Klingon for English Speakers: Sign Up for a Free Course Coming Soon


Duolin­go pro­vides free edu­ca­tion­al resources that will help you learn a whole host of ter­res­tri­al lan­guages — lan­guages like Span­ish, French, Ger­man, and Ital­ian. But now they’re expand­ing into extrater­res­tri­al lan­guages too, like Klin­gon. That’s, of course, “the con­struct­ed lan­guage spo­ken by the fic­tion­al extrater­res­tri­al Klin­gon species in the Star Trek uni­verse. Cre­at­ed by Marc Okrand, the lan­guage itself is cen­tered around space­craft, war­fare, and weapon­ry — but it also reflects the direct­ness and sense of humor of the Klin­gon cul­ture.”

Duolin­go’s Klin­gon course — Klin­gon for Eng­lish Speak­ers — is cur­rent­ly under devel­op­ment.  But, so far, almost 18,000 peo­ple have request­ed to be noti­fied when the course is ready to go. You can add your name to the list here, too.

And before you go, make sure you check out our meta list of Free Lan­guage Lessons, where you can find free lessons cov­er­ing 48 dif­fer­ent lan­guages. The list includes ter­res­tri­al lessons from Duolin­go too.

via Laugh­ing Squid

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Learn 48 Lan­guages Online for Free: Span­ish, Chi­nese, Eng­lish & More

Ani­mat­ed Video Explores the Invent­ed Lan­guages of Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones & Star Trek

French in Action: Cult Clas­sic French Lessons from Yale (52 Episodes)

Take Free Online Cours­es at Hog­warts: Charms, Potions, Defense Against the Dark Arts & More

1100 Free Online Cours­es from Top Uni­ver­si­ties


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George Orwell and Christopher Hitchens’ Ironclad Rules for Making a Good Cup of Tea


It’s not that I don’t appre­ci­ate good coffee—I con­sid­er it a del­i­ca­cy. But at the end and the begin­ning of the day, cof­fee most­ly func­tions as a caf­feine deliv­ery sys­tem. But not tea. Tea must be savored, and it must be good. Amer­i­cans’ enthu­si­asm for tea does not come nat­u­ral­ly. What pass­es for tea in the U.S. is best described by Christo­pher Hitchens as “a cup or pot of water, well off the boil, with the tea bags lying on an adja­cent cold plate.” (See his Jan­u­ary 2011 piece in Slate called “How to Make a Decent Cup of Tea.”) If this doesn’t sound wrong, he elab­o­rates, set­ting up his endorse­ment of George Orwell’s method­i­cal instruc­tions for prop­er tea:

Then comes the ridicu­lous busi­ness of pour­ing the tepid water, dunk­ing the bag until some change in col­or occurs, and even­tu­al­ly find­ing some way of dis­pos­ing of the result­ing and dispir­it­ing tam­pon sur­ro­gate. The drink itself is then best thrown away, though if swal­lowed it will have about the same effect on morale as a read­ing of the mem­oirs of Pres­i­dent James Earl Carter.

I like Jim­my Carter. I haven’t read his mem­oirs, and this does indeed sound awful. And before I had learned any­thing at all about drink­ing tea, it was all I knew. I tried. I cribbed a few notes here and there, wrote in tea shops, read the rough-hewn for­mal­ism of Sen no Rikyu, and looked to the East. I did not look to Britain and her for­mer Com­mon­wealth.

Per­haps I should. George Orwell would prob­a­bly say so. Hitchens as well, though they don’t per­fect­ly agree with each oth­er. “Tea,” wrote Orwell in his famous 1946 essay “A Nice Cup of Tea,” “is one of the main­stays of civ­i­liza­tion in this coun­try, as well as in Eire, Aus­tralia and New Zealand, but… the man­ner of mak­ing it is the sub­ject of vio­lent dis­putes.” The only dis­agree­ment Hitchens musters against Orwell is that some of his rules, “(always use Indi­an or Ceylonese—i.e. Sri Lankan—tea; make tea only in small quan­ti­ties; avoid sil­ver­ware pots) may be con­sid­ered option­al or out­mod­ed.”

