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North Korea Successfully Detonates Nuclear Scientist

PYONGYANG—Hailing it as a significant step forward for their ballistic weapons program just hours after suffering a failed missile launch, North Korean leaders announced Monday they had successfully detonated a nuclear scientist.

Tokyo Portal Outage Delays Millions Of Japanese Warp Commuters

TOKYO—Saying the outdated system needed to be upgraded or replaced to avoid similar problems going forward, millions of inconvenienced Japanese warp commuters expressed frustration Thursday following a Tokyo portal outage that caused delays of up to eight seconds.

Earth Ranked Number One Party Planet

FRAMINGHAM, MA—Noting its high concentration of nightlife, droves of attractive singles, and atmospheric conditions allowing liquid alcohol to exist, the ‘Princeton Review’ on Monday ranked Earth the Milky Way galaxy’s top party planet for the fifth year in a row.

Nuclear Warhead Thrilled For Chance To Finally Escape North Korea

PYONGYANG—Saying its spirits were immediately buoyed upon hearing Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un’s recent statement that the military was close to developing an intercontinental ballistic missile, a North Korean nuclear warhead reported Tuesday that it was thrilled for the chance to finally escape the country.

Pope Francis Carves Roast Cherub For Vatican Christmas Dinner

VATICAN CITY—After pulling a probe thermometer from its thigh and tasting a piece of crispy golden-brown skin, Pope Francis began carving a slow-roasted 18-pound cherub for the Vatican’s annual Christmas feast, sources within the Holy See reported Sunday.

Vatican Putting Out Feelers For How Public Would React To Another Children’s Crusade

VATICAN CITY—Saying they had been giving some thought recently to the idea of sending legions of Christian boys and girls to retake the Holy Land and wanted to gauge the level of support, Vatican officials reportedly began putting out feelers Wednesday to determine how the public might react to another Children’s Crusade, much as was attempted in the year 1212.

John Kerry Scrambles To Stop Bunker’s Self-Destruct Sequence As Russian Oligarch Taunts Him From Bank Of Monitors

BOGDARNYA, RUSSIA—Working frantically to gain access to the system’s override settings at the computer terminal controlling the impending implosion, Secretary of State John Kerry scrambled to stop the self-destruct sequence of an underground bunker located thousands of feet below the Russian countryside Tuesday while oligarch Dmitry Granovsky taunted him from the numerous banks of monitors positioned throughout the facility, sources confirmed.

Islamic Awakening Inspires Man To Defect From ISIS

MOSUL, IRAQ—Telling reporters he had renounced his role as a militant and would soon be relocating in order to seek out an environment more conducive to fully devoting himself to his newfound religious faith, 24-year-old Huzaifa Quraishi confirmed Tuesday his recent Islamic awakening had inspired him to defect from ISIS.

CIA Orchestrates Coup D’État To Replace Entire Population Of Venezuela

Agency Installs Pro-American Populace Of 30 Million Venezuelan Citizens

CARACAS, VENEZUELA—Sources are confirming that the Central Intelligence Agency has orchestrated a coup d’état in the South American nation of Venezuela, toppling the country’s 30 million residents and replacing them with an entirely new, pro-American populace.
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Miracle Of Birth Occurs For 83 Billionth Time

HOPE SPRINGS, AR—The holy and sacrosanct miracle of birth, long revered by human civilization as the most mysterious and magical of all phenomena, took place for what experts are estimating "must be at least the 83 billionth time" Tuesday with the successful delivery of eight-pound, four-ounce baby boy Darryl Brandon Severson at Holy Mary Mother Of God Hospital.

The milestone was achieved by Carla Severson, 32, an unemployed cosmetology-school graduate and homemaker, and her husband of 14 years, Dwayne Severson, also 32, a former screen-door factory worker and freelance lawncare contractor. Experts say the miracle most likely was the result of the pair engaging in an otherwise routine act of sexual intercourse at some point during late May 1998.

The miraculous birth is the couple's fifth.

Delivery-room personnel cut the umbilical cord of Darryl Brandon Severson, the 83 billionth miracle of birth and the fifth to occur in the Severson household.

