If You Laugh At This Joke, Then You're A Conformist

We all know that conformity is one of the great weaknesses of humans, who will do almost anything to "fit in." But this isn't exactly news — researchers proved it 70 years ago. They came up with the world's least funny joke, and then tested to see if they could use peer pressure to make people laugh at it. » 11/10/14 1:14pm 11/10/14 1:14pm

This mystery writers' prank would make an incredible sociological…

There's an old joke that has been making the rounds for hundreds of years. It has been ascribed to heads of state, heads of the church, Edgar Allan Poe and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It would make an unconscionable experiment. And I want it to happen. Do you dare discover it? » 12/30/12 6:00am 12/30/12 6:00am

Science fiction in-jokes just aren't funny any more

Simon Pegg's new movie Paul was a pretty cute nerd-bonding road-trip movie, but it made me realize something: I no longer laugh at Star Trek in-jokes, or inside references generally. » 3/21/11 12:20pm 3/21/11 12:20pm

The thing I couldn't say to Mr. Spock's dad

Vonda McIntyre, author of beloved Star Trek novels like The Entropy Effect, tells us the story of how she met Spock's dad - and what she was too embarrassed to tell him. » 9/24/10 12:36pm 9/24/10 12:36pm