There's Now a Podcast That Plays Nothing But Laughter for Six Hours Straight

iStock
iStock

If you’re the kind of person who loathes sitcoms with a laugh track, this one probably isn’t for you. A podcast (that might be a generous term) called “Radio Haha” has been launched in celebration of World Laughter Day on May 6, and it plays nothing but laughter—for six hours straight.

In the podcast, produced by UK apartment share service SpareRoom, you’ll hear some guffaws and giggles, and plenty of cackles and chortles. It may seem absurd at first, but listen long enough and you might find yourself laughing, too. That’s because laughter is contagious, even when it comes from an artificial source.

One study by neuroscientist and “laughter expert” Robert Provine revealed that 90 percent of test subjects smiled while listening to 19 seconds of laughter generated by a novelty store toy, and nearly half laughed along. This study and others like it suggest that the dreaded laugh track does in fact work, even if many modern TV viewers find it tacky.

Science has also shown that many health benefits are associated with laughter. Not only does it release endorphins that make you feel good, but it also relieves stress, improves your immune system, reduces blood pressure, relieves pain, and improves brain function.

Presented with all this evidence, one doctor in India invented “laughter yoga,” a movement that has been growing ever since it was founded in 1995. Dr. Madan Kataria realized that even forced laughter can trigger a genuine giggle, leading him to create the very first laughter club, which spawned the first World Laughter Day.

The inaugural event in Mumbai, India, attracted over 12,000 members of local and international “laughter clubs." Participants carried signs, marched, and bellowed "ho-ho-ho, ha-ha" in unison, making it seem a little more like a protest than a joyous celebration. (If so, it would have been the happiest protest in history.) Check out some footage of the first World Laughter Day below.

Just When You Thought It Was Safe to Go Back in the Living Room, Jaws Gets Its Own Board Game

Ravensburger
Ravensburger

Jaws made countless viewers terrified of the beach when it swam into theaters the summer of 1975. Luckily, you don't need to be anywhere near the water to play this new board game from Ravensburger.

Jaws the board game recreates Steven Spielberg's nautical thriller on a tabletop in your home. It features the cast of the movie as playable characters, including Quint, Hooper, Chief Brody, and the great white shark that stalks the waters outside the Martha's Vineyard-inspired Amity Island.

Like the film, the game plays out in two primary locations: on Amity Island and onboard The Orca. For the act 1 portion of the game, the human characters team up to take down the shark as it picks off Amity beachgoers. Flip the board over and it transforms into Quint's ship. For The Orca section, Quint, Hooper, and Brody try to defend their boat as the shark tears it apart. Players can either complete both acts or stick to one location for a shorter gaming experience.

The game is also a nostalgic collector's item for Jaws fans. Illustrations on the board and cards capture memorable scenes from the film, and the box itself is printed with the iconic poster art.

You can order the Jaws board game from Target for $30 in time for your summer celebrations (whether they're beach-related or not). Here are some facts about the film to read before you play.

Box of Jaws board game.
Ravensburger

Jaws board game.
Ravensburger

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Scamp the Tramp Named World’s Ugliest Dog

Scamp the Tramp won the World's Ugliest Dog contest at the Marin-Sonoma County Fair on June 21, 2019 in Petaluma, California.
Scamp the Tramp won the World's Ugliest Dog contest at the Marin-Sonoma County Fair on June 21, 2019 in Petaluma, California.
Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

In a society overrun by fashion magazines, beauty contests, and Instagram models, it’s nice when the not-so-photogenic are appreciated. Take Scamp the Tramp, this year's winner of California's World’s Ugliest Dog competition. “[He’s] Scamp the Champ now,” Scamp's owner, Yvonne Morones, said of her pup's hard-won victory. “We had to change his name.”

Scamp, who was the 2018 competition's runner-up, came out on top of the dog pile against 18 other adorably ugly pooches. His winning looks are courtesy of matted fur that “no conditioner can calm,” a tongue that appears to perpetually hang from his mouth, and bat-like ears. According to his official biography, Scamp’s pastimes include partaking in various community service activities and serving as an uncle to numerous foster kittens.

UPI reports that Morones is experienced in grooming champions; she has claimed the World's Ugliest Dog title several times before with two of her previous pooches. Her dog Nana was even reigning champ from 1996 to 2002.

Morones rescued Scamp from a Los Angeles shelter in 2014, and the two quickly clicked. “It was on the way home that I knew I made the right choice,” she said in a press statement. “There we were, two strangers in a car on the way home to a new start. Bob Marley was playing ‘One Love,’ and I looked over and little Scamp was bobbing his head. It was like he knew he had found his forever home.”

First-prize winners of the World’s Ugliest Dog contest take home a trophy, $1500 in earnings that will also be matched in donations to animal charities, and validation that they’re certifiably good boys and girls.

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