Today is the final installment of this series on humor – I know, I know, parting is such sweet sorrow.
I’ll also be on hiatus next week, so this is the last article until Tuesday, May 4, when a new series begins. So keep laughing until then – better yet, keep laughing all the time, always.
As I pointed out right at the outset of this series, humor and laughter can help us to feel lighter of body, mind and spirit, and in the process, help us to live a Low Density Lifestyle.
And so today, thanks to the folks at collegehumor.com, I give you some very funny movie spoofs.
The video at the top is ambiguous film endings that are resolved – you’ll see such films as The Wrestler, Lost in Translation, No Country for Old Men, and The Graduate resolve exactly how they end , as opposed to us scratching our heads at the end of the film, wondering what exactly happened.
Below, are two other videos: one is, If All Movies Had Cell Phones. As you’ll see from the video, it sure would resolve the movie a heck of a lot sooner if cell phones were used during the film – I’m sure you’ll agree with me once you watch the video.
And the final video is the sad story of that cute Pixar lamp gone bad – what happened and what made it go homicidal we’ll never know, but as we all know, bad things can happen to good people, even when those people are lamps.
So whether you’re a people or you’re a lamp, I hope you enjoy the videos, and enjoy the laughs.
See you back here on Tuesday, May 4 with an all new series.
If there’s to be a series on humor, which for the last few weeks, if I’m not mistaken there has been, then it would be remiss to not mention one of the funniest comedy groups of the 20th century, Monty Python.
They were a British comedy group that created the influential Monty Python’s Flying Circus, a British television comedy sketch show that first aired on the BBC in October 1969. From there, the Python phenomenon developed into something larger in scope and impact, spawning touring stage shows, films, numerous albums, several books and a stage musical. The group’s influence on comedy has been compared to The Beatles’ influence on music.
The television series, broadcast by the BBC from 1969 to 1974, was conceived, written and performed by Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin.
Their most current hit is the play Spamalot.
And so today, without further ado, are 10 of the funniest Monty Python sketches – of course, technically, the video at the top of the page, Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, is not a sketch but instead a segment from their film, The Life of Brian, but if you promise not to tell, neither will I.
Today, even though this series is about humor, I thought it would be important to have an economics lesson.
It’s important for all of us to have a firm grasp on economics because economics is vital to the world, so as a public service, here are some basics on economics – call it Economics 101 – using cows as a helpful aid.
Once you master the economics of cows, you’ll be well on your way to a Nobel Prize in economics.
TRADITIONAL CAPITALISM — You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull. Your herd multiplies, and the economy grows. You sell them and retire on the income.
FRENCH CORPORATION — You have two cows. You go on strike because you want three cows.
A JAPANESE CORPORATION — You have two cows. You redesign them so they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk. You then create clever cow cartoon images called Cowkimon(tm) and market them world-wide.
A GERMAN CORPORATION — You have two cows. You re-engineer them so they live for 100 years, eat once a month, and milk themselves.
A BRITISH CORPORATION — You have two cows. Both are mad.
A RUSSIAN CORPORATION — You have two cows. You count them and learn you have five cows. You count them again and learn you have 42 cows. You count them again and learn you have 12 cows. You stop counting cows and open another bottle of vodka.
A SWISS CORPORATION — You have 5000 cows, none of which belong to you. You charge others for storing them.
A HINDU CORPORATION — You have two cows. You worship them.
A CHINESE CORPORATION — You have two cows. You have 300 people milking them. You claim full employment, high bovine productivity, and arrest the newsman who reported the numbers.
AN ARKANSAS CORPORATION — You have two cows. That one on the left is kinda cute.
ENRON CORPORATION — You have two cows. You sell three of them to your publicly listed company, using letters of credit opened by your brother-in-law at the bank, then execute a debt/equity swap with an associated general offer so that you get all four cows back, with a tax exemption for five cows. The milk rights of the six cows are transferred via an intermediary to a Cayman Island company secretly owned by the majority shareholder who sells the rights to all seven cows back to your listed company. The annual report says the company owns eight cows, with an option on one more. Sell one cow to buy a new president of the United States, leaving you with nine cows. No balance sheet provided with the release. The public buys your bull.
