Two researchers walked into a bar, and a third one ducked. Are you laughing? Well, we know that's not the answer. Back in 2002, researchers at the University of Herfordshire wanted to find the "world's funniest joke."
To find the answer, Richard Wiseman a Professor of Psychology at the university started a program called LaughLab to ascertain the answer to that very complex research question. The question was designed to find the funniest joke across all cultures, regions, demographics and countries; not an easy task.
The year-long study was a collaboration between the University of Hertfordshire and The British Science Association. It involved "people sending in their favorite jokes, and rating how funny they found the jokes submitted by others," according to LaughLab's website. "The project attracted attention from the international media, resulting in the website receiving over 40,000 jokes and 1.5 million ratings."
Of the 40,000 jokes submitted the winner was sent by Gurpal Gosall, a 31-year-old psychiatrist from Manchester, England.
" A couple of New Jersey hunters are out in the woods when one of them falls to the ground. He doesn't seem to be breathing, his eyes are rolled back in his head. The other guy whips out his cell phone and calls the emergency services. He gasps to the operator: "My friend is dead! What can I do?" The operator, in a calm soothing voice says: "Just take it easy. I can help. First, let's make sure he's dead." There is a silence, then a shot is heard. The guy's voice comes back on the line. He says: "OK, now what?" via Discovery News / more
"One type of sea life has proven tough to keep in home aquariums: jellyfish. The blobby beasties get shredded like Kleenex in the filters. This 7-gallon tank — a project that got funded through Kickstarter — solves that by using a laminar-flow system to circulate the water in a controlled swirl, nudging the jellies to the middle of the tank and away from danger. The kit takes about 10 minutes to assemble and includes a voucher for three moon jellyfish, shipped overnight in Styrofoam coolers along with a six-month supply of frozen brine shrimp. Slip them into the water, turn on the color-changing LED light, and … dude, whoa!" Wired.com
"A Florida animal sanctuary on Thursday stood by its claim that a chimpanzee that died there over the weekend was featured in the classic Tarzan movies of the 1930s, despite the skepticism of some experts who believed it was unlikely that a chimp could live to be more than 80 years old." via NYTimes.com /more
"2011 was a hectic year – so hectic it required its own language. Phrases such as "Lulzsec", "phone hacking" and "Wendi Deng" suddenly became common currency. But why hasn't anyone printed a handy cut-out-and-keep handbook explaining what all this stuff means? Well, actually, they have. And you're already reading it. Shut up and keep going as we start our guide to the Buzzwords of 2011." Charlie Brooker/ The Guardian /more
"Beavers, once abundant and widespread in the Northern Hemisphere, helped to forge the ground underneath many Americans’ feet.
The team behind a new study used ground-penetrating radar to detect buried beaver dams.
The study, published in the January 2012 issue of Geology, reveals how beaver activity up to thousands of years ago affected sedimentation and left its lasting mark within North America's ground." via Discovery News / more
" Siku, a polar bear cub born in captivity in Denmark, has taken the Internet by storm. It's not a surprise, he's so cute!
The Scandinavian Wildlife Park is developing a new information program about climate change, sea ice in the Arctic Sea and polar bears. As the program evolves, Siku "will become an Ambassador for his wild cousins living in the Arctic," continued the site, "Because the Scandinavian Wildlife Park has some of the best and largest polar bear facilities in the world, we are convinced that it will be possible for SIKU to become a normal functioning polar bear within a few years."
via Discovery News/ more
"In the story of the race to the South Pole, Shirase is the invisible man. A Japanese explorer, his part in one of the greatest adventure stories of the 20th century is hardly known outside his own country. Yet as Scott was nearing the pole and with the world still unaware of Amundsen's triumph, Shirase and the Japanese Antarctic expedition sailed into Antarctica's Bay of Whales in the smallest ship ever to try its luck in these perilous waters. On 19 January 1912, the little wooden schooner sailed up to the edge of the Ross ice shelf and left Shirase and his men to scale the immense wall of ice ready for a daring dash south." By Stephanie Pain/ New Scientist /more
"A Czech national was nabbed in Argentina for trying to board a transatlantic flight with 247 live animals including poisonous snakes and endangered reptiles packed in a bulging suitcase, reports said." via Discovery News / more