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United Nations, New York, USA.  The United Nations has scheduled a special session on pronunciation aimed at the ultimate goal of harmonizing the pronunciation of Roman alphabet characters around the world.  Sir Angus MacGuiness, MP and Adjunct Undersecretary to Her Majesty’s Standing Council on Inflections and Pronunciation, has requested and required the British Delegation to the UN, via unanimous consent of Parliament, to petition for a special session on the subject of the pronunciation of the Roman alphabet.

Speaking for the office of the Adjunct Undersecretary, assistant Duncan Hiney Peebles disclosed to members of the press that the issue of how to pronounce words written in the Roman alphabet has gotten completely out of hand. “Between Polish, Welsh, and Icelandic, we have no idea even how to sound out these words” Peebles flatly stated. “We believe that the situation has gone completely bonkers and that an international body needs to convene on the matter.” 

When pressed on the matter of standarization, Peebles replied “naturally, we believe that British English should be the standard for pronunciation.  Minimally,” Peebles said, “words should be phonetically translated when printed in English speaking media.”

Peebles then went on to cite examples of words that should be phonetically translated even though they use Roman characters. “Take the case of the Islandic Volcano ‘Eyjafjallajökull’ ” Peebles pleaded. “For Christ’s sake!  It is pronounced eh eeya fyatla yokutla. How is anybody supposed to know to pronounce a double ‘ll’ as a ‘t’ sound? And then there is Polish and Welsh. This is insane and we have stop pretending that it is not a problem, ” Peebles pleaded.

A resolution been proposed and will come before the General Assembly in June of 2012, but is not expected to pass.

Guapo, Arizona.  10/1/10.  The Staarkrakken Institute at Pultroon University in cooperation with ThermoFissure Corporation have announced the development of a new ground glass joint standard for the 21st century. The laboratory glassware joints to be retired initially are the 14/20, 24/40, and 29/42 joints. The taper angle will be raised by 1.8 degrees on all subsequent designs. Ball joint design standards will change as well. Look for ball joint standards to change in early 2014.  Additionally, the outside diameter of the joint will be increased, so Keck clips will also undergo a redesign.

This change is the result of years of marketing studies designed to determine how satisfied chemists were with the familiar standard taper joint. Market researchers found that customers rarely had strong opinions about their familiar standard taper joints or simply expressed “boredom” with the topic. So, in an effort to stimulate fresh demand, executives from ThermoFissure Corporation approached the Staarkrakken Institute for design studies that would lead to stimulated sales of lab glassware.

Olaf Staarkrakken, Director of the Staarkrakken Institute and grandson of founder Nels Staarkrakken, commented “this is the right time for change in the worlds laboratories. We believe that this upgrade in glassware will strengthen joints everywhere. The time is now and we’re proud to lead the way.”

Robert “Stone” Hanusly, Director of Sales and Marketing at ThermoFissure, announced the arrival of the Fissure brand of laboratory glassware using the new standard taper joints. Hanusly added that the Fissure brand is expected to be a big hit among R&D workers and that they have built up their inventory of Fissure glassware in anticipation of high demand. Mr. Hanusly commented that a wide array of adapters will be available.

Guapo, Arizona.  University Chancellor Dr. Tina Grimstone issued a press release containing the annual list of Honorary Degrees to be conferred by Pultroon University at the spring 2011 commencement.   Notable are three awardees from the State of Wyoming, former US Senator Alan Simpson, former Sectretary of the Interior James Watt, and former Vice President Richard “Dick” Cheney. 

In her brief comments Dr. Grimstone stated that “seldom has a state produced three characters of the magnitude of Simpson, Watt, and Cheney in a single generation. We felt it was important to highlight this fact as an example to others who may choose public service.”

The University public affairs office disclosed that Sen. Simpson will deliver the commencement address on the topic of “Folksy Farm Witicisms in Public Life.”  Secretary Watt will follow the ceremony with a pentecostal benediction spoken in tongues and Vice President Cheney will pesent the Honorary St. Elmo’s Firing Pin to the Chancellor in the precessional.

Denver, Colorado.  Balloon Boy and his parents were arrested this evening at their Ft Collins, Colorado, home. The parents will be arraigned Friday morning and charged with first degree aggravated inconveniencing under Colorado’s strict new incommodus laws. Bringing neighborhood inconvenience is a misdemeanor, but inconveniencing broadcast news organizations and state agencies where helicopters are involved is now a felony and punishable with fines and hard labor.

The Balloon Boy himself was taken into custody by child protective services and will likely be charged with one count each of misdemeanor impertinence and rascalism with intent to evade. If convicted under juvenile code, the Balloon Boy can expect to spend 60 days in juvenile choir in leg irons and orange prison coveralls followed by 5 years of closely monitored confinement to his room with extra homework.

Well, shoot. Some Texicans are spoutin’ off about secession again. I’m kinda s’prised it took this long fer their sentiments to get voiced out in the open. Havin’ lived there fer a few years, I could see it comin’ a while back.

So let’s see. Before they split, we’ll set up a US Hong Kong-type city state in Houston so’s we git the port a’ Houston with its petrochemical complex and NASA. Then we’ll make sure we keep the military bases in San Antonio, sorta like Gitmo, and move the Pantex nuclear weapons reservation from the panhandle to the north. After that, we’ll slap a duty on their exports, divert the Rio Grande into Arizona for irrigation, make Galveston Island a US naval station, and claim the oil reserves in the gulf. They can have their West Texas crude.

It’s like a whole nother Central American country!

