Making People Laugh in The New Yorker

The New Yorker is one of my favourite magazines and the first thing I do when I open it is to read all the cartoons. Some are hilarious and others just don’t resonate with me and in the TED Talk below you can see that having a mixed bag of humour is important. Regular readers will already know the benefits of laughter so here’s a meta-analysis of what works in making us laugh.

The New Yorker receives around 1,000 cartoons each week; it only publishes about 17 of them. In this hilarious, fast-paced, and insightful talk, the magazine’s longstanding cartoon editor and self-proclaimed “humor analyst” Bob Mankoff dissects the comedy within just some of the “idea drawings” featured in the magazine, explaining what works, what doesn’t, and why.

Check Marks to Save Lives

An article on the CBC’s website today mentions that intensive care units in Toronto will be using a checklist to ensure the best medical care for patients. Yes, a checklist.

It’s one of three ICU checklists Dr. Damon Scales has adopted in his Toronto hospital.

“When I tell people about these things they sort of have the reaction of saying, ‘How could you ever forget that?’ said the clinical associate in the department of critical care medicine at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. “But this is a busy place with complicated patients and these are the kinds of things that can get lost in the shuffle.”

It’s such a simple solution that most people don’t think the checklist is real. In December the New Yorker ran an article on how checklists are the best thing to happen to medicine since, well, seemingly forever. The New Yorker article is a great read.

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