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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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New E-Toilet To Revolutionize Online Shitting

PALO ALTO, CA—In a revolutionary breakthrough with the potential to forever alter the way humans defecate, Palo Alto-based Internet company Ascent Technologies announced Monday the successful development of the first-ever "e-toilet."

"It's incredibly exciting," said Ascent CEO Jeff Scoscia, considered by members of the digerati to be the father of the cyberdump. "The e-toilet will revolutionize on-line waste elimination through the democratization of access to high-speed electronic bathrooms." "Of course, rudimentary pee-commerce has been around almost as long as the Internet itself," Scoscia said, "but our new e-toilet will bring the Internet into the next millennium with real-time point, click and shit capability." Scoscia noted that "Number 2.0," as Silicon Valley insiders have dubbed it, will be cross-platform compatible and fully 2K Flushes compliant. In addition, he said, it will feature significantly wider, more comfortable bandwidth to accommodate even the most massive user download. Though e-toilet prototypes have existed for years, the Ascent model's flexibility and ease of use make it the first on-line shitting system that users are expected to embrace on a mass scale. "No more frustrating lock-up problems—and even the most novice cybershitter can easily mount the e-toilet on his or her desktop," said Wired associate editor Graham Roehner, whose 25-page special report on the future of cyberdefecation will appear in the magazine's November issue. "Just log on, log out, and log off. It's that simple." "In the near future," he added, "everyone will shit on-line."

An e-toilet processes a large user download.

According to Roehner, other features of the e-toilet include real-time urine-streaming, the capacity to add Plug-Ins, and six months free membership in the popular on-line lavatory community eBidet. In addition, it has full multitasking capability, enabling cybershitters to read on-line versions of magazines and newspapers while on the e-toilet. The Advent e-toilet also has a decisive edge over previous models in the area of on-line security.

"It used to be that just any netizen could interrupt you while you were downloading on an e-toilet," said Fast Company technology reporter Warren Dishman. "But thanks to this new e-toilet's advanced 64-bit encraption algorithm, there is a greatly reduced chance of barge-in. AOL users who are used to interruption from the dreaded Instant Message won't have to worry about the IM-BM conflict any longer. And up to 24 network users can use a single e-toilet without fear of catching a virus, no matter who has used it before them." As proud as e-toilet designers are of the "line after line of fat code" they laid down while beta-testing their new platform, they said they are even prouder of the breakthrough design of its user interface. "Early e-toilets forced users to keep a lot of windows open, so e-dumpers lacked the kind of privacy you want while doing your business," said designer Peter Cheng, a self-described "whiz kid" who has put hundreds of gigaflops through the new e-toilet without once encountering the dreaded, bomb-emblazoned "Shit Failed" message. "As a result of all the open windows, many users, feeling uncomfortable and nervous, would 'back up,' often leading to painful RAM problems, corrupted cache, and the embarrassment of having to wipe and reformat the entire root directory after a botched download." According to Scoscia, the Ascent e-toilet's innovative "Unplug & Play" desktop tiling is cleaner, more customizable and 80 percent less likely to collect "cookies" than those of other e-toilets. "For three years—an eternity in this field—the story has been, 'Same shit, different data,'" Scoscia said. "Well, no more. We've seen the last of computer users sitting at their terminals broken-hearted, having paid $99, but couldn't start it." "With the new Advent e-toilet, cutting-edge cyberdump technology has finally arrived and is within reach for all Americans," said Scoscia, smiling. "The question is: Do you want to go today?"

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