Swami Beyondananda • wakeuplaughing.com • “Swami Beyondananda” is the stage and pen name of comic Steve Bhaerman, a “cosmic comic.” Swami’s comedy has been called “laughorisms”, “comedy disguised as wisdom”, and “wisdom disguised as comedy.”
In 2004 and 2008, Swami ran for “precedent” with a “7 step plan to heal the body politic and cure electile dysfunction.” He said he was doing this because “what we really need to do is set a new precedent, and then a new President will follow.”
In September 2012, I was fortunate to hear Swami when he came to my town of Fairfield, Iowa, for one night to do his act. Just before the show, I was standing at a book table, just about to buy his book Swami for Precedent, when he suddenly appeared out of nowhere, identified himself as Swami Beyondananda, and signed the book. (“To Kevin, Wake up laughing! Swami B.”) His stage presence was remarkable. He had us continuously laughing hard for over an hour.
Here are a few samples from the book:
- “When we laugh lovingly at our own human foolishness, we can find the odd solutions that beat the heaven out of getting even.”
- “Drive your karma, curb your dogma.”
- “Use mental floss to help prevent truth decay.”
- “Practice FUNdamentalism, accent on fun.”
- “If you don’t like the current programming, turn off the TV and tell a vision instead.”
- “Shift happens.”
- “Don’t get even, get odd.”
- “Commit random acts of comedy.”
- “Why don’t we go for heaven on earth—just for the hell of it?”
From The Top • fromthetop.org • A weekly radio show, on National Public Radio, that showcases the best classical musicians in the USA under the age of 18. Before each student’s performance, the show’s host, Christopher O’Riley, interviews the student, and sometimes they perform a skit. Then the student performs musically, usually near, at, or beyond a professional level. Very entertaining and often very funny. • The show’s site has archives of all past shows, which you can listen to for free.
Car Talk • cartalk.com • Another weekly radio show, also on National Public Radio. This is a call-in show for car repair, which might not sound very interesting, except that the two car mechanics, Tom and Ray Magliozzi, mix in a lot of spontaneous comedy with their usually sound advice about car repair. The show has been described as “the Marx brothers meet Mr. Goodwrench.” • The show’s site has archives of all past shows, which you can listen to for free.
The famous skit by Abbott and Costello about a baseball team populated by pronouns and adverbs.
Math Ph.D. Public Service Announcement • A facetious public service announcement I wrote about what you can do with an advanced math degree.
Below is an animated graphic that poses an interesting puzzle. It has been posted in numerous places. Here I have included the text that usually accompanies it, with two omissions, explained below.
I have omitted two parts of the text: “This will drive you crazy!” because it won’t; and “Don’t ask me; I haven’t figured it out yet”, because I have.