Mercury Gives Up Its Secrets, Keeps Its Mystique

Space – Mercury’s rare passage across the face of the sun today may provide information about its thin atmosphere, assist in the hunt for worlds around other stars, and help NASA hone some of its instruments.

“Now we can finally see what’s going on,” said a NASA official. “Because the probes we send to the dead planet keep getting shot down by something.” He shrugged, adding, “probably just static, like that continuous transmission from the planet the government designated ‘highly classified.’ Oh well, right?”

“Yeah, we’re excited,” said a scientist. “I mean, as excited as we can get.” After a very long pause he noted, “see? I just totally freaked out and you didn’t even notice. That’s because I’m a dull, boring scientist. Here’s a sixty seven page paper on my current disposition.” He then leaped up and tore off his break-away pants, yelling, “gotcha! Oh, man, classic ‘new’ scientist prank!”

NASA hopes to discover “where the hell our funding went”, “why kids are so [expletive deleted]ing stupid” and “what will happen to Jon Snow. What? We’re human, too.”

“I can’t wait to see it!” said a schoolchild. “Wait, if it’s in front of the sun, then I can’t see it. And hasn’t this happened before? So do we have new technology acclimate and study Mercury or is this an opportunity that we have missed in the past?” We told him to don’t worry about it and finish his breakfast before the bus got here.

We Don’t Know So Much

Ottawa, Canada – A new study suggests that Earth may be holding nearly one trillion species of organisms, but only one-thousandth of one percent of those organisms is identified, which means that ninety nine point ninety nine percent of all life forms are yet to be discovered.

“I’m getting to it!” said a frazzled scientist as he sorted through a stack of papers on his desk. “Can you give me a minute to find the folder? No, I put it down right here, like, twenty years ago. It was… wait, maybe that was in the big room.” He then took us to a massive airplane hanger, full of boxes, adding, “yeah, it was here. So this is one thousandth of our research so far of one thousandth of the identified organisms. Yeah.”

“Yeah,” said a spokesotter for the Animal Kingdom. “You guys are super behind. We’re almost up to four percent. Oh, yeah, bugs are just living computers. That’s why there are so many of them. We have a system. Seriously, we’ve been using it for billions of years. So please, stop stepping on bugs, we’re missing a lot of data.”

The study also suggests “we’ve only begun to invent ice cream flavors”, “we know so little about how to get down, and not enough on how to boogie” and “we’re making progress on the best place to party for Spring Break, but we still have a long way to go.”

“Interesting,” said a man at lunch. “Really puts things in perspective, doesn’t it? Oh. So why are you even bringing it up? Oh. Yeah, you can use my quote. Okay, bye.”

Undead Study Finally Underway

Atlanta, GA – A groundbreaking trial to see if it is possible to regenerate the brains of dead people, has won approval from health watchdogs.

“The best thing we can do is try to bring the dead back to life,” said a researcher. “Mostly because that’s because we can’t control the living.” He patted a very large machine, adding, “not yet, anyway.” He went back to tinkering with a skeleton, whistling some 80s tune about a dead man and his party.

“Come on!” said grandpa from his cloud on Level 6N in heaven. “I made it this far and now you’re going to pull me back to Earth. Oh, yes, you’re dreaming. Also, you should stop dating whats-her-face. Out of all the infinities, most of them really turn out bad for you. Of course you can trust me, I’m a level 6! No, I can’t explain that, you have to wake up and go to work.”

The study went on to test “if the dead can be resurrected and not dine on the flesh of the living”, “if the undead will take jobs Americans won’t do” and “how many toothpicks will it take to make the Notre-Dame Cathedral. What? We’re diversifying.”

“What will we do with the people who come out of these comas?” asked a student. “What will their quality of life be? Should this be our focus, what with China’s conquering of space and the crumbling world economy? That’s what I would ask if I cared, but I don’t, so…”

DNA Can Finally Ruin Marriages

New York, NY – DNA testing companies claim they can tell you how compatible you are with your mate.

“Yes! I object!” shouted a scientist from the third row during the Pressin-Nowland wedding. “The following segments are not compatible! two million three hundred eight nine thousand seven hundred six, two million three hundred eight nine thousand seven hundred seven, two million three hundred eight nine thousand seven hundred nine…” As two groomsmen dragged him away, he yelled, “your offspring might have a slight disposition to liking emo music! Rethink everything!”

