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Newsletter Vol. #84 Thats How I See It

It is getting close to the shortest day of the year for sunlight! Experts tell us that light in through the retina is what keeps our spirits up and depression at bay. So, I included three short articles on SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) to keep you informed on this condition. In Manitoba it is not a matter of "if" we are affected by the cold and lack of sunlight, but to what degree!


If you feel fatigued, become depressed and sleep more than usual in January
and February, you may be reacting to the reduced level of sunlight, which
can disrupt body rhythms, says Dr. Michael Terman, director of the Winter
Depression Program at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. For about
20 per cent of people, it's a case of the winter doldrums, but for another
10%, it's a more severe condition called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). A study of more than 300 SAD sufferers found that their symptoms
were significantly reduced when they were exposed to an extra half hour of
therapeutic light each morning.

How Do Court Reporters Keep a Straight Face?

ATTORNEY: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse? WITNESS: No.
 ATTORNEY: Did you check for blood pressure?
ATTORNEY: Did you check for breathing?
ATTORNEY: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?
ATTORNEY: How can you be so sure, Doctor?
WITNESS: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.
ATTORNEY: I see, but could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?
WITNESS: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and Light
It is a fact that daylight has a profound effect on human mood and behaviour. Intensive light therapy is now being used in a growing number of clinics to fight off the depression that comes with dark winter days. It seems that the average person only gets 60 to 90 minutes a day of natural light. Artificial lights just don't cut it because they lack the full spectrum (violet, blue, green, yellow, orange, and red) of the colours of the rainbow.

Researchers believe that the mood-lifting effects of phototherapy seem to be traceable to light taken in through the eyes/retina and not through the skin. People who are victims of SAD often feel fine in the spring and summer, but when the days grow shorter, they become irritable, depressed, antisocial, and they eat and sleep more than usual. This is more than just a mild funk; it is a serious clinical depression. Many experience dramatic improvement when treated with daily doses of high-intensity artificial light that mimics natural light.

Artificial light can be very helpful, but nothing beats the natural outdoors and sunlight. So it might not be a bad idea to start each day outdoors with a walk.

Abusive Men  Pt. 2

Asking and answering the question, "How do you know you're in an abusive
relationship?". Patricia Evans- Controlling People- suggests:
1. He seems irritated or angry with you several times a week. When
you ask why he's mad, he either denies it or tells you it's in some way
your fault.
2. When you feel hurt and try to talk with him, the issues never get
resolved. He might refuse to discuss your upset feelings by saying,
"You're just trying to start an argument!", or claiming he has no idea
what you're talking about.
3. You frequently feel frustrated because you can't get him to
understand your intentions.
4. You're upset not so much about concrete issues like how much time to
spend together as about communication: what he thinks you said and
what you heard him say.
5. You sometimes think, what's wrong with me? I shouldn't feel so
6. He seems to take the opposite view from you on almost everything.
His opinion is stated as, "I think", but as if you're wrong and he's
7. You can't recall in recent times saying, "Cut it out!" or "Stop it!"

*Psychopath Test

Read this question, come up with an answer and then scroll down to the bottom
for the result. This is not a trick question; it is as it reads. No one I know has got it right.

A woman, while at the funeral of her own mother, met a guy whom she did not know. She thought this guy was amazing. She believed him to be her dream
guy so much, that she fell in love with him right there, but never asked for his number and could not find him. A few days later she killed her sister.

Question: What is her motive for killing her sister?

[Give this some thought before you answer]

Why A story about Moose Jaw? Well, I spent many a great summer in and around the Moose jaw area. My wife's relatives are farmers in this area. We had many great times out there on the prairies, so many great people to call family.

In regards to Allan Fotheringham's article, I heard all of these stories about how Al Capone ran bootlegged liquor through Moose jaw, about Moon Mullins a local gentleman who claims to have run errands for Capone when he was a boy, and about the Chinese rail workers who lived in the underground tunnels. Information of this sort was passed on while having a beer around the kitchen table, taking a break out in the fields, but mainly when we went out for supper at a local restaurant.

I do remember looking for a washroom in a restaurant basement and coming across old locked doors and when I asked where they lead, I was told they were part of the underground tunnels, closed off of course at that time. The tunnels have been opened up in the last several years and have become quite a tourist attraction.


Raunchy old Moose Jaw

There is, we know, the standard whipping boy when you want to make fun of the Prairies: Moose Jaw, ranking up there with Otter Haunch, Alta., and Gopher Breath, Man.

Moose Jaw (believed to be from the Cree word "Moosegaw," meaning "warm breezes"), is just a jump along the highway west of Regina, and has taken the abuse valiantly over the years, providing amusement for passing travel writers and stand-up comedians. It has scarcely complained. Now it's getting even.

It's got a secret past and, like the scarlet lady, is letting everyone in on the facts. For some 75 years, city fathers denied the rumour about a mysterious network of tunnels running underneath this quiet little city that once was one of the wildest fleshpots on the frontier.
Only when a heavy truck collapsed the pavement on Main Street and disappeared into a large hole did the juicy truth come out. The underground maze, redolent of a Chinese ghetto and Al Capone's gangsters, is now the hottest tourist ticket in town.
Local product Danny Guillaume, now operating out of Vancouver, has made a theatrical production out of one of our historical disgraces and the raunchy "Little Chicago" of its time. Moose Jaw has to be taken seriously now.

