adBlockCheck

International

North Korea Successfully Detonates Nuclear Scientist

PYONGYANG—Hailing it as a significant step forward for their ballistic weapons program just hours after suffering a failed missile launch, North Korean leaders announced Monday they had successfully detonated a nuclear scientist.

Tokyo Portal Outage Delays Millions Of Japanese Warp Commuters

TOKYO—Saying the outdated system needed to be upgraded or replaced to avoid similar problems going forward, millions of inconvenienced Japanese warp commuters expressed frustration Thursday following a Tokyo portal outage that caused delays of up to eight seconds.

Earth Ranked Number One Party Planet

FRAMINGHAM, MA—Noting its high concentration of nightlife, droves of attractive singles, and atmospheric conditions allowing liquid alcohol to exist, the ‘Princeton Review’ on Monday ranked Earth the Milky Way galaxy’s top party planet for the fifth year in a row.

Nuclear Warhead Thrilled For Chance To Finally Escape North Korea

PYONGYANG—Saying its spirits were immediately buoyed upon hearing Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un’s recent statement that the military was close to developing an intercontinental ballistic missile, a North Korean nuclear warhead reported Tuesday that it was thrilled for the chance to finally escape the country.

Pope Francis Carves Roast Cherub For Vatican Christmas Dinner

VATICAN CITY—After pulling a probe thermometer from its thigh and tasting a piece of crispy golden-brown skin, Pope Francis began carving a slow-roasted 18-pound cherub for the Vatican’s annual Christmas feast, sources within the Holy See reported Sunday.

Vatican Putting Out Feelers For How Public Would React To Another Children’s Crusade

VATICAN CITY—Saying they had been giving some thought recently to the idea of sending legions of Christian boys and girls to retake the Holy Land and wanted to gauge the level of support, Vatican officials reportedly began putting out feelers Wednesday to determine how the public might react to another Children’s Crusade, much as was attempted in the year 1212.

John Kerry Scrambles To Stop Bunker’s Self-Destruct Sequence As Russian Oligarch Taunts Him From Bank Of Monitors

BOGDARNYA, RUSSIA—Working frantically to gain access to the system’s override settings at the computer terminal controlling the impending implosion, Secretary of State John Kerry scrambled to stop the self-destruct sequence of an underground bunker located thousands of feet below the Russian countryside Tuesday while oligarch Dmitry Granovsky taunted him from the numerous banks of monitors positioned throughout the facility, sources confirmed.

Islamic Awakening Inspires Man To Defect From ISIS

MOSUL, IRAQ—Telling reporters he had renounced his role as a militant and would soon be relocating in order to seek out an environment more conducive to fully devoting himself to his newfound religious faith, 24-year-old Huzaifa Quraishi confirmed Tuesday his recent Islamic awakening had inspired him to defect from ISIS.

CIA Orchestrates Coup D’État To Replace Entire Population Of Venezuela

Agency Installs Pro-American Populace Of 30 Million Venezuelan Citizens

CARACAS, VENEZUELA—Sources are confirming that the Central Intelligence Agency has orchestrated a coup d’état in the South American nation of Venezuela, toppling the country’s 30 million residents and replacing them with an entirely new, pro-American populace.

A Primer On North Korea

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea remains largely unknown to Americans due mainly to the secrecy and isolationism upheld by its government. The Onion provides a primer on North Korea’s people and culture
End Of Section
  • More News

Deaths Of 20,000 Japanese Afford Planet Solid 15 Minutes In Which Everyone Acts Like A Human Being

The tragic event that caused people all around the world to stop being self-absorbed monsters for a few fleeting minutes.
The tragic event that caused people all around the world to stop being self-absorbed monsters for a few fleeting minutes.

EARTH—Following the recent earthquake and tsunami that tragically took the lives of an estimated 20,000 Japanese citizens, the planet Earth was afforded a good 15 minutes during which its inhabitants behaved like actual human beings, sources reported.

