Elon Musk is considered by many to be a genius. His latest venture aims to connect our brains to computers, while his other projects involve electric cars, solar panels, space rockets, artificial intelligence and tunnels.
But the 45-year-old billionaire also has an affinity for what many people consider to be childish things: He plays video games and often displays a crude sense of humor. Case in point: To show off Tesla’s new sketch pad feature, he tweeted an illustration of a farting unicorn. The drawing originally appeared on a mug designed by Tom Edwards that Musk says is “Maybe my favorite mug ever.”
Can I prove that enjoying potty humor is good for creativity? I can’t, but I don’t really need to. Studies show that people who are amused can more easily solve problems. From The New York Times:
In a just completed study, researchers at Northwestern University found that people were more likely to solve word puzzles with sudden insight when they were amused, having just seen a short comedy routine.
“What we think is happening,” said Mark Beeman, a neuroscientist who conducted the study with Karuna Subramaniam, a graduate student, “is that the humor, this positive mood, is lowering the brain’s threshold for detecting weaker or more remote connections” to solve puzzles.
Surely, all of the high-stakes, world-changing issues mentioned above (OK, maybe not the tunnels) that Musk works on are challenging. If he amuses himself (and others) with silly, juvenile things such as farting unicorns and naming Tesla vehicles Models S, 3 and X, we’re all the better for it.
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Musk had drawn the unicorn.