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Scientists Turn Cigarette Butts Into Electrical Storage

Scientists Turn Cigarette Butts Into Electrical Storage

The electrical power of the future just might be waiting in ashtrays across the world. Researchers in South Korea discovered that, with a one-step conversion process, cigarette filters turn intogreat supercapacitors. This is great news for anyone who wants new electronics that smell like Bourbon Street at 3 A.M.

Supercapacitors are an electrical storage alternative to batteries. In batteries, energy is stored in chemical reactants, while in supercapacitors, it's stored as an electrical field between materials. Batteries are slow to charge and heavy, but they're also compact and store great amounts of energy, which means they've long held an advantage in consumer products. But supercapacitors work where space constraints matter less: Braking in a car generates a lot of electricity, and in some cars supercapacitors capture that energy and then release it to get the car going again. Unlike batteries, supercapacitors can release bursts of power more quickly, making them useful in electronics like defibrillators. Think of it like static electricity from wearing wool socks on carpet - the charge builds up quickly and is then released all at once in a spark.

Scientists Turn Cigarette Butts Into Electrical Storage

Well it turns out that the collections of fibers in cigarette filters have a lot to offer a supercapacitor. Here's how the scientists described the process:
Used cigarette filters are composed largely of cellulose acetate. They are disposable, non-biodegradable, toxic and are a threat to the environment after usage. However, it has been reported that cellulose acetate can be directly utilized in the production of carbon materials containing a meso-/micropore structure by only a carbonization process [14]. That is, used cigarette filters could be used as a proper carbon source for supercapacitors. Importantly, carbonizing used cigarette filters in a nitrogen-containing atmosphere could provide the nitrogen doping on the carbon structure with the formation of such unique pore structures in a one-step process.
Scientists Turn Cigarette Butts Into Electrical Storage

In essence, the scientists burned the filters in a nitrogen-rich environment, and this made the filter fibers grow pores, further increasing their surface area. According to their results, published in the journal Nanotechnology, these burnt-in-nitrogen fibers stored more energy than materials previously used in supercapacitors. With further research, this could be great news for both electrical storage and ashtrays everywhere.


Things You Never Noticed About Your Favourite Disney Movies

Disney movies, eh? They are the paragon of childhood virtue, that wonderful studio that took on adventures under the sea, through the desert, and into the rain forest. Could there be anything more pure and wonderful than settling down with your loved ones and enjoying some wholesome, Disney movie fun? Um, yes. Loads of people have spotted filthy, cheeky, or downright crude jokes hidden in everyone’s favorite Disney films. We’ve compiled a list of the most unbelievable-how many did you spot before?

Things You Never Noticed About Your Favourite Disney Movies

1. The Little Mermaid and the Phallic Palace

You might not have spotted this one-but the first time we see the palace in The Little Mermaid, freeze frame for a second and take a really good look. What do you notice? Well, I’ve give you a clue-if you were a Disney artists annoyed at losing your job and drawing a bunch of long, straight turrets for a kid’s film, what would you make them look like? Yep, that’s right-though the artist denies doing it on purpose, Disney have tried to scrap the frame from the movie after people started to complain.

Lion King and S.x in the Sky

2. Lion King and S.x in the Sky

Some also say that hidden in the face of Mufasa is the outline of a woman

The Little Mermaid and more Phallic Fun

3. The Little Mermaid and more Phallic Fun

Yep, we’re still on The Little Mermaid here-and it looks like one particular priest would like to take that phrase a little more literally than I meant it. As Ariel weds her husband-to-be, the priest performing the ceremony is stashing some serious wood (or so it seems). Whether this was the work of another disgruntled artist we’re not sure, but Disney quickly wrote it off as a strange knee placement. That’s what they all say, Disney.

