Hari Kondabolu ’04 on the Ins and Outs of Joke Telling (New York Times Magazine)

Hari Kondabolu '04. Photo by Karsten Moran '05.

Hari Kondabolu ’04. Photo by Karsten Moran ’05.

Every joke is “a work in progress,” says stand-up comedian Hari Kondabolu ’04. He shares insight on the development of his funny bits — and some advice, too, such as finding comfort in the silence you will inevitably encounter.

Read “How to Tell a  Joke” in The New York Times Magazine.

Don’t Use That Tone With Me: IBM’s Watson Analyzes Your Emails (Fast Company)

Email128From winning Jeopardy! to healthcare recommendations, IBM’s Watson computer is clearly multi-talented.

Recently, IBM released a new way to utilize Watson’s cognitive computing: analyzing the tone of your emails. It’s called IBM Watson Tone Analyzer, and to learn more about Watson’s new skill, read this article from Fast Company.

How the American Girl Doll Became Queen of the World (Racked)

Shopping MallDoll hair salons, doll cafés, dolls for your dolls. These are all part of the multimillion dollar world ruled by the American Girl Doll, the object of many young girls’ obsession.

But how did we get here? And how did these dolls (costing a cool $115 dollars) become so unbelievably popular? Brush up on your American Girl Doll history with this article from Racked.

Annotated and Online: The Grateful Dead’s Deep Literary Roots (Open Culture)

SheetMusic128From the album American Beauty to Workingman’s Dead, the Greatful Dead were famously masterful with their lyrics. Interwoven with references to folk songs and poems, it can be difficult, if not impossible, to catch all of lyricist Robert Hunter’s allusions.

Thankfully, there is now a close-to-comprehensive online annotated database of every song — although it’s doubtful we’ve caught every reference. Read more about it in Open Culture.