Giz Asks In this Gizmodo series, we ask questions about everything from space to butts and get answers from a variety of experts. If you’ve ever woken up on the brink of a heart attack, drenched in sweat and convinced you’ll never live down the shame of sprinting nude through downtown Pittsburgh, you know that some dreams are more memorable than others. Most dreams, in fact, seem totally unmemorable—at least in the sense that we can’t remember them. And yet every now and then a dream will linger into breakfast and well into the day, or month, or year—will become a memory like any other. Why do some dreams stick with us, while the rest disappear? For this week’s Giz Asks we reached out to a number of neuroscientists, psychologists and sleep researchers to find out when, and why, we’re more likely to remember a given dream. As it turns out, we have a fairly good sense of what causes dream recall, as well as how to enhance it—so if … [Read more...] about Why Do We Remember Some Dreams but Not Others?
How do floods go away
Realtors do the work of a real estate agent. Many of them will install attractive yard signs, like this one, to help their clients who are selling homes. See more real estate pictures. David New/Getty Images In 2004, the United States real estate market was booming. With the growth of technology that paved the way for do-it-yourselfers, it looked like real estate agents were doomed to the same fate as travel agents. Fueled by a hot market and a flood of real estate Web sites, buyers and sellers were going straight to the Internet to find homes, make offers and close deals. The idea of paying a real estate agent a 5 or 6 percent commission seemed ridiculous when it was so easy to find buyers. But between April 2007 and April 2008, the housing bubble burst, and new home sales dropped 42 percent. Existing home sales sank 17.5 percent [source: Luhby]. Across the United States, homes sat on the market for months while their values slowly seeped away. Sellers offered creative … [Read more...] about How Realtors Work
This might sound funny to anyone who’s ever bought or sold a used car, but honesty really is the best policy. Dimitri Otis/Getty Images In most states, used car sales are understood to be "as is." This means the buyer understands that if something goes wrong after the car is driven away, it's entirely his or her responsibility. That means that, as a seller, you're not responsible for the car after it's sold. However, would-be sellers should understand a couple of important points. First: If your sales contract includes any language describing a warranty or a guarantee on the car, you might be on the hook for anything that goes wrong. As a private seller, you probably aren't in a position to offer any such thing (you're not going to repair the car yourself, right?), so such a guarantee would be an odd benefit to offer. As long as the contract doesn't say you'll take the car back if something goes wrong (and why would you do that?), you're good. Anything that was said during … [Read more...] about How long are you responsible for a car after you sell it?
If you ever feel lonely, just remember tardigrades are everywhere. SEBASTIAN KAULITZKI/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/Getty Images The humans knew it was coming, but there was nothing they could do. Four thousand light years away, a collapsing star sent a giant gamma ray bursting across the galaxy in a massive wave of energy. When it arrived, it wiped out the ozone layer, created monsoons of acid rain and froze the planet. It extinguished all life on Earth. Well, not quite all. Just as the extinction of the dinosaurs helped pave the way for the rise of mammals (and subsequently humans), the gamma ray made way for something else. If you'd been part of an expedition sent by an alien civilization to see whether any life survived the gamma ray, imagine guiding your spacecraft down through the omnipresent storm clouds until you catch sight of the shattered, empty cities with their toppling husks of skyscrapers, their flooded subways, their corpse-strewn sidewalks. Imagine skimming the … [Read more...] about How Tardigrades Work
Most insurance companies don't provide flood insurance because the risks are too great. So to be insured against flood, homeowners must purchase insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program. Comstock/Thinkstock The town of Wilmington is the quintessential Vermont burg. Located in the southern part of the state near Mount Snow, Wilmington bustles during the winter, summer and fall. Each morning, diners, both local and otherwise, savor the inch-thick blueberry pancakes dripping with local maple syrup at Dot's Diner. Down the road at Al Wurzberger's 1836 Country Store, tourists fill shopping bags with tasty cheddar, mouth-watering fudge and even cuckoo clocks. Each summer, gardeners line Main Street with hanging baskets of flowers. It's a wonderful place to spend an afternoon, a summer, a lifetime. That is until the flood of 2011 washed almost everything away. In August, hurricane-turned-tropical-storm Irene pounded Wilmington with heavy rain. The Deerfield River, as tame as … [Read more...] about How Flood Insurance Works