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Suggestion: Laughter/Humour

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Someone once said "Laughter is the physiological response for acknowledging the awkwardness of the moment"... That person was me.
More seriously, Rablais said "To laugh is proper to man". But is it really? Contrary to general belief, the spotted hyena doesn't actually laugh, it's just our need to anthropomorphize the behavior of the animal, in an attempt to rationalize said behavior. When a human is heard laughing:
*From a Human's perspective: he is laughing like a hyena.
*From a Hyena's perspective: he is communicating like a hyena.
Even if the last statement is not totally accurate, the hyena only emits that familiar sound in response of different stimuli: fright, excitement, while on a hunt, to make itself known... But none of those have anything to with enjoyment, pleasure or humour.

One the other hand, take rats for example:

As seen on the video: if tickled, rats emits sounds that ultimately were identified as actual laughter.

Leaving the Animal Kingdom, Professor McGraw recently made some pretty interesting discoveries on the subject: laughter comes from an urge to express safety.

But laughter occurs in very different situations and for very different reasons:
_ Socially, it might come in the form of:
* A bonding and contagious occurrence for some (thanks to the existence of mirror neurons for example): http://www.psychologicalscience.org/observer/getArticle.cfm?id=2167
* A humiliating experience for others: http://www.economist.com/node/4246393?Story_ID=4246393
* A sign of mental illness (Mass Hysteria): http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2003-07-29/features/0307290281_1_laughing-40th-anniversary-village
_ Alone, it might provide a brief instant of sweet relief. In excess, it becomes associated with madness: http://neuro.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/17/4/447
_ With Stand Up Comedy, it becomes a currency and a sign of acknowledgment.

Just a few examples of the impact of such a trivial, yet so complex process that is laughter.

So that's it. A very obvious subject but thought it should be pointed out.

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