SInce reading the New York Times article a few weeks ago that said up to 80% of laughter is fake (e.g. polite chuckle), I’ve been keeping tabs of when I genuinely laugh. It has been fun and I’ve noticed I genuinely laugh 1 or 2 times a day minimum. For example, I genuinely chuckled today when I heard Ken Wins’s voice on Better Call Saul, then later chuckled again at the look on the detectives’ faces when Jimmy told them the suspect was a pie squatter. What I’ve noticed is I laugh a lot when sarcastic Wife M and Daughter L tease me, since they are hilarious and I know they don’t mean it (i.e. they’ve earned the right, and compliment a lot, too 🙂 ). I also laugh a lot during the 1 or 2 times a week I play Grand Theft Auto (for example, when a sports car I was chasing spontaneously caught fire while driving full speed on the freeway).
Stephen King mentioned Luddites in The Shining, and I had missed or forgotten about that term. Simply put, the Luddites were 19th century workers in England who rose dup as their jobs were replaced by machines during the Industrial Revolution. In the age of offshoring and automation (IT), the term could have meaning again…
Second, I read a New York Times article about fake laughter. There have been numerous studies and scientists studying laughter, and about 90% of laughter is fake, and people mistake fake laughter for real laughter about 30% of the time. We get better with age until our 30s at discerning real laughter (it flattens in our 30s) from fake laughter, and fake laughter comes from a different part of our throat since it is more speech based. Interesting, and not surprising. The article mentions the hazards of fake laughter, that is if someone perceives fake laughter for real laughter they may continue to do something unacceptable (e.g. fake laughing at someone’s inappropriate joke). This last part made me think of Feinstein’s quoting a basketball coach who said Bobby Knight lives his life surrounded by uncomfortable laughter.
In the world of mystery writers, there are untold numbers of journalists publishing all kinds of articles with big, bold and clear headlines about every topic imaginable, and always-available librarians can access these articles in just a few minutes. Our characters then can read countless numbers of these articles, interpret their meanings, sift them for small clues, and tie all the dots together — all in just a couple of hours after lunch at the local library. And if the protagonist has a friend or partner with them, that person can read over their shoulder and there is never any bickering or sniping at each other despite being locked away in a windowless room reading small print on a computer or machine. Field of Dreams, The Changeling, The Ring, and countless other films have all used this neat trick. I wish life were like that – it would saved me a *ton* of time writing thesis papers in college, plus would help me diagnose — and help my doctors cure — a few of my mysterious health ailments.
In 2014, researchers discovered in a test that mice who “exercised” had more neurons and a better short term memory, but performed worse on long term memory tests. So another team studied rats, who have similar brains, and learned rats did not experience the same negative impact to memory with exercise. Phew!! Source: New York Times.
A UW sociology professor found divorce filings spike at end of summer and during the holidays according to The Seattle Times.
Later this year, we are heading to Dublin to visit. Some of our ancestors hail from Ireland, so I am looking forward to the trip. Here is my research on the history – I don’t dare to to think anyone reads my posts, but if anyone has anything interesting they know about Dublin, I’m all ears…
It is Ireland’s capital and largest city. It was first settled in pre-historic days but the known allusion to it in writing is in 140 AD. It originally was a pair of Settlements, and was a Viking settlement starting in 841, although the Irish government officially recognizes Dublin’s founding date as 988 AD.
It remained a Viking settlement until a Norman invasion in 1169 and in the midst of a few years of political turmoil. Finally, King Henry II invaded it in 1171 and dubbed himself King of Ireland. Dublin Castle was built in 1204 by King John, and it flourished with trade before Robert I (of Scotland fame), invaded it in 1317 as part of his efforts to free Ireland from England while opening a second front in his wars with England.
In the 16th Century, Ireland was taken over by the Tudor Dynasty in England, and Dublin became the administrative center for England in Ireland. Dublin prospered in the 18th century, and most of the area’s historical architecture comes from this time, and Guinness Brewerey (which would be Dublin’s largest employer for most of its existence) was founded in 1759.
Dublin was part of the Irish fight for independence, and sustained a lot of damage during this fight.
Note: Much of this research was condensed from Wikipedia, with a few tidbits clarified and/or added from additional Google Searches. I will add to this from other sources as a I learn more…
I like to think I am a little bit curious about things. 20 years ago, before All Things Internet, I might take an interest in Parachuting, so would head to the library and check out a few books on it. Interestingly, it is always a scholarly interest – my Father-In-Law, for example, might take an interest in sailing and had the goal of becoming an actual sailor; for me, I’d be more interested in the history of sailing and what it is like to be a sailor without actually sailing.
There was a time when I kept an abridged Encyclopedia for these things. Today, anytime anything strikes my fancy — a history of coffee, a history of Agricultural Revolution, etc. — I simply go to the internet. I love it.