Good morning and greetings, daybreak fans. I wanted to showcase a beautiful sunrise this week, which meant coming up with a clever title to satisfy the headline writer in me. Since I’ve exhausted the word ‘sunrise’ over the past five years, I went to the ‘dawn’ card and came up with today’s candidate. Which got me to thinking about the thought of Robert Plant from Led Zeppelin’s classic ‘Stairway to Heaven, “Does anyone remember laughter?”
Fortunately, the folks from www.humor-laughter.com and www.drstandley.com do. So turn up the laugh track as here we go. Studies have shown that there are 18 different kinds of smiles, three grins and one smirk. The most common is the smile of enjoyment, like when your team is left for dead and then goes on to win the Super Bowl or anything involving the thought of Chinese food, pizza, or NBA playoff tripleheaders.
Laughologists claim that 13 muscles are used to smile, 47 are needed for frowning, while scowling comes in at 59. I believe it was my orthodontist who told me that “A smile is a frown turned upside down.” Joan Rivers insists that you have to smile nearly a quarter of a million times to make a wrinkle, so I’m trying to pace myself.
Laughter and watching “Modern Family” lowers the levels of cortisol and epinephrine in the body. Both suppress the immune system and the air time of Sophia Veraga. Lowering these levels enhances the work of the immune system, may prevent disease and does wonders for ABC’s Neilson ratings.
Studies have shown that laughter causes endorphins to be released into the body with the same exhilarating effect as doing strenuous exercise, similar to the ‘high’ joggers get when jogging or attending a Grateful Dead concert. Laughter causes positive changes in brain chemistry when the endorphins are released back into the wild.
You can stimulate your heart, lungs and spleen, elevate your blood pressure and vertical leap and improve breathing capacity by laughing. In terms of exercise, you can get the same benefits from laughing 100 times a day as you can from 10 minutes of rowing or five minutes of being chased by a pack of wolves. 15 minutes of laughter equals the benefit of two hours sleep, and even more if you’re giggling while wearing slippers and pajamas.
Oprah claims that one good belly laugh burns off 3 1/2 calories, while laughing for 15 seconds adds two days to your life span. We’re talking about a daily dose of chuckling that can burn up to five pounds of fat over a year. So you might want to sit up and pay attention during those Republican Presidential debates.
The Chinese laugh and serve more moo goo gui pan than any other culture in the world. According to a study in Germany, back in the 50′s, people used to laugh an average of 18 minutes a day. Today, that’s down to 4-6 minutes. Boy, I wonder if that has anything to do with Facebook, Twitter, Blackberries, blueberries or the Kardashian sisters?
Higher levels of an antibody that fights infectious organisms entering the respiratory tract were found in the saliva of people who watched humorous videos, experienced good moods or didn’t read newspapers or watch the nightly news. Researchers found after watching an hour-long video of slapstick comedy without commercials that the “natural killer cells,” which seek out and destroy malignant cells, more actively attacked tumor cells in test tubes, which is great news for fans of The Three Stooges. In the words of Moe Howard, “Remind me to murder you later.”
A University of Chicago study showed that a great sense of humor can add eight years to your life, unless you get run over by a bus. I believe it was Milton Berle or Mahatma Ghandi who said, “Laugh and the world laughs with you. Cry and you cry alone.” And then there was Christie Brinkley’s ex, Billy Joel, who said, “I’d rather laugh with the sinners then cry with the New Orleans Saints.” Bottom line, everyone smiles in the same language.
I know I need to laugh more. Nothing feels better than a good laugh or knocking down the open jumper. Mark Twain once said that “The human race has only one really effective weapon and that is laughter.” Alan Alda added, “When people are laughing, they’re generally not killing each other.” And North Carolina State basketball coach, Jim Valvano, had this to say before he passed away, “I urge all of you to enjoy your life, the precious moments you have. To spend each day with some laughter and some thought, to get you’re emotions going.” I couldn’t have said it better.
For today’s photo extravaganza we are returning to a warm sunrise down at Lighthouse Point on the morning of February 17. It was a quick and easy photographic adventure, and I marveled at the beauty of this morning. Just like anything pertaining to chocolate, I never tire shooting the dawning experience from this location.
On to the late night. “There are 8 million dead people who are still registered to vote. As a matter of fact, they’re the group that’s most passionate about Mitt Romney.” –Conan O’Brien “The band Megadeth has endorsed Rick Santorum. I think I’m going to wait and see who Metallica likes. Kim Jong Il would have been 70 years old today if he hadn’t died a couple of months ago. But don’t worry. Osama bin Laden threw him a surprise party in hell.” –David Letterman
“President Obama’s approval rating is up to 50 percent. Only half the country dislikes him. Apparently his strategy of not being any of the Republican candidates is paying off. Here’s how he stacks up against others. Obama is at 50 percent positive. Mitt Romney is at 42 percent positive. Ice cream is ahead of both of them at 97 percent.” –Jimmy Kimmel
“A group of Democratic fundraisers is offering a dinner with the president for $35,000. Unfortunately, the only person in America who can afford it is Mitt Romney. “Yesterday Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and Mitt Romney all said that if elected president they would eliminate porn. In a related story, President Obama has already been re-elected.” –Conan O’Brien
“Rick Santorum says that if he’s elected, he’s going to leave the interns alone and just screw the American people directly. This guy is really conservative. In fact, Rick Santorum is so conservative he won’t even go down on an escalator. Santorum is so conservative he won’t even let the UPS guy handle his package. Rick Santorum is so conservative that when he goes to KFC, he only orders the right wings. “This guy is so anti-gay, he won’t even eat a Hershey bar if it has nuts.” –Jay Leno
So that’s our last blast for February. Birthday wishes today go out to the Dutchess of Westchester, Amy Zimmerman, who says that despite the success of Jeremy Lin, she still has no regrets about leaving the snowbanks of Syracuse back in the early 70′s. We’ll catch you draining threes and swooping to the hoop. Aloha, mahalo and later, Kevin Durant fans.