Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Favorite Web Site for Readers

I do not know about you, but I loved the Reader's Digest. They brought together the latest in interesting articles and repackaged them for easy consumption. I also like the jokes, which came in three or four flavors (humor in uniform, etc.). It was funny that my reaction to their condensed books is just the opposite.

Whenever I come across one of their condensed books at a garage sale, I will pull back in horror. I appreciate how they will abbreviate non fiction material, so that I can get the important core of it easily, but in reading novels, I really want the original words of the author, just like I am disappointed with the editing that changes a book into a movie.

I came across their web site and found that there you can get many of the articles that you enjoy in the print edition. Of course you do have to subscribe to get everything, like the vocabulary column, which I always enjoy. Also, it is much easier to create gold painted 3-D Christmas trees from the print edition.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The World's Funniest Joke (and more)

I recall hearing the following joke on NPR (My most listened to station) as the winner in the scientific search for the worlds most funny joke.

  • Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson go on a camping trip. After a good dinner and a
    bottle of wine, they retire for the night, and go to sleep.
    Some hours later, Holmes wakes up and nudges his faithful friend. "Watson,
    look up at the sky and tell me what you see."
    "I see millions and millions of stars, Holmes" replies Watson.
    "And what do you deduce from that?"
    Watson ponders for a minute.
    "Well, astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially
    billions of planets. Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo. Horologically, I
    deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three. Meteorologically, I
    suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. Theologically, I can see that
    God is all powerful, and that we are a small and insignificant part of the
    universe... What does it tell you, Holmes?"
    Holmes is silent for a moment. "Watson, you idiot!" he says. "Someone has
    stolen our tent!" 
 What I did not know at the time, is that it was a preliminary result, and the final report came out in October 2002 with much less fanfare. (I did not hear about it). Well it is available here: http://richardwiseman.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/ll-final-report.pdf and is chock full of interesting and funny facts. such as..

What type of humor is the most popular in the US or Canada?
What part of the brain is responsible for our humor?
What is the top Joke in Wales?
How did Dave Barry try to sway the results with gnawing weasels?

It is easy reading (only 14 or so pages long)

The Laugh Lab web site which has more resources is: http://laughlab.co.uk
Oh, and here is the final winner:
  • 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?”
Have a fun day! Any good jokes you would want to share?