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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Northeast Stunned By Freak January Snowfall

SYRACUSE, NY—In a rare instance of icy-cold January weather, much of the Northeast awoke Tuesday morning to find itself buried under nearly 1.5 inches of snowfall.

"This is really bizarre," said Syracuse resident Mary Baloh, who noted that her garden was doing very well until the unexpected weather struck. "I've seen some freak weather in my lifetime, but this definitely tops them all."

"It's like Christmas in January," Baloh added.

According to the National Weather Service, the temperature, which plummeted to an unseasonably cold 31 degrees, is supposed to linger at the freezing mark over the next several days. The inclement conditions have forced school cancellations, shut down federal and state office buildings, closed municipal pools, and put a damper on common seasonal activities such as barbecues and beach volleyball games.

A family of accidental snow bunnies trade in their swim trunks for sleds in Burlington, VT.

Still, a few adventuresome individuals ventured outside to frolic in the strangely still, white scene, donning cross-country skis, thick boots, and other accessories more appropriate for Alpine climes than the northeastern United States.

"Look, you can almost make a snowball," said 17-year-old Theo Baldesseri in Pittsburgh's Riverview Park. "My older cousin told me about stuff like this happening when he was a kid, but I always thought he was just making it up."

The weather is being blamed for hundreds of accidents throughout the tri-state region of Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey. Near Paramus, NJ, nearly two dozen vehicles were involved in a pile-up caused by a dusting of snow on the Garden State Parkway. Even in normally balmy Stowe, VT, the annual Fun In The Sun 10K Run Against Muscular Dystrophy had to be canceled.

"I had my whole weekend planned—I was going to go play my usual nine holes at the club, catch some rays, and take a dip in the river," said Bangor, ME resident Richard Horner, who had to retrieve his sweater from his attic. "I moved up here to get away from this kind of weather."

Authorities are recommending that citizens of the Northeast stay indoors until streets are cleared and conditions begin to normalize. Massachusetts Highway Patrol spokesman Chris Jarvis said that the snowfall caught road crews completely off-guard.

"When you have unexpected flurries like this, the most important thing is to stay warm, dry, and safe," Jarvis said. "It's going to take a while to get all the snowplows and salt on the road because everything's in storage."

By mid-afternoon Tuesday, snow clouds had cleared and the skies were sunny. However, the dangerous conditions had not lessened; Philadelphia reported a low of 30 degrees, with a brisk wind chill of 27.

The well-below-average temperatures will undoubtedly have an adverse financial impact on regional businesses such as miniature golf courses, batting cages, go-cart tracks, and ice-cream parlors.

"I haven't had to close the drive-in in January for many years," said Harold Fitch, owner of Fitch's Park & Watch Theater in Warwick, RI. "Each week is a fight to stay in the black anyhow, and to take a hit like this during the busy season could shut us down permanently."

"Global warming?" Brewster, MA water-ski instructor Brock Gilpin said. "Sure doesn't feel like it to me."

According to Weather Channel meteorologist Stephanie Abrams, the nippy weather should not be a cause for concern among residents of the Northeast.

"Spring temperatures are still expected to reach into the upper 140s," Abrams said.


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