Science & Technology

How Clinical Trials Work

Prescription medications undergo rigorous rounds of testing and approval before hitting the consumer market. The Onion breaks down the steps involved in this process

Scientists Develop New Extra-Sloppy Peach

DAVIS, CA—Explaining that the latest strain of the fruit was far softer and runnier than previous varieties, agricultural scientists at the University of California, Davis announced Thursday the successful development of a new extra-sloppy peach.

SpaceX’s Plan To Colonize Mars

SpaceX founder Elon Musk continues to lay the groundwork to attempt the human colonization of Mars. Here’s a step-by-step guide to his plan:

The Pros And Cons Of Self-Driving Cars

With Uber’s robot cars debuting this week in Pittsburgh, many wonder whether driverless technology will improve or endanger our lives. The Onion weighs the pros and cons of self-driving cars

How Animals Go Extinct

With an estimated 40 percent of species on earth now considered endangered, many wonder how it’s possible for these animals to be wiped out. The Onion provides a step-by-step breakdown of how species go extinct

Horrible Facebook Algorithm Accident Results In Exposure To New Ideas

MENLO PARK, CA—Assuring users that the company’s entire team of engineers was working hard to make sure a glitch like this never happens again, Facebook executives confirmed during a press conference Tuesday that a horrible accident last night involving the website’s algorithm had resulted in thousands of users being exposed to new concepts.

Team Of Vatican Geneticists Successfully Clone God

VATICAN CITY—Describing the groundbreaking work as a major step forward for theological research, a team of Vatican geneticists held a press conference Tuesday at the Apostolic Palace to announce they had successfully cloned God.

Dad Shares Photo Album Through Never-Before-Seen Website

SECAUCUS, NJ—Wondering aloud how the father of three even managed to find the online image-hosting service, family members of local dad Phil Yates told reporters Monday the 57-year-old had shared a photo album with them through a never-before-seen website.

NASA Discovers Distant Planet Located Outside Funding Capabilities

WASHINGTON—Noting that the celestial body lies within the habitable zone of its parent star and could potentially harbor liquid water, NASA officials announced at a press conference Thursday they have discovered an Earth-like planet located outside their funding capabilities.

‘DSM-5’ Updated To Accommodate Man Who Is Legitimately Being Ordered To Kill By The Moon

ARLINGTON, VA—Saying they were committed to ensuring the influential reference text accurately represented all known psychological conditions, leading members of the American Psychiatric Association announced Monday they would update the Diagnostic And Statistical Manual Of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition to accommodate a man who is legitimately being ordered by the moon to kill those around him.

NASA Launches First Cordless Satellite

CAPE CANAVERAL, FL—In what experts are calling a breakthrough achievement that is poised to revolutionize American space exploration and telecommunications, NASA announced Friday it has successfully launched its first cordless satellite into orbit.

What Is Pokémon Go?

Since its debut last Thursday, the augmented-reality smartphone app Pokémon Go has been downloaded millions of times and has grown publisher Nintendo’s stock by 25 percent. The Onion answers some common questions about the game and its unprecedented success.

Factory Robot Working On Some Of Its Own Designs After Hours

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC—Saying it had been mulling over the “fun little side project” for a while, an Electroimpact Quadbot reportedly put in some extra work after hours at the Boeing assembly plant Wednesday to try out a few of its own original designs.

Books Vs. E-Readers

Though e-readers have increasingly supplanted books in the digital age, many bibliophiles defend the importance of physical texts. Here is a side-by-side comparison of physical books and e-books
End Of Section
  • More News

America's Cowboys Suffering From Restless Heart Syndrome

ATLANTA, GA—Officials from the Centers For Disease Control said Monday that preliminary results from a long-term study showed that the vast majority of America's cowboys suffer from Restless Heart Syndrome, a disorder categorized by deep pangs of yearning, usually following extended, alternating bouts of lethargy and wanderlust.

This old boy headed out for that thar horizon with the clothes he had on his back after the onset of RHS last month.

"It's likely that most victims don't even know they have it," said research coordinator Grant Richardson, who estimates that 90 percent of cowboys are carriers of the malady. "Then one day they're staring into a glass of whiskey while the bartender sweeps the cigarette butts off the floor, and they get to wondering about what there is to find in the next town West of wherever they happen to be. After that, something changes inside them."

Researchers isolated a hormone in nearly all of the 500 cowboys studied that triggers a subconscious longing for the feel of a saddle and the sight of windswept plains as far as a body can see.

"Next thing they know, they're tipping their hat down low, pulling up their boots, and heading off in the direction of them twinklin' stars," Richardson said.

RHS seems to strike most often in younger ranch hands who have been restricted to the same patch of land for six months or more without being able to take long rides in God's country, where the coyotes prowl the sagebrush. Some cowboys also experience severe symptoms after taking just one whiff of old paint.

Nor does the disorder appear to be a new phenomenon. After studying hundreds of tattered letters and mournful ballads, researchers determined that RHS has been afflicting cowboys since the mid-1800s, when the West was still wild and a tumbleweed could still be blown across the plains from St. Louis to Frisco without hittin' a fence.

A man can only stand so much before he gets a hankerin' to set off with no one but his thoughts, his horse and 300 head of cattle

A significant number of cases appear to be triggered by an undersupply of love from a good woman. If detected early, however, RHS can be treated.

"If any cowboys find themselves experiencing unfamiliar emotions for which there just ain't no words, or an impulse to gaze up and wonder if she's watching the same sun set over Texas—home to more than 95 percent of cowboys' exes—I would urge them to swallow their pride, and come on in to see doc immediately."

Cowboy Sam Parker said he has been suffering the effects of RHS for "purt' near as long as [he] can recollect."

"Once I've been off the trail for a piece, my heart gets a wanderin' to thoughts of my darlin', sweet Annabelle—who couldn't marry me on account of her pa not approvin'," Parker said, subconsciously clutching his 10-gallon hat. "A man can only stand so much before he gets a hankerin' to set off with no one but his thoughts, his horse and 300 head of cattle. I don't care one bit if it means eatin' bacon and beans every day and every night."

Many pediatricians who believe RHS manifests in early childhood have been counseling mothers to consider whether or not they should allow their babies to grow up to be cowboys, who will never stay home and are always alone, sadly, even with someone they love.

Leading epidemiologists say their goal is to contain the disease, which has no known cure, before it progresses to a more serious form such as Aching Heart Syndrome, Burning Heart Syndrome, or Trail's End Disease.

"The worst part is that many of these taciturn, weather-beaten men don't want to be healed—you can't throw a cowboy's heart in the hoosegow," said cowboy counselor and RHS sufferer Sam Langley. "And the problem is, they ain't wrong. They're just different. And their hearts won't let 'em do things to make you think it's right."


Sign up For The Onion's Newsletter

Give your spam filter something to do.