You are viewing a read-only archive of the Blogs.Harvard network. Learn more.

f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

February 24, 2006

a Blue Light Special: coming soon to your law firm?

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 5:42 pm

If any partners in your law firm get Harvard Magazine (on paper or by email),

you might want to intercept the current edition (Jan.-Feb. 2006), before they 

see an article reprinted in it from the Harvard Gazette.  By William J. Cromie,

it’s called When the Blues Keep You Awake: Blue light can reset your biological

rhythms,” (Harvard Gazette, Feb. 9, 2006),  Here’s the opening paragraph:

“Your eyes do more than see. Researchers at Harvard Medical School

demonstrated this by showing that your eyes are part of a light reception

system that can keep you alert when sleep starts to fog your brain. When

the researchers exposed people to blue light at night, this system imme-

diately increased their alertness and performance on tests.”

greater than eq blue 


Steven Lockley, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and a researcher

in sleep medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. says:

“Men and women exposed to blue light sustained a high level of alertness

during the night when people feel most sleepy. These results suggest that

light may be a powerful countermeasure for the negative effects of fatigue

for people who work or study at night.”

So, if you think your billable-hour or fee-generation total is already too high, just

imagine what it will be when your firm buys a few Blue Light Special lamps or

cubicles.  If you’re late, and the managing partner has already seen the article,

maybe you can point out potential health problems and appeal to the firm’s moral




“Because blue light contains more energy than white, concern exists

that long-term exposure may damage the eyes. Too much blue light

might cause problems like age-related macular degeneration, progressive

damage to the retina common in older people. ‘This is a warning that we

should not just use blue light without thinking carefully about the timing

and duration of exposure and monitoring any routine exposure,’ Lockley


Sure, that should work.  Meanwhile, I can offer no assurance that the pushy 

associate down the hall isn’t bathed in blue light right this minute.







even the horses
sleep in light green
mosquito nets!





little snail, no different



translated by David G. Lanoue


everyone asleep

except the one sleeping alone–

distant train whistles





summer dawn–

the curve of your body

under the sheets







firelight on the face
of the sleeping boy



my dream

awakens me . . .

I wake you






No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by WordPress