COWS.COM — You own two cows, so you send a business plan to 20 venture capital firms about how you can make money by giving away milk and selling ad space on the cartons. As the venture capital runs out, you issue an IPO based on your projections that your research team will develop new milking technology any day now. When your milking engineers tell you that they can’t get any more milk from a cow by working 60-hour weeks, you offer them more stock options if they’ll work 80-hour weeks solving the problem. The good engineers, who might actually have solved the problem, all work until their options vest, then retire, leaving you with junior engineers whose options all become wallpaper in another year when the company collapses and liquidates all its cows to a traditional dairy farm started by one of the old engineers.
MICROSOFT CORPORATION — You have two cows. You patent them and sue anyone else who has them.
HOLLYWOOD — You have two cows. You give them utter implants and also teach them to bullet-dodge, wall climb and shoot milk out of their utters on command.
ANARCHISM — You have two cows. The cows decide you have no right to do anything with their milk and leave to form their own society.
DEMOCRACY — AMERICAN: You have two cows. Your neighbors pick someone to tell you who gets the milk and then blame Japan while border guards beat up Mexicans sneaking into the country. People are outraged for a week or so and then go back to televised sports where there’s no violence.
LIBERTARIANISM — You have two cows. You let them do what they want.
MARXISM/LENINISM — The proletarian cows unite and overthrow the bourgeoisie cowherds. The egalitarian democratic cow revolutionary state with the cow party as vanguard disintegrate over time. Marx choked on a veggie-burger before he could explain what happens to the use-value, exchange-value and sign-value of bovine leather.
POLITICAL CORRECTNESSISM — You are associated with (the concept of “ownership” is a symbol of the phallocentric, warmongering, intolerant past) two differently aged (but no less valuable to society) bovines of nonspecified gender.
SURREALISM — You have two giraffes. The government requires you to take harmonica lessons.
Don’t deny it. You know it’s one long-winded, endless stretch of episodic television with elements of sci-fi, time travel, adventure and drama rolled into one.
This year is to be the final, final end to this series that has carried on for six years.
And now, for the sake of public service, and in order to save you many, many hours of watching commercials interspersed with the occasional episode of Lost, I thought it might be helpful if I were to reveal how Lost is to end.
This is an exclusive only to readers of this website, so I ask you to please keep this a secret.
Believe me, I went to great lengths to get this information. I had the crack undercover team here at Low Density Lifestyle World Central Headquarters infiltrate ABC corporate offices – which was no mean feat of and by itself, as it meant tunneling underneath the building and then constructing an elevator shaft that took the crack undercover team to the Lost production offices, where they had to dynamite open the safe that contained all the scripts for the remaining shows.
But as you’re well aware, we here at Low Density Lifestyle World Central Headquarters spare no expense when it comes to taking care of you, our loyal reader.
And so, without further ado, and to carry on with the theme of this series – which is humor – here now is how Lost ends.
Lost – The Final Episode
Jack Shephard is sitting on a beach looking out at the water, talking to Hurley.
Jack: It is my destiny to be here, I now know that. I’m not a man of science but a man of faith. All the signs have pointed me in this direction, and now I know that.
Hurley: I see dead people.
Jack: Hurley, you know I’m right.
Hurley: Right now I’m seeing Ronald Reagan and Karl Marx having a beer and oh, my God, Marx has just converted Reagan to communism! Reagan is going back in time and redoing the 80’s, and is rescinding the tax cuts and is going to tax the wealthy instead. He’s saying his trickle-down economics was a sham. And he’s setting up single payer health care. My God, Jack we have to stop this!
Jack: You have a problem with that Hurley?
Hurley: Yeah cause he’s getting rid of Nancy Reagan’s astrologer, saying he’s not going to run the country anymore based on his horoscope.