Many old restraints may be loos­ened. But make no mis­take, for Hitchens, as for Orwell, mak­ing a good cup of tea is not about mind­ful­ness, patience, imper­ma­nence, or med­i­ta­tion. It is about rules. Orwell had 11. The “essen­tial ones are eas­i­ly com­mit­ted to mem­o­ry, and they are sim­ple to put into prac­tice.” What are they? Hitchens has his own suc­cinct para­phrase, which you can read over at Slate. Orwell’s rather baroque list we reprint, in part, below for your edi­fi­ca­tion. Read the com­plete essay here. Hitchens rec­om­mends you straight­en out your next barista on some tea essen­tials. Imag­ine, how­ev­er, pre­sent­ing such an unfor­tu­nate per­son with this list of demands:

  • First of all, one should use Indi­an or Cey­lonese tea. Chi­na tea has virtues which are not to be despised nowa­days — it is eco­nom­i­cal, and one can drink it with­out milk — but there is not much stim­u­la­tion in it.…
  • Sec­ond­ly, tea should be made in small quan­ti­ties — that is, in a teapot.… The teapot should be made of chi­na or earth­en­ware. Sil­ver or Bri­tan­ni­aware teapots pro­duce infe­ri­or tea and enam­el pots are worse.…
  • Third­ly, the pot should be warmed before­hand. This is bet­ter done by plac­ing it on the hob than by the usu­al method of swill­ing it out with hot water.
  • Fourth­ly, the tea should be strong. For a pot hold­ing a quart, if you are going to fill it near­ly to the brim, six heaped tea­spoons would be about right.…  I main­tain that one strong cup of tea is bet­ter than twen­ty weak ones. All true tea lovers not only like their tea strong, but like it a lit­tle stronger with each year that pass­es.…
  • Fifth­ly, the tea should be put straight into the pot. No strain­ers, muslin bags or oth­er devices to imprison the tea.…
  • Sixth­ly, one should take the teapot to the ket­tle and not the oth­er way about. The water should be actu­al­ly boil­ing at the moment of impact, which means that one should keep it on the flame while one pours.…
  • Sev­enth­ly, after mak­ing the tea, one should stir it, or bet­ter, give the pot a good shake, after­wards allow­ing the leaves to set­tle.
  • Eighth­ly, one should drink out of a good break­fast cup — that is, the cylin­dri­cal type of cup, not the flat, shal­low type.…
  • Ninth­ly, one should pour the cream off the milk before using it for tea. Milk that is too creamy always gives tea a sick­ly taste.
  • Tenth­ly, one should pour tea into the cup first. This is one of the most con­tro­ver­sial points of all; indeed in every fam­i­ly in Britain there are prob­a­bly two schools of thought on the sub­ject. The milk-first school can bring for­ward some fair­ly strong argu­ments, but I main­tain that my own argu­ment is unan­swer­able. This is that, by putting the tea in first and stir­ring as one pours, one can exact­ly reg­u­late the amount of milk…
  • Last­ly, tea — unless one is drink­ing it in the Russ­ian style — should be drunk with­out sug­ar. I know very well that I am in a minor­i­ty here. But still, how can you call your­self a true tealover if you destroy the flavour of your tea by putting sug­ar in it? It would be equal­ly rea­son­able to put in pep­per or salt.…

Relat­ed Con­tent

10 Gold­en Rules for Mak­ing the Per­fect Cup of Tea (1941)

10 Essen­tial Tips for Mak­ing Great Cof­fee at Home

Hon­oré de Balzac Writes About “The Plea­sures and Pains of Cof­fee,” and His Epic Cof­fee Addic­tion

Josh Jones is a writer and musi­cian based in Durham, NC. Fol­low him at @jdmagness

Take a Virtual Tour of Robben Island Where Nelson Mandela and Other Apartheid Opponents Were Jailed

Ted Mills recent­ly told you all about the Google-pow­ered vir­tu­al tour of Abbey Road Stu­dios. What should­n’t go with­out men­tion is the new, Google-pow­ered vir­tu­al tour of Robben Island — “the island where Nel­son Man­dela and many of South Africa’s free­dom fight­ers were impris­oned dur­ing their quest for equal­i­ty.” Along with over 3,000 polit­i­cal pris­on­ers, Nel­son Man­dela spent 18 years impris­oned here, much of the time con­fined to a 8 x 7 foot prison cell. (Don’t for­get Man­dela also spent anoth­er nine years in Pollsmoor Prison and Vic­tor Ver­ster Prison.)

All of the Robben Island tours are con­duct­ed by ex-pris­on­ers. On the new vir­tu­al tour, you will encounter Vusum­si Mcon­go (see above), a mem­ber of the anti-Apartheid move­ment who was jailed on Robben Island from 1978 to 1990.

