Yahoo Launches Soul-Search Engine

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Vol 40 Issue 14

Frank Zappa Fan Thinks You Just Haven't Heard The Right Album

NEDERLAND, CO—In spite of your insistence that you are not into Frank Zappa, avid fan Roger Von Lee believes that you would change your mind if you heard the right album. "You're prejudiced, because the only Zappa you know is 'Valley Girl' and 'Don't Eat The Yellow Snow,'" Von Lee told you Tuesday. "Seriously, you need to check out Hot Rats or Absolutely Free. Zappa and the Mothers were at their peak, and Zappa's jazz-rock fusion experiments predate Bitches Brew. That'll totally convince you that Zappa's the shit." Von Lee added that if those two don't get under your skin, he can recommend another 15 to 20 albums that will for sure.

Boxer Hopes He Can Make Money Punching Things In Retirement

CHICAGO—Shortly after announcing his retirement, heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis, 38, said Monday that he hopes to continue to make money punching things. "I have a few other skills, but I'm probably best at punching," Lewis said. "Cows, computers, sheets of glass—if the price is right, I'll punch it good. I may be retired, but I'm still a powerful good puncher." Lewis added that he would also be willing to hire himself out by the hour for displays of fancy footwork.

Almost No Effort Made To Stop Kid From Eating Cigarette Butt

HALLOWELL, ME—While waiting for a bus Tuesday, Stan Geraldson watched 2-year-old Jason Kemper pick up a spent cigarette butt and place it in his mouth, but made only a minor attempt to stop him. "Hey, ah, you shouldn't..." Geraldson told Kemper, whose mother was engaged in a conversation a few feet away. "Don't... eat that." Geraldson said he would have done more to stop Kemper if the item had been fiberglass or something.

Dollar Losing Value Against The Quarter

NEW YORK—After falling 6 percent in the past three weeks, the U.S. dollar hit a 208-year low against the U.S. quarter, which had been valued at exactly 0.25 dollars since its introduction in 1796. "The dollar continues to slide against most major currencies," Morgan Stanley analyst Richard Jemison said. "At the end of the day Tuesday, the quarter was trading at .267 yen, .203 euros, and US$0.28. But what we're really seeing here is not just a dollar weakened by a sluggish economy, but an exceptionally resilient quarter-dollar." Jemison was quick to point out that the dollar remains very strong against the nickel.

Visiting Liberian Dignitary In No Hurry To Leave

WASHINGTON, DC—Liberian interim government chairman Gyude Bryant is strongly considering extending his first diplomatic visit to the U.S., the West African leader announced Monday. "It feels like I just got here," said Bryant, whose nation has just begun the work of rebuilding its infrastructure after 14 years of civil war. "Why rush back to Liberia? I'm barely settled into my hotel suite. I haven't even used the whirlpool." Bryant, head of the Liberian government since former president Charles Taylor was forced into exile, said he may as well stay at least until the violence in the city of Buchanan dies down, which would allow him to check out the Smithsonian.

U.S. Kids Sleep-Deprived

The National Sleep Foundation recently announced that American children are not getting enough sleep. What do you think?

The Hunt For Bin Laden

The commission probing the Sept. 11 attacks presented in detail the mistakes made in the search for Osama Bin Laden. What were some of the near-misses?
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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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