The Science of Online Laughter

This will be the first in a sure-to-be-long-running series designed to acclimate you, the reader, with the magic and wonder of the Internetz. The topics will be wide-ranging and random in nature–everything from discussions of the best websites to investigating the potentially harmful effects of a misplaced semi-colon while coding PHP.

First we take a look at the underlying meaning of what initially appears to be nothing more than a simple laugh during online conversation. You’re talking to a friend over instant messenger or Facebook and they say something moderately amusing. How does one respond? With a simple “ha ha?” Don’t be naive, friends; the way you respond can speak volumes. Friendships and marriages have been destroyed over misinterpreted online diction. Don’t make that same mistake.

ha – An acknowledgement of a comment having not fallen under the category of “unfunny.” In a sense, you’re saying, “okay, you didn’t shit the bed.” Plenty of room for improvement.

hehe – a reserved, slightly patronizing laugh to acknowledge that you attempted to say something funny and didn’t make a spectacular failure of yourself.

haha – Used most often in casual online conversation; a way of seguing to the next thought after a quick acknowledgement of your pithy quips.

hahah – You’ve exceeded in raising your humor level to the point I made the extra, not-insignificant effort to type an extra ‘h.’

hahahahahahhha – Veritable belly laughs fill the virtual air, albeit while exercising the necessary self-control to refrain from mashing the keyboard in uncontrollable fits of joy.

aaahhahahhaha – Perhaps the rarest of them all, the laughter that starts with an extended “aahhhhh” before the fit of giggling, signifying to one and all that you’ve made a funny and deserve applause.

lol – The most overused of them all, “lol” should be reserved for the truly rare moments in which someone tells you about chimps throwing their own feces while riding a motorcycle, or cats batting something with their paws. Interestingly enough, it should be noted, “lol” does not always indicate an audible output of laughter. It is funny enough to make you laugh, but not quite enough to make it impossible to suppress said laughter in the workplace.

kajd;lasdf;aldsjkga;oias;dgihas;dg – So hilarious you can’t control yourself long enough to successfully type a specific sequence of letters on your keyboard because you are–literally–laughing out loud. This is reserved for the truly great moments of comedy, like when a group of friends trade rhyming verses in a song/poem to pay tribute to another friend that has a slightly off-putting affinity for taco’s. (Said lyrics are kept under Interweb password protection; sorry.)

I hope you’ve learned something from part 348 of my 618-part series on teh Interweb (the previous 347 parts all involve animated cat gifs and were excised to improve website performance). Stay tuned for future chapters in the saga.

Creative Exercises, Part II: The Irritability of Cats

Prologues

“There are Four Things Left to Do”
Swords clanged, shields cracked, armor rang with the blows of mortal combat upon the fields of battle. That, and the sound of furious button-mashing and barely audible streams of morally-questionable epithets. This is decidedly NOT Sparta, and most definitely not West Hollywood.

“Through”
Turbines. Row upon orderly row of the things, laid out on the beach like tombstones dotting the sprawling cemetery that now held the bulk of his race. The exquisite craftsmanship inherent in the individually molded and polished, obsidian blades had its hold on the mesmerized dock worker who heretofore had been content to take pride in days occupied by restoring old prop blades from the wrecks that littered the Eudoran coastline. His had been a solitary but wholly satisfied existence. Until now.

“The Three Flashes of Light Signifying Your Doom”
Debbie took great pride in being the biggest bitch at Sweet Valley High School. A childhood marked by no greater tragedy than her parents refusal to buy her an iPad 3 served as an appropriate foundation of excuse to torment Peggy, the new foreign exchange student from the Ukraine.

“Catnip and 40 Other Ways to Create an Internet”
This would be no ordinary output of ones and zeroes. A76220 had relished thid opportunity for a lifetime. All 648 milliseconds of it leading to this one, crowning moment. This was it. The sound of a cat farting.

Creative Exercises, Part the First

I present to you a list of names.

Billy Joe Sasquatch
Teabag Johnson
Sanchez Billigote
Mulligan Fee
Jordy van Fitzpution
Frank Sass
Frank Furtz
Smithe Wilbur
Bord Hausersnatch
Horburt Dinglekatz
Fatsy Carmichael
Horrabuhl Beech
Chuck Batz
Chuck Meetz
Chuck Shoetongue
Roland Catscats
Kat Pooht
Ivan Wunderfuhl
Wanda Sykes

Oscar 2012

It’s the annual tradition that’s not so annual: The Wayward Cynic’s Running Diary of the Academy Awards! I’ll get right to the action as we join our telecast on the red carpet.

8:22pm: Sacha Baron Cohen shows up as the dictator from his new, similarly-named movie and spreads Kim Jong Il’s ashes on the carpet before promptly being detained and escorted off the premises by security.

8:30pm: We’re underway as Billy Crystal and his synthetic face run through a musical number recounting the year’s most notable film hits.

8:31pm: I’m bored and just turned the channel to “Worst Cooks in America.” Some guy just dropped his pizza on the ground! Oh no!

Thanks to all for joining me for another fun-filled year of recapping the Oscars; see you next year and hooray for Hollywood!

SupercalifragilisticBradyisatrocious

Welcome to The Wayward Cynic’s annual running diary of the great American pasttime’s holiest of holy days: Super Bowl Sunday the 46th! I will cover the game, the commercials, the chips, the dips and the beers, all from the comfort of the Internet.

super bowl xlvi
I miss the old, every-year-a-new-logo format these new logos woefully lack. Woe.

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Of Ducks, Mice, Fireworks, Food, Wizardz & Frivolity

After returning from an epic vacation with my girl, it occurs to me it’s been far too long since I’ve put together a full-fledged trip report. Alas, this report will probably be mainly bullet points and pictures, but take what you can get. You can view the full image galleries here or on Facebook. Enjoy.

Continue reading “Of Ducks, Mice, Fireworks, Food, Wizardz & Frivolity”