August 27, 2009. Guapo, AZ.  The American Placebo Manufacturers Association concluded their annual meeting today. The meeting was hosted by the McCain Center for Advanced Placebo Research at Pultroon University.  The meeting included a symposium series on placebo research as well as an exhibition featuring state of the art placebo pill presses.

Noteworthy was a report on a general rise in placebo effectiveness seen across the industry. While the cause is uncertain, it was agreed that the trend was good for the industry.

In general, the conferees were divided into two camps – those advocating OTC availability and those for prescription-only. The prescription-only speakers made a strong economic case for prescription control of placebos.

“The only way to maintain profitable operation is to control the distribution by physician prescriptions” said Dr. Robert Stiphey, Director of Fauxpharmacy at Flaton Pharmaceuticals.  Stiphey is convinced that an over the counter offering of placebos would lead to a rapid collapse in prices and drive premium placebo manufacture to Central America or Asia. “OTC distribution would be a financial disaster” Stiphey remarked.

Spiratu Health Systems is a New Jersey based health care company planning a placebo based system of clinics and hospitals along the Atlantic coast. Emily Eubangelotos, President of Spiratu Health Systems, said that two fauxpharmaceutical clinics opened in the Atlantic City area in the second quarter with more openings planned over the next two years. “We’re offering a low cost alternative to high priced medicine” Eubangelotos said.

Veternary placebos have been on the market for many years. A black market has developed in the human use of these animal placebos. Indeed, some of them have proven to be actual drugs capable of arresting disease and pain in humans. Placebo manufacturers have lobbied for years to keep blackmarket veternary placebos off the streets.

July 3, 2009, Wasilla, Alaska.  Governor Sarah Palin announced her intent to resign from the office of Governor of Alaska. The governor took great care to explain that her continued presence in office was costing taxpayers considerable tax money as well as time lost as she responds to inquiries into her personal affairs.

Standing with her family by her side Gov. Palin said at the outdoor press conference that her family had unanimously voted in agreement that she should stand down from her position as Alaska Governor eighteen months ahead of her term limit. Governor Palin then announced that she would be meeting with leaders of the GOP over so-called articles of confederation. 

When  asked to clarify what she meant by “articles of confederation”, the Governor declined to elaborate.

In response to repeated inquiries, R. Eric Lee, a spokesman for the RNC, held a short phone conference and denied any knowledge of  “articles of confederation” or any movement toward a confederacy “by or on behalf of the GOP”.  

“Anyway,” Mr. Lee continued, ” Speaker Newt Gingrich advises that the word ‘confederation’ is inaccurate and obsolete.”  Lee refused to answer any further questions and promptly halted the interview.

Guapo, Arizona. Ecoterrorists struck the campus of Pultroon College friday evening. Authorities allege that members of TurfFirst! spiked the quadrangle on the Pultroon campus. Groundskeepers, on what was by all appearances a “routine mowing mission”, encountered spikes in the turf they were trimming. Mowers unwittingly ran over metal spikes driven into the soil. The spikes damaged cutting blades on the mowers and in one case punctured a tire.

Head groundskeeper William “Herb” Cutter stated that his crew was shaken by the incident and that he was uncertain when they would return to the mowers. “This came from out of the blue,” Cutter said, “we had no idea that we were being targeted.” 

Special Agent John Blather of the Four Corners Terrorism Task Force stated that the incident at Pultroon College was only the latest spiking under investigation and that a post-doctoral fellow was designated as a person of interest. While the identity of the post-doc has not been released, Ortho Professor of Hedge and Turf Science Elaine Deere released a statement through the public relations office at the college.

Deere stated that a full internal investigation was underway regarding the possibility of members of the college community sympathetic to TurfFirst! The effect upon letters of recommendation was unclear at this time.

Deere did offer a possible motivation for the spiking. “This is Arizona, after all. I don’t know what we were thinking trying to grow Kentucky Blue Grass in the Arizona desert. Maybe that’s why they’re torqued at us?”

TurfFirst! is a murky and poorly known ecoterror group. They have shown a preference for striking at college campuses and turf farms. TurfFirst! is a group of radicalized botanists and soil fundamentalists who have claimed in a lengthy manifesto that the soil comprises a living, global organism that is being harmed by agribusiness and “chemical plows”.

It is a loosely affiliated and non-centralized group consisting of independent cells, or “berms” as they call themselves. Numerous symbolic targets have been hit by TurfFirst! operatives over the last 5 years, including both the baseball and football halls of fame.

The leader of TurfFirst! is not known with any real certainty. However, a shadowy figure who operates under the name of “Sedge” is thought to be a key player in the turf underground movement.

Colonville, Michigan. A spokesman for the Chrysler company announced today that the Chrysler Corporation has completed a preliminary agreement with Polaris Corporation for the acquisition of the snowmobile manufacturer. Polaris, based in Grommet, PA, has previously announced planned layoffs from its state-of-the-art throttle grip plant.

“We view this as a win-win situation” said Polaris CEO Olivier Nuggoit. The extensive dealership network is viewed as a plus for the Polaris brand.

Not everyone is enthusiastic. Chrysler Dealer Association president Robert Vinton warned that dealers in the southern states fear that their snowmobile inventories would just sit in their show rooms and crowd out the latest automobile models.

“Not to worry” Nuggoit responded, “There will be substantial factory incentives for dealers along the Gulf coast and southwest”.

Chrysler stock rose 50 % in response to the news, from $0.40 to 0.$60 per share.

The GOP fear machine is running full blast on Fox, beaming hystrionics onto the airwaves at an astounding clip. Jon Stewart has an amusing take on it (I had trouble imbedding the video frame, you’ll just have to click on the link).

We’re all doooommmed!


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