Research Grant Blown Wooing Cute Research Assistant

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Study Finds 68% Of Americans Unprepared For Sudden Financial Stability

AMES, IA—Noting that most Americans never consider the possibility that such life-altering circumstances could ever befall them, a study published Monday by researchers at Iowa State University revealed that 68 percent of citizens are wholly unprepared for a sudden bout of financial stability.

45-Minute Phone Call To Credit Card Company Goes Great

FORT WAYNE, IN—Grinning with contentment as he reminisced about the call he placed earlier in the day, 31-year-old accountant Greg Schulhoff told reporters Thursday that his 45-minute phone call with MasterCard regarding late payment fees went “really great.”

Romantic Gesture Too Expensive To Waste On Current Girlfriend

HARRISBURG, PA—Claiming that the price of the incredible idea far exceeded his emotional investment in his relationship, local man Alex Ramsey said Wednesday that an extravagant romantic gesture he has in mind is too expensive to waste on his current girlfriend.

NASA Deploys Congressional Rover To Search For Funding

WASHINGTON—Calling the program “the most crucial in the agency’s history,” researchers at NASA announced Wednesday they have successfully deployed a Special Exploratory Rover to Congress as part of an open-ended mission to seek out any possible trace of funding on Capitol Hill.

Shoddy Chinese-Made Stock Market Collapses

SHANGHAI—Proving to be just as flimsy and precarious as many observers had previously warned, the Chinese-made Shanghai Composite index completely collapsed Monday, sources confirmed.

Tips For Cheaper Airfare

Whether the busy travel season, fuel prices, or airline collusion is to blame, airfare is currently very pricey, making traveling more difficult. The Onion walks you through some ways to reduce the cost of flying

Budget Wedding Tips

With Americans still feeling the effects of the recession, many engaged couples are looking for ways to save money on their wedding by holding a smaller ceremony, hunting for deals, and more.

Commonly Overlooked Tax Credits

As Americans rush to fill out their tax forms before the April 15 deadline, many may not realize that they are eligible for multiple tax credits that would earn money back from the government.

Man Completes Life $130,000 Over Budget

SAN FRANCISCO—Having drastically underestimated the expenses required for such an elaborate production, recently deceased local man Norman Dennison is said to have completed his 84-year life Tuesday approximately $130,000 over budget.

Newlywed Couple Looks So Deeply In Debt

CHICAGO—Saying that you could tell by the way they stared into each other’s eyes, friends and family of newlywed couple Patrick and Heather Vaughn told reporters Friday that the bride and groom look so deeply in debt.

How Powerball Works

With no winner from the previous drawing, the jackpot for Wednesday’s Powerball lottery is expected to surpass $450 million, as gamblers around the nation buy more tickets in hopes of drawing the lucky numbers.

The Pros And Cons Of Free Community College

As part of an effort to make higher education accessible to all Americans, President Obama has proposed offering two free years of community college to qualified students, a plan critics say is too expensive and misses the mark on education reform.

Allowance To Teach Child Importance Of Parental Dependence

MUNCIE, IN—Saying that they wanted to instill lifelong financial habits in their young son, the parents of 9-year-old Jeremy Lambert explained to reporters Monday that they give him a weekly $10 allowance to teach him the importance of parental depe...

Online Shopping vs. In-Store Shopping

While brick-and-mortar stores like Walmart and Target are advertising door-buster deals to get consumers in their aisles on Black Friday, many Americans are opting to take advantage of the ease and product variety of online shopping.

Scientists Receive $10 Million Grant To Melt Stuff

COLLEGE PARK, MD—Saying the money would help further researchers’ understanding of the awesome scientific phenomenon, representatives for the American Institute of Physics announced Tuesday that they had received a $10 million grant to melt st...

The Cost Of Raising A Child

According to a new report by the USDA, the cost of raising a child until age 18 now exceeds $245,000, after which many parents will also have to foot the bill for college.

How Public Schools Spend Taxpayer Money

Public school districts in the United States receive billions of taxpayer dollars in state and federal funding every year to pay for teacher salaries, school bus transportation, building maintenance, counseling services, and more.

Bank Of America Introduces New $50 Underdraft Fee

CHARLOTTE, NC—Saying the penalty will cover the costs incurred by the financial institution whenever a customer makes a withdrawal that results in a positive account balance, Bank of America introduced a new $50 underdraft fee Tuesday on all checkin...

How To Protect Your Personal Information Online

Following the recent data breach at retail giant Target, which exposed credit card numbers and personal information of as many as 110 million people, many Americans have grown concerned about their safety and privacy online.

