the humour mill: why our brains make us laugh

I’m hearing rumours that humour is intimately linked to thinking. Bonus! Because I like to laugh. I’m hoping this means I’m uber smart!

A new book (2011) called “Inside Jokes: Using Humour to Reverse-Engineer the Mind” has the following premise:

our brains make sense of our daily lives via a never ending series of assumptions, based on sparse, incomplete information. All these best guesses simplify our world, give us critical insights into the minds of others, and streamline our decisions. But mistakes are inevitable, and even a small faulty assumption can open the door to bigger and costlier mistakes. Enter mirth, a little pulse of reward the brain gives itself for seeking out and correcting our mistaken assumptions.

A sense of humor is the lure

that keeps our brains alert

for the gaps between our quick-fire

assumptions and reality. 

Coauthored by three scholars, the book started as an undergrad term paper. Matthew Hurley took a course on humor, and started wondering why humans find anything funny. Why have a sense of humor in the first place? Continue reading

But, my BUTT!

My butt hurts.
So you could say that’s too much information, but if I’m suffering, I’m gonna be telling you. Just deal.

Wanna know why? Of course you do.

Well, it hurts because today I did some training in a park in the city, with a bunch of equally crazy people, who potentially also have sore butts but they just haven’t gotten around to announcing this fact yet. (or maybe, they’re in radox baths, or fast asleep sucking on valium gas – is there such a thing? I want some…)

So the logical progression here is WHY? Why suffer. Why parade around in a PUBLIC park, jumping through ropes, sliding around on slippery wet grass, frog jumping like a lunatic, and running mini ‘sprints’ between cones. Lunges. Squats. Frog jumps. PLANKS. What the? Why would one do these things to one’s BUTT?

Well, if your butt looks anything like mine, it NEEDS to be sore. It needs a whipping, and a toning, and a shaping, and it needs NO MORE FUN TREATS to pass my lips. Ever. For all of my future lifetimes all squashed into this lifetime. And even then, it may never come completely good.

But you know what: I LIKED IT.
(and that’s a different ‘but’ used there, I hope you noticed…)

For all the hurting, I liked what I was doing to, AND FOR, my body.
I liked laughing with my friends while we slipped and slid on wet grass.
I liked complaining at my (ever patient) trainer friend when she told us to lift our legs higher.
I liked that we all laughed together laying on our towels under the sun.
I liked the endorphin rush.
I liked that my body was hurting.
I liked the atmosphere of people on a mission to better themselves.
I liked having photos taken of me exercising(ok, maybe not sooo much…)
I liked skipping. I might still be seven years old, but that’s ok.
I liked watching my heart rate rise.
I particularly liked the end.
And I know I will like to do it all over again.

But maybe not tomorrow… kay?

What hurts you when you exercise? What hurts when you DON’T?
Share some of your ‘painful as(s)’ stories with me 🙂