Speaking of humor . . .
July 17, 2014
SEATTLE—Following a multiyear study of atmospheric gases and their role in organic processes on earth, a team of researchers at the University of Washington reported this week that the majority of the oxygen on the planet is used for complaining. “By carefully measuring the processes of gas exchange, the respiratory capacities of living organisms, and resulting metabolic activities, we discovered that most oxygen molecules in Earth’s troposphere are used for the purposes of sighing, whining, and most commonly, complaining,” said the study’s lead author, James Lauderio, who noted that an adult human converts an average of 19 cubic feet of oxygen per day into petty grievances about acquaintances, nitpicking objections about popular media or the weather, criticisms about tasks they are performing, and general fussing with family members. “And while humans are the species most responsible for transforming oxygen into complaints, it’s important to note that other animal life, including mammals, birds, and reptiles, also convert massive amounts of O2 into displeased growls and screeches about their habitats and food sources.” Lauderio added that the research team has not been able to determine a verifiable upper limit to the number of complaints that can be produced from a single inhalation, with many human subjects reportedly producing upwards of 40 or more complaints with each breath.