If you want a reliable method of raising a laugh, you can always resort to references of flatulence – a comedic ploy that goes back (at least) 2000 years. But the question as to why it’s considered funny, remains, to this day, a hotly debated subject. In 2013, Professor James Spiegel of the Philosophy Department at […]
Umbrellas blowing inside out – why’s it funny?
What’s funny about watching someone struggle with an unruly umbrella? Few, if any, have come up with a better explanation than W H Auden who took a stab at it in 1952, and came up with two reasons : “a) An umbrella is a mechanism designed by man to function in a particular manner, and its […]
Putting animals in a funny order (1897 study)
Which animal, in your opinion, is funnier, a Narwhal or a Numbat? A: Narwhal B: Numbat C: Neither If your answer was A, or B, then it adds weight to the hypothesis that animals can be listed in order of ‘funniness’. Messrs G. Stanley Hall and Arthur Alliń made progress in this area as far […]
The Laughing Mirror
Are you one of those people who laughs every time you see yourself in a mirror? If you are (or even if you’re not) you may be interested in a project presented at the International Multimedia Conference, 2007. A Dutch research team assembled a computerised camera/display system which emulated a mirror – but with built-in […]