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Most Notable Google Ventures

Ten years ago this week, Google Street View launched, offering panoramic views of locations all over the world. As the tech giant continues to debut new projects, The Onion highlights some of Google’s most ambitious ventures to date:

Rural Working-Class Archbishops Come Out In Droves To Welcome Trump To Vatican

VATICAN CITY—Arriving in their dusty pickup trucks from as far away as the dioceses of Oria and Locri-Gerace to express their support for a leader who they say embodies their interests and defends their way of life, droves of rural working-class archbishops reportedly poured into St. Peter’s Square today to greet U.S. president Donald Trump during his visit to the Vatican.

Rookie First Baseman Nervous To Chat With Baserunners

ATLANTA—Noting how important it is to make a good first impression, Pittsburgh Pirates rookie first baseman Josh Bell told reporters before Tuesday’s game against the Atlanta Braves that he’s still nervous about chatting with opposing baserunners.

What Is Trump Hiding?

As The Onion’s 300,000 staffers in its news bureaus and manual labor camps around the world continue to pore through the immense trove of documents obtained from an anonymous White House source, the answers that are emerging to these questions are deeply unnerving and suggest grave outcomes for the American people, the current international order, Wolf Blitzer, four of the five Great Lakes, and most devastatingly, the nation’s lighthouses and lighthouse keepers.

Deep Blue Quietly Celebrates 10th Anniversary With Garry Kasparov’s Ex-Wife

PITTSBURGH—Red wine and candlelight on the table before them, Deep Blue, the supercomputer that defeated reigning world chess champion Garry Kasparov in 1997, and Kasparov’s ex-wife, Yulia Vovk, quietly celebrated their 10th anniversary on Wednesday at a small French restaurant near Carnegie Mellon University, where Deep Blue was created.
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Report: 90% Of Waking Hours Spent Staring At Glowing Rectangles

PALO ALTO, CA—A new report published this week by researchers at Stanford University suggests that Americans spend the vast majority of each day staring at, interacting with, and deriving satisfaction from glowing rectangles.

Robert Horton spends a quiet night at home with his favorite entertainment rectangles.

"From the moment they wake up in the morning, to the moment they lose consciousness at night, Americans are in near-constant visual contact with bright, pulsating rectangles," said Dr. Richard Menken, lead author of the report, looking up briefly from the gleaming quadrangle that sits on his desk. "In fact, it's hard to find a single minute during which the American public is not completely captivated by these shining…these dazzling…."

"I'm sorry," Menken continued. "What were we discussing again?"

According to the report, staring blankly at luminescent rectangles is an increasingly central part of modern life. At work, special information rectangles help men and women silently complete any number of business-related tasks, while entertainment rectangles—larger and louder and often placed inside the home—allow Americans to enter a relaxing trance-like state after a long day of rectangle-gazing.

People travel hundreds of miles to gape unblinkingly at the rectangles of the big city.

Researchers were able to identify nearly 30 varieties of glowing rectangles that play some role throughout the course of each day. Among them: handheld rectangles, music-playing rectangles, mobile communication rectangles, personal work rectangles, and bright alarm cubes, which emit a high-pitched reminder that it's time to rise from one's bed and move toward the rectangles in one's kitchen.

"We discovered in almost all cases that Americans find it enjoyable and rewarding to put their faces in front of glowing rectangles for hours on end," said Howard West, a prominent sociologist on the Stanford team. "Furthermore, when citizens are not staring slack-jawed at these mesmerizing shapes, many appear to become lost, confused, and unsure of what they should be doing to occupy themselves."

Added West, "Some even become irritated and angry when these rectangles are not around."

While a majority of the iridescent shapes are employed for recreation, thought-relief, and during the late hours of the night, sexual gratification, others are used to effectively impart orders and commands to the American populace. According to researchers, these rectangles help to notify citizens about which brand of domestic detergent to buy, what direction to drive their vehicles in, and how many more seconds a food item must remain inside its revolving radiation chamber before it can be hurriedly consumed.

The rectangles even help Americans to successfully emote, often by using a combination of visual and aural signals to indicate when laughter or tears should be produced.

"Life would be very different if it weren't for these magical squares of light," cultural studies professor and social critic David Ostroff typed to reporters using one of his wireless messaging rectangles. "Sry. Have 2 go. Movie about 2 strt."

On average, Americans interact with anywhere from 53 to 107 pulsating rectangles every week. For many, however, this is simply not enough. Despite having a leisure rectangle in every bedroom, along with multiple work rectangles, a rectangle just for the children, and one or two rectangles that can do the work of several rectangles in one, many citizens admit to being dissatisfied.

"I wish ours was bigger," said Susan Miller, an Iowa homemaker who feels a deep sense of emptiness and fear when not in front of a luminous two-dimensional object. "Our neighbors across the street have one twice the size of ours. Harold, why can't our rectangle be more like their rectangle? Harold, are you listening to me? They seem happier than we are. Why can't we be happy like them? Honey? Are you even home?"

More from this section

Rookie First Baseman Nervous To Chat With Baserunners

ATLANTA—Noting how important it is to make a good first impression, Pittsburgh Pirates rookie first baseman Josh Bell told reporters before Tuesday’s game against the Atlanta Braves that he’s still nervous about chatting with opposing baserunners.

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