Anorak News | New Medea

New Medea

by | 30th, November 2004

‘THE ancient Greeks knew a thing or two about the stress of travelling.

”Perhaps I should have caught the bus after all”

Icarus famously became the first victim of an aviation crash, Odysseus took longer to return to Ithaca than the average London-Glasgow train journey and Medea took part in the first recorded equivalent of a high-speed car chase.

Myth has it that she was so keen to escape her dad on her flight from Colchis that she cut her brother up into tiny pieces and threw him off the back of the boat carrying her, Jason and the Golden Fleece to a new life in Iolcus.

But none of these had ever attempted to negotiate London in the rush-hour, an experience that makes many of us want to chop up our brother, mother and any other human being with whom we come in contact.

In fact, so stressful is the experience that commuters apparently suffer greater anxiety than fighter pilots on the eve of battle or riot police facing angry mobs.

The Guardian says psychologists have discovered that travellers dealing with peak-hour congestion experienced heart rates as high as 145 beats per minute.

There was also a surge in cortisol, a hormone produced when the body is under pressure, as well as a turning inwards of the brain.

“Many commuters go into a sort of inner world when they’re travelling and don’t notice what’s happening around them,” says Dr David Lewis, who carried out the research.

He said that the symptoms were similar to those measured in past studies of fighter pilots, but for commuters it is worse because of the sense of impotence.

So, if Medea were alive today, instead of blathering on about how she would rather stand in the front-line of battle twice than go through the pain of childbirth once, the mere mention of the 17.14 from London Waterloo get the message across…’

Posted: 30th, November 2004 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink