Category Archives: Science

Brown condemns Iceland over terrorist volcanoes

ALÞING, Heathrow, Thursday (NTN) — Prime Minister Gordon Brown has condemned Iceland’s terrorist attack on British air travel and their refusal to refund tourists’ air tickets.

Gotcha!The UK government used anti-terrorism laws to freeze all British-held assets of Umhverfisráðuneyti, the Icelandic Ministry Against the Environment, after minister Kolbrún bin Halldór threatened to further unleash the power of the Katla volcano in the wake of the devastation to school holidays caused by Eyjafjallajökull.

Thousands of confused and angry passengers wandered around Britain’s becalmed airports today trying in vain to find out how long the disruption caused by the ash cloud might last. “Can’t we just, you know, give the planes a try and see if they fall out of the sky?” said Brenda Busybody, 54 (IQ), of East Cheam. “I reeeally need to go and rest on holiday, Monday I’m back to doing nothing in the office. I pay my licence fee!

The Prime Minister offered his outrage and sympathy, in lieu of money or anything useful. “This is fundamentally a problem with the Icelandic-registered El-stodth Thyonustah Voweld,” said Mr Brown, attempting not to choke on his own tongue. “They have failed the people of Iceland and they have failed the people of Northern Europe! You pay my licence fee! Er, hold on …”

Icelandic Prime Minister Jóhanna bin Sigurðar also offered her sympathies to British travellers. “But, you know, we’re still pretty upset about the cod.”

Earth Hour activists “go green” by producing more CO2

AN INCONVENIENT TROUT, Gulf Stream, Saturday (NTN) — Today for Earth Hour, people around the world will “show their concern for the environment” as a substitute for doing anything that would actually help stop Earth from turning into Venus.

Compact Fluorescent Fester LightbulbThe campaign started in Sydney in 2007, when more than two million people turned off their lights and lit candles instead, producing a far greater aggregate mass of carbon dioxide in the process.

“It’s important to do our bit for the world,” said project director Kirsten Hodgson. “I won’t be updating Twitter until half past nine. I went around and made sure all the mobile phone power bricks were unplugged too. That saved 0.02p of electricity right there! Tonight I’ll be doing spreadsheets on my new computer working out our carbon footprint, which is the most direct action I can think of to stop methane release from the Siberian permafrost.”

In the Philippines, Roman Catholic bishops said they would urge the faithful to preserve natural resources from 8:30PM. “There’s no reason not to feel completely at ease in darkness with a priest.”

Critics of Earth Hour have called it “feel-good” and “tokenistic.” “Clearly dupes of Big Oil,” said Ms Hodgson, “in raging denial. They might as well be strangling those baby seals with their own hands. Cute baby seals! I bet they didn’t join our Facebook group either.”

Polar bears, people whose houses had been destroyed by extreme weather and Pacific islanders whose ancestral homes had been flooded out of existence were incredibly grateful for Earth Hour and its show of all-important awareness and solidarity. “’Cos any actually structurally useful changes to profligate Western lifestyles are clearly well out of the fucking question.”

Neanderthals “died of makeup”

ANSWERS IN REVELATION, Bob Jones University, Sunday (NTN) — American Conservative archaeologists have unearthed evidence that Neanderthals wore makeup and jewelry, directly leading to their moral decline and eventual extinction.

Researchers say the discovery proves the human subspecies were not the “halfwits” people assume, and were in fact too smart for their own good. “They not only wore makeup, evidence shows they danced in primitive discotheques and, from these Stone Age amyl nitrate bottles, were probably sodomites as well. No doubt they were moral relativists who thought gray areas in thought existed. ‘Oh, those Cro-Magnons are no threat to us, they’re just normal people with weird high foreheads!’ But what do you expect, Neanderthals were a European subspecies. It’s clear that ‘liberalism’ is another word for death.”

Past artistic depictions of Neanderthals, as supplied by the University of Metro, have consistently shown them as masculine, slope-browed, grunting and hairy. These results indicate said depictions were of the female of the race.

