Icarus And The Sun

Icarus got too close to the sun. He felt it as he soared, and wanted to get close to the thing that gave him good feelings. He wanted more. Then he got an urge to see if he could soar higher and higher, to see if he could perhaps touch the thing that even the gods had to fear. He didn’t respect it. It melted his great wax wings, impressive as they were. The liquified fat sprayed all about him, as his shrinking wings struggled to keep him afloat. So great was the span of his wings that the wax fell several kilometers from the point above the earth where they flailed.

Many literary analysts say this story is about man and his hubris. His greed for more. His blind trek toward that which he does not deserve. Maybe it was literally about the sun. I’m sure more than one ancient Greek has experienced the magnificent power of the sun. Both in the way that it made him feel excellent, basking in it, as well as the way his skin got destroyed when he stayed too long in it. Everyone knows that clothes can pale from sun bleaching. But leave them just long enough, and you get fresh, dry laundry. Plants become brown and crisp when they can no longer stand the energy of the fiery globe. But before that, they absorb the sun’s light and turn it into sugars to feed the growth of their stems, roots, and leaves, and to make full, sweet fruit.

Too much sun hurts. But the right amount is one of life’s staple ingredients.

Someone, somewhere, fed the fear of the sun with “links” to cancer. Yes, there is research linking overexposure to the sun with skin cancer. A good look at this research shows weak relations between sunlight and skin cancer. It shows that the relationship exists with people of specific traits: European origin, sensitive to the sun, and reduced skin DNA repair abilities.

Avoiding the sun, on the other hand, leads to vitamin D deficiency, which is related to bone and muscle problems, increases in cancers, autoimmune disease, and cardiovascular disease.

One billion people are vitamin D deficient. Many of them are in this state because of their fear of the sun. Funny, eh? Not really. Fear is a serious thing. It’s literally keeping our race from a staple of life.

To get enough sunlight, you need the following:

  • At least 40% skin exposed
  • 15-20 minutes
  • Every day

Things that block UV-B from spurring vitamin D and cholesterol sulphate production:

  • Sun block
  • Clothing
  • Glass windows of houses and cars

You who have decreased production of Vitamin D in the sun if you are:

  • Obese
  • Older
  • Heavily clothed
  • Indoors
  • Darker in skin shade
  • Pregnant
  • A child or infant

Use your common sense in being in the sun. Don’t stay if it hurts, it’s too hot, or it’s uncomfortable. Just be out enough to feel good. If you have problems stopping at satiety, you are not alone. Figure out how to end things when they are good. Look into meditation.

The tale of Icarus ends in tragedy, but it expounds on a basic human instinct. After all, it is about the sun. There’s a reason we love it.

Be in the sun at the right time, for the right amount of time.

Like all good things, have until satiety. Then stop.

Live powerfully,


The Brilliant Beast Blog Daily

Is the Sun the Same Twice

No. Well, it’s the same sun that was there yesterday. But the angle will be different. It depends on where on Earth you live. And what season it is. And what time of day it is. And the weather. The sun is never the same twice.

Sunlight helps us make vitamin D and cholesterol sulphate, two critical micronutrients that affect gene expression and mood, among countless other elements of wellness. To be more specific, the UVB rays of sunlight are responsible for this skin activation. UVA rays are the ones that can cause sunburns.

The angle of the sun relative to the horizon determines which UV rays pass through the ozone layer and reach us. UVB doesn’t penetrate Earth’s atmosphere when the sun is below approximately 50 degrees from the horizon. The rays bounce off the atmosphere.

This means there are specific days and times that sunlight actually lets us make D and sulphate. And no two days are the same. Clouds, pollution, anything else in the sky, as well as what we wear, can block UVB. Unlike UVA, which is the stuff that burns in excess, UVB is a bit gentler as far as radiation goes. It won’t penetrate as well and may not even touch parts of the Earth’s surface for extended periods.

For some of us, during parts of the year, naturally occurring (via the skin with the sun) vitamin D and cholesterol sulphate just will not happen. So it’s not as simple as taking walks every day during lunch break, if you work in an office. Unfortunately, it is not that simple.

But nothing is. With all things considered, the fact that sunlight touching our skin can make life enhancing nutrients is simple enough. We can be grateful for that amazing gift of wellness.

And in light of gratitude, we do the best we can with what we have.  So, what to do when we don’t have access to UVB?

The simplest solution is oral vitamin D3 pills. As guidance, 1,000 IU for every 25 lb. body weight. So 4,000 IU for a 100 lb. person. The optimal blood test range is 50-70 ng/ml. I’ve tested for 53 ng/ml 25 OH D in the middle of winter, just taking 5000 IU of D3 on a less than daily basis.

I regularly take walks to the park and spend 30 minutes to an hour there in the sun, almost daily. But knowing of the limited UVB availability, I can figure that the sun time hasn’t always been spurring D production.

But you can see that I’ve still been able to maintain optimal levels by loosely supplementing. See Mercola’s article, linked below, for cancer and heart disease treatment levels of vitamin D.

The slightly more difficult solution is a tanning bed. UVB rays in a safe tanning salon could be the best alternative to actually being in the sun. Mercola says to look for a bed that doesn’t have a hum. This noise would indicate it’s powered by magnetic ballasts, which can cause cancer. So, silent tanning beds.

The best solution, of course, is get it from the true source. UVB from the sun at 50 degrees or more above the horizon. Home may not always be the place to do this.

Travel, anyone?

Live powerfully!




Mercola tanning beds

Navy sun position

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