Jack: Forget it Hurley. Listen, did you ever notice that many people that we’ve met have either the complete names or last names of famous philosophers?
Hurley: 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42?
Jack: John Locke, Jeremy Benthem, Daniel Faraday, Danielle Rousseau, Desmond Hume, Juliet Burke, Eloise Hawking. Even the temple master Dogen. It bugs me that I don’t have a name linked to a famous philosopher, it really does. I blame my father for that. He’s Christian, I’m just Jack. Just plain old Jack. Hit the road Jack, and don’t you come back no more, no more.
Hurley: Yeah, but Jack, you’re a shepherd, one who leads the flock.
Richard Alpert walks up to them.
Richard: Be here now.
Jack: See what I mean? Even ageless Richard gets a famous name. Where’s your buddy Timothy Leary?
All of a sudden two men parachute down on the island, right in front of Jack, Hurley and Richard.
Jack: What the…? Who are you?
Parachutist 1: My name is Einstein. I am here to talk about relativity theory and time travel, and to tell you that time travel is impossible.
Parachutist 2: My name is Niels Bohr. Einstein knows squat about quantum theory, and so he says God does not play dice with the universe. Time travel is definitely possible.
Einstein: Bohr, you know nothing about science. You are a fantasist, like the people on this island. God does not play dice with the universe. Period.
Bohr: How can you presume to tell God how to run the universe?
Einstein: Quantum theory is a crazy ghost in the atom theory. It makes no sense.
Bohr: Albert, wake up. These people have been traveling through time for awhile.
Jack: He’s right, Mr Einstein.
Einstein runs away, with Bohr right behind him.
Just then a submarine surfaces by the beach, the hatch opens, and a man pops his head out. It is Charles Widmore.
Charles: Excuse me, I’m looking for a Burger King. I’m famished. Do you know if this island has one? I know it has all kinds of magical abilities.
Richard: It’s the next island over. Go left for 10 miles, then you’ll see it.
Widmore closes the hatch and the submarine submerges.
Hurley: Oh damn, they left. I wanted to go with them. I could sure use a burger.
On another part of the island, in a time ill-defined, two men are sitting next to one other. One, dressed in white, is named Jacob, while the other is dressed in black.
Jacob: I bring them to the island and then I play with them until they can’t take it anymore and go insane.
Man in Black: That’s why I hate you and want to kill you.
Jacob: But if it wasn’t for me, all these people would have no reason to live.
Man in Black: And you keep me on this island like I’m wine corked in a bottle.
Jacob: Yes, but you’re a very fine wine.
Man in Black: I want to spill that wine and dig that girl.
Jacob: Did I dream I was in a Hollywood movie?
Man in Black: You’re always getting the last word. That’s why I hate you and want to kill you. I’m going to turn into a smoke monster and see who I can eat.
Jacob: Just remember: I keep the smoke extinguisher under lock and key.
Man in Black: That’s why I hate you and want to kill you. One day I will. And then I will leave this island and tell the entire world that you are mad.
Jacob: You are mad.
Man in Black: No you are mad.
Man in Black: No, you…
Jacob: That’s it, it’s arm wrestling time to decide.
Man in Black: Not again.
We see John Locke standing on the beach talking with Sayid and Sawyer.
John: I want to get off this island. I want to experience the world. I want to do a walkabout in Lincoln, Nebraska. I want to count the stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. I want to chase giraffes at the zoo. I want to smell the lilacs in the dead of winter. I want to stay out till 3 in the morning and pee into the wind. I want to ski the Swiss Alps in the dead of summer. I want to watch Aurora Borealis while camping out in Antarctica. I want to win at backgammon. I want to see my father again.
Sawyer: Son of a bitch! That dirty little coward who shot Mr. Howard and laid poor Jesse in his grave?
Sawyer: Don’t worry Sayid. It’s an American thing. How about you Sayid? If you got off this island, what would you do?
