Happy Hour's First Birthday

[ The Happy Hour Archive | obereed.net ]

The Happy Hour Email is 1 year old today.  To comemmorate this event, we
have commissioned a study to figure out just what makes a happy hour email
funny. The results were fed into massive Covariance Structure Models and
Regression analyses, and we have come up with an approximate formula for
what makes a funny happy hour email.  We include examples, for your
benefit and reminiscence.  According to our scoring scheme, this is the
funniest happy hour email yet! 

+10 points for including line about George Furnas and eight or more


Prof. George Furnas

In this groundbreaking class, Prof. Furnas will teach students how they
can alter their visual field to enable visualization of data up to
15-dimensions.  Students will be expected to provide their own data, and
eye drops.  This course is based on his wildly popular presentation at
last week's C&P Conference. 

Prerequisites:  Cannot wear contact lenses.

+10 points for mentioning anything about Irv Biderman or Geons--Not only
are Geons cool, they are FUNNY!:

"Pray sir," Pinker begins, "may I ask your name?"

"They call me Irv." responds the man. "I have garnered much hostility upon
showing evidence of my theory (Biederman, 1987).  I have proven their
simple theories to be flawed, and this is my payment.  It is I who should
be angry, not those wastrels!"

Pylyshyn the dwarf sagely comments, "Irv, you are a very bitter man."

-100 points for NOT mentioning Martha Farah.  There is nothing more boring
than a Martha-less happy hour email:

Question:  If you were to be stranded on a desert island with any tenured
                psychologist, who would it be, and why?
Answer:    Female: Martha Farah, because we're pretty sure she has super

+5 points for mentioning any faculty member or student in the program:

Question:  If you were to be stranded on a desert island with any tenured
                psychologist, who would it be, and why?
Answer:   Male:  Dave Meyer, because he's tall, and can reach coconuts.

+20 points for making fun of Undergraduates:

25 Things To Make Teaching More Fun

5. Refer to students as "worthless bloodsucking leeches"
18. When students get answers wrong, demand that they drop and give you 50
21. Demand that students provide a ritual sacrifice


+30 points for making fun of Graduate Students:

Tor Wager (nickname:  Mountain Goat).  I think we were all impressed by
this golden boy's athleticism and polished demeanor during Rush Week.  He
comes from the high country of Colorado and Wyoming and has impressive leg
strength.  I worry, though, about his bench press.  Most of the bros in
The House are pushing close to 250 and I don't think Tor is close to this

+10 points for pretending your email is a newpaper story:


JERUSELUM, 18-Sept-1997 (AP) - In what they're calling the most
significant archeological find in decades, a team of researchers has
uncovered a previously unknown ancient book of prayer.  The Book of
Memory, as it is being called, makes known the long history of memory
research.  In addition, it appears to make a number of predictions in its
cryptic verses.

Below are a few of the more interesting passages from this new book.

>From the Book of Memory, Chapter 12
13  And from a House in the land of Ebbing, came meaning shrouded in
14  The appearance of the CVC, brought with it a great change.
15  Thine own self shall be thy subject He sayeth unto the peoples of the
Ebbing house.
16  Thy forgetting curve and savings sprang forth, and it was done.


Special Multipliers:

3x  Artistical Effort
    Multiply any points earned by 3 if you can make it rhyme or set it to
     music, or make it creative in some other way:

By Stroop Task (A pseudonym)

Twas three weeks before classes
and all through the fourth floor,
not a person was happy
not even Travis Seymour


I try for ten years
expertise, you elude me
I still stink at chess


2x  Seasonal Currency
    Multiply any points earned by 2 if topic is tied to current events:

The Preliminary Qualification Test and You:  A Survival Guide.

"Why do they call it prelims if it takes two years to study for it?"

        The prelim exams are carefully constructed and designed to test
everything about your field.  As such, you should devote at least three
hours a week to gaining this knowledge during your first year of
preparation, and five to eight hours per week in your second year.
        The savvy prelim victim can save all this time when he or she
realizes that because of a recency effect in memory, everything learned
more than two weeks before the test will not remembered, and so an equally
successful strategy is to spend the 96 hours before the test gaining this

2x    Real People Special Multiplier
      Multiply all points scored by two if Sarah Purcell is mentioned:

"My favorite is Posner's spotlight model," says local housewife Sarah
Purcell,  waiting on line at "The Brain Store" at a local mall.  Purcell,
along with approximately 150 other mothers and fathers is of course trying
to purchase this holiday season's most popular gift, "Left Hemispatial
Neglect Ernie" for her children.  

0-3x  Inside Jokes

    Multiply any points earned by 0 if they are not related to psychology.
    Multiply any points earned by 2 if less than 50 people on the planet
    will understand the humor in what you write.  
    Multiply by 3 if only those in Michigan's C&P area will get it:

NBC, Thursday 9:00.  * 1/2.

        In what network executives hope to be the heir to Sienfeld, this
new show follows the antics of four mysanthropes around their Big Ten
college town and exurban surroundings.  The show centers on how Dan Horn,
a witty graduate student, comes up with the material for his incisive and
unique observations about the world.  Other characters include Dan's two
office-mates:  Shane, a self-defeating, unemployable stooge; and Beth,
whose clever mix of charm and neuroses is sure to keep them talking at the
water cooler; and Anat, their across-the-hall neighbor who provides
slapstick relief when the comedy gets too cerebral, often by bursting into
the office without knocking. In the pilot episode, Dan and Shane hatch a
scheme to become wealthy by taking advantage of the gambler's fallacy at
the casinos in nearby Windsor, Ontario.  Meanwhile, Anat finds herself on
a date with a Gambling Commission Inspector, and learns of an impending
sting--on her two friends.  Only Beth's quick thinking and good looks
extract the trio from imprisonment in Canada. 


More Happy Hour writing tips will be discussed on 4:00 pm Friday at
Charlies (including: Forging ahead when your email flops, and How to make
fun of famous psychologists and still get a job), along with much
celebration in honor of Happy Hour's first birthday. 

[ The Happy Hour Archive | obereed.net ]