“I’m sorta picky,” said perennial single woman Aimee [last name withheld]. “I like men who are men, you know? But are also sensitive. But play sports, but play music or write, but can fix a car, but can watch romantic comedies, that look amazing, that are funny, that are strong, that are vulnerable.” She sighed, adding, “that’s the sort of DNA strand that should live forever, right?”

Genetic companies called the tests “a thing of beauty”, “that is, if you’re the sort of person who liked the first three Star Wars” and “science makes everything better, especially esoteric things. Especially.”

“So that’s why my wife drives me crazy,” said a man. “It has nothing to do with me, or my failures, or my inability to listen or compromise, but rather about some crazy religion deep inside me. Oh, come on, we all know science is just a really expensive religion. I mean, I can’t see DNA, I have to trust you guys that it exists. Sounds like religion to me. Shut up, you sound like my wife!”

Warmer Planet Means Deader Ozone

Los Angeles, CA – A new study looking at the effects of climate change predicts an extra week of dangerous ozone levels every year across the US by the year 2050.

“We started this whole thing by freaking out about the ozone,” said a federal scientist. “And, since we’re losing the PR battle over global warming, we need to dust off this ol’ chestnut. After all, you don’t want the whales to die from deforestation, do you? Then buy hybrid cars! We paid a lot of money for those companies, so buy em! Also, keep doing what we say, it’s kinda a turn on.”

“I know we said all of the major cities would be flooded by 2010,” said an elderly scientist. “But it turns out the planet is a half of a degree hotter, and will continue on this deviating path for the next few centuries, so…” He shuffled away, adding, “I don’t remember the rest of the story, but it’s… something. I forgot why we even started the whole thing. Something about getting back at Nixon.”

The White House called the prediction “an epidemic”, “it didn’t happen on our watch” and “just what the Republicans want: to kill the poor and take your money. Remember that when you vote, because there’s always someone richer than you. Yes, we spun that pretty hard, but… just do what we say!”

“Jesus, the ozone?” asked a teen. “That’s… what does that do? Oh, so we should stop burning forests and using diesel fuel? Yeah, I don’t do that, do you? Oh, so can you ask whomever does that to stop? Great.”

Humans Can Finally Live Long Enough To See Sun Envelope Earth

Beijing, China – Chinese scientists for the first time revealed that gene editing tools like CRISPR can modify human embryos and can increase lifespan.

“Finally!” said a man from his couch. “Because I skipped Lost and was thinking about watching it.” He unwrapped a burrito, adding, “plus, I wanna see what wonderful hand-held foods the future holds. I can’t think of one, which is why I’m so excited about the possibilities. Limitless possibilities!”

“No!” yelled an elf as he picked up his longbow. “They must not do this! We are the only ones that can live forever. The humans must not encroach on the power of the elves, for it will bring great evil to our lands.” As he donned his quiver, he whispered, “I swear it to Aerdrie Faenya herself.”

Chinese scientists noted “why do you have to specify our nationality? Can’t you just call us ‘scientists?'”, “oh, because it’s more sinister when we’re from an enemy country?” and “oh, well, we don’t think you guys are the enemy either. Hold up, was this whole thing just a communication problem?”

“Did you write envelope or envelope?” asked a reader. “Because I’m pretty sure it’s spelled the same way, but depending on how you pronounce it, it means something different.” After a long pause she added, “and I’m just realizing that if this is in the story you’re not going to give me an answer, so why are you printing this?”

Planet We’ll Never Get To Is Uninhabitable

Space – Scientists have known for years that 55 Cancri e, a “super-Earth” forty light years from Earth, is a bit warm, but now they know it’s about forty five hundred degrees Fahrenheit.

“Scratch it off the list,” said a scientist. “How many planets are left? Wait, how many billion? A billion? What? A billion billions? That’s like… a lot.” He looked at his chalkboard, adding, “I’m going to need a bigger chalkboard, as well as a lot more chalk. Get it? Like the quote where he qualifies the obvious to no one? Remember?”

“That’s what could happen to Earth if we don’t stop driving cars!” yelled a protestor. “And before you make fun of me-” but it was too late. We told her about China’s massive pollution, about deforestation, as well as the use of diesel fuels in all of the world’s military exercises, and that driving a car makes no statistical difference at all, to which she replied, “racist.”

