Everything That Can Go Wrong Listed

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Timeline Of Mass Extinction

Scientists predict that human activity has put the world on the brink of the sixth mass extinction in earth’s history, an event characterized by the elimination of a large number of species within a very short period of time. Here is a timeline of extinction events over the planet’s history

Study: Floating Heap Of Trash Now Ocean’s Apex Predator

SANTA BARBARA, CA—Noting that no marine species posed a threat and the total domination of its habitat, a study released Wednesday by researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara revealed that the floating mass of trash known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is now the ocean’s apex predator.

Dementia Study Reveals Fond Memories First To Go

BALTIMORE—Researchers at Johns Hopkins University published a new study this week on the cognitive effects of Alzheimer’s disease and other deteriorative brain disorders, finding conclusive evidence that dementia sufferers’ fondest memories are nearly always the first to go.

FDA Approves Female-Libido-Enhancing Man

WASHINGTON—In an effort to address the needs of women suffering from a lack of sexual desire, the FDA announced Tuesday that it had approved a new female-libido-enhancing man, which is expected to be made available to the general public by year’s end.

New Report Finds Humanity 10 Years Away From Something Called Ash Age

TUCSON, AZ—Explaining that the large-scale shift in geologic conditions and social organization would require a new taxonomic classification, researchers at the University of Arizona released a report Tuesday revealing that humanity is approximately 10 years away from something that will be called the Ash Age.

NASA Announces Bold Plan To Still Exist By 2045

WASHINGTON—In what is being described as the most ambitious mission ever undertaken in the space agency’s history, NASA officials announced at a press conference Tuesday their bold new plan to still exist by 2045.

YouTube Turns 10

On April 23, 2005, three former PayPal employees started a video-sharing site called YouTube, which has since grown into an influential media platform with over 1 billion users.

Pros And Cons Of Screen Time For Kids

As technology becomes more of a staple in everyday family life, parents are making choices about how much screen time to allow their children—and asking questions about how computers, phones, and TVs might help or hinder a child’s development.

Geologists Unearth Fully Intact Rock

FORT COLLINS, CO—Describing the discovery as the most flawless specimen ever unearthed, a team of geologists working in northern Colorado announced Friday they had excavated a fully intact rock.

Rehabilitated Otter Released Back Into Food Chain

SAUSALITO, CA—Following nine months of surgeries and physical therapy to heal the aquatic animal’s debilitating injuries, officials from the Marine Mammal Center released a fully rehabilitated sea otter back into the food chain Tuesday.

Conservationists Attempting To Get Head Start On Mars

WASHINGTON—Fearing that any further delay might prevent their movement from having any meaningful impact, a consortium of leading conservationists confirmed Wednesday it is attempting to get a head start on preserving the planet Mars. The newly form...

Apple MacBook vs. Google Chromebook Pixel

Shortly after Apple debuted its new ultra-thin MacBook this week, Google announced its new Chromebook Pixel 2, which similarly boasts the new Type-C USB port and high-tech trackpad.

How Cable Companies Plan To Fight Cord Cutting

More consumers than ever are “cord cutting,” or getting rid of their cable service in favor of watching shows online, challenging the cable industry to launch new initiatives in order to keep customers.

Features Of The Apple Car

After dominating sales of smartphones, tablets, and other electronics, Apple is reportedly secretly designing its first car, code-named Titan.

2015 Tech Trends

Showcasing everything from wearable devices to self-driving cars and personal drones, this year’s Consumer Electronics Show revealed the latest in new technology.

Doctors Recommend Getting 8 Centuries Of Cryosleep

STANFORD, CA—Claiming that the practice is essential for effectively recharging the body and waking fully rested and alert, doctors at Stanford University issued a report Monday emphasizing the importance of getting at least eight centuries of atomi...

Scientists Receive $10 Million Grant To Melt Stuff

COLLEGE PARK, MD—Saying the money would help further researchers’ understanding of the awesome scientific phenomenon, representatives for the American Institute of Physics announced Tuesday that they had received a $10 million grant to melt st...

