True story: I got my period today! Only about, um, two or three weeks late, but I was beginning to get worried, because while it was mainly highly unlikely that I was pregnant, I had just been in the homeland of the Immaculate Conception, and I'd been drunk the whole time. So yesterday I confided in Dodai over a cup of gelato. "You're just synching to my period," she assured me. "We're all having PMS right now, because we're all synching to Anna Wintour, and she can't bleed until Fashion Week is over." Well guess what? Anna Wintour may be in for a uterine lining-riddled surprise, because me and Dodai both got our rags on this AM! But what is the science behind that? Dodai's answer was something to the effect of how humans are herding animals, the moon, some gibberish about how Anna Wintour probably bleeds Chanel #5. But my intellectual curiosity was still somewhat unsated. As it happens, the scientist who discovered it based it on her own experiences synching periods with Hillary Clinton as a student in a Wellesley dorm. (Seriously, whose PMS would you least desire to endure while dealing with your own? Hillary's? Anna's? Marie Antoinette's? BTW, that fugly pic was taken yesterday.)
The scientist's name is Martha McClintock, no relation to the prom dress designer.
It was the summer after her junior year at Wellesley, and Martha was invited, with a handful of other students, to attend a conference at Jackson Laboratory in Maine. The scientists were discussing pheromones - chemical messages that pass between organisms without their conscious knowledge - and how they cause female mice to ovulate all at the same time. McClintock recalled the event for Chicago magazine: "Driven by curiosity despite my self-consciousness, I mention that the same thing happens in humans. Didn't they know that? All of them being male, they didn't. In fact, I got the impression that they thought it was ridiculous.