"This truly is a miracle," said OB-GYN floor nurse Sandra Meese, placing Darryl Brandon in the New Births Room of the hospital's maternity ward, where he joined 32 other equally miraculous babies. "Looking down into this precious child's red, screaming face, so barely distinguishable from all the other wailing children surrounding him on all sides, one is reminded of just how special and unique the gift of life really is."

News of the landmark 83 billionth birth sparked an outpouring of good tidings from around the globe, with millions of well-wishers sending cards and letters offering blessings to the media-dubbed "miracle baby." Dozens of world leaders have phoned to express their congratulations, including Chinese Premier Li Peng, who called Darryl "a living miracle" and "a joy to all mankind." Warring factions in Kosovo, Sierra Leone and Turkey have called week-long cease-fires in honor of the miraculous birth.

In a special message from St. Peter's Basilica, Pope John Paul II spoke of the miracle child.

"In our all-too-cynical modern age, the birth of Darryl Severson is proof that miracles do indeed exist," the pope said. "In this special time, it is fitting that we should offer thanks and praise to our Father in Heaven for this, the most precious of His blessings: the blessing of life."

The pope went on to commend Carla Severson for her abstention from birth control, a sin which, had it been committed, would have prevented her pregnancy and delayed humankind's reaching the 83 billion mark by as much as 1/64th of a second. The pope also noted that, with a total of five certifiable miracles to her credit, Mrs. Severson may qualify for canonization as a saint after her death.

Narrowly missing the chance to be the record-breaking 83 billionth baby were Manoj Ranaghat, born 1/16th of a second earlier to starving peasants in the drought-stricken village of Bijapur, India; Phillippe Duclos, born 1/32nd of a second earlier in Lyon, France; and Baby X, delivered just 1/64th of a second earlier than Darryl in a Bronx housing project, but unfortunately born dead.

"I'm overjoyed for the Seversons. They are truly blessed," said Marcia Ott, a neighbor of the family, reacting to the sudden crush of media attention focused on their small Arkansas town. "I've heard about miracles before, but you never think something like this is going to happen to someone you know."

The miraculous birth will likely have a major impact on Dwayne and Carla Severson, as they are expected to devote a majority of their waking hours tending to the baby's many miraculous needs. When not getting miraculously waken at 3 a.m., the couple will be miraculously occupied feeding Darryl and changing his miraculous diapers whenever he miraculously defecates.

But for all the attention, the couple remain humble about their achievement.

"It wasn't exactly like we planned it, to be honest," Dwayne said. "In fact, when Carla told me she was pregnant again, I was kinda worried, on account of me losing my job at the screen-door factory and all. Money's real tight right now, and I wasn't sure we could make ends meet. But still, us having to sell the trailer and temporarily move back into Carla's parents' place isn't so bad, if you think about it, since it's a such a miracle, I guess."

"I love my baby so much," Carla said. "He's the most precious little angel that ever flew down from heaven."

Though the 83 billion figure is the one generally agreed upon, experts concede that the precise number is somewhat more nebulous.

"It all depends on how you tabulate the miracles," Cornell University biology professor Dr. Isaac Gregson said. "Eighty-three billion includes not only all the humans who have ever been born, but also all the Cro-Magnons, Neanderthals, Australopithecines and other proto-hominids going all the way back to the first mammals. Of course, if you were to include the rest of the vertebrates in the animal kingdom, it would be even higher. And if you were to also include plankton, unicellular microorganisms and all plant life, the actual number would be closer to, say, umpteen gadzillion. But why quibble about numbers at a time like this? Darryl's birth is a one-of-a-kind special moment that has deeply inspired the world, reminding us all of just what it is that life is all about."

Noted essayist and biologist Stephen Jay Gould agreed, calling the latest addition to the Severson household "a miracle beyond compare."

"It's an amazing turn of events, no doubt about it," Gould said. "Just think: A spermatozoa from a male mammal fertilized the ovum of a female mammal, causing a fetus to develop and, in time, come to term and pass through the female's birth canal as a new being. It just goes to show that there are some mysteries even science cannot explain."

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Earth Ranked Number One Party Planet

FRAMINGHAM, MA—Noting its high concentration of nightlife, droves of attractive singles, and atmospheric conditions allowing liquid alcohol to exist, the ‘Princeton Review’ on Monday ranked Earth the Milky Way galaxy’s top party planet for the fifth year in a row.

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