I spoke at the InfoCommerce Conference in Philadelphia yesterday about the content aggregation business model. I plan to have a couple of posts about this soon. Much more interesting than my talk, though, was an article in yesterday’s Science Times – Toonology: Scientists Try To Find Out What’s So Funny About Humor. Coincidentally, I had two (appropriately licensed) New Yorker cartoons in my presentation and I was able connect the article with my presentation.

Basically, there are four types of cartoons: First, the unreal image coupled with the rather ordinary caption. I used the cartoon below to tell the audience everything they needed to know about their presenter.

Second, the ordinary image coupled with the outlandish caption. To emphasize the importance of publishers, I used this:

The third type is the unreal image with the unreal caption – two old, female crocodiles sitting in living room chairs and one says, “Whenever Mother’s Day rolls around, I regret having eaten my young.” And finally, the slice of life cartoon, which has an ordinary image and an ordinary caption – a man and his wife sitting on a sofa and the man is petting the dog. The wife says, “Lily is the child, Violet is the dog.” I’ve been a New Yorker subscriber for 25 years and I always flip through to look at the cartoons first. It had never crossed my mind that they could be so easily and elegantly categorized.

If you need a cartoon for a presentation go to www.cartoonbank.com. The search engine could be better, but overall, the site works pretty well.