Marco Visscher | August 2009 issue After Trevor Cox, professor of acoustics at the University of Salford in central England, designed the world’s largest whoopee cushion (it’s six feet—two meters—in diameter), he was approached by the British charity Comic Relief to carry out a … [Read more...] about What makes the whoopee cushion so funny?
Carmel Wrothl | August 2009 issue Mullah Nasrudin is a medieval folk hero claimed by many countries, including Afghanistan, Iran and Turkey. He’s part court jester, part Socratic philosopher, and the many tales of his sayings and adventures are popular throughout the Middle East … [Read more...] about The funny side of faith
Nancy Mann Jackson | August 2009 issue John Morreall, professor of religious studies at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, tells the story of a police officer who responded to a domestic violence call after having completed a course of humor … [Read more...] about A funny thing happened on the way to the office
Elbrich Fennema | August 2009 issue Photograph: Pieter de Swart "Laughter kills fear," writes Umberto Eco in his novel The Name of the Rose, which probably explains why laughing is considered healthy. When fear arises in the kitchen, it tends to be about the fear of … [Read more...] about Try a little bubbly
Editors | August 2009 issue Image: istockphoto.com/JoanVicent Belly laugh: Involuntary and intoxicating paroxysm that bypasses the laughter centers of the brain to go directly to the funny bone, in the vicinity of the solar plexus. Cackle: Especially pronounced in cartoon … [Read more...] about A field guide to the different forms of laughter