 Aladdin and the Subliminal Messaging

4. Aladdin and the Subliminal Messaging

Aladdin-ah, the merry tale of a pauper turned prince chasing the woman of his dreams with the help of a manic blue genie voiced by Robin Williams. Adorable, right? Well, not for some people with very intent hearing. As Aladdin tries to get Rajah off the balcony as Jasmine steps out. Just as she walks into frame, a voice says “take off your clothes”. Stick the volume right up and you can definitely hear it. Though not in the new DVD releases-Disney, who continued to insist that the line was “Take Off and Go”, eventually cut the line from later versions of the movie.

The Lion King and the Words in the Stars

5. The Lion King and the Words in the Stars

The Lion King truly is one of those complete classics that everyone knows and secretly loves a little bit-even if it’s just so they can hum the start of Circle of Life every time they pick up a kitten. But what you might not have spotted is the rather unfortunate arrangement of the stars in one shot-as Simba and company look out across the cliffs, the twilight sky is full of stars. Quite clearly, and for a good few seconds, you can make out the word “S.X” written across the sky in capital letters. Disney claimed it was a mistake-just an innocently hilarious bit of smut that accidentally found it’s way into this heart-warming tale. It was later claimed that the SFX had simply not made their secret tribute to their work clear enough, but you can make your own mind up about that.

Hercules and the Yet More Phallic Clouds

6. Hercules and the Yet More Phallic Clouds

You’d think that Disney would be pretty much done with both penis shapes and things in the sky-but you’d be wrong! We get a double whammy of how-did-that-ever-get-through-the-censors with the fantastic Hercules, which follows the tale of the Ancient Greek strongman. As Zeus creates the demi-God at the start of the movie, you can clearly see theclouds taking the shape of an erecting penis behind him. Disney have brushed if off by saying people have just seen what they want in the shot-shame so many people chose to see that.

The Rescuers and the…oh, they didn’t, did they?

7. The Rescuers and the…oh, they didn’t, did they?

Yeah, you think it’s been bad up until now-you ain’t seen nothing yet, kid. The Rescuers is a lesser-known Disney film following your usual run-of-the-mill anthropomorphic rodents. That is, until they are involved in a careering chase scene in which they whip through the deserted streets of an urban environment-and, for a split second, past a poster advertising porn. Full-on, explicit porn. The movie was pulled as soon as Disney realized what their animators had been up to.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit

8. Who Framed Roger Rabbit

I don’t think there’s anybody in the damn world who wouldn’t consider Jessica Rabbit one of the finest figures of womanhood to grace this planet-literally. So I’m sure many of you who grew up ogling her curves will love this rumour-when she and Bob Hoskins are thrown from the car, Jessica’s famous dress rides-to reveal for a split second that she’s not wearing any underwear. Pause buttons at the ready, people…

The Three Little Pigs and the Fate of their Father

9. The Three Little Pigs and the Fate of their Father

Finally, something that’s not sex-just, um, seriously dark humour for a kid’s cartoon. As the three little pigs gather round the piano to belt out some catchy showtunes or other, you can see a line of sausages in a picture frame behind them-marked “Father”. Sure to make the more cynical among us smile, and the vegetarians weep. So really, a win all round! This is one of Disney’s most explicit hidden jokes, as they’ve never tried to deny it and it seems so gleefully dark.

10. Hercules and the Flash Dancers

Hey, you remember that song in Hercules, Zero to Hero, right? Yeah, but you’re humming it as you finish this sentence. Well, you might also remember the scene it featured in in the movie-with the muses singing and dancing in their pretty scanty clothes. You might not have spotted that at one point, the center Muse turns so her dress is entirely open-and there’s nothing underneath it. Obviously, that goes for genitals too, but you still have to wonder how many disgruntled artists Disney were keeping around by this point.


Make Your Own Air Conditioner At Home Using Household Items

Make Your Own Air Conditioner At Home Using Household Items

Necessity can make people create the most amazing things. For example, some people will do almost anything to keep cool in the summer heat. Those of you living in the warmer regions of theworld can relate to how frustrating it can be to spend time in a place without proper air conditioning. Well one creative Flickr user created a homemade air conditioner to cool his apartment. Here’s how he did it.

