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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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Yahoo Launches Soul-Search Engine

SUNNYVALE, CA—Hoping it will push them to the top of an increasingly competitive market, Internet portal Yahoo has added soul-search capabilities to its expanding line of search tools, company executives announced Monday.

"Capable of navigating the billions of thoughts, experiences, and emotions that make up the human psyche, the new Yahoo soul-search engine helps users find what's deep inside them quickly and easily," Yahoo CEO Terry Semel said. "All those long, difficult nights of pondering your place in this world are a thing of the past."

Yahoo's main competitor recently introduced two new advanced search functions: Google Local, which highlights search results from a specific geographic area, and Google Personalized Search, which allows users to create a profile of their interests to influence search results. But Semel called Yahoo's new search function "vastly more precise."

"As the amount of information on the web increases, individuals want a search engine to provide them with results that are personally meaningful," Semel said. "Enter the Yahoo Soul Search—a powerful new tool that reveals what's deep inside your heart, using the user-friendly interface already familiar to Yahoo fans."

In the past, a soul search was a labor-intensive and time-consuming process, Semel said.

"A soul search often required backpacking trips across Europe, disastrous long-term relationships with incompatible lovers, and years of expensive therapy," Semel said. "Worse, the search process often included depression, lowered self-worth, and intense doubt."

Semel called the old way of seeking clarity "a logistical nightmare."

"Each question you asked yourself seemed to have a thousand possible answers," Semel said. "That's why we designed a way to order returns by relevance and separate them into categories like 'religion' and 'sexuality.' After using the Yahoo soul-search engine, conducting the self-examination process without a computer will seem as ridiculous as doing accounting in old-fashioned ledger books."

A page generated by Yahoo's new soul-search engine.

The new search function is even customizable. Users can set their search to plumb their souls at varying depths, to make shallow discoveries or life-changing ones. They can also adjust their security preferences to protect themselves from the dangers of baring their naked souls to the world, and parental controls can be enabled in order to prevent children from looking inside themselves.

The new service is also hot-linked to the pre-existing Yahoo network—instantly leading the soul-searcher to pertinent information on HotJobs, Yahoo! Shopping, and Yahoo! Travel—making it possible for users to reconfigure their entire lives with one easy soul search.

Although soul searching online personal ads is not presently an option, Yahoo is developing a search engine which will allow its estimated 300 million users to find their one true soulmate.

Semel admits that the soul, while eminently searchable, is far from easy to navigate. There are still dangers in the form of self-deception, the soul-to-soul transmittable "D-spair" virus, and the numerous pop-up ads offering quick-fix solutions to the user's problems.

"There are bound to be some bugs, but we're not too worried," Semel said. "We at Yahoo have a lot of experience in helping people navigate an environment full of falsehoods, random useless information, and truly horrifying pornography. I don't think the human soul will hold any real surprises for us."

Early reviews from consumers have been overwhelmingly positive.

"I was skeptical, I'll admit," said former Boston-area investment banker Royce Creighton. "But after two minutes on Yahoo Soul Search, I found that being born into a family of bankers didn't mean I had to be a banker. Half an hour of advanced soul-searching helped me find a buyer for my house, an alpaca farm for sale in Wyoming, and a highly recommended acupuncturist in Cheyenne. I've never been happier... and I found all this inside myself through Yahoo!"

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