9 Stories

Mom Laughs During Daughter's Hearing, Gets Sent to Jail

She disrupted victim impact statement

(Newser) - A Michigan mom who laughed during her daughter's sentencing hearing for killing a man while driving drunk ended up in jail herself. Wayne County Circuit Judge Qiana Lillard scolded the family of 25-year-old Amanda Kosal for giggling while the dead man's sister gave a victim impact statement last... More »

At This Comedy Club, It's 38 Cents a Laugh

Barcelona venue using facial-recognition tech to spot guffaws

(Newser) - Audiences beware: If you laugh too much at this comedy club, you'll pay for it—literally. Barcelona's Teatreneu is using facial-recognition technology to charge visitors by the laugh, the BBC reports. Come to the club, and the seat in front of you will have a tablet tracking your... More »

Fake Laughing? Your Friends Can Tell

It's all about your breathing sounds, experts say

(Newser) - If you're forcing a laugh after a bad joke, the teller probably knows it. Researchers found that people can identify a fake laugh two-thirds of the time: "Quite a few fake laughs sound pretty good, but listeners seem to pay attention to certain acoustic features that are really... More »

How You Can Win at Laughing

'Laughing championships' are an actual thing

(Newser) - It sounds like a joke, but a leader of the laughing competition movement says he's "quite serious." Events have been held in countries from Japan to the Czech Republic to the US; Pacific Standard recounts a recent event in Toronto. "We’re trying to demonstrate that... More »

National Laughing Contest Debuts in US

Contestants try to infect audience with laughter

(Newser) - Like laughing at nothing in particular? Then check out the American Laughing Championship when it debuts tomorrow in San Diego, reports the Huffington Post . The audience will determine which contestant is best at the Alabama knee-slapper, the maniacal laugh, and the diabolical laugh—the latter an attempt to make the... More »

For Contagious Laughs, Open Your Mouth

... And get your vocal chords into it

(Newser) - When it comes to laughs, the bigger the better, at least if you want it to spread. In one of those science-confirms-the-obvious studies, researchers found that open-mouth laughs in which people use their vocal chords in "vowel-like bursts" are the most contagious, LiveScience reports. And the longer they last,... More »

Rats Laugh When Tickled

And guess what? They like it!

(Newser) - A YouTube gem from 2007 is making the rounds again, teaching us something kind of neat and kind of gross: Rats laugh when tickled. When a Bowling Green University professor decided to try tickling the rodents, and then listening to their resulting high-frequency noises on a “bat detector,”... More »

Tongue-Tied Groom, Tickled Bride Storm YouTube

Hysterical wedding video attracts tens of thousands of views in just 2 days

(Newser) - An exchange of marital vows that took a break for hysterical laughter has become a viral-video hit, the Daily Mail reports. First a nervous Andrew Engstrom fumbles with the ring. When the celebrant asks him to repeat “to be my lawfully wedded wife,” he says “waffle-y”—... More »

Laughter Also Good Medicine for Orangutans

Study finds empathy, mimicry in primates' grins and chuckles

(Newser) - Humans aren't the only animals who laugh, according to a new study. Orangutans engage in a primitive form of laughing, the BBC reports—when one exhibits a facial expression such as an open, gaping mouth, and a companion displays the same expression less than half a second later. This sense... More »

9 Stories