Ask the Past: Pertinent and Impertinent Advice from by Elizabeth P. Archibald

By Elizabeth P. Archibald

Need to know the right way to backyard with lobsters? tips on how to sober up? develop a beard? or just the way to make an ideal omelet? glance no additional. relatively, glance backward.

Based at the well known web publication, Ask the Past is filled with the knowledge of the ages--as good because the fad diets, zany pickup traces, and bacon Band-Aids of the a while. Drawn from centuries of vintage texts through historian and bibliophile Elizabeth P. Archibald, Ask the Past deals a pleasant array of recommendation either clever and weird.

Whether it's eighteenth-century bedbug recommendation (sprinkle mattress with gunpowder and permit smolder), price range style tips of the center a while (save at the outfits, splurge at the handbag) or a sixteenth-century primer on seduction (hint: do no go gas), Ask the Past is a wildly pleasing consultant to lifestyles from the folks who lived it first.

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W h a t puts man in a higher state o f evolution is that he has got his laugh on the right end. Max Eastman CHAPTER 2 Tickling the Naked Ape In which we ask some men with PhDs why jokes are good, then wilfully misinterpret the results o f numerous careful scientific studies W hy do hum an beings tell jokes? W ell, w hy did the chicken cross the road? In keeping w ith the wilfully literal punchline to that particular riddle, w e answ er thus: to m ake each o th er laugh. A nd to understand w hy provoking laughter is som ething that so m any citizens o f the w orld aspire to, w e need to start by looking at the nature o f laughter itself.

A ccording to anthropologist T errence D eacon, laughter ‘is no t ju st an expression o f em otion. ’ W hen w e first approached the question o f jokes as therapy w e w ere, if w e’re honest, a little sneery about it. ). ‘M y face d id n ’t O T w o hydrogen atoms are talking. ’ - 25 - m ove for tw o years at first. ’ She is a m em ber o f a h u m ou r w orkshop led by Alice H ortop , an occupational therapist w h o first noticed the effects o f laughter w hile fitting am putees w ith stum p socks - cl painful process that d oesn’t seem a terribly prom ising source o f hu m ou r.

N o r is he a com edian. H e ’s a softw are engineer, and along w ith fellow academ ics G raem e R itch ie, D ave O ’M ara and H elen Fain he has created a co m p uter program m e called S T A N D U P . W e w en t to m eet S T A N D U P at hom e in the D epartm ent o f Inform atics at E dinburgh U niversity and asked R u li to put the jo k e m achine through its paces. First o f all he explained patiently that S T A N D U P isn’t an actual m achine, let alone a ten-m ile-long one. It’s a piece o f softw are run n in g on a norm al P C .

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