Young Earth Creationists have long held that Neanderthals were just as human as modern humans. “However, it is clear from that their disgusting and non-reproductive sexual behaviour that they were evolutionists. This is why they were forbidden passage on the Ark. Further, fossil remains indicate that Neanderthals formed the first manifestations of what we now know as the Democrat Party.”

When football fans behave badly, or politicians advocate reactionary views, their behaviour is invariably referred to as “Neanderthal,” in an allusion to how many are closeted homosexuals.

Baron Silas Greenback sues Royal Institution for competence discrimination

BAKER STREET POST BOX, Goldacre, Saturday (NTN) — Baron Silas Greenback will be suing science advocacy organisation the Royal Institution for daring to make him redundant merely for having run the Institution into the ground.

The neuroscientist, peer and supervillain’s job was abolished after a review of the Institution’s managment financial and financial structure suggested that blowing £22 million on an office refurbishment and leaving the organisation in massive debt may not have been the ideal forward-thinking move for the future.

Baron Greenback has been notable for popularising the notions that science claims that video games and computers will rot children’s minds (except his endorsed computer game product, MindFit, a snip at £58), that one puff of cannabis will destroy your mind forever and that the Royal Institution’s most valuable product is the promotion of Baron Greenback.

“As well as contesting the legitimacy of the firing process,” said the Baron, “I will be presenting a claim in the Employment Tribunal which will include allegations of competence discrimination. I am the only supervillain toad to have been appointed to this iconic post in the 211 year history of the Royal Institution, and cannot see how firing me on the flimsy pretext of having sent so much cash up in smoke that the annual report was printed entirely in red ink can be in the best interests of the organisation, its members or fighting that ridiculous rodent.”

“Baron Greenback,” said the Institute, “has played a leading role, not only in the development of the RI, but also in the wider scientific community through his work in popularising science and attempting to rule the world. Over the coming months, the organisation will focus on its many, diverse and renowned activities in scientific research, education, public engagement and attempting to get out of the hole he left us in without shutting up shop. Spare change? Dawkins bless you, sir!”

Baron Greenback is understood to be applying for Sharon Shoesmith’s old position at Hackney Council.

UK announces clampdown on “science”

RAGE AGAINST THE DIFFERENCE ENGINE, Goldacre, Friday (NTN) — The government has adopted a “zero tolerance” approach to science in the UK, in the hope of purging the country of it completely before they lose the next election.

A Whiff Of Death coverThe Science and Technology Facilities Council announced on Friday a five-year £2.4 billion investment strategy in world-leading multi-disciplinary public-private partnership, designed to deliver maximum administrative, societal, international and economic benefit to the United Kingdom or a very small proportion thereof.

“These ‘scientists’ cause nothing but trouble,” said home secretary Alan Johnson, “inventing nuclear Bletchleys, leaking wikis all over poor Peter and claiming in public that we should use their ‘evidence’ to make decisions without considering policy even in passing, let alone front and centre. I think it’s clear they are not merely misguided, but actually treasonous.”

Particular targets include all physics and astronomy research. “People looking to the skies will only aspire to some sort of better world outside our wonderful country,” said Gordon Brown. “These people just despise Britain and everything we stand for.”

Lord Drayson, the minister for technology and innovation, struggled to come up with something nice to say about the Science and Technology Facilities Council, eventually noting that they dressed well and showed up to most meetings on time, when not unduly confused by doors marked “PULL” that refused to push open properly.

After a series of lawsuits brought in front of Justice David Eady, science and technology will be replaced with homeopathic physics and chiropractic medicine, to be made mandatory on the NHS and regulated by the Daily Mail. Arithmetic will also be checked for ideological correctness before being applied to the ballot papers.

British scientists and engineers were unanimous in their response to the move. “We’re all learning Chinese,” said recent astronomy Ph.D. Mike Peel.

Turnbull still stuck with Liberal leadership

MUTINY ON THE TITANIC, Blighmey, Tuesday (NNN) — Australian Opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull has fended off a leadership challenge by the clever tactical expedient of making sure no-one wants the job.