Sayid: I miss torturing people, sticking heated toothpicks under their fingernails and getting them to confess up to things they did, like standing in the express line at the grocery store, even though they had 20 items in their cart in a 15 item limit lane.
Sawyer: You’re one mean hombre.
John: How about you Sawyer? Why do you want to get off this island?
Sawyer: I want to take Kate away from here, and teach her all the best cons I know. We’ll be one helluva team.
John: So this is how we will get off this island. Sawyer, I want you to go to that other island where the other plane crashed, retrieve the plane, killing anyone who gets in your way. Once you do that, fly it back over here and pick me up. While you’re doing that, I’m going to pour sunscreen over my bald head and work on my tan. And Sayid, now that the darkness has penetrated your heart and you’re no longer a nice torturer, I want you to be an evil torturer.
Sayid: I can do that.
Sawyer: Locke, you think I’m going to do all that for you? Son of a bitch. You’re crazy. I don’t care if you’re a smoke monster or the man in the moon. There’s only one person I look out for, and that’s the producer of this TV show. How do you think I’ve been able to be on this show all these years, even after they’ve written off most of the cast?
John: James, I always thought you were the smartest of the bunch. And definitely smarter than that surgeon, what’s his name?
Sawyer: Shephard? Son of a bitch. Don’t ever mention his name to me. Once I get off this island, I never ever want to think of him ever never again.
Sawyer falls down to his knees, hands covering his ears, crying and pleading with Sayid to stop.
John: Sayid, you’re the best torturer I’ve ever met. I think we now have James under our thumb.
Ben Linus is walking in the woods by himself, and talking to himself.
Ben: I finally have a plan that will allow me once again to be in control of this island. I’m going back to the wheel and I’m going to turn it again. This time, I’m going to do the reverse zucchini move, which was done just once by the Others, 70 years ago. Richard told me about it. If I do it right, everyone will be transported off the island except for me, and then I can once again be in control and be the boss. If I get it wrong, I blow up the island, but what’s a little mistake amongst friends?
Ben keeps walking until he comes to a set of stairs. He descends them for what seems like an eternity, and comes to the wheel. He turns it, using all his might. The sky goes white and Ben passes out.
When Ben comes to, he is still by the wheel. He runs up the stairs and gets to level ground, only to find everyone on the island standing there.
Ben: What are you all doing here?
Jack: I don’t know. The sky went white and the next thing I knew I was right here. Did you do something Ben? You’re usually up to no good.
Kate: Yeah Ben, you’re the cause of all these problems.
Ben: I didn’t do a thing. I went down there because Jacob told me to.
Hurley: I see dead people, you don’t. Jacob didn’t tell me anything about that.
Sayid picks up a rock and prepares to throw it at Ben.
Sayid: Ben, you need to apologize.
Sayid throws the rock but it hits Jack in the head, knocking him out.
Jack wakes up in a hospital bed. It’s the same hospital that he used to work at. His father, Dr. Christian Shephard, is standing over him.
Christian: That was quite the fall you took there son. I’m glad to see you’ve opened your eyes. You were out for quite awhile.
Jack: Dad? Where am I? How can you be alive?
Christian: Should I not be alive?
Jack: But you died in Australia, and then I went and got your body and was on the Oceanic Airline Flight 815 that crashed and all of us survivors had to fight off all these things, and then 6 of us left the island only to decide to go back to save the others who were left behind.
Christian: Jack, you were blabbering this stuff while you were unconscious, and it got me concerned, so I brought in a team of the best cognitive specialists in the world to examine you and talk with you. Let me introduce you to them…
A team of doctors walk into the room.
Christian: This is Doctor Hugo Reyes, and Doctor John Locke, and Doctor Kate Austen, and Dr. James Sawyer Ford, and Dr. Sayid Jarrah, and the husband and wife team of Dr. Sun-Hwa Kwon and Dr. Jin-Soo Kwon.
The doctors in unison: Hello Jack.
Jack: What?!? What are all you doing here? You should be on the island. We’re trying to get off.
