(3) Favorite Thing I Read Today””The Humor Code by Peter McGraw and Joel Warner

They’re in Japan now.

Apparently, if you go up to strangers in Osaka and point your finger at them, they’ll pretend to be shot without missing a beat. (Later, we ask Reilly if we should try this. “No,” he says. “You might point your finger at a yakuza””a member of Japan’s mafia”””and they might freak the [heck] out.”) Osaka’s brimming with hilarity, says Inoue, because it’s long been “the belly of Japan,” the country’s trade and commercial hub, so the samurai left the city alone, realizing strict hierarchies and customs weren’t good for business. That left Osaka’s merchants free to haggle and barter and banter as much as they pleased””and a lot of jokes lubricated those transactions.

Now, I really, REALLY, want to go to Osaka.

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