Thursday, July 28, 2016

New mother informed that baby's first smile actually just gas

A nurse at the Metro San Antonio Pediatric Care Facility kindly informed Sharely Browning that her 2 month old baby girl's apparent smile was actually just an unthinking, physiological reaction to indigestion and gas.

"I was so relieved", explained Browning afterwards, "I've been hoping [Dana] would turn out to be a repulsive, gaseous little bitch.  I couldn't be more proud!"

Dana drank 3.5 ounces of formula and passed out for the remainder of the morning and was therefore unavailable for comment.

Identical twin snowflakes forced to duel

Mild concern quickly escalated to panic in the early morning hours of the recent snowstorm, as snowflakes falling through the sky started to realize that two of their colleagues were identical.  There were gasps of horror, shrieks, convulsions of terror, and a few flakes even passed out as it became increasing apparent (as dawn broke across the horizon) that the impossible had happened: two snowflakes looked exactly the same. 

The offending pair (both shaped as dendritic flakes with plates at the end of their limbs, fern-like branches, and a densely rimed core) at first appeared to be unaware of each others' existence.  But as the morning light increased, the falling flakes were clearly distraught at the sight of their replica.  As they wisped downward, they were heard jeering at each other derisively, with taunts of "You're a freak!" and "You malformed ordinary dendrite!" and even "Irregular germ!"  And these profanities became part of an overwhelming cacophony as other snowflakes, reviled by the pair, shouted out their hateful criminations: "It's unnatural!", "Make them sinter!", and various other slanders.

So, the snowflakes did what they knew was necessary and just.  A handful of particularly repulsed flakes drifted towards each other, merged, and turned into graupel.  Their large and foreboding presence earned them the respect of all their neighbors, and they did made haste to render judgment upon the offending pair so as to restore order and dignity.

"Fellow flakes", they began, as one, "we today have witnessed something so unnatural and grotesque that were are forced to act, not just for the dignity and righteousness of our neighbors, but for the fabric of all snowflake society.  As there can be only one snowflake of a given shape, size, and composition, we declare that these two offending snowflakes be forced to duel.  To the death, for them, as we must ensure that the gospel remain correct, as it was been said across the ages and around the globe, taught to us as mere condensates grasping onto our nuclei: 'No two snowflakes look the same', and truer, more fair verses have never been spoken.  So it will be.  A duel to the death."

And snowflakes throughout the air column cheered in agreement, shouting, "To the death!  To the death!"

The offending pair approached and locked each others' glare, readied their needles as the crowd began to roar in anticipation, and suddenly the whole cohort of flakes landed on a dirty pile of deformed snow and ice, road grime, oils, and muck, and were immediately run over by a truck tire, squeezed into a crevasse in the pavement, and melted by salt monsters.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Five year, $500K NSF-funded study reveals that tourists are morons

A multidisciplinary research team representing 12 universities, 4 government agencies, 2 independent thinktanks, and 1 nonprofit group called a press conference earlier today to reveal their findings.  Said Heather Everett, a world-acclaimed economist from the University of Chicago and principle investigator for the study: "After 5 years of capacity building, strategizing and planning, pursuing grant support, collecting and analyzing data, and carefully vetting our results with expert colleagues around the world, the WGOITBRG [What Goes on in Tourists' Brains Research Group] is now ready to share our main and most important cutting-edge result, which is that tourists are morons.

"Surprisingly, very little of our input variables explained patterns in residuals other than the mere dichotomous 'yes' or 'no' dummy variable..."  (Everett took a minute to chuckle at the unintended pun)  "...of whether or not someone was on vacation.  Nothing else seemed to matter- home location, level of education, race, ethnicity, gender, trip destination, socioeconomic status, etc."

Continued Everett, "We examined differences between control group subjects (who stayed at home) and those traveling to national parks in the U.S., major cities in Europe, all-inclusive vacations in the Bahamas, safari adventures in southern Africa, trekking trips to the Himalayas and Andes, spiritual yoga retreats to India, and even road trips to Disney World.  We expected to find wide differences in tourist intelligence, resilience, and problem-solving based on the location and degree of ease related to their trip itinerary and various background factors.  In the end, however, none of that mattered, because all tourists appear to be stupifyingly-dumb mindless idiot-morons capable of the most jaw-dropping, ignorant, thoughtless, brainless bullshit imaginable."

"Quite frankly," Everett added, "we were shocked that some of these selfy-stick-using retards could even tie their own shoes."

Subsequent to additional background about the study, another team member, Gerald Von Grindewald from the U.S. State Department, provided specific examples of questions and statements made by subjects during the course of the 5 year study. The quotes, reprinted verbatim herein [see archives] but with the subject names removed to protect subjects' identities, are a small but representative subset of the overall population of responses.  Here are a few highlights:

"What's the weather like on the weekends?"
[from a tourist in Dubai]

"Rivers flow north?"
[from a tourist traveling from Lake Victoria to the Mediterranean Sea on the Nile]

"What time in the summer do the deer turn into elk?"
[from a tourist in Yellowstone National Park]

"I can't wait for the fireworks!"
[from a tourist in Paris on the afternoon of July 4th]

"I'm the king of the world!"
[from a tourist standing on the rail, leaning forward, at the front of an Alaskan cruiseship, moments before falling 100s of feet to his death into an icy fjord]

Note from the editor: the full list of quotes is quite lengthy and may be viewed in its entirety in our archives.

Everett concluded the press conference by thanking her collaborators and the NSF, and told the assembled reporters that the WGOITBRG intended to: "publish its scholarly findings in Nature and several other leading international peer-review journals" and that she anticipated future research activities to focus on comparisons between the intelligence of various household pets and tourists at all-inclusive resorts.

James Cannon, the Science and Humanity Coordinator for the nonprofit group, Light Travel, which was the only nonprofit group collaborating in the study, was heard leaving the press conference and muttering: "Scholarly?  My ass.  Jesus.  Five hundred thousand dollars for this crap, and I can't get a goddamn $12K grant to pay for minority kids to travel to their nearest park.  Jesus."