NASA also named ‘Detroit’, ‘most of Florida’, and ‘a good swath of Canada’ as uninhabitable. When pressed as to how that related to 55 Cancri e, they noted, “just an observation” and “lol.”

“So, at the end of the day, we have a little uplifting science story,” said a man who really didn’t read the article. “But am I going to live long enough to see this planet? What? Oh, I don’t have time to read, I skim, like this agreement I signed with- wait, lifetime servitude? Is that legal? Oh. Eh, whatever.”

Spoiler Alert: Your Life

Shenzhen, Hong Kong – A new blood test can determine an unborn baby’s future health.

“Now that you know you’ll develop diabetes around age forty nine, maybe go easy on those cupcakes,” said a doctor. “Granted, we already know that you’ll develop diabetes, so you might as well have fun now, because you can’t change the future.” With grand hand gestures he intoned, “or can you?”

“Technically, this is ours,” said a Chinese diplomat. “And yes, we’re going to crowbar our ongoing dispute with Hong Kong into everything. We literally are suing a man for finding currency in the street, as it’s our street and therefor our money. Everything is China’s! Everything.”

LIFE (Longevity Investment Foundation of Earth) called the findings “disturbing”, “like finding a key to a door you already had a key to” and “it took us several days to develop that metaphor, so we’re sticking with it. No, we can’t give you another one. No, we won’t explain our mission statement. No, we’re done here. Yeah, it’ll look pretty disjointed if you print this, but that’s not our problem. Now we fly!”

“It’s good to know where your medical weakness are, so you can adjust your life accordingly,” said a pediatrician. “Like the doctor who predicted diabetes in the first paragraph, you can avoid some foods, exercise, and know what to look for during yearly checkups. It’s a good guide, but isn’t an absolute. Oh yes, you’re welcome.”

Imaginary Solar Flare Would Kill Us All

Tampa, FL – If a superflare erupted from the Sun, experts have predicted it will have a “devastating” effect on the Earth.

“We imagine a massive solar flare that would destroy all technology,” said a scientist. “As you can imagine, that would send us into dark age, one that we would never return from. So the takeaway here is you should always live in fear of some vague calamity that could strike- why are you ringing that bell? Because I said what? Oh for goodness- stop that!”

“If we bomb the sun now, when it’s dormant, we still have the element of surprise,” said a high-ranking Pentagon official. “But we must strike now!” He turned to his daughter, adding, “see, honey? This is what daddy does at work. Don’t roll your eyes at me, missy! Go to the break room and do your homework! I knew this wasn’t a good idea! No, stay away from the nuclear triggers! Break room, now!”

Experts also warn “a massive earthquake could kill large amounts of people whilst causing billions in damage”, “a big flood could not only kill people, but ruin homes” and “are we still afraid of sand monsters? Well, we should be. They’re literally unkillable, what with being made of sand.”

“If we were all wearing sunglasses, would we be okay?” asked a woman. “It’s not a stupid question, the idea of presenting a super calamity that has the same probability as- why are you ringing that bell? I said what? I can’t hear you over that- stop ringing that bell!”

Researchers Study How Far Can They Go To Justify Studying High School Girls

Tampa, FL – Researchers say high school girls who use the most effective methods of birth control are less likely to also use condoms, making them vulnerable to sexually transmitted infections.

“This is the best gig ever!” said a researcher. “I can be creepy as all get down and get away with it! Look at me! I’m doing ‘research!’ Wait, did you just put research in quotes? Hey, come on, man, don’t do that. I’m doing legitimate ‘research.’ Stop that! This is ‘science’ and I’m ‘working’ to ‘better’ mankind! Stop!”

“Funny enough, we’re doing research on how easy it is to catch predators,” said a high school science teacher. “I can’t comment on the multiple on-going investigations, but it’s super easy.” She pulled out her pepper spray, adding, “but this is the icing on the cake. Let’s make em cry, ladies!”

The study went on to conclude “most researchers say they want to cure cancer, but they really don’t”, “there’s a whole world of questionable studies, we’re just happy to be one of them” and “let’s find out what they do when they’re drunk!”

“Getting beyond the creep factor, this is a serious problem,” said a concerned parent. “But who’s letting the kids talk to these people? I mean, shouldn’t the school or PTA or someone look out for my kids? Right? Oh, [expletive deleted], I gotta get them from volleyball! Bye!”