Dr. Reyes: Jack, it’s ok. You’ve had a traumatic brain injury and you’ve been having delusional episodes. But you’re going to be alright with some rest and rehab time at the institution.
Jack: But Hurley, don’t you get it? Something’s not right.
Dr. Locke: You’re going to be ok Jack.
Jack gets out of the bed and walks to the window and looks out. He sees a submarine flying through the air. The hatch opens and Charles Widmore pokes his head out the hatch and motions to Jack to join him. Jack opens the window and jumps out right into the hatch. Widmore helps him down the hatch and closes it, and then the submarine takes off.
Just then, the smoke monster enters the hospital room and eats all the doctors in the room, including Christian Shephard.
We see Desmond Hume walking down the street, talking straight to the camera.
Desmond: You see brother, it was all quantum theory. They were stuck in a parallel universe, and until I came around to unstuck them, brother, they were just going to live their lives in a dream world, two separate realms unconnected, brother. And thinking it was all just a dream, brother. But the reality is that it’s all my dream, I’ve conjured it up. It was all just a penny for my thoughts, brother. So come with me, into my universe, and let’s travel through to another time, a time where Oceanic Flight 815 did and did not exist, a time where dead cats were alive, a time where smoke monsters could drink bottles of the finest wine and still dig that girl, and Johnny Cash was the only Man in Black that mattered, brother.
A van pulls up to the curb near where Desmond is standing. The van has the words “Santa Rosa Mental Health Institute” written on it.
A man gets out of the van and motions to Desmond. It is Ben Linus.
Ben: C’mon Desmond, time to go back home.
Desmond: Do I have to, Dr. Linus?
Ben: Yes, Desmond.
Ben leads Desmond into the van.
Ben then looks into the camera.
Ben: It’s all a dream alright. It’s my dream. I’m in control.
Ben gets in the van and the van drives off into the sunset.
Today, for this series on humor, I present to you the news, fresh from the newspaper.
All this news is true, although it definitely is a tad strange. Judge for yourself as you read through it.
It’s all real, though quite funny.
In the last article, The Return of the Classic Books, In One Minute or Less, I gave you many classic books, distilled to their very essence.
Today, as this series on humor continues, I give you classic kids books, also in one minute or less. So now you can tell your kids to throw away their Kindle and their iPad and their iPhone and their Blackberry and their Gameboy and their Wii and their iPod, and even their Cliff notes, cause here’s all the book you need to know, in one minute or less.
Green Eggs and Ham
By Dr. Seuss
I won’t eat green eggs and ham anywhere, anytime, under any circumstances.
Sam I Am
Where the Wild Things Are
By Maurice Sendak
Once there was a boy who wanted to have adventures with wild things. He discovered if he used his imagination instead of pestering his parents to read to him, he could do just that.
I have a bad habit.
I’ll give you money if you stop.
Cash up front.
Clifford, the Big Red Dog
By Norman Bridwell
I have a big red dog.
The Runaway Bunny
By Margaret Wise Brown
I will run away.
Sit your tush down.
I’m sick because I think I’m sick.
Then let’s reawaken our spirits by going to this garden and discovering the healing power of love inside us all.
Sounds good to me.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
By Roald Dahl
(Charlie gets a TON of Willy Wonka chocolate bars.)
Hooray. I’m an instant winner.
Hi kids. Four of you will undergo severe physiological distress that in the real world would get me sued, and one will be picked to be the Special One.
(Charlie gets picked.)
Are You My Mother?
By P. D. Eastman
Are you my mother?
A Bunch of Animals That Aren’t His Mother
(Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert send for an orphan boy to help out at Green Gables.)
Anne Shirley, you are not a boy. Go back to the orphanage.
If I work really hard, stay out of trouble, enrich your lives with my buoyant spirit, rescue you from the doldrums of your pragmatic ways, and touch the hearts of the townsfolk…then can I stay?
(Anne does all these things except stay out of trouble.)
(Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cottontail OBEY their mother. Peter does NOT and almost DIES MISERABLY.)
