VATICAN CITY—The Vatican has released a strict new set of Church laws intended to reduce the nocturnal emissions of teenage polluters by 50 percent in the next decade, Cardinal Antoni Bertoli announced Monday.
MANAUS, BRAZIL—An international team of scientists conducting research in the Amazon River Basin announced the discovery of a formerly unknown primate species inhabiting a remote jungle area roughly 300 miles from Manaus Monday. According to scientists in Manaus, the new species, Ateles saporis, is "an amazing biological find" and "incredibly delectable."
WASHINGTON, DCDays after unveiling new power-plant pollution regulations that rely on an industry-favored market-trading approach to cutting mercury emissions, EPA Acting Administrator Stephen Johnson announced that the agency will remove the "E" and "P" from its name. "We're not really 'environmental' anymore, and we certainly aren't 'protecting' anything," Johnson said. "'The Agency' is a name that reflects our current agenda and encapsulates our new function as a government-funded body devoted to handling documents, scheduling meetings, and fielding phone calls." The change comes on the heels of the Department of Health and Human Services' January decision to shorten its name to the Department of Services.
Quick, we haven't a moment to spare! He's already an entire public green space ahead of us. Right, sorryhe or she. There...that's him or her right there. That seafoam green car carefully signaling for a turn onto Maple Terrace Drive from Oak Lawn Boulevard. Yes, the one behind the new Beetle. Follow that Prius!
The name "Yucca Mountain" is synonymous with danger and excitement. It's so much more than some single-industry desert town with a lot of unusual buildingsthe entire place surges with activity and pulses with the thrill of the forbidden. The eerie luminescent glow lights the Nevada sky all through the night. Everyone has heard stories, but no one who hasn't visited can truly understand Yucca Mountain. Why's that? Well, my friend, I'd like to tell you, but folks who work here have a little saying: What happens at the Yucca Mountain Federal Nuclear Waste Disposal and Encasement Facility stays at the Yucca Mountain Federal Nuclear Waste Disposal and Encasement Facility.
Marla? Get in here. Where the fuck is Diane with my coffee? I sent her out 15 minutes ago for a large cup of fair-trade Ethiopian Dark Roast from the La Paz coffee shop. How hard could it be? You walk your ass to the corner, hand them my Utne Reader travel mug, plunk down the money, and pick up the coffee. Add a little soy milk and two natural-cane sugar packets, and you make sure the lid is tight. That's so simple, even Diane should be able to do it without fucking up.
Joshua! Kylie! Help your father and me unload the minivan. You can take care of the lighter things, like the mini-cooler and the badminton net. Daddy will carry the poles. Take your beach towels, too, and don't forget that Ziploc bag with the sunscreen. I don't want you kids getting sunburns. They say the worst skin damage occurs when you're young. Joshua? Kylie? Why are you still in the van? You haven't even unbuckled your seatbelts. Let's go!
AUSTIN, TX—Garrett Durning of the Texas Environmental Defense League has spent the last three months campaigning tirelessly for the installation of solar-powered electric chairs in state prisons. "Texas wastes more than 500,000 watts of electricity on every criminal it executes," Durning told reporters Monday. "We live in the 21st century, and it's high time we acted like it. Let's stop depleting our non-renewable fossil fuels. Solar power is a more energy-efficient way to execute the condemned." Durning added that wrist and ankle restraints should be made of hemp rather than leather, the use of which is cruel.
A lot of people say they love animals, but then, when they come across one that has a scar, is a little bit skinny, or is coughing up blood, they just turn their heads. Well, I love animals of all shapes, sizes, and disabilities. That's why I devote all of my free time to finding and caring for diseased and deformed animals. I just can't get enough of those smelly, limping critters!
WASHINGTON, DC—Though insisting that she had been meaning to read Eric Schlosser's book Fast Food Nation ever since it was published in 2001, Secretary Of Agriculture Ann M. Veneman finally got around to doing so just this month. "Wow, I had no idea that commercial beef ranches packed so many head of cattle into such a small space," Veneman said Tuesday. "It's disgusting! And all that about the flavoring from animal products being used to make McDonald's french fries—that was a real eye-opener. Mark my words, something must be done." Veneman vowed that, upon completing Fast Food Nation, she will immediately go out and buy Rachel Carson's Silent Spring.
I'll admit, Arbor Day isn't as big a holiday as Thanksgiving or Independence Day. But to my mind, it's every bit as special. It signifies the symbiotic relationship we have with the land in a way that no other holiday does, not even Easter. It is The Little Holiday That Could and, as such, it holds a special place in my heart—a place I thought I could share with my closest friends and coworkers. Well, I guess you all showed me.
WASHINGTON, DC— Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM), ranking Republican on the Senate Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, revealed Monday that the group is "less a Senate subcommittee than a big family. "[Senator] Harry [Reid (D-NV)] isn't just chairman of our subcommittee. He's more like a dad to us," Domenici said. "We can talk to him about anything that's troubling us, even if it has nothing to do with the allocation of hydroelectric power."
