Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Laugh as you read this: Maybe you'll remember it

  • Print

Before I forget, I have some good news and some bad news to share with you today.

Out of journalistic fairness, I will first point out both the good and the bad news were in fascinating stories emailed to me by my good friend and colleague Kevin Rollason, whose golf swing provides a constant source of amusement.

Which somehow brings us to the good news story, wherein scientists have recently discovered that laughter is, in fact, the best medicine, with the possible exception of medicine itself. Allow me to explain via the Q & A method.

Q: Where are your eyeglasses?

A: OK, you had them a minute ago, but you put them down on the coffee table. No, hold on, you left them in the bathroom. Sorry, you meant to say you left them in the car. Speaking of which, where did you leave the car?

The sad truth is, you do not currently recall precisely where you left your (very bad word) glasses. Now let's see what happens after I tell you a scientifically-proven side-splitting joke (You will find this joke funnier if you imagine it being read in an angry German accent. Trust me.).

Lab-tested Joke: "Two peanuts were walking down the street ("strasse" for those of you reading in German) and one of them (pause for dramatic effect) was a salted!"

In any case, today's point is that, according to scientists at Loma Linda University in Southern California, humour and laughter can improve short-term memory in older adults.

They know this because in a recent study they had 20 older adults watch a comedic video (most likely my friend Kevin's golf swing) for 20 minutes, while a control group just sat calmly with no video. Later, the subjects performed memory tests and had saliva samples analyzed for stress hormones.

The results? No one in either group was able to remember their ATM number or where they parked their car. OK, sorry, I made that last bit up. What really happened was those who laughed at the funny video scored better on short-term memory tests, and their saliva contained less of the stress hormone cortisol, which is an enemy of memory.

According to the researchers, the more you laugh and the less stress you have, the better your memory. It has something to do with laughter increasing endorphins and sending dopamine to the brain, providing a sense of pleasure and making you function more effectively.

Is that great scientific news, or what?

Which, sadly, brings us to the bad news, for which we have my colleague Kevin to blame, so you should direct any angry emails to him at

The depressing news is the Japanese branch of Haagen-Dazs is poised to introduce a line of vegetable-flavoured ice creams. For the record, vegetables are those things you find in salads, which probably would improve your memory if you remembered to eat one.

A translated press release from Haagen-Dazs says two new veggie flavours -- "Tomato Cherry" and "Orange Carrot" -- will be making their debut in Japan next month.

From what I read and partially understood, Japan's new veggie-intensive ice creams -- no word on when they may sprout on store shelves in North America -- contain roughly half the fat of a normal pint of Haagen-Dazs, meaning they are essentially health foods for guys whose diets consist of cheeseburgers and fries.

Not everyone is over the moon, however. Cranky food blogger C.A. Pinkham, for example, offered this rant: "The existence of this product poses a philosophical conundrum for me: In a universe in which I have but a finite amount of time before I crumble to ash, how is it possible for me to scream the number of screams necessary to convey my feelings regarding vegetable-flavoured ice cream?"

Maybe it's because my brain is being flooded with endorphins right now, but I personally think the notion of veggie ice cream is hilarious, and that's exactly what I'm going to tell my colleague Kevin -- just as soon as I remember his phone number.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 23, 2014 A2

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Raw: Video shows destroyed West Hawk Inn

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Young goslings are growing up quickly near Cresent Lake in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba- See Bryksa 30 Day goose project- Day 11- May 15, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • PHIL HOSSACK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS 060710 The full moon rises above the prairie south of Winnipeg Monday evening.

View More Gallery Photos


Should panhandling at intersections be banned?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google