started during the Celtic revival of the 1970s. Currently, the Department of Agriculture of the devolved government of Galicia uses a triskele as its corporate logo.

A triskelion pattern forms part of the United States Department of Transportation seal. The three comma shapes represent air, land, and sea transportation. The seal was adopted on February 1, 1967. A triskelion is the basis for the roundel of the Irish Air Corps. It is loosely based on the Flag of Ireland and traditional Celtic designs.

A triskelion shape was used in the design of a common plastic adapter for vinyl records, which allowed larger center holed 45 rpm records to spin on players designed for smaller center-holed 33 1/3 rpm records.



Stendhal syndrome is a psychosomatic illness that causes rapid heartbeat, dizziness, fainting, confusion and hallucinations when an individual is exposed to art, usually when the art is particularly beautiful or a large amount of art is in a single place. The term can also be used to describe a similar reaction to other circumstances, as when confronted with immense beauty in the natural world.

The illness is named after the famous 19th century French author Marie-Henri Stendhal, who described his experience with the phenomenon during his 1817 visit to Florence, Italy in his book Naples and Florence: A Journey from Milan to Reggio.

Although there are many descriptions, dating from the early 19th century on, of people becoming dizzy and fainting while taking in Florentine art, the syndrome was only named in 1979, when it was described by Italian psychiatrist Graziella Magherini, who observed and described more than 100 similar cases among tourists and visitors in Florence. The syndrome was first diagnosed in 1982. The term is also used when describing the reactions of audiences to music of the Romantic period.

It is similar but not identical to Paris Syndrome, a transient psychological disorder encountered by some people visiting or vacationing in Paris, France. The symptoms occur during a trip which confronts the traveller with things they had not previously experienced and did not anticipate. The symptoms did not exist before the trip and they disappear with a return to familiar surroundings.


In the metaphysical or conceptual sense, balance is used to mean a point between two opposite forces that is desirable over purely one state or the other, such as a balance between the metaphysical Law and Chaos – law by itself being overly controlling, chaos being overly unmanageable, balance being the point that minimizes the negatives of both.

More recently, the term balance has come to refer to a balance of power between multiple opposing forces. Lack of balance is generally considered to cause aggression by stronger forces towards weaker forces less capable of defending themselves. In the real world, unbalanced stronger forces tend to portray themselves as balanced, and use media controls to downplay this, as well as prevent weaker forces from coming together to achieve a new balance of power.

In constructed worlds, such as in video gaming, where nearly all-powerful corporate interests strive to maintain a balance of power among players, players tend to be extremely vocal about what they see as unbalanced mechanics, providing the unbalance negatively affects them. And though the strong and unbalanced or overpowered players are commonly vigorous in denial of any lack of balance, the comparative media equality among all player brings change quickly, to further a sense of balance.

The twentieth century saw the development of both law and chaos in art to the point that the end product became unintelligible at an instinctive or emotional level. Many composers saw one or other of these controlling trends as superior to the other. The truth may lie in a fundamental acceptance of balance as the controlling force in art. In time, we may even come to accept balance between structural and emotional as the essence of beauty.


Manuka or Tea Tree is a shrub or small tree native to southeast Australia and New Zealand. It is particularly common in Tasmania, Victoria and New South Wales and on the drier east coasts of New Zealand. Manuka is the name used in New Zealand, and Tea Tree is a common name in Australia because Captain Cook used the leaves to make a tea drink.

It is a prolific scrub-type tree and is often one of the first species to regenerate on cleared land. It is typically a shrub but can grow into a moderately sized tree, up to 40 feet in height. It is evergreen, with dense branching and small leaves. The flowers are white, occasionally pink, with five petals. The wood is tough and hard, and was often used for tool handles. Manuka sawdust imparts a delicious flavour when used for smoking meats and fish.

Manuka products have high antibacterial potency for a limited spectrum of bacteria and are widely available in New Zealand. Similar properties led the Maori to use parts of the plant as natural medicine. Kakariki parakeets use the leaves and bark of Manuka to rid themselves of parasites. Apart from ingesting the material, they also chew it, mix it with preen gland oil and apply it to their feathers.

Manuka honey, produced when honeybees gather the nectar from its flowers, is distinctively flavoured, darker and richer in taste than clover honey and has strong antibacterial and antifungal properties. The finest quality Manuka honey with the most potent antimicrobial properties is produced from hives placed in wild, uncultivated areas with abundant growth of Manuka bushes. However a very limited number of scientific studies have been performed to verify its efficacy.


Moxibustion is a traditional Chinese medicine therapy using moxa, or mugwort herb. It plays an important role in the traditional medical systems of China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Tibet, and Mongolia. Suppliers usually age the mugwort and grind it up to a fluff. Practitioners then burn the fluff or process it further into a stick that resembles a cigar. They can use it indirectly, with acupuncture needles, or sometimes burn it on a patient’s skin.

Practitioners use moxa to warm regions and acupuncture points with the intention of stimulating circulation through the points and inducing a smoother flow of blood and qi. Research has shown that mugwort acts as an emmenagogue, meaning that it stimulates blood-flow in the pelvic area and uterus. It is claimed that moxibustion militates against cold and dampness in the body.

Medical historians believe that moxibustion pre-dated acupuncture, and needling came to supplement moxa after the 2nd century BC. Different schools of acupuncture use moxa in varying degrees. For example a 5-elements acupuncturist will use moxa directly on the skin, whilst a TCM-style practitioner will use rolls of moxa and hold them over the point treated. It can also be burnt atop a fine slice of ginger root to prevent scarring.

Practitioners consider moxibustion to be especially effective in the treatment of chronic problems. Bian Que, one of the most famous doctors of Chinese antiquity and the first specialist in moxibustion, discussed the benefits of moxa over acupuncture in his classic work. He asserted that moxa could add new energy to the body and could treat both excess and deficient conditions. On the other hand, he advised against the use of acupuncture in an already weak patient, on the grounds that needle manipulation would leak too much energy.

In North and South America, indigenous peoples regard mugwort as a sacred plant of divination and spiritual healing. Mugwort amongst other herbs were often bound into smudge sticks. Europeans placed sprigs of mugwort under pillows to provoke dreams, and the herb had associations with the practice of magic in Anglo-Saxon times.


Dreamworking differs from classical dream interpretation in that the aim of dreamwork is to explore the various images and emotions that a dream presents and evokes, while not attempting to come up with a single, unique dream meaning. In this way the dream remains “alive” whereas if it has been assigned a specific meaning, it is “finished”. Dreamworkers take the position that a dream may have a variety of meanings, depending on the levels that are being explored.

A tenet of dreamwork is that each person has his or her own dream language. Any given place, person, object or symbol can differ in its meaning from dreamer to dreamer and also from time to time in the dreamer’s ongoing life situation. Thus someone helping a dreamer get closer to her or his dream through dreamwork adopts an attitude of “not knowing” as far as possible.

When doing dreamwork it is best to wait until all the questions have been asked and the answers carefully listened to before the dreamworker (or dreamworkers if it is done in a group setting) offers any suggestions about what the dream might mean. In fact, it is best if a dreamworker prefaces any interpretation by saying, “if this were my dream, it might mean …”

In this way, dreamers are not obliged to agree with what is said and may use their own judgment in deciding which comments appear valid or provide insight. If the dreamwork is done in a group, there may well be several things that are said by participants that seem valid to the dreamer but it can also happen that nothing does. Appreciation of the validity or insightfulness of a comment from a dreamwork session can come later, sometimes days after the end of the session.