Tuesday, May 15, 2012

There's a Nap for That

I was reading the Harvard Crimson the other day -- significant pause so you can regain your breath -- and discovered a few inventive grad students had developed a new app for the iPhone. It's called Sigmund and it works off a very simple premise.

If you've ever found yourself dreaming in the early morning hours you know that sometimes your brain will incorporate outside stimuli into a dream.

If for instance, your wife starts making coffee in the kitchen and starts listening to Pink Floyd, there's a good possibility you could find yourself sipping iced lattes with Scarlet Johannsen on a rocket ship doing circles around the Dark Side of the Moon.

That's how dreams work.

So these bright young men devised an application that calculates your REM cycle, that is the time you are most likely to be dreaming, and uses the voice activation mode on your iPhone to suggest words or phrases that will be incorporated into your dreams.

Before you get ahead of yourself here Sparky you should know that the folks at Apple run a very Disney-like corporation. But you can be sure there are coders and programmers in Chatsworth feverishly working night and day to remedy that as we speak.

The most prurient words you'll find on Sigmund are: mistress, sex, bikini, silk and fruit. Hardly the stuff of libidinous magic. But had these Harvard nerds done a little more right brain thinking they could have creatively short-skirted the Apple guidelines and still produced the desired results.

Here are some perfectly innocent words that could have innocently been added to the app:

Lincoln Tunnel
Hot dogs
Pipe cleaner
Leather Collar
Fishing Net

I'm sure you can think of a thousand more.

At this point you're probably curious to know whether it all works. And I'm here to tell you, "I don't know." I downloaded the app, picked out my five words for the evening, set the phone on my nightstand and let it do its thing. I woke the next morning, experienced a night of unusually vivid dreams, but can't recall if any of them involved: chocolate, lipstick, Paris, speedboat and a catcher's mask.

In fact, I can't remember anything.

Dreams, as you well know, are flighty, non-linear and thoroughly insignificant.
Not unlike roundseventeen.


Richard Page said...

I hope I can download this. I often dream about moving to New Orleans, despite already living here. But the dream New Orleans has high mountains, deep river valleys, and commanding vistas. So I always get lost. To get back on track, I may try lagniappe, trombone, Storyville, Cabildo, and shorty.

Paul Sinfield said...

I couldn't get past the part where you said your wife makes coffee. So jealous.