Humor

Professor Shigeru Watanabe, presently Project Leader for Keio University’s Centre for Advanced Research on Logic and Sensibility has extended the study of avian art appreciation with his participation in a project probing pictorial preferences of Padda oryzivora – a.k.a. the Java Sparrow.  The birds used in the study were all complete artistic novices – enabling the following question to be experimentally tested : Do Java sparrows naturally prefer Cubism, Impressionism or traditional Japanese-style artworks?
What are the functions of smiling, specifically, the functions of smiling in relation to laughter? Dr. Markku Haakana [pictured here, not smiling], from the Department of Finnish, Finno-Ugrian and Scandinavian Studies, at the University of Helsinki, Finland, explains:

“(i) Smiling can be used as a pre-laughing device: laughing together can be entered step-wise, and smiling is a common device for paving the way to the laughter. (ii) Smiling can be used as a response to laughter in the previous turn.”

It seems that the first US patent for an internal-combustion powered ‘Pogo’ stick was issued to inventor R.J. Mays back in 1950. The jumping machine was intended to run on gasoline, and, according its creator was “…highly efficient and amusing in operation.” It’s not altogether clear whether May’s power-stick ever went into production, but a similar(ish) device, which was granted a US patent ten years later, did. According its inventor Mr. G.
The Signal Analysis and Interpretation Laboratory (SAIL) has attempted construction of a ‘Synthetic Laughter Generator’ – which could be of use as a responder to their ‘Automatic Sarcasm Recognizer’ previously described.
The Signal Analysis and Interpretation Laboratory (SAIL) at the University of Southern California, US, is one of the few, perhaps the only human-centered information processing lab to have built and tested an ‘Automatic Sarcasm Recognizer’.
Although robotic jockeys for camel racing have been successfully deployed for several years now, some have voiced concerns about them – for many of the 'bots are configured to vigorously cane the competing camels. (Hi-res photographic example here – the Swiss-made KMEL - manufactured by the K-Team Corporation – note the robotic whipping mechanism).
Famous problem, famous solution, but is that the whole story?

How would you solve the problem of crossing the seven bridges of Konigsberg?

Spiked Math proposes a number of other solutions that never made it into print.

Original cartoon can be found here - including the pop-up punchline.



Further creative solutions gratefully received.
As some have observed, popular cinema is an influential medium that reflects and shapes social attitudes. Bearing that in mind, how have twentieth century North American movies portrayed accountant stereotypes?

Despite criticism from some quarters, Neuroeconomics has now become a well-established field of academic study (with dedicated research departments at New York University, Duke University, and Claremont Graduate University). A logical extension of the field, however, remains considerably less mainstream – Neuroaccounting.