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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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Super Monkey Collider Loses Funding

Congress voted Monday to cut federal funding for the superconducting monkey collider, a controversial experiment which has cost taxpayers an estimated $7.6 billion a year since its creation in 1983.

Monkeys relax in the main hallway of the abandoned collider, which, if successful, would have smashed the primates together at near-light speeds.

The collider, which was to be built within a 45-mile-long circular tunnel, would accelerate monkeys to near-light speeds before smashing them together. Scientists insist the collider is an important step toward understanding the universe, because no one can yet say for certain what kind of noises monkeys would make if collided at those high speeds.

"It could be a thump, a splat, or maybe even a sound that hasn't yet been heard by human ears," said project head Dr. Eric Reed Friday, in an impassioned plea to Congress. "How are we supposed to understand things like the atom or the nature of gravity if we don't even know what colliding monkeys sound like?"

But Congress, under heavy pressure from the powerful monkey rights lobby, decided that money being spent on the monkey collider would be put to better use in other areas of government. Now, with funding cut off, the future of our nation's monkey collision program looks bleak.

Congress began funding the monkey collider in 1983, after Reed convinced lawmakers that the U.S. was lagging behind the Soviet Union in monkey-colliding technology. Funds were quickly allocated so that Reed could spend a week procuring monkeys on Florida's beautiful Captiva Island. Though Reed returned with a great tan and a beautiful young fiancee, he reported that there were no monkeys to be found on the sunny Gulf Coast island. Congress funded subsequent trips to the Cayman Islands, Bora Bora and Cancun, but these searches also yielded negative results.

Two years passed without a single monkey being procured, and Congress was close to cutting the project's funding. It was then that Reed got the idea to utilize monkeys already being bred in captivity. The Congressional Subcommittee for Scientific Investigation was enthralled by the idea of watching caged monkeys copulate, and increased funding by 40 percent.

With a steady supply of monkeys ensured, construction of the monkey collider began on a scenic Colorado site. Despite environmental pressure, a mountain was levelled to facilitate construction of the seven-mile-wide complex. Huge underground tunnels were dug, at a cost of billions of dollars and 17 lives. Money left over was used to build resort homes, spas and video arcades for Reed, his colleagues and several Congressmen.

Construction of the collider's acceleration mechanism was delayed for years, as scientists couldn't decide how to get the monkeys up to smashing speed. Last month, it was finally decided that the collider would employ a system in which the monkeys run through the tunnels chasing holographic projections of bananas. "Monkeys love bananas," Reed said, "and they're willing to run extremely fast to get them."

But now it seems the acceleration mechanism may never be built. With the monkey collider placed on indefinite hold, the huge research facility in Colorado lies dormant.

To keep the space from going to waste, Congress Monday voted to convert the empty underground tunnel into a federally funded drag-racing track. The track is expected to create hundreds of jobs in the form of pit crews and concessions workers, and will allow President Clinton to impress important foreign dignitaries with America's wheelie technology.

Despite this promising alternate plan, most involved with the monkey collider project feel the sudden cuts in funding are inexcusable. "It is a travesty of science," Reed said. "I remember the joy I felt in college when I would launch monkeys at one another with big rubber bands, and this project would have been even more enlightening."

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