Murder, Mayhem and Madness Monday: Celebrity Nightmares Decoded

Dreams are a frequent topic in psychology.  It’s half science, half mystery.

Science can measure dream length, what part of the brain is active during dreams and what causes a person to stay in REM sleep longer.   Research supports that dreams are one way we process our memories of the day.

The mystery is the symbols in our dreams that give us hints to what our subconscious is thinking.  Not to mention the fact that many of us have similar dreams.  For example many people experience dreams about falling, flying, and being naked in front of people.

Celebrity Nightmares Decoded

How do we decide what the symbols mean in our dream?  The TV show: Celebrity Nightmares Decoded tries to explain the symbols of dreams.  The host, Lauren Lawrence.  hears nightmares from celebrities  and tries to decode the symbols and the age they had the dream to figure out what their mind was trying to tell them.

Now I have to admit I was reluctant to watch.  Don’t get me wrong, I love dreams and I think that it is a way your brain tries to tell you something that you haven’t put together yet consciously.   However, the idea of using a book of universal symbols to make sense of a dream just didn’t feel right.   I can see how many symbols would be true but what about taking into account that everyone has a different value or view of the universal symbols.

For Example

  • What about phobias?   A baby bunny could be cute and represent innocence to some. What about the child  who developed a fear of them after watching the killer rabbit from Monty Python?
  • What about the fact that time changes our view of symbols?
  • What about our ever changing society and technology?  People didn’t dream about computers a century ago.
  • What about the differences we have due to culture, religion or family

After all my doubts, I was pleasantly surprised with the show.  Lauren Lawrence seem to use dream symbols, psychology and some psychic powers or intuition to decode the dreams.  I was really surprised at how well she read the dreams.

The show also included some universal symbols in our dreams and their general meaning.


Dreaming of being naked in public

Most people think it’s due to being embarrassed like walking into class naked.

Lauren Lawrence contradicts that view.  She pointed out that most people dream that no one sees them when they are naked.  Her view is that people want others to notice them.

What to look for:  Whereever you are during the dream is where you feel invisible and unnoticed by other.


Clowns can make us feel happy or scared.

Lauren Lawrence believes that in dreams clowns represent powerlessness and not being taken seriously by others.

What to look for: Whereever you are during the dream is where you feel powerless

Further Information

Lauren Lawrence writes an article on decoding nightmares that people email her.  The best part is that you can email your nightmares to her and she’ll decode them.  Find more information at the bottom of her article.


Murder, Mayhem and Madness Monday: The First Person Charged With A DUI

This week marks the 114th  anniversary  of the first drunk driving arrest.  The man arrested was a 25-year-old man named George Smith who worked as a cab driver in London.  On September 10, 1897 he crashed his cab while severally intoxicated.  He didn’t just hit a parked car or a tree, instead he drove right into a side of a building.   I guess if you are going down in the history books for being the first to be arrested for a crime you better do it right.  Smith took responsibility for his actions and pled guilty.  He was fined only 25 shillings.

While I love learning about crime “firsts” I’m not sure the Smith’s family wanted to be associated with such an anniversary.   Crimes that are solved are a matter of public record, but should they be or does it cause too much pain for the relatives of the guilty?

Murder, Mayhem and Madness Monday: When is smoking around children criminal?

When is smoking around children criminal?

Sixty years ago there were only a few who would see it as criminal.  You could find parents smoking around their babies and even pregnant women smoked.

Smoking laws seem to limit smokers to fewer and fewer smoking areas.  People’s overall view of smokers in public places outside and inside seem  to be against the smoker.  However, I was walking across campus today and was surprised to hear people argue about their right to smoke near class buildings.

I’m fine with smokers smoking in areas that are away from buildings and pathways.  Though if it was up to me they would all be smoking in small boxes far away from everyone else.

Making smoking around children illegal is a personal issue.  My mother has asthma and had constant lung infections growing up due to my grandmother’s smoking.  When she was born she was much smaller than normal.   I worked in a preschool a long time ago and I saw a couple of infants that came in with clothes reeking of tobacco and they were all very sick.  I mean having surgery because of severe ear and lung infections.

Today, I saw a group of students smoking in front of the daycare/child development building at my local college.  This wasn’t the first time.  I took a few classes at another college that did the same thing.  We took pictures and tried to make them stop but they wouldn’t move even though pregnant women and babies had to walk past them to get into the daycare.

