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Men and Women Have Very Different Types of Nightmares

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In the middle of a pleasant dream, something lurks in the shadows. Soon, the nonsensical reverie takes a dark turn and something starts stalking you. What is it? You wake, heart racing, breathing rapidly. That nightmare felt horrible, but was the terrible creature haunting your dream a masked killer or just your mom criticizing your clothing?

The answer depends on your gender.

Geneviève Robert and Antonio Zadra, researchers from the University of Montreal, asked more than 550 subjects to keep dream journals for two to five consecutive weeks, resulting in the records of a total of 9796 dreams. The researchers then analyzed the dreams, finding that of the almost 10,000 dreams, there were 431 bad dreams—which cause some unpleasant feelings—and 253 nightmares, which include an emotion so disagreeable that it wakes people from sleep. Subjects said that nightmares felt more “emotionally intense” than bad dreams.

“[N]ightmares were more bizarre and contained substantially more aggressions, failures, and unfortunate endings,” the study says. Only 331 of the participants experienced unpleasant dreams. They found that 35 percent of nightmares and 55 percent of bad dreams involved emotions other than fear.

After looking at the nightmares for general content, the researchers looked at more specific themes and found the stuff of nightmares varied by gender. Women had nightmares that focused on interpersonal strife—a fight with a partner, a disagreement with a mother-in-law, a conflict with a willful child. The emotions involved in those nightmares included feelings of humiliation, inadequacy, and frustration.

Men, on the other hand, tended to have nightmares about natural disasters (floods, earthquakes, fires and volcanoes), chases, and bugs. The women’s nightmares frequently involved a friend or family member trying to navigate the scary situation with them, while the men worked alone in their nightmares. On average, they found that women experienced more nightmares than men.

“The results have important implications on how nightmares are conceptualized and defined," the researchers wrote, "and support the view that, when compared to bad dreams, nightmares represent a somewhat rarer—and more severe—expression of the same basic phenomenon.”

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AFP/Stringer/Getty Images
SpaceX's Landing Blooper Reel Shows That Even Rocket Scientists Make Mistakes
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SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket launches.
AFP/Stringer/Getty Images

On March 30, 2017, SpaceX did something no space program had done before: They relaunched an orbital class rocket from Earth that had successfully achieved lift-off just a year earlier. It wasn't the first time Elon Musk's company broke new ground: In December 2015, it nailed the landing on a reusable rocket—the first time that had been done—and five months later landed a rocket on a droneship in the middle of the ocean, which was also unprecedented. These feats marked significant moments in the history of space travel, but they were just a few of the steps in the long, messy journey to achieve them. In SpaceX's new blooper reel, spotted by Ars Technica, you can see just some of the many failures the company has had along the way.

The video demonstrates that failure is an important part of the scientific process. Of course when the science you're working in deals with launching and landing rockets, failure can be a lot more dramatic than it is in a lab. SpaceX has filmed their rockets blowing up in the air, disintegrating in the ocean, and smashing against landing pads, often because of something small like a radar glitch or lack of propellant.

While explosions—or "rapid unscheduled disassemblies," as the video calls them—are never ideal, some are preferable to others. The Falcon 9 explosion that shook buildings for miles last year, for instance, ended up destroying the $200 million Facebook satellite onboard. But even costly hiccups such as that one are important to future successes. As Musk once said, "If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough."

You can watch the fiery compilation below.

[h/t Ars Technica]

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8 Potential Signs of a Panic Attack
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It's not just fear or worry. In fact, many panic attacks don’t look like panic at all. Panic attacks come on rapidly, and often at times that don't seem to make sense. The symptoms of panic disorder vary from person to person and even from attack to attack for the same person. The problems listed below are not unique to panic attacks, but if you're experiencing more than one, it's a good idea to talk to your doctor either way.


Doctors sometimes call the autonomic nervous system (ANS) the "automatic nervous system" because it regulates many vital bodily functions like pumping blood all on its own, without our having to think about it. Panic attacks often manifest through the ANS, leading to increased heart rate or decreased blood pressure, which can in turn lead to feeling lightheaded or faint.


Feeling detached from yourself is called depersonalization. Feeling detached from the world, or like it's fake or somehow unreal, is called derealization. Both forms of dissociation are unsettling but common signs that a panic attack has begun.


Our digestive system is often the first body part to realize that something is wrong. Panic sends stress hormones and tension to the gut and disrupts digestion, causing nausea, upset stomach, or heartburn.


Panic attacks can manifest in truly surprising ways, including pins and needles or numbness in a person's hands or face.


The symptoms of a panic attack can look a lot like the flu. But if you don't have a fever and no one else has chattering teeth, it might be your ANS in distress.


While it may sound prophetic or at least bizarre, a sense of impending doom is a very common symptom of panic attacks (and several other conditions). 


The ANS strikes again. In addition to the well-known problems of hyperventilation or shortness of breath, panic attacks can also cause dyspnea, in which a person feels like they can't fill their lungs, and feelings of choking or being smothered.


Oddly enough, anxiety about anxiety is itself a symptom of anxiety and panic attacks. Fear of losing control or getting upset can cause people to avoid situations that could be triggering, which can in turn limit their lives. 


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