When the CPR was stretching steel to the Pacific, dollar-a-day Chinese labourers were welcome. Through the treacherous Fraser Canyon, a commission later estimated, up to four Chinese per mile perished through rockslides and drowning in the 1880s.

When the "yellow peril" hysteria hit Western Canada, panicky Ottawa imposed its infamous head tax, which rose to $500 per Chinese immigrant by 1903. By 1911, 162 Chinese had made it to Moose Jaw. By 1921, there were a mere 188, with only 11 of them female.

Unable to pay the head tax, the Chinese went under- ground, using the tunnels under buildings in downtown Moose Jaw and doing work for above-ground cafes and laundries. They raised children in rat-infested darkness. The tunnels snake underneath what is still the main drag in town, good old Main Street.
It was all changed by criminalizing booze, also known as Prohibition. By that time, primitive little Saskatchewan contained 406 bars. 38 wholesale liquor dealers, 12 clubs and 23 "dispensaries." As luck would have it, Saskatchewan ended Prohibition in 1924, nine years before the Americans did.

That left Moose Jaw, smack on the 500 Line that ran south to the United States, a convenient bootleg retreat for the Chicago mob. Al Capone's boys found the tunnels to be the perfect base. Laurence (Moon) Mullin, a Moose Jaw native now 89, as an l l-year-old messenger boy in the tunnels, got 20 cents from the gangsters for running every errand. He remembers that some rotgut whisky was distilled in Saskatchewan, but the good stuff came from the Bronfmans in Montreal.

Quiet little Moose Jaw? The town that had become known as The Buckle on the Wheat Belt turned into the Sodom and Gomorrah of Saskatchewan. The tunnels were now full of gamblers, prostitution and bootleg warehouses. Brothels lined River Street.
Things were helped along by chief of police, Walter P. Johnson, the most infamous lawmaker in the West, who took his cut from the bootleggers. Nancy Gray, a Moose Jaw local, has written that her late father, Bill Beamish, a barber, used to be called to the tunnels to cut Capone's hair.

Now that they've repaired the hole in the pavement, impresario Guillaume has restored the tunnels to their original atmosphere. There are two tours for the tourists, one through the dreadful condition of the hidden Chinese inhabitants, the other re-creating the gangster haunts. Local actors impersonate some of the characters that survived in the hidden past of a city that pretended not to know.

Next year will come a facelift for sinful old River Street and a 400-seat amphitheatre to bring back its history.

Rejuvenated Moose Jaw also displays the Temple Gardens Mineral Spa-"an oasis on the prairies"-- that harnesses shockingly hot mineral water that was discovered accidentally in 1910 when someone was drilling for oil. On the floor of the spa's hotel is a Jacuzzi larger than a king- size bed; the rooftop pool wanders from inside to the open air, and frigid people drive 600 kms. in January to thaw out in it.

There is also the four-day Festival of Words that attracts more than 50 writers, poets, Governor General Award winners, singers and others rather surprised by how the old girl has spruced herself up and is feeling jaunty.

OK? Got it? No one makes fun of Moose Jaw anymore. That's an order.

She was hoping the guy would appear at the funeral again.
If you answered this correctly, you think like a psychopath. This was a test by a famous American Psychologist used to test if one has the same mentality as a killer. Many arrested serial killers took part in the
test and answered the question correctly.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

In my practice I have been dealing with depression and SAD for decades and have merely described it as something that occurs when we don't get enough light in through the retina. However, I just read an interesting paragraph that talks about melatonin (natural sleep med) being responsible for SAD.

Experts think that winter's fewer daylight hours increase production of the hormone melatonin, which throws the body's internal clock out of whack, leading to a host of problems.

SAD may lead to depression, oversleeping or difficulty getting up, trouble concentrating, fatigue, headaches and cravings for sweets and starches.

Doctors look for a seasonal pattern. If you have had symptoms for two or more winters in a row, you probably have SAD. People with mild SAD usually find that their spirits lift with added exposure to light. Natural sunlight is great. Even half an hour a day spent outside or in a sunny window may help. Sufferers with severe SAD can find relief with antidepressants, exercise or sitting in front of a special light box 30 to 60 minutes a day.

Light therapy lamps can be rented from the Mood Disorder Association by the month. The two retail outlets for light therapy lamps in Winnipeg are: Sunnex Biotechnologies, 657-167 Lombard Avenue, 204-956-2476 and
Medigas Manitoba, 150 McPhillips Street, 204-786-4719.

***Only one more edition of the That's How I See It! newsletter this year. Send in your Christmas jokes and stories. Also, perhaps those who have indicated they would do a review or testimonial of my book Communication & Relationships, and have not yet had the opportunity,  would be kind enough to do so.

Remember to wear your helmet if you plan to visit a mall this week.
Have a great week!