Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Venus Probed

In an effort to further understand the differences in how men and women respond to humor, scientists on Tuesday readied a Russian booster rocket carrying a European-built probe.

The European Space Agency's Venus Express probe was originally scheduled to go up Oct. 26, but the launch was postponed after checks revealed a problem with the thermal insulation in the upper section of the Soyuz-Fregat rocket.

Scientific studies of how the male and female brains react to humor showed that women were more analytical in their response, and felt more pleasure when they decided something really was funny. It is believed that women subject humor to a more thorough analytical process than men.

"Venus is still a big mystery," said Gerhard Schwehm, head of the planetary missions at ESA. "This probe should really start to clarify the differences between men and women once it reaches it's destination." Not only is Venus the nearest planet to Earth within the solar system, but it is also believed to be heavily populated with women.

The mission, however, is not without it's detractors. Dr. Allan L. Reiss of the Stanford University School of Medicine said, "The long trip to Mars or Venus is hardly necessary to see that men and women often perceive the world differently. It doesn't take a lot of analytical machinery to think someone getting poked in the eye is funny."

It will take 163 days, or roughly five months, for the $260 million probe to reach Venus. Quite a large sum of money to find out that it's funny for someone to get poked in the eye.

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Humor, Funny, Humour, Venus , Space, European Space Agency