Scientists say that nothing is better for us than a good laugh and after a quick look on Google, the fountain of all profound knowledge, I’m ready to agree. One of the most interesting pieces I found on the benefits of laughter was a review of a book called, "A Better Brain at Any Age: The Holistic Way to Improve Your Memory, Reduce Stress, and Sharpen Your Wits," by Sondra Kornblatt. In the book the author conveys all the ways that laughter makes us feel better in the moment and also how it’s practically unmatched in terms of long-term health benefits. There’s even a new field called gelotology that explores the benefits of laughter. Who knew? Here is a list of some of the benefits of laughter outlined in the book:
- Lowers blood pressure
- Increase the oxygenation of the blood and overall blood flow.
- Give a good workout to various muscles including abdominal, respiratory, facial, leg, and back.
- Reduces stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline.
- Increases the response of tumor- and disease-killing cells such as Gamma-interferon and T-cells.
- Defends against respiratory infections–even reducing the frequency of colds.
- Increases memory and learning.
- Improves alertness, creativity, and memory.
So I’m thinking Sondra Kornblatt’s book is definitely a good read. But it’s not my book recommendation for this post; I have something even better. With your good health in mind here’s my contribution to your daily happiness: Ignorance is Blitz. I found this tiny gem years ago when it was titled “Non Campus Mentis.” Regardless of title, the book is a historical compendium of sorts comprised of student answers from college history exams compiled over a period of many years by Anders Henrriksson, a history professor. The text can only be described as a remarkable collision of errors, inane assumptions and epic misuse of language.
After initially perusing the first few pages I’m sure you’ll agree that perhaps there’s no creativity more ferocious than combining the stress of a college exam with knowing just enough about a given subject to be dangerous. Imagine if you will, world history rewritten by college kids in the throes of finals week exhaustion just trying to get through an hour’s exam any way possible. The result is a thing of beauty and one of the funniest books I have ever read. Trust me--we couldn’t make stuff like this up even if we had to. But don’t take my word for it. Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the book verbatim with misspellings, grammatical errors, warts and all. Read, laugh and enjoy:
The Mists of Antiquity
“Civilization woozed out of the Nile about 300,000 years ago. The Nile was a river that had some water in it. Every year it would flood and irritate the land. This tended to make the people nervous.”
The Classical Age
“Caesar was assassinated on the Yikes of March when he is reported to have said, “Me too, Brutus!”
“Arranged marriages required women to accept a kind of mate accompli. King Xerox of Persia invaded Greace, but fell off short at the battle of Thermosalami. Philip of Mastadon captured Greece and then was killed in a family sprawl.”
“Plato invented reality. He was teacher to Harris Throttle, author of The Republicans. Lust was a must for the Epicureans. Others were the Vegetarians and the Synthetics, who said, “If you can’t play with it, why bother?”
The Church and State in Medieval Europe
“Two hundred years of rule by the Tarts explains why Russia became so backward. The McDougal Empire grew on the Indian submarine continent. Certain tribes of India practiced voodoo innuendo.”
The Waning of the Middle Ages
“Finally, Europe caught the Black Death. The bubonic plague is a social disease in the sense that it can be transmitted by intercourse and other etceteras.”
· It was spread from port to port by inflected rats.
· It was then passed around by midgets.
· Victims of the Black Death grew boobs on their necks.
· Death rates exceeded one hundred percent in some towns.
· The Renaissance bolted in from the blue.
· Life reeked with joy.
· Italy became robust, and more individuals felt the value of their human being.
· It became sheik to be educated.
“Machiavelli, who was often unemployed, wrote The Prince to get a job with Richard Nixon.”
· Calvinists were the only ones who believed in pre-detonation. It is not surprising that their preaching consisted mainly of dogmatic explosions.
· Most Prodestants objected to holy communication.
· Anabaptist services tended to be migratory.
· The Popes, of course, were usually Catholic.
The Industrial Revolution
“Telephones were not available—communication went by mouth to mouth or telegram. The Interstate Highway System was built soon after the Civil War. The Trans-Siberian Railroad connected Europe to California. Urban mass transet included subways and electric tramps. The airplane was invented and first flown by the Marx brothers. Burt Einstein developed the theory of relativism. “
“Sigmund Freud was a shrink who came up with sex reasoning. He said that if the mind says not to have sex and the will not listen, then the mind will go crazy. Leaders of the women’s movement included Florence Nightingale, Susan B. Anthony and Crystal Pancake.”
America: From Crisis to Triumph
· The major cause of the Civil War is when slavery spread its ugly testicles across the West.
· A factor in this was the Dead Scot decision. This case made a bang in President Buckanon.
· The Civil War began in 1830. Many soldiers repeatedly gave their lives for their country.
· The Confederates were greatly damaged by navel blockage.
Imperialism and National Rivalries
“Admiral Dewey sank the Spanish Armada in Vanilla Bay.”
The Catastrophe of 1914
“Austria fought the Snerbs. The Allies versed the Turks. The British used mostly Aztec troops to fight at Gallipoli. Italy joined the Allies and this was useful because of their common border with Australia.”
World War II
“Hitler, who can become depressed for some reason, crawled under Berlin. Here he had his wife Evita put to sleep, and then shot himself in the bonker.”