Make Your Own Air Conditioner At Home Using Household Items

The DIY air conditioner was made using easily available household items that cost close to nothing. The air conditioner consists of an ordinary oscillating table-top fan, fish tank pumps, copper tubing and flexible plastic tubing.

Make Your Own Air Conditioner At Home Using Household Items

The photos show that the copper tubing has been formed into spirals and attached at the front and back of the fan. The fish tank pumps feed water to the copper tubing to ensure that the fan constantly blows cold air while the flexible plastic tubing connects the copper tubing to the cold water reservoir and allows the fan to swing in its regular fashion. The user has to add ice to the cold water reservoir every 6 hours to ensure that the water inside the reservoir stays cool.

Make Your Own Air Conditioner At Home Using Household Items

The exact cost is unknown but this is a pretty cheap solution. The only thing you have to be careful about when trying this at home is to make sure the reservoir is placed in a safe place, because electricity and water don’t make the greatest combination.

Make Your Own Air Conditioner At Home Using Household Items


I Thought This Was A Balloon…You’ll Never Guess What It Really Is! [VIDEO]

I Thought This Was A Balloon…You’ll Never Guess What It Really Is!

All you need: dry ice, soap, a large container, and a tube. Be sure not to touch the dry ice with your hands! These are sure to keep your kids entertained for hours.

I Thought This Was A Balloon…You’ll Never Guess What It Really Is!



This Child Has Down’s Syndrome – The Way This Dog Treats Him Will Surprise You

This Child Has Down’s Syndrome – The Way This Dog Treats Him Will Surprise You

Here is a short heartwarming video showing how a dog interacted with the little boy with such tenderness. This will melt even the toughest heart.

Their friendship began with the first act of the young boy called Hernán, reaching out to the dog. The dog, a gentle labrador retriever namedHimalaya, responded gently and lovingly. The young boy wiggles closer to the dog, almost as though to see what she is. She took that as an invitation, but Hernán became shy, nervous, and wiggled away, so Himalya proceeded to gently follow and insist she was his friend.

Hernán’s mom, Ana, has commented that because of his Down’s Syndrome, her son usually shies away from physical contact. But Himalaya lays down sweetly in front of the boy several times almost to introduce herself and have the boy get familiar with her, as if to say, “I am your friend and will always be here for you”.

Despite the boy being somewhat hesitant at first, the dog is persistent with his affection towards him, sensing that the young boy needed protecting. The dog knows exactly what she’s doing. Dogs are a LOT more in tune with kids that communicate differently.

This Child Has Down’s Syndrome – The Way This Dog Treats Him Will Surprise You

The dog simply showed endless love and patience to a child who just takes longer to warm up to then a most children usually would. The dog who waited and repeated his actions of love. Eventually the child ends up showing love in return.

Dogs have such an innate ability to recognize those who need them, maybe some more than others. This is a great example of the gentle, compassionate kindness of an animal and demonstrates how nature cares for humans and for itself.

Watch them interact…this is so awesome and totally heartwarming.



10 Signs You Have Found Your Soulmate

10 Signs You Have Found Your Soulmate

Feeling curious? Read on and without over-analyzing, ask yourself — soul mate or life partner?

The 10 Elements of a Soul Mate

{According to Dr. Carmen Harra}

1. It’s something inside. Describing how a soul mate makes you feel is difficult. It’s a tenacious, profound and lingering emotion which no words can encompass.

2. Flashbacks. If your partner is your soul mate, chances are he or she has been present in your past lives. You might even feel an odd sense of déjà vu, as if the moment in time has already taken place, perhaps a long time ago, perhaps in a different setting.

3. You just get each other. Ever met two people who finish each others sentences? Some people call that spending too much time together, but I call it a soul mate connection. You might experience this with your best friend or your mother, but it is the telltale sign of a soul mate when you experience it with your partner.

4. You fall in love with his (or her) flaws. No relationship is perfect, and even soul mate relationships will experience ups and downs. Still, that bond will be much harder to break. Soul mates have an easier time of accepting, even learning to love, each others imperfections.

