The Late Movies: Dream Sequences

Mad Men fans know that before this week's amazing episode (full of tractor accidents, taxidermied snakes and clandestine hotel magnate meetings), we had an episode dedicated almost exclusively to the birth of Don and Betty's third child, packed with surreal dream sequences. We were given a prolonged look into Betty's deep subconscious.

Since then, I've read a few articles on whether dream sequences are a good idea. I think it's like any other plot device—there are good ones and bad ones. But what do you guys think? Here are a few of the dream sequences I can remember seeing, to help you make up your mind.

The Dude dreamed to a Kenny Rogers soundtrack in The Big Lebowski.

Big Pussy slept with the fishes in Tony Soprano's dream.

The dream sequence in Alfred Hitchcock's Spellbound was designed by Salvador Dali.

Agent Cooper had a memorable dream in Twin Peaks.

This dream from American Werewolf in London is just a bit bloody. (You may want to turn the volume down a smidge.)

I've never seen The Science of Sleep, but this is a pretty trippy dream.

And finally, "Joel, get off the babysitter." On a separate note, I couldn't find the Risky Business dream where Joel walks into the final exam with only five minutes left, but I've had that dream about 500 times.


A Very Brief History of Chamber Pots

Some of the oldest chamber pots found by archeologists have been discovered in ancient Greece, but portable toilets have come a long way since then. Whether referred to as "the Jordan" (possibly a reference to the river), "Oliver's Skull" (maybe a nod to Oliver Cromwell's perambulating cranium), or "the Looking Glass" (because doctors would examine urine for diagnosis), they were an essential fact of life in houses and on the road for centuries. In this video from the Wellcome Collection, Visitor Experience Assistant Rob Bidder discusses two 19th century chamber pots in the museum while offering a brief survey of the use of chamber pots in Britain (including why they were particularly useful in wartime).

A Tour of the New York Academy of Medicine's Rare Book Room

The Rare Book Room at the New York Academy of Medicine documents the evolution of our medical knowledge. Its books and artifacts are as bizarre as they are fascinating. Read more here.


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