Why do people laugh?

Why do people laugh? (From the Economist) “Laughter is very contagious and this suggests that it may have become a part of human behaviour because it promotes social bonding. When a group of people laughs, the message seems to be ‘relax, you are among friends.'”

Update: Dave Winer says (and I agree): “Most laughs can be translated into this simple statement: Ain’t it the truth! When we laugh it’s because something is so true (for us) in such a deeply felt way that our body erupts. When we laugh together it’s because we share that feeling.”

The “macosphere” is about to erupt

The “macosphere” is about to erupt: Okay you Mac people. Check out the last sentence on this Sony UK page teasing the Playstation 3 due next year:

“The operating system has also yet to be clarified. The integrated Cell processor will be able to support a variety of operating systems (such as Linux or Apple’s Tiger).”

Granted, that sentence can be parsed in a way that would not specifically suggest the possibility of the Mac OS being licensed to another hardware company — it merely points out that, in theory, the same processor can support a variety of operating systems, which is no big revelation. However, as this item appears on a Sony corporate website and can also be parsed in a way that indicates a suggestion of that happening, well, that’s enough juice to launch a million blog posts.

My prediction: The Playstation 3 will not support the Mac OS. (However, that would be a nice kick in the X-Box pants).

(via: kottke.org)

WPLN is podcasting and here’s a great interview to start

WPLN is podcasting and here’s a great interview to start: When I heard Rebecca Bain’s story this morning about a new CD project that sounds awesome to anyone who has read (or read to their children) any of the Laura Ingalls Wilder “Little House” books, I thought to myself, “Gee, I wish WPLN” podcast those stories. Ask and ye shall receive. I just learned they’ve started doing just that. Here’s how to subscribe to the WPLN podcasts.

By the way, here’s the MP3 file of the Rebecca Bain story I heard this morning. It’s about “Happy Land: Musical Tributes to Laura Ingalls Wilder,” a wonderful project begun when Dale Cockrell, a musicology and American studies professor at Vanderbilt, discovered while reading the Little House books to his daughter that they are filled with references to specific titles of classic American folk tunes. (126 different tunes, in all of the books.)

That discovery led to his determination to bring that music to life for the children (and adults) who love the Little House books. More about the project here.

The CD was also produced by mandolin great Butch Baldassari (my friend and one of my son’s musical mentors). Dale and Butch attracted some of Nashville’s great musicians to collaborate in a series of CDs that bring these songs alive. (Rebecca’s story does a wonderful job of explaining their approach).

What a good day. WPLN is podcasting. And a wonderful musical project is available to all those (parents and kids) who love the Little House books and great traditional American music.