5. It’s intense. A soul mate relationship may be more intense than normal relationships, in both good and sometimes bad ways. The most important thing is that, even during negative episodes, you’re focused on resolving the problem and can see beyond the bad moment.

6. You two against the world. Soul mates often see their relationship as “us against the world.” They feel so linked together that they’re ready and willing to take on any feat of life, so long as they have their soul mate by their side.

10 Signs You Have Found Your Soulmate

7. You’re mentally inseparable. Soul mates often have a mental connection similar to twins. They might pick up the phone to call each other at the exact same time. Though life may keep you apart at times, your minds will always be in tune if you are soul mates.

8. You feel secure and protected. Regardless of the gender of your partner, he or she should always make you feel secure and protected. Your soul mate will make you feel like you have a guardian angel by your side. A person who plays on your insecurities, whether consciously or subconsciously, is not your soul mate.

9. You can’t imagine your life without him (or her). A soul mate is not someone you can walk away from that easily. It is someone you can’t imagine being without, a person you believe is worth sticking with and fighting for.

10. You look each other in the eye. Soul mates have a tendency to look into each others eyes when speaking more often than ordinary couples. It comes naturally from the deep-seated connection between them. Looking a person in the eye when speaking denotes a high level of comfort and confidence.


Inventor Unleashes Huge Fart At France [VIDEO]

Idiosyncratic British inventor Colin Furze is celebrating after building a giant bum that produced a mechanical fart so loud it may have been heard across the English Channel in France.

A plumber renowned for super-powering mobility scooters and creating a driveable toilet, Furze built a large metal behind and used a pulse jet to make the farting sound.

"As an engine it’s (the pulse jet) not great as most of the energy is wasted on heat and noise but for this task it’s that noise we need," Furze said on his website.

Footage on YouTube shows him firing up the "fart gun" in front of an enthusiastic crowd on the cliffs of Dover, pointing the buttocks across the water towards France.

He then phones someone across the channel and is thrilled to be told the noise made it over the water.

Back in his workshop, Furze was a little more circumspect. "So far we’ve only got verbal confirmation that this thing worked," he said.

There had been quite a lot of wind noise on a video and not much could be taken from it, although two people had told him they clearly heard a "kind of a muffled, mumbling coming over the water".

The escapade inspired a punk band called March to the Grave, which is apparently reasonably well known in some parts of England, to write a song called Fart at the French.

It all has a very English feel about it, bringing to mind the skit from Monty Python and the Holy Grail in which John Cleese, speaking in an "outrageous" French accent tells the questing King Arthur and his knights of the round table: "I fart in your general direction."


The 16 Different Types of (Art School) Students

Chuck Dillon has been teaching for 10 years now at the Hussian School of Art in Philadelphia. After seeing students come and go, he decided to create sixteen different stereotypes he sees day in and day out. Though I've personally never gone to art school, I can appreciate these for what they're worth - a hilarious depiction of what students look like in this day and age.

Do Inanimate Objects Have Thoughts and Feelings?

Do Inanimate Objects Have Thoughts and Feelings?

The universe is full of mysteries that challenge our current knowledge. In "Beyond Science" Epoch Times collects stories about these strange phenomena to stimulate the imagination and open up previously undreamed of possibilities. Are they true? You decide.
Scientists and philosophers have long debated what level of consciousness, if any, animals and plants have. Some philosophers have even questioned the existence of all but their own minds, being unable to say with absolute certainty that other human beings have consciousness. These questions all relate to beings we label as “living” or “organic.”

But what about inanimate objects? Could they be sentient? It may sound like a crazy idea at first, but some modern scientists (not to mention prominent thinkers throughout history, such as Plato), say it’s possible.

“The idea that the thermostat that regulates the temperature in your house is even vaguely aware of what it is doing certainly goes against ‘common sense,’” wrote Henry P. Stapp, a theoretical physicist at the University of California–Berkeley who worked with some of the founding fathers of quantum mechanics, in a paper about the interaction of mind and matter. Nonetheless, he said, the idea of panpsychism—that all matter has consciousness—is worth discussing in relation to quantum mechanics.

