Eddie emu

Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Photo by Mark Crocker

In what is sure to incite some fiery debate between the sexes, a recent study has found that men are funnier than women... just.

The University of California San Diego found that men held the title by the slimmest of margins, with research — published in the Psychonomic Bulletin and Review — showing men won by just 0.11 points, the Huffington Post reports.

Researchers used a novel method of reaching this conclusion, tasking 16 male and 16 female undergraduates with writing humorous captions for 20 New Yorker comics.

In pictures: The worst Photoshop fails

A judging panel — made up of 34 males and 47 females (just in case you thought that's where the bias might have been hiding) — used a system of elimination to determine the results.

The judging seemed to indicate that the men found the other men funny, which was bad news for those looking for a boost in the romance stakes.

"Sad for the guys," the report's co-author Nicholas Christenfeld said, "who think that by being funny they will impress the ladies, but really just impress other men who want to impress the ladies."

Christenfeld also suggested that men might be slightly ahead as they try harder to get a laugh and do so more often.

Thousands of women silently nod their heads.

Your say: Do you think men are funnier than women?

Video: Having a laugh

This tea-cosy is knitted and crocheted, and will fit a short six-cup teapot.

You will need
1 x 50g ball 10-ply variegated green and brown wool (such as Patons Jet)
1 x 50g ball 12-ply grey and green furry wool (such as Anny Blatt Fine Kid)
4mm crochet hook
6mm knitting needles
4mm knitting needles (optional)
Scissors
Darning needle
Polyester fill

Body
This cosy is worked from the tip to the base. Using a 4mm crochet hook and 10-ply green and brown variegated yarn, make 4 chain. Use a slip stitch to join the chain to form a ring.

Important!
Work into the back of the loop for all crochet stitches. This technique gives a tighter weave and a ribbed effect. Round 1: 8 dc into ring.
Mark the beginning of the round with a small thread of contrasting colour.
Round 2: 1 dc into each dc to end.
Round 3: *2 dc into next dc, 1 dc into next dc*, repeat * to * to end (12 stitches).
Next three rounds: 1 dc into next dc to end.
Round 7: *2 dc into next dc, 1 dc into next 2 dc*, repeat * to * to end (16 stitches).
Next five rounds: 1 dc into next dc to end.
Round 13: *2 dc into next dc, 1 dc into next 3 dc*, repeat * to * to end (20 stitches).
Next seven rounds: 1 dc into next dc to end.
Round 21: *2 dc into next dc, 1 dc into next 4 dc*, repeat * to * to end (24 stitches).
Next and every alternate round: 1 dc into next dc to end.
Round 23: *2 dc into next dc, 1 dc into next 5 dc*, repeat * to * to end (28 stitches).
Round 25: *2 dc into next dc, 1 dc into next 6 dc*, repeat * to * to end (32 stitches).
Round 27: *2 dc into next dc, 1 dc into next 7 dc*, repeat * to * to end (36 stitches).
Round 29: *2 dc into next dc, 1 dc into next 8 dc*, repeat * to * to end (40 stitches).
Round 30: 1 dc into next dc to end.
The following part of the pattern helps give the cone its wonky lean.
Round 31: 1 htr into next 4 dc, 1 tr into next 4 dc, 1 dtr into next 4 dc, 1 tr into next 4
dc, 1 htr into next 4 dc, 1 dc into next dc to end of round.
Round 32: *2 dc into next st, 1 dc into next 5 st*, repeat * to * to last four stitches, 1 dc into next st to end (46 stitches).
Round 33: 1 htr into next 5 st, 1 tr into next 5 st, 1 dtr into next 5 st, 1 tr into next 5 st, 1 htr into next 5 st, 1 dc into next st to end of round.
Round 34: *2 dc into next st, 1 dc into next 6 st*, repeat * to * to last four stitches, 1 dc into next st to end (52 stitches).
Round 35: 1 dc into next dc to end.
Round 36: *2 dc into next dc, 1 dc into next 3 dc*, repeat * to * to end (65 stitches).
Round 37: 1 dc into next dc to end.
Round 38: *2 dc into next dc, 1 dc into next 4 dc*, repeat * to * to end (78 stitches).
Slip stitch into next 2 dc to make a smooth finish to the round. Cut and tie off yarn.

Body front
Find the point on the last round of the cone from where you can trace a line up through the middle of the double treble stitches. This marks the opening for the teapot handle and the place where you will begin to pick up stitches with your knitting needle.

Using 6mm knitting needles and the 12-ply feathery textured grey and green yarn, pick up 39 stitches from the last round of the crocheted cone. Turn and continue on these stitches.

Knit 24 rows or the required length for your teapot.
Change to 10-ply variegated yarn (and a smaller gauge needle, if you prefer a tighter rib).
Row 25: K1, P1.
Row 26: P1, K1.
Continue in rib pattern for six rows. Cast off

Body back
Pick up the remaining stitches from the opposite side of the crocheted cone and work as for the body front.

Cone diaphragm
Make a circular diaphragm to hold the stuffing in the cone section. Circles may be knitted or crocheted. Using the 10-ply green and brown variegated yarn, work a circle according to the instructions.

To finish
Fill the cone with polyester fill and squeeze it to mould it into the desired shape. Sew the cone diaphragm to the base of the cone to contain the stuffing. Sew the front and back together at the ribbed base only.

Additional information
There are many books and websites offering easy step-by-step instructions on how to knit and crochet for beginners. We suggest I Love Knitting by Rachel Henderson, rrp $34.95, and I love Crocheting by Rachel Henderson, rrp $34.95, both published by Kyle Cathie; Teach Yourself Visually Knitting by Sharon Turner, rrp $32.95, and Teach Yourself Visually Crocheting by Kim P. Werker and Cecily Keim, rrp $32.95, both published by John Wiley.

For more tea-cosy patterns, see Wild Tea Cosies by Loani Prior, Simon & Schuster Australia, rrp $24.95.

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