Monday, January 23, 2006


If you were particularly grumpy today, if you were feeling disgruntled, despondent, depressed, down in the mouth or in the dumps. If today was the day you were finally going to blow your brains out, relax, it’s not you, it’s the 23rd of January, a day which has been scientifically proven to be the gloomiest most morbid and horrible day of the year.

Here’s the formula devised by Cliff Arnall from Cardiff University : [W+(D-d)xTQ M x NA]. The variables are:

W = weather
D = Debt
d = monthly salary
T = time since Christmas
Q = time since failure to quit bad habit
M = motivational level
NA = the need to take action

“The happy, giddy influence of the holidays fades with no immediate celebrations to anticipate. Meanwhile, those New Year's self-bettering resolutions such as losing weight or saving money often fail about 21 days later”.

All is not lost, in a few hours, the worst will be over, and if you succeeded in refraining from slitting even one wrist, you’ll be fine. If you’re looking for a new job, May 18 is the best day on which to make your move, and watch out for June 23, which absolutely has got to be the most fantastic day of the year, based “how much time we spend outdoors, social interaction, warm weather, vacations and pleasant-memory association”.

We might need to tweak this a little for South Africa, I’m suggesting a few variables like these:

t = time since last burglary, mugging, etc.
P = petrol price, car repayment, etc.
SAB = price of alcohol, cigarettes, mind-altering substances, etc.
j = interval before Christmas presents are repossessed

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