Sleepless on schedule
The article “Full moon may mean less sleep” (SN: 8/24/13, p. 15) brought up a very interesting hypothesis that besides a 24-hour circadian clock, we may also have a lunar clock. To me that makes sense. Just like our bodies can store fat to use when food sources run low, I imagine over the eons our bodies prepared subtly to use the extra light to do more if needed. Taking advantage of extra light on a fixed schedule no doubt evolved in our ancestors and remains with us to this day.
Linda McBride, Boynton Beach, Fla.
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Edison’s rubbery discovery
How could everyone forget Edison (“On the rebound,” SN: 8/24/13, p. 26)? When the price of rubber soared in the late 1920s, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone combined their efforts, talents and finances in search of a natural source for rubber. Together they established the Edison Botanic Research Corp. Extensive research proved goldenrod, a common weed growing to an average height of 3 to 4 feet, produced a 5 percent yield of latex. Through hybridization, Edison produced goldenrod in excess of 12 feet tall, yielding 12 percent latex.
Harlan Howard, Sunnyvale, Calif.
Monogamy not just for men
Two teams of men disagree about why males sometimes choose to bond with a female for life in “Roots of monogamy feed scientific spat” (SN: 8/24/13, p. 5). Lots of men commented, but a woman might ask why females sometimes choose to bond with a male. Both sets of data seem plausible: A woman might want a steady partner to keep men from killing her children, or with the alternate hypothesis (females live apart), a woman might want another adult’s help. Anyone else consider monogamy a female as well as a male choice?
Kathleen Stassen Berger, New York City