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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TOKYO—Saying the outdated system needed to be upgraded or replaced to avoid similar problems going forward, millions of inconvenienced Japanese warp commuters expressed frustration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.

A Primer On North Korea

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea remains largely unknown to Americans due mainly to the secrecy and isolationism upheld by its government. The Onion provides a primer on North Korea’s people and culture
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Report: Life Put In Hands Of 2,000 Complete Strangers Every Single Day

WASHINGTON—According to a new report from the National Institute for Safety Management, on any given day, the average American's life is entrusted to more than 2,000 different people who are complete strangers.

The report, which shows how any one of these anonymous individuals making a single mistake can easily cause another person's death, concluded that it is only through sheer luck that anyone ever makes it through a 24-hour period alive.

"People you don't know and will never even meet—food-safety regulators, bridge inspectors, whoever installed the gas lines in your home—ultimately have the power to decide whether you live or die," the report read in part. "We have no choice but to trust that these individuals are always being very careful and know exactly what they're doing."

"Which is of course something we have no way of actually knowing," the report added.

Jacob Drummond, a spokesman for NISM, unveiled a staggering list of strangers responsible for a person's life each day, which includes everyone from officials who make sure there aren't deadly toxins in the air we breathe, to construction workers who precariously hoist building materials over pedestrians' heads, to motorists who stay focused and don't veer into oncoming traffic during the rush-hour commute.

"Most people probably don't think about how fortunate they are that a jet engine has never come loose at 40,000 feet and landed on their house," Drummond said. "But it takes a whole host of mechanics, engineers, and quality-control experts—people who don't know you or your family and probably never will—to sign off on thousands upon thousands of tiny details to make sure that never happens."

"Elevator technicians, factory workers, the Transportation Security Administration, traffic cops," Drummond continued. "We even depend upon random people walking past us on the street not to suddenly pull out a knife and start stabbing us, which, when you think about it, is always a possibility."

According to the report, in the first half hour after waking up in the morning, most Americans put their lives in the hands of at least 250 different unknown people, including building contractors, water-treatment specialists, more or less everyone who works at the Colgate toothpaste manufacturing facility in Morristown, TN, and electricians.

The report also found that certain demographics had disproportionately higher levels of blind trust. For example, if you take the bus to work, you owe your life to an above-average 4,800 people per day, from the bus drivers themselves to fellow commuters at your stop who refrain from pushing you in front of a moving vehicle.

People who eat one or more meals at restaurants each day topped the list, placing their lives in the hands of more than 12,000 entirely faceless entities.

"Of course, the 2,000 people responsible for your daily survival are themselves counting on another 2,000, so if you factor that in, and take into consideration all members of your city, state, and national government, and all the individuals they don't know personally, it's more like 4 million people wielding enormous power over your continued existence," Drummond said. "And the connections fan out from there. One case study from our report found that if anything ever happens to dairy farmer Dale Ferguson of Wayne, NE, the resulting domino effect could leave as many as 156 million dead."

Reactions to the report have been mixed, with some pledging to continue their normal routine without worrying about all the people they trust with their lives, while others, such as 29-year-old marketing assistant Beth Howard, said they find the thought frightening.

"Now I feel like I need to be extra wary," said Howard, dialing her cell phone while driving on virtually no sleep and sipping a cup of hot coffee. "It's scary to think who I could be trusting my personal safety to."

More from this section

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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