|04/01/09 12:27 PM
Here is an item I think the Class of 1978 will find interesting.
The Science of Whoopee Cushions
Science has determined the funniest whoopee cushion sound, based on a survey of 34,000 people. It is a long, whiny fart, lasting at least seven seconds. Young, European women tend to be most amused by fart sounds, relative to other demographic groups. And the noise of flatulence gets funnier the more you listen to it. The research was conducted by acoustics Professor Trevor Cox of the University of Salford, working in conjunction with the charity Comic Relief.
My (the person reporting this, not AJH) theory is that farts were the very first form of jokes. Cavemen sitting around and farting to make each other laugh. So by this time, our brains are pretty much hard-wired to find them amusing. (via The Telegraph)
Let's apply for a grant to do a similar study of our own. We would use the real thing though, not simulated noises. Ours would also measure the degree of funny relative to the foulness and longevity of the odor. While artificial farts can be quite entertaining, they rarely measure up to the humor found in those naturally produced. The delivery and the odor of the fart are essential components to determining a fart's level of funny.
For example, when grandma walks accross the room and releases a little chirp with each step, that's funny. If it smells bad, that's more funnier. However, the delivery is lacking. If grandma were to consolidate those chirps and release one big smelly one with the lift of a leg, that would be over the top funny.