The Giving Tree
By Shel Silverstein
I can’t believe you cut that tree down, you jerk.
By E. B. White
Mr. and Mrs. Little
We gave birth to a rodent, and we’re not the least bit traumatized.
(Stuart fetches stuff his parents lost.)
I will have a quest of exploration and self-discovery.
I say return, because last year I had an article called, In One Minute or Less, the Greatest Books Ever Written. It was completely irreverent and funny, so in keeping with the spirit of distilling books down to their ultimate essence, I give you a whole new slew of books.
So throw away your Kindle, and throw away your iPad. Because who needs to read, when you can have the entire book in one minute or less?
Our thanks to the scholars at Book-a-Minute Classics.
Some pigs lead a revolt against people, act like jerks, and play poker.
The Oedipus Trilogy
Laios and Iocaste, your son will kill his father and marry his mother.
Laios and Iocaste
Let’s kill it.
Oedipus, you will kill your father and marry your mother.
(Oedipus runs away and fulfills the prophecy.)
Woe are us. (die)
Dear Margaret: My ship picked up this guy. He RULES.
I discovered the secret of life, and everyone died. (dies)
Inexplicably, I have become suicidal. (jumps out a window)
By John Steinbeck
Kino and Juana
Our son is sick. Can you help him?
Eat my doorstep, penniless bum.
(Kino finds a pearl.)
Now that we’re rich, I’ve lost my spirituality.
Yeah, and I’ve been killed.
Oh, Juliet! (dies)
Call me Ishmael.
Crew, we will seek the white whale and kill it, because I am insane.
Alas, your destructive obsession will be our undoing.
(They almost find the white whale. Then they almost find the white whale. Then they find it.)
I stab at thee. I stab at thee.
(Everybody dies except Ishmael, although this is no surprise, because it was foreshadowed CONTINUALLY from the BEGINNING.)
By Arthur Miller
Abigail Williams, you and your friends are in trouble, unless you can shift the blame to someone else.
She did it! He did it! They did it! Everybody but us did it!
Ah, now we are getting somewhere.
(Everybody gets hanged, which just goes to show how evil McCarthyism is.)
By Joseph Heller
I want a promotion, so I screw over all my men.
I want to get out of here, so I walk around naked and pretend to be sick.
Fine. Praise us, and we’ll let you go home.
No. I’ll desert instead, because I’ve learned that war is crazy, and it’s bad too, because it makes people do really weird things and die. Also, high ranking military officers are evil incarnate.
Easily Deluded Reader
Look at all the subtext. This must be one of the greatest anti-war pieces of our time.
I’m so extraordinary, I can commit crimes. (kills some people)
I’m the spiritual side of Raskolnikov.
I’m the intellectual side of Raskolnikov.
I have reconciled the two sides of my personality, represented so well by Sonia and Porfiry. (confesses)
The Great Gatsby
By F. Scott Fitzgerald
Daisy, I made all this money for you, because I love you.
I cannot reciprocate, because I represent the American Dream.
Now I must die, because I also represent the American Dream.
I hate New Yorkers.
(Gulliver visits some places.)
We can talk.
(Gulliver goes home.)
Humanity sucks. I hate people.
By Upton Sinclair
Bad things happen. Worse things happen. Better things happen. Awful things happen. Jurgis discovers socialism and gets all happy.
By Thomas Pynchon
A screaming thing comes across the sky. It’s a V-2 rocket carrying twelve thousand pounds of symbolism, and it’s coming down on your poor, deluded, postmodern head.
Ok, we continue on with the humor series, now that you know that even with April Fool’s Day over, it’s still ok to laugh.
In fact, as I pointed out in yesterday’s article, humor and laughter is such an important part of life – it will keep you healthy, happy, joyous and fulfilled, and will keep you living a Low Density Lifestyle.
So today, let’s look at various well-known people who obviously were separated at birth from their twin. My hope is that this article, written purely as a public service, will help these twins reunite.
If any of you reading this know how to facilitate these reunions, please feel free to do so.
Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, and Alfred E. Neuman of Mad Magazine.
Singer Bonnie Tyler, of Total Eclipse of the Heart fame, and the Bride of Chucky.
Ok, got it? If you see any of these twins separately, please notify the proper authorities so they can be reunited.
Ok, so you may have figured it out. The last article, And Now For Some Serious News, was not serious at all. It was a total April Fool’s joke.
And it was also a good way to kick off the new series, on laughter and humor. Because although April Fool’s is over, it’s still ok to laugh.
In fact, if we don’t have a good sense of humor, if we can’t laugh easily, and especially laugh at ourselves, we’re in deep doo-doo.
If you want to live a Low Density Lifestyle, and feel light of body, mind and spirit, then being able to laugh easily is something that will help you get there. That’s why laughter is an essential aspect of living a Low Density Lifestyle.
It’s well known that laughter is good for the health. In one of the most famous and well-documented cases of how laughter can be healing, Norman Cousins, who went on to write about his case in his best-selling book, Anatomy of an Illness, healed from a terminal illness by watching funny movies.
The Greek philosopher Aristotle viewed laughter as “a bodily exercise precious to health.”
Studies have shown that laughter drops the blood pressure and is linked to healthy function of blood vessels. Laughter appears to cause the tissue that forms the inner lining of blood vessels, the endothelium, to dilate or expand in order to increase blood flow.
That makes sense, because when you laugh you can feel your body open up – this is the blood moving through the body and dilating blood vessels.
Other studies have shown that laughter can cause a drop in the blood’s concentration of the stress hormone cortisol. Because chronically elevated cortisol levels have been shown to weaken the immune system, this can help ward off disease.
And other experiments have indicated that laughter increases the activity of immune cells called natural killer cells in the saliva of healthy subjects.
Psychologists and mental health experts have also found that laughter and comedy can be a remedy for stress, depression, or just feeling down.
Laughter can also help with pain. As early as 1928, New York physician James J. Walsh noticed that laughter seemed to dampen pain after surgery. Since then, research has indicated that humor can have painkilling properties. One 1996 study demonstrated that patients who watched funny movies needed less of their mild painkillers after orthopedic surgery than did patients who viewed serious flicks or nothing at all.
In addition to suppressing pain, being funny and cheerful can cultivate friendships. Cheerful people have a lighthearted interaction style that facilitates bonding closely with others and builds social support.
So, over the course of this series, be prepared to laugh! (Even if the jokes aren’t that funny, laugh anyway to humor me.)
There comes a time when we here at Low Density Lifestyle World Central Headquarters feel obligated to take a break from our usual articles and issue reports on all important matters pertaining to us, namely the human race.
Today, April 1, 2010 is one of those days. Today we are going to publish 10 incredible, hard to believe – but amazingly true – stories from around the globe that have occurred over the years.
You’ll hear about flying penguins, whistling carrots, the Big Ben going digital, and other stories that may just rock your world.
Now, some of this news may be shocking and some may be stunning, but we assure you, our crack investigative team has worked hard at uncovering these developments and fact-checked them to no end to make sure they are real.
A Pulitzer Prize is most likely beckoning for what you are about to read, so be ready, and don’t say we didn’t warn you. It may sound strange, it may not sound real, but this is the news, as best we can report it.
So get ready to read 10 of the most incredibly true stories from over the years.
1. Flying Penguins
In 2008, the BBC announced that camera crews filming near the Antarctic for its natural history series Miracles of Evolution had captured footage of Adélie penguins taking to the air. It even offered a video clip of these flying penguins, which became one of the most viewed videos on the internet. Presenter Terry Jones explained that, instead of huddling together to endure the Antarctic winter, these penguins took to the air and flew thousands of miles to the rainforests of South America where they “spend the winter basking in the tropical sun.”
