Posted by: Rob | February 27, 2009

Of Boiling Frogs and Mushrooms

I’m sure you’ve heard it said that you can boil a frog alive. If you put a frog into boiling water, the frog will instinctively leap out of the water trying to save itself. But, if you put the frog in a pot of cool water and place the pot on the stove, then increase the heat gradually, the frog will not notice the gradual change and will peacefully remain in the pot until he’s boiled alive.

So what, if anything, does this have to do with mushrooms?

My work environment is a two story building. The offices are arranged around a central atrium affair. My office is in the basement but looking up from my office door one can see the “promenade” encircling the basement hallway from which entry is made to mine and other offices. The central atrium is open all the way to ceiling, which contains a line of smallish skylights. These let in a small amount of natural light.

Also along the ceiling are large light fixtures.

Unnoticed by me (and perhaps others), because of the “boiling frog” effect, the bright light bulbs in each fixture have been slowly burning out over I don’t know how long.

Recently, a maintenance man ran a lift down my hallway and elevated himself to each fixture whereupon he installed new replacement bulbs.

It is indeed a wonder to see the difference now that the fixture are all alight again. In retrospect we basement dwellers, in particular, have been living “in the dark”. Much like mushrooms. (You know. Kept in the dark. And fed bullshit?)

It’s too bad these bulbs weren’t changed out a month or two ago. When symptoms of SAD were at their worst.

Better late than never, I suppose.

* Seasonal Affective Disorder


  1. What a bunch of zombies! How can you not notice the lights going out around you?

    Re: the mushrooms. I use to work in the Citibank building in Manhattan. I was so many levels below the street that we could occasionally hear the subway pass by not far away!

  2. been there. sometimes think that dark is better than fluorescent hell…

    you can also squeeze a rat slowly to death – but i think i like your boiled frog analogy better.

  3. I also occupy Mushroom Space. It’s only a matter of time before we have our lighting privileges taken away altogether.

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