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Science: A Dark Sense Of Humor Is A Mark Of Higher Intelligence
In most civilian work environments, an uncanny ability to deliver a solid dick joke at a really inappropriate moment (which is most moments) would be considered a red flag. In the military, however, it’s simply the mark of a well-adapted service member. And if a recent study published in the peer-reviewed science journal Cognitive Processing is to be believed, it’s also a mark of higher intelligence, too.
The study, conducted by a team of researchers led by Ulrike Willinger at the Medical University of Vienna, involved 156 participants with an average age of 33. According to journalist Christian Jarret of BPS Research Digest, each participant was asked to rate their comprehension and enjoyment of 12 black humor cartoons taken from “The Black Book” by Uli Stein, a German cartoonist. They also completed “basic tests of their verbal and non-verbal IQ and non-verbal IQ and answered questions about their mood, aggressive tendencies and educational background.”
In the paper, dark humor is defined as “a kind of humor that treats sinister subjects like death, disease, deformity, handicap or warfare with bitter amusement and presents such tragic, distressing or morbid topics in humorous terms.” Apparently, Stein’s cartoons are pretty twisted, even by German standards, and were therefore used to gauge whether participants appreciated dark humor, and to what extent. (For verbal descriptions of the cartoons click here.) The researchers then measured the participants’ reactions to the cartoons against their scores on the basic tests. What they found will amaze you. Or maybe not amaze you, but, you know, make you say, “Oh, cool, that’s pretty interesting.”
As Jarret notes in his article, comprehending a joke requires a certain amount of mental agility. So the fact that participants who understood the cartoons were found to be more intelligent than those who didn’t is not all that surprising. The real revelation is this: Participants who scored highest on both the verbal and nonverbal IQ tests not only understood the jokes, they found them funny. Also remarkable is the researchers’ discovery that those same participants, the ones who comprehended and enjoyed the cartoons, also registered as being generally less aggressive, more calm, and more positive in their moods. In other words, smart, happy people are more likely to appreciate sick, twisted jokes.
Meanwhile, at the other end of the spectrum, those who, as Jarret writes, demonstrated “the lowest sick joke enjoyment” also had average intelligence scores, as well as the most negative moods and highest levels of aggressions. That brooding hard-ass who never laughs when Spc. Rogers pulls down his pants and shows everyone “the goat,” or who shakes his head in disappointment every time Sgt. Scruggs begins whispering all of his favorite dead baby jokes in formation? Turns out he might not be as “above it all” as he’d like everyone to believe. He’s just not that smart. And he’s also too miserable or wound up to recognize the joke for what is — not a personal affront or something to be taken seriously, but rather, as the study’s authors write, a piece of “playful fiction.”
Of course, this is just one study, and, as with anything, there are certainly exceptions. But for guys and gals who can find humor even in the most dramatic circumstances — who often find themselves cracking a smile at the most inappropriate times — the study’s findings contain a reassuring message: You’re not a freak. Well, actually, you are. But you’re also a healthy, positive, and brilliant human being. Just be sure to tell that your boss next time he or she catches you giggling uncontrollably while watching that YouTube video of Richard Spencer getting punched in the face on repeat.
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
And no one knows that better than military service members and we have the pictures to prove it.
NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO — A Navy SEAL officer accused of failing to properly report alleged war crimes carried out by one of his men was arraigned on Tuesday in San Diego.
After being informed of his rights, Lt. Jacob Portier did not enter a plea or choose whether he'd ask for a jury or bench trial, since his civilian attorney has raised questions over a protective order in the case.
Confessions Of An Apache Pilot: What It's Like To Fly The Military's Most Heavily Armed Attack Helicopter
Welcome to Confessions Of, an occaisional series where Task & Purpose's James Clark solicits hilarious, embarrassing, and revealing stories from troops and vets about their job, billet, or a tour overseas. Are you in an interesting assignment and think you might have something to share? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your story.
"Nothing is more powerful than a young boy's wish. Except an Apache helicopter. An Apache helicopter has machine guns and missiles. It is an unbelievably impressive complement of weaponry, an absolute death machine."
While this Patrick Stewart quote may be from an R-rated movie about a talking teddy bear, it's remarkably accurate. After all, the old warhorse has been kicking ass since it was first adopted by the U.S. Army in the 1980s. Designed to get into trouble fast and put it down even faster, the AH-64 Apache usually comes bristling with ordnance, from an M230 chain gun firing 30mm rounds to Hellfire missiles and rockets.
In the words of Tyler Merritt "it's basically a fucking flying tank."
The Pentagon has identified a Green Beret who was killed on Tuesday by enemy small arms fire in southern Afghanistan as Staff Sgt. Joshua Z. Beale.
Beale was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, according to U.S. Army Special Operations Command. He was killed during combat operations in Tarin Kowt, Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan.
Coast Guard Commandant Blasts Government Shutdown That's Forced Service Members 'To Rely On Food Pantries And Donations'
The commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard called the ongoing partial government shutdown "unacceptable" following reports that some Coast Guardsmen are relying on donations from food pantries while their regular paychecks remain on hold.
"We're five-plus weeks into the anxiety and stress of this government lapse and your non-pay," Adm. Karl Schultz said in a video message to service members. "You, as members of the armed forces, should not be expected to shoulder this burden."