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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Scientists Discover Wrinkle In Time-Life Continuum

PASADENA, CA—The world's scientific and multi-volume- book-buying communities are abuzz following Monday's announcement that a team of California Institute of Technology physicists has discovered a wrinkle in the Time-Life continuum.

If the discovery proves to be correct, consumers may be able to receive 100 percent of their money back even after observing Time-Life phenomena for a limited 10-day "window" in the continuum.

"Preliminary data still needs to be closely evaluated before any definitive conclusions can be reached," said Cal Tech team leader Stephen Yu. "But it now appears that the very fabric of Time-Life itself may be curved in such a manner that an observer may be able to purchase, receive and peruse any number of verifiable Time-Life phenomena, and then return them within 10 days for a full money-back-guaranteed refund, in effect returning to precisely where he started 10 days earlier, even though he has already spent 10 days reading material from the continuum firsthand. Yes, I know it sounds paradoxical, but it appears to be true."

According to the Cal Tech physicists, Monday's discovery will likely have a profound impact on researchers' ability to gather useful and interesting data on a variety of topics, including home construction and repair, the Vietnam War, and legendary Old West gunslingers like John Wesley Hardin, a man so ornery he once shot a man just for snoring.

"The potential for backyard deck construction and development alone is tremendous," said Yu, who discovered the crucial wrinkle while "cable-surfing," or rapidly switching from one electromagnetic frequency to another while measuring the results on a phosphorescent screen. "I've always wanted to know how to get simple, easy-to-follow instructions for grouting, tiling, drywall, and installing a new utility sink—and for just a fraction of what a professional would charge."

Yu said the next stage of his Time-Life research will involve the acquisition of a sample specimen of the first volume, Kitchens And Bathrooms, available for a low, low price of only $19.95. If, after examining the sample, Yu is satisfied with the results, he will continue to receive an additional volume every month for only $19.95 each. Yu stressed that because of the paradoxical 10-day window delineated by the curvature of Time-Life, he could return any volume which did not satisfy him, as well as cancel any time.

Monday's discovery has been of particular interest to the handful of physicists working on what is termed the "grand unified theory" or "GUTs," which attempts to link what scientists call "the four forces" into one unified science.

The first major breakthrough in the quest to achieve a grand unified theory occurred in 1971, when an Oxford University physicist working with extremely high-energy particle accelerators successfully proved that Time and Life are, in actuality, a single entity known as Time-Life, fused together long ago in an event known as the Big Merge. In 1982, a Tokyo University team discovered that, under certain conditions, particles within the Time-Life continuum could be exchanged with reactions caused by the strong and weak Warnerlar forces, creating what theorists call the "Time/Warner" force.

"Astounding as it may sound," Cal Tech physicist Lewis Sheehan said, "it may one day be proven that the Time-Life continuum and the Time/Warner force are linked to the so-called 'Turner' forces, which shape literally galaxies of stars, creating the ultimate in grand unified merge theory: the Time/Warner-Turner hypothesis. This theory, however, remains strictly theoretical at this point, as the conditions under which such a merger could occur cannot be generated within known science. It would require a hypothetical high-energy state that only existed during the first few billionths of a second after the creation of the cosmos, and during a brief period in the mid-1990s."

Despite the seeming impossibility of recreating such conditions, Sheehan said there may be a way to use the newly discovered wrinkle to literally step "outside" the realm of known science using data gathered directly from the Mysteries Of The Unknown.

"A woman in Wisconsin gets a sudden feeling that something terrible has happened. Just then the phone rings, and she learns that her daughter in Florida has been in an accident. Just chance? Or is it something more?" Sheehan pondered enigmatically. "I'm going to find out for myself by ordering now."


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