In quantum mechanics, the link between mind and matter is so central that it is “rather unnatural and seemingly retrograde even to consider the possible existence of events that are not psycho-physical in character,” he said. The act of observation, an act of human consciousness, has been shown to influence the physical reality of experiment results.

Stapp does, however, leave room in his theories for events that are purely physical, events that have nothing to do with consciousness. Cognitive scientist and philosopher David Chalmers takes it a step further.

He says it is possible that consciousness is a fundamental building block of physics, and thus it exists in all things—from human beings down to photons.

Do Inanimate Objects Have Thoughts and Feelings?

Chalmers is a philosophy professor and head of consciousness studies at the Australian National University and at New York University. In a TED Talk earlier this year, he said science is at a sort of impasse in its study of consciousness, and “radical ideas may be needed,” to move forward. “I think that we may need one or two ideas that may initially seem crazy.”

One such idea is panpsychism.

Admitting it may seem a “kooky” idea, he noted: “Although the idea seems counterintuitive to us, it’s much less counterintuitive to people from different cultures where the human mind is seen as much more continuous with nature.”

In the past, physics had to incorporate newly discovered fundamental building blocks, such as electromagnetism, that were unexplained by more basic principles. He wonders whether consciousness is another such building block.

“Physics is curiously abstract,” he said. “It describes the structure of reality using a bunch of equations, but it doesn’t tell us about the reality that underlies it.” He quoted a question posed by Stephen Hawking: “What puts the fire into the equations?”

Maybe consciousness puts the fire into the equations, Chalmers said. The equations stay as they are, but we see them as means for describing the flux of consciousness.

“Consciousness doesn’t dangle outside the physical world as some kind of extra, it’s there right at its heart,” he said.

Chalmers doesn’t claim photons have the same kind of consciousness as human beings, but they could have a sort of primal awareness.

Do Inanimate Objects Have Thoughts and Feelings?

Similar thoughts on the different levels of awareness were explored in Ancient Indian scriptures and by 17th-century German philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. They suggested inorganic beings are in a sleep-like state; animals are aware but perhaps in a dream-like state; humans are aware that they are aware—they are more awake than animals.

In some Native American traditions, rocks are viewed as having consciousness and a rock may even be referred to as “grandfather rock.” The rocks are aware, for example, of having been moved from their resting places. In Eastern spiritual thought, it is sometimes said a soul can reincarnate not only as a human being, but also as a plant, animal, or even as a rock.

Famed philosophers who have espoused some form of panpsychism include Plato, Baruch Spinoza, Arthur Schopenhauer, and Bertrand Russell.

Russell wrote in “An Outline of Philosophy” (1927): “My own feeling is that there is not a sharp line, but a difference of degree [between mind and matter]; an oyster is less mental than a man, but not wholly un-mental.” He said memory is a key aspect of consciousness and inanimate objects have a sort of memory: “We cannot, on this ground [of memory], erect an absolute barrier between mind and matter. … [I]nanimate matter, to some slight extent, shows analogous behavior.”

Stapp also expressed the opinion that “The boundary between life and non-life is probably not completely sharp.”

The late Cleve Backster, whose experiments in the 1960s supported the idea that plants may have consciousness, also showed that eggs and yogurt could react to threats. Backster was a specialist in polygraph testing. Some of his results are explained by Lynne McTaggart in her book, “The Intention Experiment”: “The live bacteria in yogurt displayed a reaction to the death of other types of bacteria, and yogurt even evidenced a desire to be ‘fed’ with more of its own beneficial bacteria. Eggs registered a cry of alarm and then resignation when one of their number was dropped in boiling water.”

She explained that, “Backster even demonstrated that bodily fluids … registered reactions mirroring the emotional state of their hosts.”

Chalmers calls for a study of human consciousness that goes beyond testing the correlation between parts of the brain and conscious experiences. “This is still a science of correlations, it’s not a science of explanations. … We know that these brain areas go along with certain kinds of conscious experience, but we don’t know why they do,” he said. Studies that look beyond the brain may find consciousness in surprising places.


