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11 Variations on "Keep Calm and Carry On"

The now-famous Keep Calm and Carry On poster was produced by the British Ministry of Information in 1939, as a quintessentially British statement of what to do in the event of German invasion. The poster actually wasn't circulated at the time, and only became popular after its rediscovery at a bookstore. Among my friends, it's something of a mantra -- I know one woman who has the phrase sewn into the lining of her coat.

But enough with boring history. Let's look at some wacky variations on the poster that have appeared online. Tip for nerds: a lot of these are available as prints (and notebooks, phone covers, mouse pads, you name it) from various online vendors. Google it.

1. Keep Calm and Call Batman

I first saw this on a whiteboard at a software company. Get Commissioner Gordon on the phone!

2. Don't Panic and Carry a Towel

For all the hoopy froods in the house.

Don't Panic and Carry a Towel

3. Keep Calm and Kill It With Fire

Everyone knows The Thing can only be killed with fire. Also: winter is coming.

Keep Calm and Kill it With Fire

4. Keep Calm and Save the Princess

Mario or Zelda? You decide.

Keep Calm and Save the Princess

5. Freak Out and Call Mom

She'll want to hear what's up.

Freak Out and Call Mom

6. Stress Out and Throw Vase

This is what you do if Mom isn't picking up.

Stress Out and Throw Vase

7. Keep Calm and Have a Cuppa

A spot of tea always helps.

Keep Calm and Have a Cuppa

8. Keep Calm and Aim for the Head

Necessary advice for the coming zombie apocalypse.

Keep Calm and Aim for the Head

9. Keep Calm and Harry On

Useful while you're waiting for that damn Sorting Hat to figure you out.

Keep Calm and Harry On

10. Keep Calm and Simply Walk Into Mordor

Easy for you to say, Gandalf!

Keep Calm and Simply Walk Into Mordor

11. Run Out of Ideas and Make a Parody

Oh, internet. How self-aware you've become!

Run Out of Ideas and Make a Parody

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There are zillions more in a Flickr pool devoted to this sort of thing.

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Watch 18 Minutes of Julia Louis-Dreyfus Seinfeld Bloopers
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Sometimes you just need to settle in and watch professional actors cracking up, over and over. That's what we have for you today.

In the two videos below, we get a total of 18 minutes of Seinfeld bloopers, specifically focused on Julia Louis-Dreyfus. When Louis-Dreyfus cracks up, Seinfeld can't help but make it worse, goading her. It's delightful.

Sample quote (during an extended break):

Seinfeld: "We won an Emmy, you know."

Louis-Dreyfus: "Yeah, but I didn't."

Her individual Seinfeld Emmy arrived in 1996; the show started winning in 1992. But in September 2017, Louis-Dreyfus—who turns 57 years old today—set a couple of Emmy records when she won her sixth award for playing Selina Meyer on Veep.

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The Funniest Word in the English Language? 'Booty,' According to New Survey
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Some words, regardless of their meaning, are simply more chuckle-worthy than others. To determine which expressions in the English language are truly the most comical, Smithsonian reports that psychologists at the University of Warwick in the UK conducted a survey in which they asked people to rate the “humor value” of a sampling of chosen words. They recently published their findings in the journal Behavior Research Methods.

The researchers selected nearly 5000 words, and then used Amazon’s online crowdsourcing tool Mechanical Turk to ask more than 800 individuals to rank the humor value of 211 randomly chosen words from the list, on a scale from 1 (humorless) to 5 (humorous). Likely not surprising to anyone with younger siblings, the funniest word ended up being “booty,” with an average ranking of 4.32. In descending order, the remaining top 12 words—which all received a score of 3.9 or higher—were “tit,” “booby,” “hooter,” “nitwit,” “twit,” “waddle,” “tinkle,” “bebop,” “egghead,” “ass,” and “twerp.”

Why these words are so funny remains fuzzy. But when they analyzed their findings according to age and gender, the researchers did find that sexually suggestive words like “orgy” and “bondage” tended to tickle the funny bones of men, as did the words “birthmark,” “brand,” “chauffeur,” “doze,” “buzzard,” “czar,” “weld,” “prod,” “corn,” and “raccoon.”

Meanwhile, women tended to laugh at the words “giggle,” “beast,” “circus,” “grand,” “juju,” “humbug,” “slicker,” “sweat,” “ennui,” “holder,” “momma,” and “sod.” As for people under the age of 32, they were amused by “goatee,” “joint,” and “gangster,” while older participants liked “squint,” “jingle,” “burlesque,” and “pong.” Across the board, all parties were least amused by words like “rape,” “torture,” and “torment.”

Although humor is complex and dependent on elements like syntax and delivery, the study's researchers say that breaking comedy down to single-word units could demystify its essence.

“The research initially came about as a result of our curiosity,” said Tomas Engelthaler, the study’s lead author, in a press release. “We were wondering if certain words are perceived as funnier, even when read on their own. It turns out that indeed is the case. Humor is an everyday aspects of our lives and we hope this publicly available dataset allows future researchers to better understand its foundations.”

[h/t Smithsonian]

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