You can start the tour of the max­i­mum secu­ri­ty prison and UNESCO World Her­itage Site here.

via Google

John Green’s Crash Course in U.S. History: From Colonialism to Obama in 47 Videos

Those who can­not remem­ber the past, said George San­tayana, are con­demned to repeat it. Luck­i­ly, if you learn about the past from John Green’s Crash Course video series, you can play them on repeat as many times as you like until you do remem­ber it. We’ve pre­vi­ous­ly fea­tured the acclaimed young-adult nov­el­ist, pio­neer­ing vlog­ger, inter­net edu­ca­tor, and appar­ent his­to­ry buff Green’s Crash Course in Big His­to­ry and Crash Course in World His­to­ry, and today we have for you his much more nar­row­ly-focused Crash Course in U.S. His­to­ry.

The his­to­ry of the Unit­ed States of Amer­i­ca — an enti­ty much younger than not just the uni­verse and the world but than most oth­er coun­tries — would seem entire­ly man­age­able by com­par­i­son, one Green and his team could knock off in a few weeks and move on to grander sub­jects. But as any­one in the non­fic­tion pub­lish­ing indus­try knows, when Amer­i­can his­to­ry sells, it sells, not just because of the coun­try’s promi­nent place on the world stage, but because Amer­i­can his­to­ry con­nects to so many oth­er not just his­tor­i­cal but social, polit­i­cal, eco­nom­ic, and even tech­no­log­i­cal themes.

Green and com­pa­ny (a group that includes his one­time high school his­to­ry teacher) thus have more than enough to work with for all 47 episodes of Crash Course U.S. His­to­ry, from the natives and the Spaniards to the Amer­i­can Rev­o­lu­tion to the Civ­il War to the Great Depres­sion to the 60s to the Clin­ton years to what the series calls Oba­ma­na­tion — with plen­ty in between. Green tells the sto­ry with his usu­al mix­ture of well-select­ed detail, copi­ous visu­al aids, and dizzy­ing speed (enough of all of them so that you real­ly do need to re-watch the videos, or at least pause them fre­quent­ly), result­ing in a breezy yet sur­pris­ing­ly com­pre­hen­sive long-form primer on just what made the Unit­ed States so big, so pow­er­ful, so inno­v­a­tive, so self-regard­ing, so frus­trat­ing — and, ulti­mate­ly, so fas­ci­nat­ing.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

A Crash Course in World His­to­ry

Crash Course Big His­to­ry: John Green Teach­es Life, the Uni­verse & Every­thing

Down­load 78 Free Online His­to­ry Cours­es: From Ancient Greece to The Mod­ern World

A Short His­to­ry of Amer­i­ca, Accord­ing to the Irrev­er­ent Com­ic Satirist Robert Crumb

Col­in Mar­shall writes on cities, lan­guage, Asia, and men’s style. He’s at work on a book about Los Ange­les, A Los Ange­les Primer, and the video series The City in Cin­e­maFol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

Hear What is Jazz?: Leonard Bernstein’s Introduction to the Great American Art Form (1956)

By 1956, jazz was enter­ing its hard bop phase, far from its New Orleans birth­place. At the same time, it was frac­tur­ing into sev­er­al inter­na­tion­al gen­res, with the influ­ence of Latin rhythms and the south sea breezes of lounge.

Rock and Roll was just about to dis­place this music as a pub­lic men­ace du jour (or a pass­ing fad as some thought). This fas­ci­nat­ing Colum­bia release from 1956 finds the com­pos­er and con­duc­tor Leonard Bern­stein set­ting down his thoughts on the art form of jazz. A spo­ken word record with sam­ples from rag­time to Miles Davis, Bern­stein’s defense-as-lec­ture is a win­dow on the cul­ture wars at the time.

He’s here to defend jazz against its crit­ics, and argues against their opin­ions: jazz has low-class ori­gins, it’s loud, and it’s not art — the same cri­tiques to be lev­eled decades lat­er against hip hop.

In 1956, Bern­stein was already known to the gen­er­al pub­lic as an edu­ca­tor on clas­si­cal music. He gave lec­tures on CBS’ Omnibus TV pro­gram on the great sym­phonies, while he had already dab­bled in the instru­men­ta­tion and tex­tures of jazz in his score to On the Water­front, and was busy work­ing on West Side Sto­ry. So he was in a per­fect posi­tion to intro­duce a con­ser­v­a­tive mind to jazz. “I love it because it’s an orig­i­nal kind of emo­tion­al expres­sion, in that it is nev­er whol­ly sad or whol­ly hap­py,” he says.