Man Chased By Crocodile Saved Thanks To Some Quick Thinking [VIDEO]

Man Chased By Crocodile Saved Thanks To Some Quick Thinking

Frightening footage of a young man who out-swam a crocodile in Mexico has gone viral.

The unnamed swimmer is lucky to be alive after passers-by in Sian Ka’an managed to save him from the deadly predator’s jaws, the Daily Mail reports.

The video shows the man desperately trying to make it to shore as the crocodile closes in.

Fortunately, a quick-thinking onlooker standing on a nearby bridge threw an object at the animal, and ended up scaring it away.

Man Chased By Crocodile Saved Thanks To Some Quick Thinking

Manuel Cerrara captured the shocking moment on camera and, according to Nine News, he said that the boy was lucky the creature is regularly fed by tourists and fisherman.

He posted the video on his Facebook page:

Unfortunately, that crocodile already associated us with food and as the video shows the boy was saved because the crocodile is well fed and chased at a pace that allowed him to reach the shore,” Cerrara said.

The water is considered by locals to be too dangerous to swim in.

Man Chased By Crocodile Saved Thanks To Some Quick Thinking

Cerrara went on to plead with tourists to stop feeding the wild animals, writing “something should be done now,” according to

Sian Ka’an became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.


The Power and Psychology of Words On Our Minds

The Power and Psychology of Words On Our Minds

There is this overwhelming notion among a large part of society that “words don’t matter” and until action sees the light of day, then what we say does not matter. To those people and nay sayers, I would love to explain to you why it is that words do matter and the profound effect they have on each and every one of us. Because unless someone stands up to those with hearts full of doubt, nothing will ever get better, and this world deserves to become a place where words can both lift us from the precipice and send us on an adventure through the lens of our neighbor.

Words and Our Brains

Let’s begin with how words function and process within our brains. University of College London’s Dr.Scott explains,

“The brain takes speech and separates it into words and ‘melody’ – the varying intonation in speech that reveals mood, gender and so on. Words are then shunted over to the left temporal lobe for processing, while the melody is channelled to the right side of the brain, a region more stimulated by music.”

This new research is ground breaking because it explains why the rhythm and intonation of a person’s voice affect us on such a deep emotional level. The reason when we listen to someone like Dr.Martin Luther King give a speech in comparison to an average person read aloud his “I Have A Dream“ speech, the two are going to give you two very different reactions. The strong and melodic manner of speaking that Dr.King gave on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial instills a sense of awe and admiration in people listening. The content of his words was only half of the magic that allowed his speech to touch millions, the other being his intonation and the rhythm in which he spoke those famous words, “I have a dream.”

The Power and Psychology of Words On Our Minds

How Words Predict Our Behavior

Words are more than simply tools for us to change our emotional state or express how we feel. Recent studies and insight from leading behavioral specialists have begun to utilize the words of people as accurate predictors of their behavior and mental state. Psychology-chair at the University of Texas Dr. James W. Pennbaker says, “The way that people refer to themselves and others is highly diagnostic of their mental state.”

He goes on to say that when people are being deceptive in laboratory experiments, their use of first person singular drops significantly. Dr. James explains, “Indeed, the use of “I” is one of the best predictors of honesty.” How much more can we learn by analyzing how a person speaks about themselves and the choice of words they use?

Former FBI Behavioral Analyst, Dr. Jack Schafer sheds light on the subject by explaining that,

“Certain words reflect the behavioral characteristics of the person who spoke or wrote them. I labeled these words, Word Clues. Word Clues increase the probability of predicting the behavioral characteristics of people by analyzing the words they choose when they speak or write.”

So how you use your words and what you say, really does speak volumes about the content of your character. So it is wise to mind your thoughts and even more so your words. They are giving off a detailed impression of who you are with every person you come in contact with. Everyone can use their unconscious to make an in-depth illustration of you when you speak to them, similarly you do too. So the next time you find yourself wanting to learn more about a person, lean in closer, and listen to the choice of words.

