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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John Glenn Installed In Smithsonian

WASHINGTON, DC—John Glenn, the first American to orbit the earth and the oldest man ever in space, is being honored by the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, which has installed the former U.S. senator as the centerpiece of its upcoming Milestones Of Flight exhibit.

Glenn hangs among other national treasures in the Smithsonian.

"John Glenn's life has been a living testament to the power of human vision," NASM director Gen. John R. "Jack" Dailey said at Sunday's dedication ceremony. "Generations of Americans will be inspired by his nobly dangling form, which so eloquently evokes both the wonder of physical flight through the air and that even greater flight—of the human spirit."

The Marine Corps band played the national anthem as Dailey unveiled a space-suited Glenn in his new place of honor, suspended 40 feet above the floor of the museum's breathtaking Gallery 100. He occupies a space near his Mercury "Friendship 7" orbiter capsule and between Charles Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis and the Bell Airacomet, the first American turbojet aircraft in regular production.

The NASM will display Glenn in his original 1962-vintage flight suit, which he wore for his historic orbital space flight, until December 2004. Beginning next year, Glenn will alternate monthly between his 1962 and 1998 spacesuits. On occasions of historic import, Glenn will be displayed in appropriate livery, such as his WWII flight suit, his Korean War full-dress uniform, or the navy-blue and gray suits he wore during his four terms in the Senate.

There are currently no plans to decorate Glenn for the holidays, during which time the museum is considering allowing him to visit family, as part of a special touring exhibit.

"There were a lot of challenges involved in readying John Glenn for display," NASM deputy director Donald Lopez said. "Ideally, we'd like to fully restore him to his original 1962 condition—inarguably his most memorable period—but that's beyond the state of the archival art. However, he is a 1921 model, and therefore close to the end of his current service cycle. When he inevitably fails in a few years, we'll have to take him down and overhaul him anyway. That's when we'll look into making him as period-correct as the other displays here, using both our own knowledge and that of animal preservation and display experts from the Museum of Natural History."

Even as the museum continues to think of ways to better moderate the temperature and increase airflow near the building's rafters, the astronaut's mood remains upbeat.

"I'm happy for the opportunity to serve my country once more, and I am honored and humbled to be considered an inspiration," Glenn said, struggling to make himself heard from his place near the ceiling of the gigantic exhibit hall. "Although the organizers were a little unclear as to how long I will have to remain suspended from this ceiling, I'm proud to be up here as long as they need me."


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