Appear­ing on the album is Buck Clay­ton, Louis Arm­strong, Buster Bai­ley, Bessie Smith, Teo Macero, and Miles Davis. Davis, who had just been signed by Columbia’s George Avakian, plays “Sweet Sue,” mak­ing this track his first record­ing for the label. Bern­stein illus­trates jazz music the­o­ry, “blue notes,” dis­so­nance, rhythm and explores the African ori­gins of the music for 42 fas­ci­nat­ing min­utes. Did this LP turn a lot of clas­si­cal musos on to jazz? Did this influ­ence the chil­dren whose par­ents had this in their col­lec­tion? Was it all for­got­ten sev­er­al years lat­er with Beat­le­ma­nia? What­ev­er the answer, it’s an intrigu­ing rem­nant of a tran­si­tion­al time.

Relat­ed con­tent:

Leonard Bernstein’s Mas­ter­ful Lec­tures on Music (11+ Hours of Video Record­ed at Har­vard in 1973)

Leonard Bernstein’s First “Young People’s Con­cert” at Carnegie Hall Asks, “What Does Music Mean?”

Leonard Bern­stein Demys­ti­fies the Rock Rev­o­lu­tion for Curi­ous (if Square) Grown-Ups in 1967

Ted Mills is a free­lance writer on the arts who cur­rent­ly hosts the FunkZone Pod­cast. You can also fol­low him on Twit­ter at @tedmills, read his oth­er arts writ­ing at tedmills.com and/or watch his films here.

110 Drawings and Paintings by J.R.R. Tolkien: Of Middle-Earth and Beyond


A few years ago, we fea­tured J.R.R. Tolkien’s per­son­al cov­er designs for the Lord of the Rings tril­o­gy, a series of nov­els that jus­ti­fi­ably made his name as a world-builder in prose (and occa­sion­al verse), but rather over­shad­owed his out­put as an illus­tra­tor. He did­n’t just do cov­ers for his own books, either. You can get a sense of the breadth of Tolkien’s visu­al art at the Tolkien Gate­way’s gallery of over 100 images by Tolkien, which reveal the land­scapes, let­ters, inte­ri­ors, and ani­mals with­in the cre­ator of Mid­dle-Earth­’s mind.


Many of these images come with descrip­tions of their prove­nance, which you can read if you click on their thumb­nails in the gallery. At the top of the post, you’ll find Tolkien’s 1927 paint­ing Glau­rung Sets Forth to Seek Turin, first pub­lished in The Sil­mar­il­lion Cal­en­dar 1978.

“The title is in Old Eng­lish let­ters, which J. R. R. Tolkien fre­quent­ly used when writ­ing in a for­mal style,” says the Tolkien Gate­way, not­ing that, “at the time of the paint­ing the name of the Father of Drag­ons was Glórund, not Glau­rung,” and that “the entrance to Nar­gothrond is here seen as a sin­gle arch, unlike the triple doors seen in oth­er draw­ings.” (Leave it to a Tolkien fan site to have just this sort of infor­ma­tion at the ready.)


We also have here Tolkien’s cray­on draw­ing of the West Gate of the Moria, a scene described in The Fel­low­ship of the Ring as fol­lows: “Beyond the omi­nous water were reared vast cliffs, their stern faces pal­lid in the fad­ing light: final and impass­able.” Just above is Tolkien’s ren­der­ing of Bag-End, res­i­dence of a cer­tain B. Bag­gins, Esquire, “coloured by H.E. Rid­dett and first pub­lished in the Eng­lish De Luxe edi­tion and in a new edi­tion of the Dutch trans­la­tion (both 1976) of The Hob­bit.” Just below, you can see his 1911 sketch of the much less fan­tas­ti­cal Lam­b’s Farm, Gedling.


