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Richard Wiseman: quirky tricks, science, & jokes
June 16, 2012 5:57 PM   Subscribe

10 bets that you will always win is a video collection of clever tricks (& science) from Richard Wiseman's Quirkology YouTube channel; see also top 10 quirky science tricks for parties, 10 more science stunts for parties, another 10 quirky science stunts, and 5 amazing mind tricks (previously: 10 practical jokes). Wiseman is a psychologist, magician, and author who created LaughLab: the scientific search for the world's funniest joke; the final report & top jokes* are available here (PDF) and over 1000 LaughLab jokes (all clean!) here (also PDF). Previously: his research on luck. (via voices + gizmodo)
posted by flex (16 comments total) 96 users marked this as a favorite

 
A little boy and a stranger are walking through the woods at dusk.

"I'm scared. It's getting dark", said the boy.

"I know how you feel," replied the man, "I gotta walk all the back by myself."
posted by Renoroc at 6:14 PM on June 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


You forgot the word "way".
posted by LoopyG at 6:48 PM on June 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


http://www.sadtrombone.com/
posted by matt_od at 7:01 PM on June 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


hah. and one for me too for forgetting to make it a link!
posted by matt_od at 7:01 PM on June 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Five dollars, same as in town.
-Which way to showing myself out?
posted by vozworth at 7:17 PM on June 16, 2012


The top joke in Germany from the LaughLab paper is about a soldier and has a kind of Hogan's Heroes sensibility about it.
posted by 3.2.3 at 7:34 PM on June 16, 2012


Youtube ruins everything
posted by philip-random at 7:46 PM on June 16, 2012


Science?
posted by barely legal at 9:14 PM on June 16, 2012


Two hunters are out in the woods when one of them collapses. He doesn’t seem to be breathing and his eyes are glazed. The other guy whips out his phone and calls the emergency services. He gasps, “My friend is dead! What can I do?”. The operator says “Calm down. I can help. First, let’s make sure he’s dead.” There is a silence, then a shot is heard. Back on the phone, the guy says “OK, now what?”

Not only did I not even smile, this joke is objectively poor.

1) “My friend is dead! What can I do?” This makes no sense. If he believes his friend is definitely dead, obviously nothing can be done.

2) "The operator says “Calm down. I can help. First, let’s make sure he’s dead.”" This phrasing doesn't work very well either and doesn't sound like anything an emergency operator would ever say.

3) But the most seriously flaw is lack of pathos or anything at stake. If the guy's friend had been about to recover and he had mistakenly shot him, that's maybe funny, because his stupidity had consequences he obviously would never want. As it stands, the friend is apparently dead anyway, nothing is at stake, so we don't care at all.

You could rewrite it to flow a little better, but it's never going to be very funny.
posted by drjimmy11 at 10:11 PM on June 16, 2012


Yes, that list of one thousand LaughLab "jokes" is like the death of comedy. Practically Norm Macdonald material.

Also, science!
posted by Nomyte at 10:48 PM on June 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've sometimes said that my favorite joke is:

Why did the chicken commit suicide?

To get to the other side.


Recently, someone tried to inform me that this is the intended reading of the original chicken joke! "Why did the chicken cross the road?" = "Why did the chicken try to get hit by a truck?"

Is this true? Am I the only one who didn't read the joke this way? I thought the humor was supposed to derive from the answer being unexpectedly straightforward. I think it's kinda neat that there's a hidden interpretation of the old "Why did the chicken cross the road?" joke that is really dark, but maybe it's not that hidden and I'm an idiot for never having realized this.
posted by painquale at 12:45 AM on June 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


The top joke in Germany from the LaughLab paper is about a soldier
posted by 3.2.3 at 3:34 AM on June 17


They still haven't forgiven us for this.
posted by Decani at 2:42 AM on June 17, 2012


Knock, Kock.

Who's there?

No I mean, is anybody really there? I'm not talking about extraterrestrial life here. I just asking if any of us are really "here". Do we know what the world is about, do we know how life proceeds? Is this just a farce where barely sentient hominids replicate, without even being aware of the greater importance it all plays in the role that all consciousness has in the unfoldmenet of cosmic potential?

No I mean, is anybody really there? I'm not talking about extraterrestrial life here. I just asking if any of us are really "here". Do we know what the world is about, do we know how life proceeds? Is this just a farce where barely sentient hominids replicate, without even being aware of the greater importance it all plays in the role that all consciousness has in the unfoldmenet of cosmic potential? Who?
posted by twoleftfeet at 2:59 AM on June 17, 2012


Love the stupid tricks. The last one in the first link reminds me of something I did to one of my kids a while back. Consider this my father's day present to all the dads out there:

Take a large flattish bowl and fill it with water. A salad bowl is great. Tell your victim you're going to illustrate an awesome principle of science. Give them a broomstick. Both of you get up on chairs, and you hold the bowl against the ceiling while telling them to press the broomstick against the bottom to hold it tight against the ceiling. When you're sure they've got it, slowly remove your hands, get down off your chair and walk away.

DAAAADDDDD!!!!!
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 4:41 AM on June 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


Not only did I not even smile, this joke is objectively poor.

1) “My friend is dead! What can I do?” This makes no sense. If he believes his friend is definitely dead, obviously nothing can be done.

2) "The operator says “Calm down. I can help. First, let’s make sure he’s dead.”" This phrasing doesn't work very well either and doesn't sound like anything an emergency operator would ever say.

3) But the most seriously flaw is lack of pathos or anything at stake. If the guy's friend had been about to recover and he had mistakenly shot him, that's maybe funny, because his stupidity had consequences he obviously would never want. As it stands, the friend is apparently dead anyway, nothing is at stake, so we don't care at all.


I should break the news to you now: A priest, a rabbi, and a hooker have never actually walked into a bar together.
posted by Rykey at 5:54 AM on June 17, 2012 [6 favorites]


The telegraph dog joke is funny.
posted by nathancaswell at 6:19 AM on June 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


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