Whether Man or Mouse


When left to our own devices, with no job demanding our attention or irate supervisors working themselves into a lather at our timekeeping, we have a tendency to burn the candle late into the night, chasing one pleasure or another or sometimes even both. Then in the morning, we luxuriate with the drapes closed as the sun smiles and starts to fade. Food finally calls us from our torpor and the cycle starts over.

It maybe that as one of our very early ancestors was a mouse-like mammal, we share with our current crop of highly developed rodentia a tendency towards nocturnal behavior – at least in our teenage years.

Yesterday’s crop of scientific publications came up with a study by Hut et al from the U of Groningen (1) in which they treated a group of mice like the typical workingman. No free handouts for them in this brave new existence. They had to work for a living. To earn their food, they had to get on their treadmills and get the turns in. So many turns per pellet was demanded. As they got efficient, their turn rate requirement was increased in line with the standard Harvard MBA training. Of course, they had to clock in early in the morning and the shop was shut in the late afternoon. The mice soon got used to the early shift and got to their treadmills on time, before breakfast.

Were they turned into model workers? No. As soon as they were given a vacation with plenty of food handouts, what did they do but revert to their bad old ways, sleeping the day away and cavorting in the mouse fleshpots all night in their mouse version of Las Vegas. How long before your next trip to Vegas? Too long maybe?


1. http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0017527

2 Responses so far.

  1. admin says:

    Gotta do what you gotta do - run the wheel, work your shift, then get into the party mode when on break. Make hay while the sun shines! We seem to have more in common than I'd imagined.

  2. See, I have had it right all along.

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