Tag Archives: sun

Often ill? Maybe you’re not seeing the light.

Sunlight - man's best friend?

{Photo taken by StewartJames on Flickr Creative Commons}

A very interesting article in the Independent yesterday talked about a new study on the effects of vitamin D on health. The study by the Institute of Oncology in Milan and Lyon’s International Agency for Research on Cancer was the biggest ever to be done on the nutrient and found that it had a much bigger impact of health than previously thought.

90% of the vitamin D we receive is not from food but from absorbing sunlight on open skin. A solid dose of sunlight a few times a week was found to reduce mortality by 7%. Even taking pills filled with the vitamin can reduce the risk of cancer, MS and heart disease by as much as a half. Even Autism and Diabetes have links to Vitamin D deficiency. So perhaps the best thing you can do to save your life is to take that walk in the park on a sunny day.

Interestingly, the amount of sunlight needed is quite strong so winters in the UK, for example, are barely strong enough to give a good dose – the cause of countless flu seasons and the infamous Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) . Aside from supplements, light therapy with very bright lights is thought to help.

[via the independent]

Keep watching the skies!

The Greenbank radio telescopeI’m late to the party as far as announcing the arrival of the new Google Earth features that let you explore the sky as well as the ground, but I’m not going to let that stop me. Once the excitement of roaming the real stars has faded, however, you can skip on over to Galaxiki – which, as the name suggests, is a wiki-based community that is building a fictional galaxy by describing the star systems within it.[BoingBoing]

I quite like the idea of being able to create my own solar system … for one thing, I’d make sure that I avoided picking a sun that does freaky stuff to its planets with low-frequency waves. We’re all doomed! Possibly. [Image by jesiehart]