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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
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Everything Falling Apart, Reports Institute For Somehow Managing To Hold It All Together

The Washington headquarters of the 75-year-old agency musters all its strength to barely hang in there.
The Washington headquarters of the 75-year-old agency musters all its strength to barely hang in there.

WASHINGTON—Officials from the Institute for Somehow Managing to Hold It All Together warned that, despite their best efforts, everything appears to be falling completely apart and "getting way out of hand," according to a strongly worded report characterized by panic, frustration, and numerous typographical errors that was released to the American public Monday.

"The country today faces a number of pressing issues, including potential economic collapse, the continued threat of global warming, and the decaying national infrastructure," ISMHIAT chairman Kenneth Branowicz said during a press conference to announce the study's findings. "And we just can't keep it together anymore."

"Furthermore, we just found out that my fucking hot water is being turned off," Branowicz added.

ISMHIAT, Quarterly Status Summaries

The report outlines a number of disturbing trends, such as a steadily weakening dollar, skyrocketing national debt, the car still being in the shop after three whole weeks, a polarized electorate that remains divided across ideological lines, and the fact that the wife is staying at her sister's and for all they know may not ever be coming back.

"In summary, we have no choice but to accept that managing these complex and varied crises may be untenable at this time," the report concludes. "We're in way over our heads here, people. Oh God. God. What are we going to do?"

The institute, a nonpartisan Washington think tank formed in 1933 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as part of his Depression-era For God's Sake, Somebody Do Something Initiative, has issued similarly dramatic warnings in the past. In 1953, ISMHIAT released the now-historic findings on how they had talked and talked until they were blue in the face but they'd had it with these damn teenagers today. And historians still cite its famous 1968 report, a rambling, semi-coherent study titled "The Hell If We Know," recommending the immediate nationwide throwing up of hands.

This latest warning, however, could be the most alarming and desperate to date.

"Among the new challenges America faces is a deteriorating public education system, a vast healthcare crisis, new and frightening bioethics quandaries related to the privatization of human genetics, and, of course, the whole fossil fuels thing," the 5,000-page study, which was due in November 2007, notes. "While much has been done to alleviate immediate effects, the situation has become OH FOR CHRIST'S SAKE—I just spilled coffee all over my pants—wait, don't type that—damn it, we're out of paper towels AGAIN—Gwen, don't put any of that last part in the report—why are you still typing?"

Some have criticized the report as being alarmist and exaggerated, urging that the nation should just cool out for a minute until the situation can resolve itself.

"While they have certainly generated plenty of attention, these findings represent an unnecessary overreaction, and should be met with restraint and calm," said James H. Walloch of the California Center for Not Worrying About Stuff So Much. "It is my opinion, as an expert in this field, that it's probably not that big a deal."

Walloch's agency is not the only one coming down hard on ISMHIAT. Others have accused the institute of shortsightedness and even gross negligence for failing to keep on top of such issues.

"The current state of world affairs is completely unacceptable," said Dr. Hyram Klemper, codirector of the Sitting Around and Expecting Others to Take Care of Everything Foundation, which has historically had a contentious relationship with ISMHIAT. "We rely on the institute to keep things together, yet, evidently, this bloated bureaucracy is incapable of fulfilling its mandate from the American people. Now I've had to cancel my Hawaiian golf vacation to return to Washington and address this issue."

Dr. Thomas Dyers, of the National Blame Allocation Council, echoed Klemper's statements, stating that if the ISMHIAT cannot handle its responsibilities, its duties should be turned over to another organization, such as the Federal Fall Guy Bureau, under the supervision of Ed Haversham, the national Scapegoat Czar.

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