2. Man Flies By Own Lung Power
In April 1934 many American newspapers, including The New York Times, printed a photograph of a man flying through the air by means of a device powered only by the breath from his lungs. Accompanying articles excitedly described this miraculous new invention. The man, identified as German pilot Erich Kocher, blew into a box on his chest. This activated rotors that created a powerful suction effect, lifting him aloft. Skis on his feet served as landing gear, and a tail fin allowed him to steer.
3. Whistling Carrots
In 2002, the British supermarket chain Tesco published an advertisement in The Sun announcing the successful development of a genetically modified ‘whistling carrot.’ The ad explained that the carrots had been specially engineered to grow with tapered airholes in their side. When fully cooked, these airholes caused the vegetable to whistle.
4. Wisconsin State Capitol Collapses
In 1933, the Madison Capital-Times solemnly announced that the Wisconsin state capitol building lay in ruins following a series of mysterious explosions. The explosions were attributed to “large quantities of gas, generated through many weeks of verbose debate in the Senate and Assembly chambers.”
5. Big Ben Goes Digital
In 1980, the BBC reported that Big Ben, in order to keep up with the times, was going to be given a digital readout. The announcement received a huge response from listeners shocked and angered by the proposed change. The BBC Japanese service also announced that the clock hands would be sold to the first four listeners to contact them.
6. Discovery of the Bigon
In 1996, Discover Magazine reported that physicists had discovered a new fundamental particle of matter, dubbed the Bigon. It could only be coaxed into existence for mere millionths of a second, but amazingly, when it did materialize it was the size of a bowling ball. Physicist Albert Manque and his colleagues accidentally found the particle when a computer connected to one of their vacuum-tube experiments exploded. Video analysis of the explosion revealed the Bigon hovering over the computer for a fraction of a second. Manque theorized that the Bigon might be responsible for a host of other unexplained phenomena such as ball lightning, sinking souffles, and spontaneous human combustion.
7. Dutch Elm Disease Infects Redheads
In 1973, BBC Radio broadcast an interview with an elderly academic, Dr. Clothier, who discoursed on the government’s efforts to stop the spread of Dutch Elm Disease. Dr. Clothier described some startling discoveries that had been made about the tree disease. For instance, he referred to the research of Dr. Emily Lang of the London School of Pathological and Environmental Medicine. Dr. Lang had apparently found that exposure to Dutch Elm Disease immunized people to the common cold. Unfortunately, there was a side effect. Exposure to the disease also caused red hair to turn yellow and eventually fall out. This was attributed to a similarity between the blood count of redheads and the soil conditions in which affected trees grew. Therefore, redheads were advised to stay away from forests for the foreseeable future.
8. Dogs to be painted white
In 1965, Politiken, a Copenhagen newspaper, reported that the Danish parliament had passed a new law requiring all dogs to be painted white. The purpose of this, it explained, was to increase road safety by allowing dogs to be seen more easily at night.
9. Guinness Mean Time
In 1998, Guinness issued a press release announcing that it had reached an agreement with the Old Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England to be the official beer sponsor of the Observatory’s millennium celebration. According to this agreement, Greenwich Mean Time would be renamed Guinness Mean Time until the end of 1999. In addition, where the Observatory traditionally counted seconds in “pips,” it would now count them in “pint drips.”
10. Tasmanian Mock Walrus
In 1984, the Orlando Sentinel featured a story about a creature known as the Tasmanian Mock Walrus (or TMW for short) that many people in Florida were supposedly adopting as a pet. The creature was said to be four inches long, resembled a walrus, purred like a cat, and had the temperament of a hamster. What made it such an ideal pet was that it never had to be bathed, it used a litter box, and it ate cockroaches. In fact, a single TMW could entirely rid a house of its cockroach problem. Reportedly, some TMWs had been smuggled in from Tasmania, and there were efforts being made to breed them, but the local pest-control industry was pressuring the government not to allow them into the country, fearing they would put cockroach exterminators out of business.
And that’s all 10 stories. Amazing, eh?
The last thing I’d like to say, for all of us here at Low Density Lifestyle World Central Headquarters, is Happy April Fool’s Day!