Last night I had this dream that I was watching some kind of documentary about how lions died out in an ice age or something like that, and they were talking about this particular ice-preserved lion specimen.

The first thing I remember was this computer-generated sequence like they do in those kinds of things (though it had pretty good graphics, almost indistinguishable from reality), where there was a lot of snow around and this male lion curiously walked up to a flagpole. It stood up a bit and reached out a paw to touch the flagpole, also extending out its tongue, which I could already tell was a mistake, but oddly, it wasn’t the tongue that led to its demise. Instead, as soon as its paw touched the flapole, a cartoonish wave of stillness and colourisation swept through it until it was just a static model tinted slightly ice blue, and oddly, the model itself was actually less realistic-looking. I think part of the reason was it was slightly covered in a kind of white frost-like effect that looked pretty good but was more videogame- than real-life-type quality.

Some kind of palaeontology expert who was a middle-aged man with white hair described the carcass.
“Just look at all the things that are hiding in here! It’s got mercury, phenyl, Snowden…”

(Interestingly I didn’t quite get the Snowden joke when I was asleep, though I did notice it was kind of out of place. When I woke up it was like the funniest thing to me though because really, it was kind of a feat for my subconscious to make a joke that was that coherent and funny. Most of the time it’s lucky if it can even make sense at all.)

After this the dream kind of transitioned into the living room of ome of my previous houses, where somebody who looked like the palaeontology expert but somewhat different (I forget how but he did look like a different person) was just chilling out on the couch and contuing to talk in the exact same manner the other man had just been talking on TV: kind of gesticulating a bit, sitting up straight, looking into the “camera”, always turning any pause into a pause for effect whether that’s why he paused or not—it’s easy for me to identify when I see it on TV but hard to describe.

“I can’t help but think that all these things—mercury, phenyl, Snowden, heads [on a coin], Jupiter—they all just capture the sum total of my personality and it’s amazing seeing that pattern turn up again and again throughout the universe.”

Yeah…. I don’t know either. In retrospect I think I’d call that a parody example of the Barnum Effect + confirmation bias? All I know was that in the dream, all I really processed in that statement was that that was a really weird list of things. Snowden again…? Jupiter? Heads? (Don’t ask me how I knew that referred to heads on a coin either, I just did :P)

And…. that was kinda it. I somehow think this might have come from stuff I was writing about Stablehand the day before yesterday, plus my post about lions being extinct in it.