Image Source: Tentaclii.
Heat waves, according to a 2008 Australian article in the journal, Environmental Health Perspectives, predispose "individuals [in temperate climates] to heat-related morbidity and mortality." The researchers continue:
Similarly, Canada's Metro News, commenting on a severe Ontario heat wave this week that will push humidex temperatures over 40°C [104°F], notes that humidity hampers cognition and "[w]hen temperatures climb past the high 30s [90s°F], the brain can become stressed and chemically imbalanced, leading to anxiety, depression, and even aggression." According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, Canadians are more likely to commit suicide in July and August than at any other time of year. For people living in or near Colorado or other western American states, ongoing heat-wave-sparked wildfires are doubly dangerous and stressful.Above a threshold of 26.7°C, we observed a positive association between ambient temperature and hospital admissions for mental and behavioral disorders. Compared with non–heat-wave periods, hospital admissions increased by 7.3% during heat waves. Specific illnesses for which admissions increased included organic illnesses, including symptomatic mental disorders; dementia; mood (affective) disorders; neurotic, stress related, and somatoform disorders; disorders of psychological development; and senility. Mortalities attributed to mental and behavioral disorders increased during heat waves in the 65- to 74-year age group and in persons with schizophrenia, schizotypal, and delusional disorders.
This may be why some of the most dramatic and cathartic story-telling is reserved for these conditions. Film noir thrillers and pulp horror stories are often set in sweltering urban heat waves (see my earlier posts on heat waves here and here).
Maybe a little dip into the watery subconscious will help. Nothing says summer heat wave like Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn. Below the jump, some B-movie adaptations of Lovecraft's works, including one about the fictitious Lovecraftian grimoire, the Necronomicon (Hat tip: Lovecraft eZine). For a post on real grimoires, see an interesting recent piece at Unsolved Mysteries in the World.
The Colour Out of Space (Audiobook). Video Source: Youtube.