Beyond perus­ing the images in the Tolkien Gate­way, you’ll also want to have a look at Wayne G. Ham­mond and Christi­na Scul­l’s book, J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist and Illus­tra­tor. Some Tolkien enthu­si­asts will, under­stand­ably, pre­fer to keep their per­son­al visu­al­iza­tions of the Lord of the Rings uni­verse unsul­lied by non-tex­tu­al imagery such as this, but if all of Peter Jack­son’s megabud­get film adap­ta­tions did­n’t sul­ly you, then Tolkien’s mild, almost rus­tic but still solemn­ly evoca­tive draw­ings and paint­ings can only enrich the Mid­dle-Earth in your own mind.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Dis­cov­er J.R.R. Tolkien’s Per­son­al Book Cov­er Designs for The Lord of the Rings Tril­o­gy

The Only Draw­ing from Mau­rice Sendak’s Short-Lived Attempt to Illus­trate The Hob­bit

Hear J.R.R. Tolkien Read From The Lord of the Rings and The Hob­bit

Sovi­et-Era Illus­tra­tions Of J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hob­bit (1976)

Col­in Mar­shall writes on cities, lan­guage, Asia, and men’s style. He’s at work on a book about Los Ange­les, A Los Ange­les Primer, and the video series The City in Cin­e­maFol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

The Poetry of the Cherry Blossoms Comes to Life in a One Minute Time Lapse Video

Are we to look at cher­ry blos­soms only in full bloom, the moon only when it is cloud­less? To long for the moon while look­ing on the rain, to low­er the blinds and be unaware of the pass­ing of spring—these are even more deeply mov­ing. Branch­es about to blos­som or gar­dens strewn with fad­ed flow­ers are wor­thi­er of our admi­ra­tion.

-Yoshi­da Kenko, Essays in Idle­ness (1330–1332)

Depend­ing on your coor­di­nates, cher­ry blos­som sea­son is either approach­ing, over, or in full riotous bloom. Every year, the Brook­lyn Botan­ic Gar­den sched­ules its annu­al Saku­ra Mat­suri fes­ti­val in igno­rance of what the weath­er may hold. Will lin­ger­ing win­ter tem­per­a­tures delay the blos­soms, or will spring come ear­ly, caus­ing the trees to erupt way ear­li­er than antic­i­pat­ed?

The only thing one can be cer­tain of is a mob scene, as ardent flower-view­ers of all ages stam­pede toward the cot­ton can­dy-col­ored trees, devices in hand. Mod­ern hana­mi prac­tice would sure­ly con­found the elite of the 8th Cen­tu­ry Impe­r­i­al Court. They wouldn’t have under­stood the con­cept of “self­ie” if it bit ‘em in the shakuhachi.

Of course, for every deter­mined 21st-cen­tu­ry soul who makes a point of admir­ing the blos­soms dur­ing their brief appear­ance, there are thou­sands more who, in the words of bureau­crat-turned-monk, Kenko, “low­er the blinds…unaware of the pass­ing of spring.”

Per­haps this lat­ter group is who Dave Allen, the Brook­lyn Botan­ic Garden’s for­mer web­mas­ter, had in mind when he installed a cam­era in a weath­er­proof box near the Cher­ry Esplanade. Every 3 min­utes, the shut­ter snapped, cap­tur­ing not just the glo­ri­ous Prunus ‘Kan­zan’ (aka Sekiya­ma) that line the walk­ways, but also a wide range of vis­i­tors who flocked to the gar­den between April 18 to April 26, 2008, seek­ing respite from the pres­sures of urban liv­ing.

The time lapse video Allen assem­bled from 3000 cap­tured moments takes slight­ly more than a minute to view. I think we have time to spare…

Watch it once for the main attrac­tion…

And then again for the (pix­il­lat­ed) peo­ple. Ran­dom­ly press “pause” to catch a kiss­ing cou­ple, a Hasidic man in a shtreimel, and a lit­tle girl in pink who some­how found her­self the sole human on the path…

Then one more time for the shad­ows of the clouds. Ah… That’s like­ly the time-strapped vir­tu­al viewer’s best chance for achiev­ing the sort of mind­set one might ascribe to The Tale of Gen­ji.

(Though per­haps a calm and con­tem­pla­tive mood was nev­er the goal. As ninth cen­tu­ry aris­to­crat­ic poet Ari­wara no Nar­i­hi­ra wrote (in trans­la­tion by Hiroa­ki Sato & Bur­ton Wat­son):

If there were no such thing

as cher­ry blos­soms

in this world,

in spring­time how untrou­bled

our hearts would be!

There is a mod­ern schol­ar on Tum­blr whose research sup­ports this take on the pink blooms’ blood quick­en­ing effects.)

In a week or two it will all be over.

As the petals fall, take refuge in Toi Der­ri­cotte’s recent poem. Its set­ting should feel famil­iar…

Cher­ry blos­soms

I went down to

min­gle my breath

with the breath

of the cher­ry blos­soms.