Pfizer Releases Vintage Cask-Aged Robitussin

GROTON, CT—Touting the new offering’s full-bodied flavor and bold, fruit-forward bouquet, pharmaceutical giant Pfizer unveiled a vintage cask-aged variety of its popular cold medicine Robitussin on Friday. Labeled as Robitussin Reserve, the hi...

Apple Releases Brief, Fleeting Moment Of Excitement

CUPERTINO, CA—Ending weeks of anticipation and intense speculation, tech giant Apple unveiled a short and fleeting moment of excitement to the general public Tuesday during a media event at its corporate headquarters.

Startup Very Casual About Dress Code, Benefits

AUSTIN, TX—Touting the business’s laid-back, nontraditional corporate culture, Go-Go Maps founder and CEO Mike Hannasch explained to reporters Thursday that his company is pretty casual when it comes to employees’ dress code and benefits...

Hospital Comforts Patients With New Therapy Oyster Program

CHICAGO—As part of an effort to provide comfort and serenity to patients, officials at Mount Sinai Hospital have launched a new therapy oyster program that brings hundreds of the bivalve mollusks to the bedsides of those most in need of cheering up.
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Everything That Can Go Wrong Listed

FULLERTON, CA—A worldwide consortium of scientists, mathematicians, and philosophers is nearing the completion of the ambitious, decade-long project of cataloging everything that can go wrong, project leader Dr. Thomas R. Kress announced at a press conference Tuesday.

One small section of the uncompleted project.

"We are mere weeks from finishing one of the most thorough and provocative scientific surveys of our time," Kress said. "The catalog of every possible unfortunate scenario will complete the work of the ancient Phoenicians and the early Christian theologians. Soon, every hazardous possibility will be known to man."

"And listed," Kress added.

Kress, a professor emeritus of mathematics and statistics at California State University and the author of several works on probability, would not say how many scenarios of error, peril, and misfortune exist. However, the list is widely believed to include hundreds of trillions of potential scenarios, from "cement truck with soft brakes cutting swath of destruction across quiet suburban subdivision" to "snagging shirt cuff on door latch."

"You know that thing when you don't invite an annoying friend to your party, and then, on the night of the party, an acquaintance from work brings that friend as a date?" said Project Awry researcher Hideko Manabe of Kyoto University. "That's on the list."

Manabe added: "I believe it's right after 'neglecting the maintenance of reactor cooling system, leading to core meltdown.'"

The November 2003 issue of Scientific American included an excerpt from the inventory, which read in part, "Knocking a cup of coffee off a counter with a light jerk of the wrist; breaking a tooth while comically pretending to bite down on the Great Pyramid of Giza; lowering lifeboats into the water when they are only filled to half capacity; tripping on cable and falling to floor with broken ankle while angrily storming off set of 24; building shanty on hillside instead of floodplain in anticipation of monsoon season, then getting buried in erosion-triggered mudslide anyway."

So numerous are the conceivable disastrous scenarios that processing them requires two gymnasium-sized supercomputers, one at the University of Pittsburgh and the other at Moscow State University. According to Kress, the supercomputers process and cross-reference all of these potential "wrongs" 24 hours a day, at a rate of 6 trillion calculations per second.

During a recent tour of the facilities at the University of Pittsburgh, the scenarios were projected onto a large screen as they were processed.

"Accidentally breaking off hand of Infant Of Prague statuette while gently trying to clean it with cotton swab and soapy water," the projection screen read. "Briefs get wedged in area between bureau drawers and base unit, making it difficult to dislodge them; sleeping with neck twisted awkwardly, resulting in headache; absent-mindedly discarding bus ticket with tissue; placing fingers too close to prongs while plugging in night-light, resulting in mild electrical shock."

Once the list is completed, the long task of codifying and categorizing everything that can go wrong will be undertaken. While some have questioned the list's utility, Popular Science writer Brian Dyce said it could have widespread applications.

"Within a decade, laypeople might be able to log onto the Internet or go to their public library and consult volumes listing the myriad things that could go wrong," Dyce said. "It could prove a very valuable research tool or preventative stopgap. For example, if you're shopping for a car, you can prepare yourself by boning up on the 98,627 bad things that could happen during the purchasing process. This project could have deep repercussions on the way people make decisions, and also the amount of time they spend locked in their bedrooms."

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