Malcolm Turnbull as the PhantomMr Turnbull had angered many of his more conservative Liberal Party colleagues by such heresies as accepting the scientific view of global warming and climate change, occasionally showing less than a fanatical devotion to the Monarchy, privately expressing doubts as to whether the earth was created six thousand years ago and — rumour has it — having ten fingers.

Turnbull said yesterday he had majority support from his Liberal Party colleagues for his deal with the government over its proposed Emissions Trading Scheme, threatening them with quitting the leadership and leaving one of them holding the bag.

Former ministers Kevin Andrews and Tony Abbott suggested they might stand against Turnbull, to gales of laughter. “Malcolm has a tin ear for politics,” said Mr Abbott, “and lacks the temperament for the job. Excuse me, my reactor core needs refueling.”

Labour Prime Minister Kevin Rudd suggested he might give it a go if they liked, to an uncomfortable silence in the Liberal party room.

Get daily email alerts of new NewsTechnica!

Shroud of Turin proven genuine after Large Hadron Collider switched on

SEVENTH IMPOSSIBLE THING, Vatican City, Friday (NNN) — A Vatican researcher claims to have proven the Shroud of Turin genuine, shortly after the Large Hadron Collider achieved a half-circuit proton beam on Friday.

Large Hardon Black HoleThe shroud was previously carbon-dated to the 1300s. However, Dr Barbara Frale asserts in her new book The Shroud is Real so Christ is Real so Give the Catholic Church Your Bloody Money that the shroud is real, therefore Christ is real, therefore you should give the Catholic Church your bloody money.

“No mediaeval forger would have called him ‘Jesus the Nazarene,'” said Dr Frale. “They just wouldn’t. It’s much more plausible that the fabric magically carbon-dated itself 1300 years into the future, thus demonstrating the essential divinity of carbon-14. Getting my name in all the papers was, of course, the most unexpected and uninteresting of side-effects.”

Inexplicable phenomena have abounded since the Large Hadron Collider was switched back on — with people finding Gordon Brown to be prime minister despite no-one remembering voting for him, an Asian joining the British National Party (and having to shove dog droppings through his own letterbox) and Europe suddenly being a federal state with a president. The bird with a particularly well-aimed baguette was attributed to a rogue French military assault.

“Nothing can go wrong,” said CERN Director General Rolf Heuer, stretching his newly-elastic arm across the room to grab an unrelated conical flask to pipette coloured water into for the press photographers. “The collider cannot possibly cause a black hole to consume the earth, this assertion is just silly. The Pope’s head spontaneously exploding is pure coincidence. We assure the ladies, gentlemen, goosnarghs and quzklms of the press that they can continue to live in the manner humans have for fourteen trillion square years, guarding their precious clutches of eggs from marauding strangelets and malevolent intelligent equations, safe in the knowledge that life continues as it always has and, Gods one, two, seven and thirty-eight willing, always will. Probably.”

Dating site matches people through E. coli tests

KALLIKAK, Gattaca, Saturday (NotScientist) — Genetic testing companies are promising to match couples based on Escherichia coli testing, touting the benefits of biological compatibility and claiming a match means better personality match, better sex and conclusive proof that they match down to the asshole.

“How many dating services can you think of where assholes can meet an asshole they really deserve?” said Eric Holzle, founder of AssholePersonalityDisorderMatch.com.

Head up assPeople tend to be attracted to those whose personalities are appropriately complementary to their own. APDMatch claims to be able to ascertain this by scientifically measuring the characteristics of a prospective couple’s digestive tracts.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR) inexplicably fails to detail Asshole Personality Disorder. However, a diagnosis of APD requires five or more of the following to be present for a significant period of time:

  • Self-importance
  • Refusal to acknowledge or even comprehend social rules
  • Delusions of adequacy
  • Believes others would do just fine if only they were sensible like him
  • Beliefs appear to change to match the situation, but that’s just other people being idiotic
  • Pride in their superior people skills
  • Recto-cranial inversion
  • Projection of all symptoms on this list onto those around them.