The Power and Psychology of Words On Our Minds

The Philosophy of Words

Now we both know that words affect us deeply on an emotional level and are capable of describing us to extraordinary detail, but why do words matter? Purpose is relative so I will explain to you why words matter to a psychologist.

Words are the vehicle for change and inspiration, they allow the brightest minds on Earth to free themselves of the chains in their minds. Words turn dreams and visions into reality, they give life to all that remains hidden and kept away.

They allow ideas, innovations and movements to see the light of day when in any other circumstance they would have stayed asleep among the midst of chaotic hum drum in our minds. We’ve all experienced this phenomenon, you know what you must do, how you must do it, but you cannot muster up the courage to do it.

The gate to insights sits closed, shining brilliantly in your face, waiting for the key to unlock it. But the key never comes, until, everything goes quiet and for the first time you feel as if everything makes sense and you know what you’ve yearned for.

The golden key arrives in the form of a simple, yet profound combination of words. At last, words have given hope a chance. Words have given you, a chance.


The Daytime Benefits of Lucid Dreaming

The Daytime Benefits of Lucid Dreaming
 People who realise they are in a dream while they are dreaming — a lucid dream — have better problem-solving abilities, new research finds.
This may be because the ability to step outside a dream after noticing it doesn’t make sense reflects a higher level of insight.
Around 82% of people are thought to have experienced a lucid dream in their life, while the number experiencing a lucid dream at least once a month may be as high as 37%.
The Daytime Benefits of Lucid Dreaming

Flash of insight

The study, published in the journal Dreaming, recruited participants into three groups (Bourke & Shaw, 2014):
  • Frequent lucid dreamers: those who experienced a lucid dream more than once a month.
  • Occasional lucid dreamers: those who had had a lucid dream at least once in their lives.
  • Non-lucid dreamers: those who had never experienced a lucid dream.
All the participants were given a test of problem-solving which required a flash of insight.
Each problem was made up of three words which led to another word or phrase.
For example, one problem gives you the words ‘mile’, ‘sand’ and ‘age’.
What other single word can be combined with all three to create three new words or phrases?
Got it?
Give up?
The answer is ‘stone’, which can be combined with the three words to produce ‘milestone’, ‘sandstone’ and ‘Stone Age’.
The results showed that in comparison to those who had never had a lucid dream, the frequent lucid dreamers solved 25% more of these insight problems.
Dr Patrick Bourke, who led the study, said:
“It is believed that for dreamers to become lucid while asleep, they must see past the overwhelming reality of their dream state, and recognise that they are dreaming.
The same cognitive ability was found to be demonstrated while awake by a person’s ability to think in a different way when it comes to solving problems.”
Lucid dreaming and solving insight problems may tap into similar cognitive abilities, the authors suggest:
“‘Insight’ can be seen to be related to other demonstrated cognitive correlates of lucidity in dreaming.
The tendency towards ‘field independence’ for example allows people to ‘step back’ from perceived reality, reflect on it and evaluate the perceptual evidence.
For the insight that leads to lucidity, people also seem able to step-back from the obvious interpretation and consider a remote and at the time implausible option – that it is all a dream.” (Bourke & Shaw, 2014)
The Daytime Benefits of Lucid Dreaming

How to start lucid dreaming

If you’d like to increase the chances you’ll catch yourself dreaming while asleep, here are three tips:
  • During the day, repeatedly ask yourself if you’re dreaming.
  • When you’re asleep, try to identify any signs or events that would be weird in real life. As you know, dreams are usually chock full of them.
  • Keep a dream journal to help you focus on your dreams. Write down whatever you can remember when you wake up.
Sweet dreams!

About the author

Dr Jeremy Dean is a psychologist and the author ofPsyBlog. His latest book is "Making Habits, Breaking Habits: How to Make Changes That Stick". You canfollow PsyBlog by email, by RSS feed, on Twitter and Google+.






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