I feel this is criminal.  What do you think?  When is smoking criminal around children?  If a child passes you on the sidewalk?  If you smoke near a library entrance or school?  If you smoke in the car with a toddler?

Murder, Mayhem and Madness Monday: A Trip To Pompeii


Some of the photos may be disturbing to some people.  I have taken pictures from my visit to Pompeii and a few are of the victims.

When you think of the word mayhem many thing may pop in your head.  Maybe you’re thinking of a earthquake or shopping on Black Friday.  There are very few events that happened before the 1700’s for which people universally know most of the details.  One of my favorite and well-known historical events of mayhem and murder is Pompeii on August 24, 79 AD

For those who don’t know about Pomeii I will give you a bit of information.  Mount Vesuvius erupted on near the Roman town of Pompeii near Naples, Italy.  The town was covered in ashes and the people that didn’t make it out of town died.

Mount Vesuvius

You might be wondering why I said murder.  Well that is because some slaves and even pets were chained to houses.

Cast of a victim clearing covering his face to protect it from ash.

Victim of volcano

belt indicating he was a slave

The event itself isn’t the only reason why Pompeii is important.  The city was burned and covered in ashes while Roman citizens were living life as they did back in 79 AD.

Street signOne of the many storage rooms of artifacts

Fast food restaurant

Murder, Mayhem and Madness Monday: One Too Many Spooky Nights

Have you ever watched one too many scary movies?  Or perhaps read the newspaper on a local serial killer that is still at large just before bed?

How do you know when it is too much?  Sometimes it obvious like you start sleeping with a baseball bat.  Maybe not so obvious like telling people who leave the room at night that the ones that stray are the first to go.

I’m not saying that happened to me. *shifty eyes* On a completely different subject my family has told me to take a break from the creepy stuff for a week.  Instead I found a nice spoof video on a hostage situation in a Walmart.  Spoofs are a healthy way to diminish fear over everything that goes bump in the night.

What do you do when you have been scared too much from the news or a scary movie?

Murder, Mayhem and Madness Monday: A Bad Week In Crime for the Bay Area

When flipping to a news station you’re bound to find a death or two.  But the news normally throws us a heart-warming tale of a citizen helping others or someone doing successful in this bad economy.  The news failed us last week in California.  The deaths and violent acts last week were unspeakable and the amount was alarming.  In Oakland alone, they had increased their police force because the homicide rate this year reached, 71.  In San Jose, once one of the safest big cities is now growing rapidly in violent crimes.

One crime stood out among them all.  A nine-year-old boy and his parents came to California on a trip and went to a Giants baseball game.  After the game, they had walked across a street and a car hit the boy.  The driver left the scene of the crime and went on to hit a few more cars.  Through witnesses the cops arrested the man, Vargas, who had made it back to his house in Hayward.  To make matters worse the driver was intoxicated.  The boy is still in critical care.  The Giants gave the boy a moment of silence to pray for him to get better.  That act brought me to tears.  Sometimes it’s the smallest act that gives us hope in troubling times.

Last week did have an uplifting story of a 15-year-old hero.  Two 15 year-old friends were fiddling with a bb gun, without any bullets in it, at one of their homes.  The father came home and was followed into the house by three robbers.  One of the robbers put the father in a chokehold.  The brave and smart friend picked up the empty bb gun and aimed it at the robbers.   Although he had no bullets he went ahead and pretended he was putting a round in the chamber of his gun.  This sound worked because it scared the robbers enough to leave.  If the boy hadn’t scared the robbers, who knows what would have happened to boys and the father.

In weeks like last week, I put my focus on the good stories.  We need to cherish the stories of people taking a moment to think of others and give them good wishes.  We need learn from brave heroes that find ways to protect themselves from crime.  So this week I’m going to be determined to find one story filled with hope.

I would love to hear from you.  Do you have any uplifting stories from the news?  



Homicide rates in Oakland

Hit in run

Moment of silence TV clip

15-year-old scares away robbers

Murder, Mayhem and Madness Monday: Crazy Customer Calls 911

I found the most hilarious video on you tube of someone calling 911 over not getting the hamburger cooked the way she asked for at Burger King.  I thought I was a picky eater until I saw this clip.  Don’t get me wrong I send back food when they put in things that will make me sick due to dietary restrictions or it’s so rare I hear it mooing.  But it makes you wonder, where is the line between the customers is is always right and the customer is down right crazy?

911 Call

I would love to hear from you

What reasons does someone have to ask for a restrant to remake the food? How many times can they ask?