In the quarter-hour that followed news of the massive natural disaster obliterating entire towns and killing or injuring thousands of innocent men, women, and children, social scientists around the globe reported rare—and in many cases unprecedented—occurrences of individuals feeling genuine empathy for their fellow humans, recognizing the evanescence of life, and experiencing a deep sense of awe and humility toward the overwhelming power of nature.

After the 900 seconds had passed, however, this behavior reportedly ceased.

"Though its duration was incredibly brief, in this span of time the entire human race was able to temporarily forget all its petty political interests, narcissism, greed, and ironic detachment for a few moments and behave like real people with compassion and respect," social scientist Dr. Robert Westbrook said of the short-lived burst of basic decency. "There is no evidence of any significant bickering, lying, preening, or self-involvement during this period. In fact, it appears that all 6.7 billion human beings simply stopped for one quarter of an hour, became filled with genuine emotion, and said, 'Oh, no, those poor people,' while keeping their baser instincts in check."

"That they instantly went back to being needy, solipsistic whiners does not change the fact that, for a fleeting moment, the world was a wholly humane and gentle place," Westbrook added.

According to experts, immediately after the 15 minutes were over, the vast majority of the Earth's people seemed to move on from the harrowing, incomprehensibly tragic event, and have spent the subsequent time attempting to get ahead in their careers, ignoring the plight of those desperately in need, thinking solely of themselves, and acting how they generally act at all times throughout their lives.

A sizable number of human beings around the planet were reportedly able to negate the sympathy and goodwill they had just exhibited toward Japan by moments later getting into an uninformed argument about the efficacy of nuclear power, making a crude Godzilla-related joke on their Twitter or Facebook page, or telling themselves they didn't even know these people so it wasn't really worth getting too upset about.

"In those 15 minutes, the thought of making light of the events in Japan did not even cross a single human being's mind, yet evidence shows this restraint expired sometime between the 15:00 and 15:01 mark, when certain segments of the population began to speculate that the disaster was somehow 'payback' for Pearl Harbor," said sociologist Karen Perkins, adding that within seconds deep heartache and grief quickly segued into trivial and barely related political debates. "By the 15:30 mark, millions had told themselves that the Japanese were a somewhat robotic and unemotional people who would recover just fine; by the 15:50 mark, 1.8 billion people were already thinking about lunch; and by the 16:15 mark, all but 0.8 percent of the world had moved on completely."

According to Perkins, the exceedingly rare occurrence of the human race simultaneously feeling a moment of tenderness and selfless concern for others only has a handful of modern precedents: Similar behavior occurred for 22 minutes following the 2010 Haiti earthquake, for six minutes following the 2004 tsunami in Indonesia, and for slightly under four seconds after news first broke of the trapped Chilean miners last year.

Experts calculated that in order for everyone on Earth to act like a good person for 30 minutes, 1,000,000 human beings would have to die in a volcanic eruption or flood. For an hour of worldwide charity and altruism to take place, statistics suggested that an entire ethnic group would have to be genocidally murdered in a single afternoon on live television.

In order for people to be decent and caring for an entire day, there reportedly would have to be only 12 survivors left on the planet, though by the next morning they would likely begin arguing, slandering, and killing each other for resources.

"We should be encouraged by the fact that the world was able to come together like this at all," Perkins said. "Even though, in the end, it only lasted a few minutes longer than it takes for the average person to shower."

Still, a minority of scientists disagreed with the conclusions drawn by their colleagues.

"Frankly, I reject this notion that it takes tragic events like [the earthquake] for the people of Earth to act like real human beings for once," MIT sociology professor Samuel Lark told reporters. "After all, most modern research suggests that acting like a callous, unfeeling, vain prick is exactly what being a human being is."

More from this section

Earth Ranked Number One Party Planet

FRAMINGHAM, MA—Noting its high concentration of nightlife, droves of attractive singles, and atmospheric conditions allowing liquid alcohol to exist, the ‘Princeton Review’ on Monday ranked Earth the Milky Way galaxy’s top party planet for the fifth year in a row.

Sign up For The Onion's Newsletter

Give your spam filter something to do.

Close