Why? Because when technology steps aside, nature takes over.
Particularly when you're older, you are 14 percent more likely to die on your birthday than on any other day of the year. Particularly when you live in certain geographical areas, you are 13 percent more likely to die after getting a paycheck. And particularly when you're human, you are more likely to die in the late morning -- around 11 a.m., specifically -- than at any other time during the day.
Yes. That last one comes from a new study, published in the Annals of Neurology, that identifies a common gene variant affecting circadian rhythms. And that variant, it seems, could also predict the time of day you will die.
Even death, apparently, has a circadian rhythm.
For more on this, read Lindsay Abrams' great overview of the study and its findings. What's fascinating about it from a tech perspective, though, is the role that technology -- or, more specifically, the absence of it -- plays in making the biggest biological determination there is: the time of our deaths. Circadian rhythms are physiological in origin, but they have structural analogs -- analogs that have to do with the highly mediated way we human animals live our lives. When we're younger, we impose schedules on ourselves. We use machines to wake us from sleep. We use artificial illumination to escape a mandatory night.