There's not very much we know about the people of North Korea, but we do know they love to do things in unison. Watch a few minutes of this footage from the North Korean Mass Games to see what we mean:
It's nice how Kim Jong Il can't be bothered to give much of a damn during the whole thing. Can you even imagine the months it took to put together that monstrosity? And for what? To put on a show for a guy who glibly flips through a magazine halfway through? Except, oh wait. There's a lot more to these exercises than impressing the dear leader. And whatever it is the participants are getting out of their involvement with this performance, you've probably experienced it as well.
Oh God, it's the same expression that our fathers had when we explained what we did for a living.
Ever been to a sporting event in America? A football game, baseball game, an anything in a stadium? What did you do first, once you found your seats and got your drinks and settled in for the game? You stood back up and sang the national anthem with everyone else. Guess what? Scientists have discovered that when we perform synchronized activities such as singing songs, reciting chants or even as simple an act as walking together, we end up feeling more connected to the people we're performing these activities with.
"We share everything but synchronized boners."
Because it turns out it's not what you're saying or singing or chanting that matters. It's just the fact that you're performing these activities in unison with other people. Researchers at Stanford University found that when volunteers were instructed to walk around campus together, the simple difference between letting them walk normally versus instructing them to walk in step with each other increased the volunteers' willingness to cooperate with each other afterward.
Even more surprisingly, how harmonious the participants felt had nothing to do with any positive emotions created by the synchronized activities themselves. Whether or not they enjoyed performing the activities, they simply became more cooperative with each other. The researchers concluded that "synchrony rituals" may therefore have evolved as a way for societies to get individuals to work together and be willing to make personal sacrifices for the benefit of the group.
"Put your right hand over your ... eh, you're good, buddy."
Hell, why else would every country have a national anthem? Why would every military make their troops march and chant in unison?
The human mind loves to see human faces in everything; tortillas, clouds, cat butts, the moon, other faces, everything. The phenomenon even has a name: pareidolia. Knowing this, would you want to live in the Hitler house?
D Legakis / Athena
Number nein, on the reich.
Or a cardboard box that looked perpetually befuddled?
Even the homeless have their standards.
When making faces out of things, we don't just say, "Hey, that cloud looks like Abraham Lincoln" or "That scab looks like Al Roker." We give the face emotions, presumably based on which way its eyebrows and mouth are going. And researchers at the University of Vienna found that we therefore subconsciously tack on those emotions to, say, cars. In other words, we did half of Pixar's work for them in 2006.
We had to, because they clearly couldn't give a shit whether these guys were relatable.
It's easy to see it -- every car has two headlights (eyes), a grill (mouth) and maybe something that looks like a nose. So, knowing we assign emotions to objects, you'd think that most of us would pick the happiest-looking cars we could find. Like we'd all be clamoring for vintage Volkswagen Beetles.
After cleaning Lindsay Lohan's vomit off the back seats.
You'd be wrong. When we drive, we're not out there to make friends, unless you're a hippie, and then shouldn't you be on a bike or a donkey or something? Nope, what we want to convey is toughness, speed, aggression. So we want our cars to have the face of a monster. Or at least a mean dude. Researchers found that lower, wider cars with a wide air intake and angled or slit-like headlights give a picture of power. Not sleepiness, as you'd expect, but power. And that's what drivers are looking for when picking out new vehicles. At least, when picking out certain kinds of vehicles.
That's why the Dodge Charger looks pissed:
But not as mad as this Bugatti Veyron concept:
You can even see this in the boring, tame old Honda Civic. Here's the standard sedan model, for the moms out there:
Thin-lipped disapproval included.
Now here's the sport model:
Do you see the little difference? The scowl? Maybe this will help:
Wow. We're ... we're kinda sorry we had to illustrate that.
For more ways we aren't in control, check out 5 Ways Your Brain Is Messing With Your Head and 5 Ways Hollywood Tricks You Into Seeing Bad Movies.
And stop by LinkSTORM because we told you to.
Do you have an idea in mind that would make a great article? Then sign up for our writers workshop! Do you possess expert skills in image creation and manipulation? Mediocre? Even rudimentary? Are you frightened by MS Paint and simply have a funny idea? You can create an infographic and you could be on the front page of Cracked.com tomorrow!