Question: Dreams are often bizarre enough to lead people to wonder if they might be going crazy. Can you assess your mental health by looking at your dreams?
Answer: Few studies have been done with psychiatric populations, mainly because these people are often taking medication that interferes with dreaming and recall, says psychologist Veronica Tonay of the University of California, Santa Cruz, and author of "Every Dream Interpreted." But chronic schizophrenics have reported dreams with few friends and more aggression toward familiar people. Morbid themes were also present.
The clinically depressed have fewer and shorter dreams and characters that are generally family members or others from the past. Vacation getaways, happiness and friendly interactions are typical, though rejection is common.
"However, because of the neurochemical changes that accompany both of these disorders, it is difficult to say what these dream differences mean psychologically."
It is not uncommon for people suffering childhood abuse, a war experience, etc. to have "post-traumatic stress disorder," leading to nightmares that may not begin until years afterward. "If your dreams disturb you and have been doing so for some time, please seek help to understand them," says Dr. Tonay. But don't jump to conclusions -- other experiences and conditions can lead to bad dreams, so any diagnosis must be multi-faceted.
Question: It is used medicinally to relieve or prevent asthma, treat migraines, increase blood pressure, as a diuretic, and others. It is found in prescription and over-the-counter medications. It has been studied for possible side effects relating to cancer, osteoporosis, ulcers, premenstrual syndrome, sperm motility, fertility, fetal development, hyperactivity, athletic performance and mental dysfunction. But no clear linkage to these has ever been established with moderate use. If used in large quantities, it is undeniably toxic, yet you would need to consume 10-50 times as much as the average adult does daily. What is this much-indulged, versatile chemical?
Answer: Caffeine, say chemists Penny Le Couteur, Ph.D., and Jay Burreson, Ph.D., in "Napoleon's Buttons: 17 Molecules That Changed History."
Question: For people with Nyctophobia, Lygophobia, Achluophobia, Myctophobia or Scotophobia, what would likely be their least favorite time of day?
Answer: Nighttime, since the terms mean "fear of the night," "fear of the dark," or "fear of being in a dark place," says University of Sussex psychologist Dr. Andy Field. Fear of the dark is probably more common in young children. One saving feature is that unlike developing a fear of snakes, for example, in the case of nighttime darkness we all have many positive experiences that provide a sort of immunity, from Halloween trick-or-treating to prom night to romancing under the stars.
Question: Prove your mathematical mettle by calculating how far an "ideal" bouncing ball will travel before it comes to rest, dropped from 10 feet high, and on each bounce rebounding exactly half its height.
Answer: Let H = initial height = 10 feet. Then the first bounce will go to 1/2 H, the second bounce to 1/4 H, and so on. If you add together all the fractions, you get exactly 1 H, or 10 feet total for all the "up" bounces. But after each bounce up, the ball must fall the same distance, so add in another 10 feet. Finally, add in the 10 feet the ball fell before the first bounce, for a total of 30 feet. Presumably, ideal balls don't wear out, because this one must bounce an endless (infinite) number of times before coming to rest.
Send STRANGE questions to brothers Bill and Rich at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright C 2005 Deseret News Publishing Co.
Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning Company. All rights Reserved.