July 8 – SCUD Day

Posted on July 8, 2013

Scud” usually means to move quickly in a straight line. The word is generally used for clouds. Sprinters running their races move quickly, in straight lines—but you rarely hear that the sprinters scudded down the race track. We much more often hear that clouds are scudding across the sky.

There is another “Scud,” and it is an unhappy word: certain missiles developed by the Soviet Union, back when there was such a nation, and look-alike missiles, are called scud missiles.

But today is not about clouds or missiles. In this case, “SCUD” is an acronym that means “Savor the Comic, Unplug the Drama.”

Today we are urged to stop being Drama Queens and Kings, to shrug things off, tone things down, laugh things off. And laugh at ourselves. And laugh and laugh and laugh.

A whole lot of laughter...

Laughing comes naturally to humans. You may have noticed that babies can laugh and giggle before they can talk, but did you know that other animals laugh, too? I'm not talking about “laughing hyenas”; when spotted hyenas “giggle,” they are being serious and saying, “Leave me alone; this is MY hunk of meat!” (Or something like that.) I'm talking about the sounds animals make as they play and chase one another, or when they are tickled. Dogs and chimps make panting noises that are similar to human laughter, and rats chirp in sounds similar to young humans' squeals and giggles.

It is interesting to learn more about laughter. The study of laughter is called “gelotology” (which looks to me a lot like “Jello-tology,” which I find very funny!), and some of the questions scientists are studying include:

Why can't I tickle myself?

Why is surprise so often part of humor?

Why do we sometimes laugh when we are nervous or even scared?

Also on this date:

Plan ahead:

Check out my Pinterest pages on July holidayshistorical anniversaries in July, and July birthdays.

And here are my Pinterest pages on August holidayshistorical anniversaries in August, and August birthdays.

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