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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
End Of Section
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Slow Down, Technology!

If any of my loyal readers felt a cold draft when opening this morning's paper, it's because hell just froze over. That's right! Ol' Roger "No thanks, I'll stick with my 8-Track" Dudek bought a brand-spanking-new laptop. Now I know what you're thinking, "Ha ha! You, Rog? With a laptop? That would be the biggest disaster since the Titanic let the blind guy steer!"

You're telling me. Used to be the only way you could get me near a "desktop" was if the Soviets were attacking and I needed a place to hide. But last week my editor, Tony, said my handwriting looks like chicken scratch. He gave me two choices: get a computer or start laying some eggs! Boy, I sure did something to "ruffle his feathers," because then he threatened to "stuff" me with a pink slip and send me "clucking" down to the unemployment office. Talk about getting "henpecked." Sheesh! So I flew on down to the computer store— before things got really "fowl."

But seriously, folks, I didn't get into the humor-writing biz to spend all day staring at a computer screen. If I wanted to work in a place full of big, immobile machines that never do what anyone tells them, I'd run for Congress!

Have you seen these computers lately? They say computers have the ability to connect people from all over the world. Yeah…so they can talk about how no one knows how to turn the darn thing on! (Hint: Have a child, wait eight years, and pay him to do it.) And another thing—who packs these computer boxes, Rosie O'Donnell's tailor? Every one of these gizmos comes with a keyboard, monitor, software, hardware, a mouse—and probably two squirrels and a raccoon for all I know! I stopped taking things out of the box after I thought I saw Jimmy Hoffa. I'm kidding of course.

It was Elvis.

Plus the manuals that come with today's computers are, as far as I can tell, written in hieroglyphics! And is it just me, or are these things the size of a whale? We're talking after it went off Atkins! Computer manual? Sounds like an oxymoron to me. Like jumbo shrimp, or military intelligence. Maybe I should just pay a little more and get a computer automatic. I'm telling you, they're so complicated these days, I need a manual just to figure out my manual!

Check, please!

Maybe I'm just too old—er, numerically challenged—to keep up with the new technology. My kids might as well be speaking to me in Wingdings when they start going on about Facebook this and Myspace that.  Myspace. You know what used to be My space? The den. Now my kids are in there all day texting the Backstreet Boys or whatever they do, and I can't get on the thing to save my life.

If the computer wasn't enough, now I'm hearing about the iPhone everywhere I go. iPhones, youPhones, we all scream because it costs a fortune! If I'm going to pay $300 for a telephone, it better be a really nice phone…strapped to $275. But try telling that to my wife, Rosemary. And while you're at it, tell her I fixed the dryer—because she's not talking to me until I get her an iPhone! I tell you, it hasn't been this quiet around my house since our last baby was born with no heartbeat.

And don't get me started on iPods! Those screens are so tiny that instead of headphones they should come with a microscope. Otherwise the only music I'll be listening to will be in the hospital waiting room—when I finally burst a blood vessel from all the squinting.

In fact, everyone's so busy trying to figure out how to work these new gadgets, we only have time now to call things by a couple letters. CDs, DVDs, DVRs, MP3s…let's call the whole thing off! What ever happened to naming things exactly what they did? Blender, toaster, salad shooter. Why can't things be like that again? Just imagine what that would be like:

You (just thawed out of a glacier and transported to your local RadioShack): Hello, Steve Jobs. What do you have for me today?

Steve Jobs: Well, we're selling our new $600 iBreak and our new $200 You Don't Need This.

You: I'll take both of them! You know, Steve, if you make these Apple products any cheaper, people are going to start thinking they grow on trees.

Steve Jobs: Ha ha ha ha ha ha! That was really funny, because apples grow on trees.

So call me a technophobe (that's Mr. Technophobe to you), but I think I'll stick to good old Pen and Paper 2.0 for a while longer. I mean, if I wanted a big machine in my house that doesn't work for me, I'd invite a Congressman to dinner! It might have been a laptop when it came into the house, but lately it's been more like a shelftop.

More like a bottomshelftop!

All I know is, I didn't pass up a chance to write for Billy Crystal at the '92 Oscars so that I could go clacking away on some keyboard until the day I die—which, according to Rosemary, will be the next time I forget our anniversary!

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