Millions and Millions Dead

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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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  • 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...

Millions and Millions Dead

As the body count continues to rise, a shaken nation is struggling to cope in the wake of the mass deaths sweeping the world population. With no concrete figures available at this early stage, experts estimate at least 250,000 U.S. citizens have died in the last month alone, with death tolls across the globe reaching into the millions.

The wave of deaths has left a brutal aftermath, rocking survivors with feelings of loss and horror, traumatizing the American cultural landscape to its core and leaving behind emotional devastation some say may take years to heal.

What's worse, experts say, the crisis shows no signs of letting up any time soon.

"Oh, my God," sobbed Edina, MN resident Elizabeth Kendrick, 42, whose father, retired insurance actuary Gilbert Ploman, 68, lost his life last Thursday at Shady Villa Nursing Home. "He was a good man, a kind man who never did anything to deserve this terrible fate. Why did something like this have to happen? Oh, God, why?"

As wrenching as Kendrick's grief is, she is just one of the countless Americans who feel the anguish that continues to tear the country apart. Across the nation, in millions of homes in thousands of cities, similar scenes played out, as survivors gathered to mourn, pray, and somehow pick up the pieces while attempting to make sense of it all.

In Fargo, ND, Tom Blake, 89, attended the funeral of his wife Edith, who died of a brain tumor Thursday night. In Augusta, ME, family members broke down in tears, overwhelmed by news of the hang-gliding death of 26-year-old outdoorsman Lance Blaine. And in Cicero, IL, no explanations could comfort the family of accidental auto-erotic-asphyxiation victim Bob Carpenter. Everywhere, those left behind comforted each other as best they could, looking for some kind of hope.

"This epidemic knows no bounds, follows no common denominators, and crosses all demographic lines without impunity," said Harvard University's Gregory Jameson. "Although senior citizens and the terminally ill have seemed to suffer the most casualties, this syndrome does not discriminate. Rich and poor, young and old, people of all races, creeds and backgrounds imaginable have succumbed to its relentless advance."

Friends and family comfort potential victims of the death epidemic in Manila.

"We are, all of us, at risk," Jameson said, "and medical science is powerless to stop it."

As devastating as the crisis is here at home, it may be worse overseas. World Health Organization officials are reporting similar death rates across the globe, with widespread casualties reported from as far away as Somalia, Borneo, Brazil, Malaysia and Luxembourg.

In the wake of such suffering, there is no way to adequately explain the tragedy. Yet the seemingly random nature of the mass deaths has made them even harder for the survivors to understand.

"In a situation like this, it's only natural to want to assign blame," said Dr. Frederick MacDougal of the National Center for Infectious Diseases, who recently lost a third cousin to a degenerative nerve disorder. "But the disturbing thing about this case is that no one factor is at fault. People are dying for such a wide range of reasons—gunshot wounds, black-lung disease, falls down elevator shafts—that we have been unable to isolate any single element as the cause."

"No one simple explanation can encompass the enormous scope of this problem," MacDougal added. "And that's very difficult for most people to process psychologically."

As experts continue to struggle for a solution, the nation is left to cope with the crisis one day at a time. But as it stands, the death rate is so high that most of the resources of the world's funeral homes are being called upon to deal with the vast quantities of bodies. Virtually every mortician in the nation is currently employed in some capacity to meet the demand, and more corpses are arriving daily. The cost of the non-stop interments exceeds billions of dollars each year.

As more people succumb each day, hospitals and doctors are finding themselves on 24-hour call. Taxed to the limit, the nation's health-care infrastructure is proving inadequate to handle the needs of sick and dying patients. And though sales of health aides and pharmaceuticals have skyrocketed, nothing has stemmed the tide.

Despite efforts to keep pace with the death toll, for now, all the nation can do is watch and wait. Since the crisis began, a vast majority of Americans have lost at least one family member, close friend, co-worker, distant relative, neighbor or peripheral acquaintance, or know someone who has. Yet even for the lucky few who remain unscathed, the fear remains.

"Our family has been spared so far, but for how long?" asked mother of four Karen Beemis, of Scottsdale, AZ. "Every night I lay awake in bed worrying and thinking, 'This is going to get one of us someday, too. Who will be the first? Grandma? Grandpa? My great-uncle Ted in Michigan?' There's just no way of knowing."

Meanwhile, as the world continues to grapple with this seemingly unstoppable threat, the deaths—and the sorrow, fear and pain they have wrought—continue.

As Margaret Heller, a volunteer at a clinic in Baltimore put it, "We do everything we can. But for most of the people we try to help, the sad truth is it's only a matter of time."

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