Ask Mar­i­lyn

Albuquerque Journal - Parade - - Community Table - By Mar­i­lyn vos Sa­vant —Chris Allinson, Green Val­ley, Ariz. —Betty Ei­nar­son, Cav­a­lier, N.D.

Why is it so dif­fi­cult to re­mem­ber the ma­jor­ity of dreams we ex­pe­ri­ence? When our brains are asleep, noth­ing we ex­pe­ri­ence is en­coded into mem­ory. (This is one rea­son sleep-teach­ing de­vices don’t work.) To re­mem­ber frag­ments of a dream, one must awaken, at least some­what, while it is oc­cur­ring, and even then, the mem­ory is likely to be fleet­ing. Peo­ple who re­call more of their dreams may be slightly more wake­ful in gen­eral, es­pe­cially if they’re mak­ing an ef­fort to re­mem­ber or keep a record of them. Re­cur­ring dreams are more likely to be re­mem­bered be­cause of the in­creased num­ber of op­por­tu­ni­ties to awaken dur­ing them, and fright­en­ing dreams are some­times re­called only be­cause they wake you up.

A shoe store had a sale: Buy one pair, get one pair (of equal or lesser value) for a dol­lar. I bought a pair of $60 boots for a friend and a pair of $30 boots for my­self. How much does my friend owe me? If there were no sale, you would have spent $90, and your friend would have owed you (or of that amount, which is $60. Be­cause of the sale, you spent only $61, but the rel­a­tive value of the boots re­mained the same, so your friend owes you of $61, which is $40.67. She also owes you of the tax.

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