Report: Gap Wider Than Ever Between Ultra-Rich And Reality

PHILADELPHIA—A report released Wednesday by economists at the University of Pennsylvania confirmed that the already massive gap between the world’s ultra-rich and reality is now at historic levels and only continues growing wider each year.

'That Seems About Right,' Says Soon-To-Be-Audited Man

CAMDEN, MN—While filling out a 1040 form and other documents Tuesday in preparation for filing his 2012 federal tax returns, local man Robert Moran, a blog writer who will shortly be audited by the Internal Revenue Service, announced that his calcul...

New Visa Talking Credit Card Urges Buyers To Go For It

SAN FRANCISCO—Financial services giant Visa held a press event Tuesday to introduce "Visa Voice," a new line of talking credit cards that urges shoppers to just go ahead and buy it if that's what they really want. "Whenever ...
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Local Household Announces Plans To Overdo Halloween Again

HIGHLAND PARK, IL—Having hauled over a dozen boxes of lights and plastic decorations as well as a large black-cat-shaped lawn inflatable from storage, members of the Hutchcroft family announced to neighbors from their front yard Thursday their plan to completely overdo Halloween again this year.

Research Grant Blown Wooing Cute Research Assistant

MISSOULA, MT—University of Montana wildlife biologist and Herbert R. Braithwaite Foundation research grant recipient Dr. James Neuthom has spent his entire $275,000 grant—intended for the study of whirling disease on rainbow trout—on such items as a 15-foot sailboat, scented stationery, and several dozen boxes of chocolate, according to documents he submitted to the foundation Tuesday.

Neuthom spent $7,000 on a trip with Hamilton to Lake Tahoe, which contains no trout.

Neuthom is now seeking additional Braithwaite Foundation funds to continue his desperate attempt to win the heart of his 23-year-old research assistant, Betsy Hamilton.

"During the course of my project, I have encountered some unforeseen but truly vital expenses," read the introduction to Neuthom's 47-page project proposal, which details predicted outlays through 2008, most notably an additional $60,000 in "part-time female research-assistant salaries." "This money is needed to continue the very important work I'm doing with Betsy, who is a talented and beautiful young woman."


The application also noted increased travel and laboratory expenses for the upcoming year, including first-class airfare and luxury accommodations for two to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's annual convention, a powerful telescope "perfect for warm, starry June evenings," and $275 for a custom-made, tailored lab coat.

Representatives for the Braithwaite Foundation are currently reviewing Neuthom's expenditures, and have not yet decided whether to contribute further money to his studies. 

"We're impressed with all the energy Dr. Neuthom has poured into this endeavor already, but he insists much, much more work needs to be done before he produces any definitive results," foundation director Ted Sengupta said. "Before funding his new proposal, we'd like to see what discoveries he made while studying 'the effect of moonlight on Montana's native trout populations,' which he chose to research on a quiet, isolated lake 150 miles away from the established site of his study."

"We're sure he has a good reason, but $1,500 for a singing Italian gondolier seems a bit curious," Sengupta added.

Sengupta said that, in the Braithwaite Foundation's long history of funding ecological research, he has never seen an aquatic wildlife study require so many fresh-cut flowers.

Sources at the University of Montana say they have rarely encountered an established researcher as generous as Neuthom, who often spends long hours in the lab with his young assistant, helping her participate in every aspect of the study, even those for which she is not technically qualified. He also frequently offers to drive Hamilton home in the Wildlife Research Center's newly acquired Corvette.

"I thought that grant would last Jim [Neuthom] at least two years, but I simply didn't realize how many hot-air balloon rides, CDs, and spontaneous dinners at tiny French restaurants are required for an in-depth trout study," said UM professor of agriculture Steven Czymedia, who claimed he was "fascinated" by Neuthom's new theory that fine champagne might be directly related to rainbow trout migratory routes. "The subject is obviously very near and dear to his heart. I've never seen him so excited. I wish him the best."

Hamilton, who plans to list her involvement with the project on her medical school applications next year, could not be reached for comment. However, her roommate, Kelly Deem, said she believes Hamilton has enjoyed her experience as a research assistant, since the flexible schedule works around her classes and allows her to spend more time with her fiancé.

According to the Braithwaite Foundation's internal auditor Michael Romero, if Neuthom has misused funds, the organization will take appropriate measures.

"We have a team carefully examining every receipt submitted by Dr. Neuthom over the last few months," Romero said. "If anything untoward has happened here, my assistant, Emily will find it. She's really quite something, you know."

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