Russian Scientists Announce Six-Month Delay In Carving New Space Station

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Vol 33 Issue 23

Donut-Shaped Thing In Kitchen Junk Drawer Has No Discernible Purpose Whatsoever

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO—Homeowner Gilbert Voss will be damned if he knows what that donut-shaped plastic thing in his kitchen junk drawer is for, it was reported Monday. "It looks like it goes in a tape dispenser or something," Voss said. "But that doesn't explain the little bumps." Voss' wife Helen speculated that the object may have fallen out of her sewing kit, but is similarly baffled by its function. "I guess you could put threads through the little holes around the rim," she said, "but then what would you do with it?"

You Just Have To Get To Know Area Jerk

PLANO, TX—Insufferable local jerk Frederick Schoepke announced Tuesday that he is a pretty decent guy, once you get to know him and see where he's coming from. "I'm not out to piss people off or anything," Schoepke said. "Once you get to know me, you realize I'm just being honest about things. I'm just the type of guy who doesn't bullshit around, you know? If you're straight with me, I'm straight with you." Schoepke further noted that although he might talk a lot, he knows a lot about a lot of stuff.

Brief Ceremony Marks Delivery Boy's Passage Into Delivery Manhood

FOREST HILLS, NY—A brief ceremony Monday marked Queens delivery boy Richie Crowell's ascension into delivery manhood. "Richie, today you are a delivery man," said Gino's Pizzeria owner Gino Torricelli, who presided over the traditional rite-of-passage ceremony, held on a delivery youth's 16th birthday. "Take these pies to 114-54 Corona Avenue, Apt. 4-G."

Bus Rider Clutching Head In Pain Completely Ignored

DETROIT—Area bus passenger Robert Herndon, clutching his head and rocking back and forth in agonized pain, was utterly ignored by fellow bus passengers Tuesday. The 17 other passengers on the bus employed a variety of tactics in ignoring Herndon, including looking out the window, gazing intently at the bus' advertising placards and staring at their own feet. "This is the C bus, right?" passenger Darryl Frost asked another rider in an effort to appear unaware of the moaning, doubled-over man sitting four seats away from him. "It is? Great."

Bilingual Education Under Fire

On June 2, California voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition 227, a measure eliminating bilingual education programs for millions of Spanish-speaking immigrants. What do you think?

Your Safety Is Our Second Concern

As CEO of Johnson Home Products, manufacturers of quality household appliances and furnishings since 1884, I would like to take a moment to assure you, our valued customer, that your safety is our number-two concern.
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Russian Scientists Announce Six-Month Delay In Carving New Space Station

MOSCOW—Citing safety concerns as well as the importance of proper craftsmanship, Russian Space Agency officials announced Tuesday a delay of at least six months before carving is completed on the newest Russian space station.

Russian Space Agency director-general Yuri Koptev answers reporters' questions about splitting and warping on the new Russian space station.

"The two-by-four frame which forms the station's primary airlock is still in the clamps and hasn't even been sanded yet," said Russian Space Agency director-general Yuri Koptev, explaining the delay. "There are also a number of key navigational instruments which we have not yet begun to whittle."

Originally scheduled for completion this month, the new station ran into difficulties on June 2, when several nails came loose during a routine docking exercise, resulting in an explosion that destroyed the space station's guidance system and badly injured cosmonaut Nikolai Budarin. The malfunction, which also caused serious damage to the station's steering thruster, was traced to faulty hammering.

"The nails were not hammered in straight," Koptev said. "We will pull them all out and do it again."

Another major setback occurred just two days later, when a pair of vagrants jimmied open the lock on the space station's main entry hatch and spent the night in it.

Russian aerospace engineer Aleksandr Kirov installs software on the new space station's mainframe computer.

"They urinated all over the place," chief engineer Talgat Musabayev said. "This created serious problems, as the floor had not yet been varnished and sealed, so the urine soaked through and caused a terrible smell. I cannot go in the space station now without covering my nose."

Musabayev said the agency has requested $3 in additional funding from the Russian government to purchase a pine-scented bathroom spray to combat the urine odor, but the request has not yet been approved.

Despite his frustration, Koptev said the setbacks have taught Russian Space Agency officials much about the construction and maintenance of space environments, knowledge which will help them greatly in future missions. "We may decide to work with clay in the future, so that even if we make many mistakes, we can correct them before the final firing," he said.

Another breakthrough for the Russian team was last week's discovery of rigid, circular devices that facilitate the transportation of heavy items. "We used to carry all of our components many miles to the space center in our arms," Koptev said. "But now, by affixing these round devices to boxes and baskets, we can transport items with far greater ease."

For reasons of national security, Koptev declined to elaborate on the specifics of the device.

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