Thursday, September 09, 2010


My latest copy of the New Yorker arrived several days ago. One of the articles is "The Laughing Guru, Madan Kataria's prescription for total well-being." Kataria, a medical doctor from India, preaches and teaches Laughter Yoga, a loosely organized and fluid discipline that promotes laughter as a...well, as a "prescription for total well-being." Kataria is described as "an exceptional fake laugher" who inspires spontaneous laughter among his devotees without the aid of jokes or funny stories.

The whole thing seems a bit far-fetched to me, especially when they claim that laughter can not only alleviate pain, but also mitigate Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases, improve multiple sclerosis, benefit asthma patients, boost immunity, and improve the survival chances of cancer patients. Then again, maybe it can.

Ocracokers laugh a lot (see yesterday's post) -- at home, on the porch of the Community Store, at potluck dinners, at parties, in the Pub, at poker games, down at the docks....

Perhaps that's why so many Ocracoke residents live so long (Ann Howard lived to be 117 years can see her tombstone in the old George Howard cemetery on British Cemetery Road).

Don't forget to laugh (at yourself, if necessary). It's good for the soul...and apparently for the body also.

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter, Looking for the Wahabs of Ocracoke, was written by Dr. James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute. You can read the article here:


  1. Anonymous7:58 AM

    Hey Philip Just heard on the news that the latest trend in models along with tattoo's,body piercings and scars is gapped teeth! You are so in vogue!

  2. I just ordered another baseball cap from As you may know, it says "diastematic."

  3. Anonymous9:01 AM

    Who won the quilt? Inquiring minds wanna know....

  4. I don't know who won the quilt (the one made by Joyce Reynolds, and raffled off by the Working Watermen). Maybe one of our readers knows. If I find out I'll let you know.

  5. Anonymous8:21 PM

    About laughter....interesting concept. My late husband had Multiple Sclerosis and until he couldn't speak, we laughed A LOT! The old saying "Laughter is the best medicine" may reveal some truth. Personally, I much rather laugh (but it really has to be real, not fake laughter) than cry real tears. Hmmmn.....oh, don't forget the Scarborough lady, who passed away last fall, lived to over 100, I believe.

  6. I believe Ocracoke is the best place for laughter. I have tried to talk with the Brogue (?sp), because I love to hear it, and that always makes people laugh. When I'm there I laugh so much because I love the place. When you laugh and smile all the time it makes people wonder what you are thinking about.

  7. There's lots of research suggesting positive emotions and the like promote longer lives (a big review on this is on the way). So I wouldn't be surprised (and have often wondered) if O'cockers got an extension on that count!

    The fake laughter stuff, though, hmm... Have a hard time seeing the boys doing that.