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Courtesy of Brian Fernandes | MaximumFun.org
Courtesy of Brian Fernandes | MaximumFun.org

Podcasters Explain: What's on the Scientology Personality Test?

Courtesy of Brian Fernandes | MaximumFun.org
Courtesy of Brian Fernandes | MaximumFun.org

I have long been a fan of Oh No, Ross and Carrie!, a podcast in which Ross Blocher and Carrie Poppy try out all sorts of experiences, then report back on what happened. It's a form of investigative journalism that's both easy to listen to and educational.

In previous episodes, the duo joined the LDS Church, purchased oxygen at an oxygen bar, lived on Soylent, and the list goes on.

In their most recent episode, Ross and Carrie begin an explanation of how they joined the Church of Scientology. This is just one episode of many on the topic, as apparently they spent months taking tests and attending events.

You may have seen Scientology centers offering free personality tests—personally, I've always been curious what's on the test! In an earlier episode, Ross and Carrie tried out Myers-Briggs, so the next logical step was to see what they could learn from the tests offered by their local (Los Angeles) Scientology center's test. Here's an embedded player for the podcast:

If that player doesn't work (it's a Flash plugin), here's an MP3, and the podcast is on iTunes and there's an RSS feed compatible with any podcast player.

SO WHAT'S ON THE TEST?

After signing up, the duo proceeded to take the Oxford Capacity Analysis test. Here's some of what they reported:

1. There are 200 questions on the OCA.

2. The test is not associated with the University of Oxford.

3. It uses a fill-in-the-bubble answer method (similar to Scantron).

4. For each question, the possible responses are: Plus, M, and Minus. While the duo didn't recall the specific meaning of "M," it was roughly "medium" or "maybe." (A neutral response.)

5. Sample questions (as reported by Ross): "Are you friendly in voice, attitude, and expression?"; "Does life seem rather vague and unreal to you?"; "Can you make a calculated risk without too much worry?" Ross noted that these seemed similar to other personality tests they tried—the questions are sometimes hard to answer if you think about them too hard, as the answers are situational.

6. After the initial personality test (which takes about an hour, give or take), there's a timed IQ test, then an "aptitude test."

7. The results of these tests are combined and analyzed, then a personal consultation ensues.

So what happened next? You'll have to listen to find out! (More episodes will likely go up in the coming weeks.)

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

Here's What the Elaborate Maze From S-Town Looks Like

John B. McLemore created a world of wonders in the middle of nowhere. The protagonist of the popular S-Town podcast was famous in his hometown for his loud mouth and regular diatribes about tattoos and climate change. Elsewhere in the world, he was better known as a master craftsman and a genius.

Much of McLemore’s income derived from his extraordinary work as a horologist, or clockmaker, but his property in Woodstock, Alabama, is littered with other inventions and projects—including his legendary hedge maze.

Photo courtesy of Imgur

Photo courtesy of Imgur

Reddit users report that the maze has recently begun to fall into disrepair, news that upsets the S-Town listeners who have grown so fond of the clockmaker and his complicated, beautiful creations.

Photo courtesy of Imgur

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