Friday, February 8, 2013

Today is...Laugh and Get Rich Day

Today is Laugh and Get Rich Day. What makes you laugh?

The study of humor and laughter, and its psychological and physiological effects on the human body is called gelotology.

An average baby laughs 300 times a day; an average adult laughs 20 times a day.

Death by Laughter, usually from cardiac arrest or asphyxiation, has been recorded as far back as Ancient Greece.

Paradoxical laughter is an exaggerated expression of humor that is unwarranted by the events. It is associated with altered mental states or mental illness, such as mania, hypomania or schizophrenia.

The Han Dynasty of Chinese used tickle torture as a punishment for nobility because it left no marks and victims recovered quickly. Tickle Torture has also been used in Europe throughout the years, including in Flossenburg concentration camp.

Nitrous oxide is known as laughing gas due to the euphoric effects of inhaling it.

Nitrous oxide was first synthesized by English chemist Joseph Priestley in 1772.

Dentist Horace Wells was the first to use laughing gas as an anesthetic drug, in 1844.

Humphrey Davy hosted nitrous oxide parties where he and friends would inhale nitrous oxide for recreational purposes (not a recommended activity). He also wrote a book all about nitrous oxide, which includes personal accounts of what it feels like to inhale nitrous oxide, from the friends who attended the parties. It includes accounts from Davy, Peter Roget (of Roget's Thesaurus fame), Josiah Wedgwood (of Wedgwood pottery), poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and poet Robert Southey.

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