“If we can make sure that assholes end up with other assholes,” said Dr Holzle, “we can save the rest of us from dealing with their ridiculous bullshit.”

But don’t put too much faith in this, experts said. Dr. Rocio Moran, medical director of the General Genetics Clinic at the Cleveland Clinic, called the idea “ridiculous,” and said the science of assholism is too complex to work out by looking at a few bacterial traces.

“They are just trying to make a buck,” she said. “Focusing on getting those bucks from assholes is, of course, commendable. But assholism is subtle and endemic. How many times have you heard some asshole proclaim, ‘hah, that really sticks it to those assholes!’?”

Holzle was not able to point to any success stories. “Quite frankly, the site tends to attract assholes. And do you think we ever want to talk to these people again? We have to swab these assholes’ goddamn assholes. What a pile of shit this job is. What the hell was I thinking? Apparently some have bred. This will probably doom the human gene pool. I’m so very, very sorry.”

Get daily email alerts of new NewsTechnica!

Scientists surprised to find men attracted to women with big tits

PAGE 3, Channel 5, Tuesday (NNN) — Women with large breasts appear to attract the attention of men, scientists were absolutely amazed to discover.

Nigella Lawson’s intelligent breastsResearchers from the University of Metro, writing in Evolution and Human Behaviour Illustrated, have spent many, many hours studying 16,000 women and girls, and their boobs, in quite close detail to investigate anecdotal reports that men’s attention is often attracted by women with sizable mammaries. Moreover, the more spectacular the norks in question, the greater the propensity for passing men to walk into a lamp post in a comical manner.

The more voluptuous women were also found to be more intelligent on average, performing better on cognitive tests, although the male researchers were reduced to drooling idiocy and largely not all that interested really. “We don’t want to compromise our scientific objectivity by seeing if the subjects are capable of speech,” said one researcher with his hands firmly jammed into his pockets.

The story was illustrated with a picture of Nigella Lawson, who has a degree in mediæval and modern languages from Oxford, a really quite splendid pair and a propensity for leaning over on telly.

The researchers speculated this was to do with fatty acids found on the hips, such as Omega-3. Or possibly something to do with our caveman ancestors, as these sort of stories tend to be. But pretty much no-one read that far.

Further studies are likely to prove that water is wet, the sky is blue and that men, particularly researchers and science journalists, think with their cocks. In the meantime, here’s a helpful, educational and newsworthy illustrative photograph of Nigella Lawson’s fabulous rack.

Device that “smells” snake oil could identify terrorists

SECURITY ZOETROPE, Westminster, Wednesday (NNN) A device claimed to “smell” human fear is being marketed as identifying terrorists by detecting “fear pheromones” in sweat.

Duck-punching rubber glove cavity search“The challenge lies in the characterisation and identification of the specific chemical that gives away the signature of human fear,” said project leader Professor Tong Sun of City University, “especially the fear of losing funding for security theatre. If we can reliably detect this fear, we should be able to land some eyewateringly lucrative contracts in the very near future.”

The research is funded by the Home Office. “The project relies on a government with a firm commitment to policy-based science, but the Tories look as craven over David Nutt’s firing as Labour, so we should be coining it in for a good while yet.”

The technology will assist airport security officers in picking out suitable subjects. Sensors can reliably detect if someone is a bit brown, or a bit foreign-looking, or has a non-Anglo-Saxon name, or if they might be thinking of giving cheek to security officers. It will work in conjunction with the millimetre-wave “naked” radar, currently used to identify terrorist subjects with large breasts.

The false positive rate will be only 5% on a terrorist detection rate of 1 in 100,000, meaning only 99.95% of subjects flagged will be a complete waste of time to finger up the arse with a latex glove. “But we’re sure the government will agree that mere statistical evidence is meaningless in the face of the vital necessity to send the right message,” said Prof Sun, “that if you make trouble the government will quite literally forcibly fuck you in the arse until you bleed. So just shut the fuck up and keep giving us money.”

Get daily email alerts of new NewsTechnica!