Crazy Dreams

I've been remembering a lot of my dreams this month and in the spirit of full disclosure, I will tell you about them in all their random details! But first some fun facts. Humans dream during REM sleep, named after its "rapid eye movement", the stage of sleep most closely resembling wakeful neural activity. Various theories have been proposed for the regenerative functionality of REM sleep. Indeed, sleep deprived individuals and people trying out polyphasic sleep get less REM sleep, as the body favours the deeper stages in those circumstances. The image below, called a hypnogram, shows how the stages normally occur.
The different stages of sleep.
There are four or five cycles of REM sleep and they last for longer and longer amounts of time until the person wakes up. Movement of the eyes is presumably related to the fact that someone in a dream state feels mentally alert. I suppose the reason for the entire body not moving is the protection mechanism you hear about - where the body is physiologically immobilized during sleep. Even though this is supposed to wear off quickly upon regaining consciousness, some people report "glitches" where they wake up in total paralysis for several minutes. This has never happened to me but I think it would be really cool!

My e-Raven Poem

About ten years ago, when I first developed an obsession with browsing the web and an obsession with the number $ \frac{1}{2} \tau $ (some of you know it as $ \pi $) I discovered Near A Raven and gasped at the ingenuity of it. This type of poem is called a piem and many of them have been made. The idea is simple - set up the poem so that the number of letters in each word is equal to the corresponding digit of the decimal expansion of Pi. The first word should have 3 letters, the second should have 1, the third should have 4 and so on. Put it all together and you have 3.14159265358979...

When I learned about Euler's number in high school, my mind was made up. I simply had to make a similar poem for $ e $. Like Near A Raven this has the advantage of being a faithful retelling of The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe with the same rhyme scheme. Even though I had to use some archaic words to make the poem rhyme, I am happy that I was able to consistently put the word "nevermore" at the end of each stanza. Hope you like it!

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