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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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Florida Man Beats Out Heart Disease As Nation's No. 1 Killer

ATLANTA—The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Monday that in the first two months of 2007, 47-year-old Wayne Ray Thomas of Jupiter, FL has surpassed heart disease as America's No.1 killer.

"We're in the midst of a major national health crisis," CDCP Director Dr. Julie Gerberding said. "Every 22 minutes, Wayne Ray Thomas takes another life. If trends continue, by 2027 this silent killer could affect one in every 15 Americans."

According to health and law enforcement officials, there are several warning signs of the onset of Wayne Ray Thomas, including intense anxiety, shortness of breath, sweating, and a sudden loss of power to the victim's house.

Physical symptoms of a full-scale attack include involuntary constriction of the airway and sharp, stabbing pains in the left arm, right arm, throat, and back. In the advanced stages, afflicted persons suffer external bleeding, loss of motor function, organ failure, and intracranial hemorrhaging.

So far, those stricken by Wayne Ray Thomas have exhibited a 100 percent mortality rate.

"Progression can vary widely—most die in a matter of minutes, but sometimes, death can be drawn out over several agonizing days," Gerberding said. "The sole universal factor, other than the detachment of the pinky finger, is that the victim undergoes a great deal of pain."

Records indicate that the killer was first linked to a cluster of mysterious small mammal deaths in the late 1980s. By 1997, the leap to humans had apparently been made, when a number of deaths were reported in Miami's gay community.

Frequent running is an excellent way to prevent an attack.

Investigators have thus far failed to find a strong genetic link among the deaths, although there have been incidents of entire families being wiped out in a very short period of time. The CDCP said that evidence remains sketchy and incomplete, prompting speculation that there may be undocumented cases currently lying under railroad trestles and in shallow, unmarked graves.

Several high-risk groups have been identified, such as young children, the elderly, college-age females, male and female prostitutes in the Amarillo, TX area, and hitchhikers. Evidence has also linked the occurrence of Wayne Ray Thomas with preexisting conditions such as paralysis, blindness, and mental retardation.

But even those not within the identified categories should not assume they're immune, Gerberding said: "Wayne Ray Thomas does not discriminate. This dispassionate killer doesn't care about your ethnicity, where you live, or how much money you make. "

There are many things people can do to lessen the chance of falling victim to Wayne Ray Thomas, such as staying in good enough shape to sprint for several blocks while screaming. Eating a low-fat diet can help maintain a well-functioning endocrine system and the steady production of adrenaline, a hormone essential for both an effective fight-or-flight response and proper hand-eye coordination in the use of firearms.

"If you are experiencing any of the warning signs, immediately seek medical and police help," Gerberding said. "You have a chance of surviving Wayne Ray Thomas, but only if he's recognized early."

"And if you are certain you're at risk, for the love of God, do not, under any circumstances, go upstairs," Gerberding added.

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