April PsychNotes

Harvesting the spaghetti crop, 1957The first mass media April Fool joke was reportedly the BBC’s 1957 Panorama segment on spaghetti harvesting, for which a cameraman hung “pounds of spaghetti over trees in a little Swiss village” and persuaded locals to harvest the crop. The BBC was inundated with calls. “[T]he majority either wanted to know where they could see a spaghetti harvest, or obtain information to start a spaghetti farm” (Humphrys 1999).

It was a simpler time. Here are some research goodies from last month. Continue reading “April PsychNotes”

Men, Never Marry a Misstery

Never Marry a MysteryHey, you wanna buy a car? Here’s my offer: If you give me $50,000 I’ll deliver a vehicle to you next year. Until then, you don’t get to drive it or see it. Maybe it’s a new Lamborghini, or maybe it’s a ’77 Pinto with a tendency to explode.

Any takers? I didn’t think so. No one with a lick of common sense would take that deal, yet I routinely meet men, and more than a few women, who use that method to make a much more important decision: they marry people they haven’t truly gotten to know. Occasionally they get lucky, but more often they deeply regret it. Continue reading “Men, Never Marry a Misstery”

February PsychNotes

phrenologistWanna hear a joke? A neuron and a glial cell went to summer camp. When they arrived at the barracks, the neuron demanded the top bunk. “Why should I get stuck on the bottom,” asked the glial cell. The neuron answered, “because I want to have a high resting potential!” (I didn’t say it was a good joke.) Here’s some recent news, starting with the brain’s tiny unsung heroes. Continue reading “February PsychNotes”