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Most Notable Google Ventures

Ten years ago this week, Google Street View launched, offering panoramic views of locations all over the world. As the tech giant continues to debut new projects, The Onion highlights some of Google’s most ambitious ventures to date:

Rural Working-Class Archbishops Come Out In Droves To Welcome Trump To Vatican

VATICAN CITY—Arriving in their dusty pickup trucks from as far away as the dioceses of Oria and Locri-Gerace to express their support for a leader who they say embodies their interests and defends their way of life, droves of rural working-class archbishops reportedly poured into St. Peter’s Square today to greet U.S. president Donald Trump during his visit to the Vatican.

Rookie First Baseman Nervous To Chat With Baserunners

ATLANTA—Noting how important it is to make a good first impression, Pittsburgh Pirates rookie first baseman Josh Bell told reporters before Tuesday’s game against the Atlanta Braves that he’s still nervous about chatting with opposing baserunners.

What Is Trump Hiding?

As The Onion’s 300,000 staffers in its news bureaus and manual labor camps around the world continue to pore through the immense trove of documents obtained from an anonymous White House source, the answers that are emerging to these questions are deeply unnerving and suggest grave outcomes for the American people, the current international order, Wolf Blitzer, four of the five Great Lakes, and most devastatingly, the nation’s lighthouses and lighthouse keepers.

Deep Blue Quietly Celebrates 10th Anniversary With Garry Kasparov’s Ex-Wife

PITTSBURGH—Red wine and candlelight on the table before them, Deep Blue, the supercomputer that defeated reigning world chess champion Garry Kasparov in 1997, and Kasparov’s ex-wife, Yulia Vovk, quietly celebrated their 10th anniversary on Wednesday at a small French restaurant near Carnegie Mellon University, where Deep Blue was created.
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Home-Buying Up Among Lame-O's

WASHINGTON, DC—In the first quarter of 2002, sales of new U.S. homes rose 5.3 percent among Dockers-wearing, Pictionary-playing lame-o's, the Commerce Department reported Monday.

Lame-o's Ken and Caryn Worth, neither of whom enjoy attending rock concerts, purchase their dream home in Arlington, VA.

"This is encouraging news for the U.S. economy," Commerce Secretary Don Evans said. "For three straight months, home-buying statistics have been robust, with March housing starts peaking at a seasonally adjusted rate of 1.66 million units. Mr. and Mrs. Suburban Dork are scooping up houses like there's no tomorrow."

Though housing-industry analysts can't understand why any thinking person would want to be saddled with a hefty mortgage and consign themselves to a depressing, isolated whitebread existence, they say falling interest rates represent the primary reason for the surge. The Federal Reserve, which has repeatedly cut interest rates in an effort to slow down the recession and stimulate consumer spending, took pains to distance itself from the trend.

"The Federal Reserve Board may have stimulated home-buying with its interest-rate cuts," Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said. "But that doesn't mean any of us would ever want to live in a split-level ranch in some soulless gated community near Phoenix, where we'll obsess over golf and property values. Promise you'll shoot me if it ever comes to that."

According to Kiplinger's senior writer Peter Akkaf, in addition to buying more homes, lame-o's are refinancing existing mortgages to take advantage of lower rates.

"Lame-o's across the country are making appointments at financial institutions to ask men in ugly neckties and women with hairstyles 10 years out of style to adjust their mortgages to a slightly more favorable rate," Akkaf said. "When that's done, they return to their homes, where they stare at their $12.99 Monet prints from Target and listen to Andrea Bocelli on their mini-stereos. What kind of life is that?"

Asked if the recent warm temperatures could have goosed the market, National Realtors' Board president Maggie Zadora rolled her eyes.

Graph of US home buyers with lame-os, non lame-os; the lame-os are up.

"God, if that's true, that's sad," Zadora said. "It's like, 'Ooh, Mary, it's 10 degrees warmer outside! Instead of going out and doing something fun or creative, let's all pile into the minivan and search for the bland colonial of our dreams!'"

Alan and Laurie Butterfield of Glen Burnie, MD, are among the many lame-o's to take advantage of the favorable buying conditions. Last month, they purchased their first home, a three-bedroom split-level in a featureless suburban subdivision near Baltimore.

"We'd rented for so long, we figured we probably could have paid off half a mortgage by now," said Laurie, 33, who hasn't been out on a Saturday night in months. "So with the interest rates down and both of us working steadily, this seemed like the perfect time to get a house."

"With a child on the way, we wanted to move to someplace with a lot more space and good public schools," said Alan, 34, sporting a tucked-in polo shirt embroidered with his company's logo. "It's also a good investment. Our neighborhood didn't even exist 10 years ago, and already the housing values have increased by one-third from their 1996 estimates."

The Butterfields' decision impressed Money columnist William Ross.

"Very smart move, Alan and Laurie," said Ross, facetiously tapping his temple. "Thanks to your tremendous savvy and financial acumen, you now have a brand-new place to hang your wind sock. Fabulous. Have fun being chained to a mortgage for the next 30 years."

Housing-industry experts say the surge in home buying indicates increased confidence in the U.S. economy on the part of lame-o's.

"Purchasing a home is not the act of a pessimist," said Frank Nothaft, chief economist at Freddie Mac. "But it is the act of a dweeb. Sure, renting costs more over time than owning, but do you want to spend your weekends cleaning out leaf gutters and fixing the garage-door opener, or do you want to be happy? Life is way too short, people. Loosen up."

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