WASHINGTON, DC–Vowing to "restore the pristine splendor of America's natural treasures," President Bush Monday unveiled "Project: National Parks Clean-Up," an ambitious program to remove all toxic petrochemical deposits from national parks by 2004.
WASHINGTON, DC–According to a World Wildlife Fund study released Monday, stuffed-animal biodiversity is rapidly rising, with the number of species available in plush form up nearly 800 percent since 1990.
STATEN ISLAND, NY–An estimated 450,000 unsold copies of Time's special April 22 Earth Day issue were trucked Monday from the magazine's New Jersey distribution center to the Fresh Kills landfill in Staten Island.
COLLEGE STATION, TX–Texas A&M sophomore Bryan Datillo was jolted from a light sleep during a Botany 101 lecture Monday, when his professor, discussing the various methods by which experimental hybrid crops are developed, uttered the word "hydroponics." "I was kind of dozing off, but then I heard Professor Guyer say 'hydroponics,'" Datillo said. "I was like, 'Whoa! Now we're finally getting somewhere.' Unfortunately, he just said some boring shit about tomatoes, so I went back to sleep."
WASHINGTON, DC–The EPA released an alarming set of findings on global ozone depletion Monday, prompting the world's six billion inhabitants to cover their ears and chant, "Na, na, na, na, na, na! I'm not listening to youuuu!" Added humanity: "Doop-de-doop-de-dooooooo!" A large portion of North America was also observed rocking back and forth while humming upon hearing the report.
BERKELEY, CA–Vincent Dunst, manager of a Berkeley-area food cooperative, has added two minutes to his life by consuming organic peanut butter instead of major brands, health-food experts reported Monday. "Store-bought brands like Jif and Skippy are loaded with artificial emulsifiers and preservatives. Some of them even contain brown dyes to make them look more 'peanut buttery,'" Dunst said. "This all-natural Sunset Farms peanut butter contains absolutely nothing but fresh peanuts and a little bit of sea salt–and, as an added bonus, the jar is glass instead of plastic." Dunst has also added 22 seconds to his life by starting off each day with a frosty, fiber-rich "Bulgur Smoothie."
WASHINGTON, DC—High summer temperatures and ever-increasing levels of U.S. beverage consumption are causing ice cubes across the nation to melt at "an alarmingly unprecedented rate," the U.S. Department of Consumer Affairs reported Tuesday.
WASHINGTON, DC—Congress narrowly passed the McCann-Hawkins Florida Wetlands Preservation Bill Tuesday, with the deciding vote coming from an unlikely source: Sen. Dwight Q. Peabody (D-RI), the Littlest Senator.
UNITED NATIONS–A U.N. report released Monday traces last week's saving of the Earth to Working Assets' long-distance plan. "Working Assets, with its donation of 2 percent of profits to groups like the Rainforest Action Network and Amnesty International, has been found to be the force behind the planet's saving," the U.N. report read. The report also found that by using green, soy-based ink and off-white, 20 percent post-consumer recycled paper for its bills, Working Assets halted the deforestation of 10 million acres of Amazon rainforest, prompted the release of 11,000 Tibetan political prisoners, and increased literacy in Honduras 40 percent.
Ever since my retirement last month from the sock factory, I've had a lot of extra time to spend around the yard. But the hours of pleasurable pruning I had planned to enjoy with my new cordless rechargeable Master Clipper have been cruelly withheld from me. Instead, my afternoons have been spent in an unending feud with those motherfucking robins that infest my yard. All my attempts to coexist with these creatures on my meticulously trimmed, lush suburban lawn have failed, leaving me with no choice but to exterminate them. Do you hear me, you lousy, cocksucking robins? This is war!
NOME, AK—A Castrol supertanker ran aground Monday near Nome, AK, spilling more than 50 million gallons of high-grade Castrol motor oil into the Bering Strait and greatly improving the viscosity of local marine wildlife.
NORFOLK, VA—In what has been dubbed the most "devastating and brutal siege in the history of animal-rights activism," an elite, paramilitary squad of commandos from People For The Ethical Treatment Of Animals (PETA) attacked and killed 49 employees at Couture Cosmetics' Norfolk, VA, research facility while saving a rabbit during a daring midnight raid Monday.
SAN FRANCISCO—Greatly concerned with America's ever-worsening landfill problem, a group of San Francisco-based heroin addicts have established EcOD, an environmentally friendly needle sharing program. "So many of us are using needles once and then throwing them out," said Dave Pierce, strung-out junkie and program co-chair. "That's just wasteful. If you come across an old needle lying around, by all means, use it. And if you don't have one, borrow from a friend." Pierce also recommended a soapy washcloth for cleaning dirty syringes.
Why isn't anyone doing anything about all the problems? We're living in a time with super computers and underwater sea stations and million-dollar laboratories. And still, everyday when I watch the TV news shows I see all sorts of problems!