In terms of journalistic buzz, the hottest new tech development is the social photo-sharing app, Color. Headed by Bill Nguyen, (whose music service, Lala, was rumored to have been acquired by Apple for $80 million) promises and delivers an experience that really is different than those of other photo-sharing apps like Path or Instagram.
In Living @Color!
Women and Comedy
In 2007, self-proclaimed contrarian Christopher Hitchens wrote an extremely unfunny editorial for Vanity Fair, asking “Why are women, who have the whole male world at their mercy, not funny?” There may nothing less funny than dissecting gender differences in humor, but it’s even less funny to studiously avoid the topic when we have a humor conference coming up at PAI.
Turns out men and women are wired for humor differently. In a Stanford study conducted several years ago by Allen Reiss 10 men and 10 women, hooked up to MRI machines, viewed 70 cartoons and then rated the cartoons on a 1-to-10 "funniness scale." From the MRI data, researchers found that certain brain areas were more activated in women than men, such as the nucleus accumbens, or NAcc, part of the mesolimbic reward center.
Reiss and his colleagues theorized that women in this study used a more analytical approach when interpreting humor, which meant that they weren't necessarily expecting the cartoons to be as rewarding as men believed they would be. At the punch line, the reward center of a woman’s brain lit up. "Women appeared to have less expectation of a reward, which in this case was the punch line of the cartoon," said Reiss. "So when they got to the joke's punch line, they were more pleased about it."
In other words, it’s possible that women just have a better sense of humor than men.
So far, I think the best explanation for the difference in male and female comedians comes from Tina Fey’s recent article in the March 14th edition of The New Yorker: “Not all the men at ‘S.N.L’ whizzed in cups. But four or five out of twenty did, so the men have to own that one. Anytime there’s a bad female standup somewhere, some idiot Interblogger will deduce that ‘women aren’t funny.’ Using that same math I can deduce that male comedy writers piss in cups. Also they like to pretend to rape each other. It’s… don’t worry about it. It’s harmless, actually.”
Some of Today’s Top Funny Females? Tina Fey, Sarah Silverman, Mindy Kaling, Maya Rudolph, Alia Shawkat. And at Secrets To A Funnier You: The Art & Science of Being Funny we will be featuring the very funny Emily Levine doing cosmological stand-up. Yes, you read that correctly.
About The Blog
At the Palo Alto Institute, new ideas and perspectives are explored and played with on a daily basis. Our blog is a place for us to share some of these ideas and insights with our community. We'll throw in the occasional recipe or other tidbit, too, just for fun. Enjoy!