There were pho­tog­ra­phers:

Moth­ers arrang­ing their

chil­dren against 

gnarled old trees;

a cou­ple, hug­ging, 

asks a passer­by

to snap them

like that,

so that their love

will always be caught

between two friend­ships:

ours & the friend­ship

of the cher­ry trees.

Oh Cher­ry,

why can’t my poems

be as beau­ti­ful?

A young woman in a fur-trimmed

coat sets a card table

with linens, can­dles,

a pic­nic bas­ket & wine.

A father tips

a boy’s wheel­chair back

so he can gaze

up at a branched


                     All around us

the blos­soms

flur­ry down


        Be patient

you have an ancient beau­ty.

                                            Be patient,

                                  you have an ancient beau­ty.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Spring: A Short Film Based on Hemingway’s Mem­oir

Venice in a Day: From Day­break to Sun­set in Time­lapse

The Beau­ty of Namib­ian Nights in Time­lapse Motion

Ayun Hal­l­i­day will be releas­ing the 55th issue of her zine, the East Vil­lage Inky at the Brook­lyn Zine Fest this Sun­day. Fol­low her @AyunHalliday

John Cleese Explores the Health Benefits of Laughter

If you live in a big city like Los Ange­les or San Fran­cis­co, you’ll dis­cov­er that there are just a bewil­der­ing vari­ety of yoga styles out there — there’s Ash­tan­ga Yoga if you want a real work out, there’s Yin Yoga if you want to chill out and there’s Bikram Hot Yoga if you want heat stroke. Add to this list Laugh­ter Yoga. Yes, Laugh­ter Yoga.

For a seg­ment of the 2001 BBC series The Human Face, John Cleese, a man who knows some­thing about laugh­ter, ven­tured to Mum­bai, India to see what Laugh­ter Yoga is all about. He inter­views the man behind it all, Dr. Madan Kataria, who argues that laugh­ter is bril­liant at low­er­ing stress and improv­ing the immune sys­tem. And best of all, you don’t even need mats or unflat­ter­ing pants to do it. You just need a group of like-mind­ed peo­ple and a will­ing­ness to look sil­ly. In the video, which you can see above, Cleese yuks it up with a group of Mum­bai locals.

“We all know what a good laugh feels like,” he tells the cam­era. “But what struck me was how easy it was to get start­ed. When you have a lot of warm, friend­ly, fun­ny faces com­ing at you, you respond very naturally…I’m struck by how laugh­ter con­nects you to peo­ple. It’s almost impos­si­ble to main­tain any kind of dis­tance or any sense of social hier­ar­chy when you’re just howl­ing with laugh­ter. Laugh­ter is a force for democ­ra­cy”

Appar­ent­ly, you don’t even have to be in an espe­cial­ly jol­ly mood to reap the health ben­e­fits of Laugh­ter Yoga. Forced laugh­ter tricks the body into releas­ing endor­phins too. In Laugh­ter Yoga, as with life, the mot­to is “fake it til you make it.”

So if you are inter­est­ed in laugh­ing like a mad­man in the pri­va­cy of your own home, Dr. Kataria has an instruc­tion­al video for you, which you can see right above. There are a sur­pris­ing num­ber of laugh­ing exer­cis­es avail­able — from the milk­shake move, where you pan­tomime guz­zling a drink, to the argu­ment laugh­ter, where you wag a fin­ger, to the Visa laugh­ter where you pre­tend to laugh through the tears as you open your cred­it card state­ment. So go ahead and try it. You’ll feel bet­ter.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Yoga in an X‑Ray Machine

John Cleese’s Phi­los­o­phy of Cre­ativ­i­ty: Cre­at­ing Oases for Child­like Play

Son­ny Rollins Describes How 50 Years of Prac­tic­ing Yoga Made Him a Bet­ter Musi­cian

Free Guid­ed Med­i­ta­tions From UCLA: Boost Your Aware­ness & Ease Your Stress

Jonathan Crow is a Los Ange­les-based writer and film­mak­er whose work has appeared in Yahoo!, The Hol­ly­wood Reporter, and oth­er pub­li­ca­tions. You can fol­low him at @jonccrow. And check out his blog Veep­to­pus, fea­tur­ing lots of pic­tures of bad­gers and even more pic­tures of vice pres­i­dents with octo­pus­es on their heads.  The Veep­to­pus store is here.

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.