Tag Archives: Nature

Earth a bit peeved at all the talk about Kepler, Mars



With the news wires stuffed to the seams with discoveries on Mars and updates on potentially earth-like Kepler exoplanets, and blockbuster movie The Martian setting box-office records, Earth is starting to feel a bit neglected.

“I mean, look, I try not to root for things to not work out,” explained the Earth, home of humanity for at least several dozen more years. We were asking her casually about the recent fuss concerning Kepler-452b specifically; the news pieces we’ve been seeing have run the gamut in terms of their analysis of the liveability rating of the potentially habitable planet. Some say it is an upgrade to our beloved blue marble, others say it is nowhere close to liveable, and the majority confirm that we honestly just don’t really know.

Earth, however, seems none too pleased with the whole topic. She’s still talking.

“It’s just that you can’t really expect me to hope my so-called replacement does that well, you know? I’m all for developing young talent. I’m just saying, I’m also not going to bow out so easily. I’ve still got ages left in me. I’m just hitting my peak!”

“I wouldn’t mind having some sort of substitute come in – a backup – just to take some of the stress off. I’d love to get rid of some of you humans, don’t get me wrong – I’m not naming names – but for people to start talking as if they’ve found a better planet?

“That hurts a bit. Yeah. I have to be honest, it does sting. It’s like, you do your best for all these creatures, especially the humans, even though you’re never cleaning up your messes, and you’re real princes and princesses sometimes, a bunch of real twags, and for all that work, all you get is a box-office-record-setting movie about Mars!”

She seemed wistful for a moment, probably remembering the glory years when there were cool dinosaurs, or back when Planet Earth was the hottest thing.

In Mars news, while NASA has confirmed that water in the form of lakes did exist at some point three or so billion years ago, what exactly caused the now Red Planet to drastically change, suddenly losing its atmosphere and water, is a mystery. Whatever the reason, the loss of Mars left Earth as the only habitable planet in our solar system.

Come to think of it… as we write this, Earth is looking pretty suspicious.





coming soon!

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48% of humans feel personally validated when Weather app is proven wrong

iphone weather

Despite predicting a relatively confident 100% chance of rain at 9:00am today, Rodger’s Weather app was foiled by the vagaries of an unpredictable climate. The morning is cloudy, to be sure, but it still hasn’t rained, and it’s 9:31.

In typical human fashion, Rodger has chalked this up as a personal validation of his John-Henry-esque superiority over the machine. It’s not a relevant comparison, as Rodger isn’t a meteorologist and the Weather app is in no way threatening his vocation, but he is sticking to it. (I think he just really needs a win lately.)

“I had a feeling it wasn’t going to rain,” Rodger confirmed. By this, we know what he really means is just that he really didn’t want to carry an umbrella, and is now bitter at having had to do so when the predicted rain did not appear.

Interestingly enough, Rodger’s feelings are in line with the Weather Apps and Humanity study released last week. The study included the now-famous data point stating that 48% of humans feel personally validated when their Weather app forecasts incorrectly.

Scientists have offered two possible explanations. One school of thought reasons that this may be due to the relative lack of visible and tangible threats faced by modern humanity, particularly urban residents. Without a visible foe over whom to regularly claim victory, such as wolves, snakes, or the sea, humans are acting out, finding challengers in Weather apps, fantasy football, and online message boards.

The second potential reason is the lack of positive engagement offered by impersonal Weather apps. Humans become confused and skeptical when new characters enter the scene, and the strange is often deemed as hostile. Weather apps have proliferated in the past decade and are now present in the pockets of a vast number of humans, and the growth may have been too rapid for flighty humanity to absorb without some measure of fear.

Adding to the problem, anti-apps activists maintain that Weather apps have done nothing to prove that they have peaceful intent and only come as helpful friends.

At press time, Weather apps were preparing to release a statement in response to the strongly-worded Weather Apps and Humanity study, which concluded with the lead scientist going on a rant about how he got soaked in a deluge the night before after his Weather app predicted ‘mostly cloudy and no rain’.


coming soon!

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Tourist rescued by passing fishermen

On Tuesday, passing fisherman discovered the plump and sunburned body of a foreigner sprawled along a muddy shoreline embankment on the River Nile. Fearing the worst, they pulled him onto their boat, greatly relieved to find him alive. They gently revived him with water and a couple of grilled bananas they had on hand. Guessing he was simply a lost and fairly stupid member of one of the many organised safaris which passed through the area, they decided to take him back to one of the park guard stations, where he could be quickly sorted out.

Their minds changed, however, when Nigel awoke. His pitiful, begging eyes flitting from the first unfamiliar face to the second, he could only gasp out one word:


Huck Finn said that ‘you feel mighty free and easy and comfortable on a raft’, but just at this moment, that wasn’t the case for Nigel on the little fishing boat. He felt that he was not out of the woods just yet; he reasoned in his brief stay in the land of consciousness that he was likely to expire at any moment from sheer exhaustion and, as he had skipped breakfast (and possibly brunch), sheer starvation. He fell into a fitful sleep, mumbling to himself about restaurant menus written on chalkboards, margaritas that were frozen, and express trains to the airport before dreaming of lands where coffee flowed in abundance and milk and sugar fell from the very skies.

The fishermen deliberated as he slept.

“What an idiot. Doesn’t he know how dumb it is to sleep next to the water? There are hippos here! And crocodiles! And the mosquitoes! Sleeping there with his mouth gaping open, like he’s some crocodile in the sun. It’s a wonder he wasn’t eaten by something!” the first fisherman said, animatedly.

“No kidding. But, you know what, you saying that, about the hippos, it just makes me think, I do love hippos. Seriously, man, they are cute, aren’t they?” mused the second. He lapsed into a bit of silence as he thought about how funny hippos can be. It never got old, seeing those big, fat-fat animals. They passed a family of hippos lounging in the morning sun, and he smiled. He had a great smile, actually, and his mom was always badgering him about why he hadn’t settled down yet. It’s just about timing, really, he would tell her, and you have to find the right person –

“Let’s take him back to town?” suggested the first, interrupting the river musing of his companion.

“I guess that’s the best thing to do. There’s that cafe where the other foreigners go. Where they eat the green paste on chips. They certainly have coffee. That’s as good a place as any to drop him off,” replied his companion. “I’ll call Simon – he can give us a ride.”

Nigel, still unconscious when they arrived, was curled in a fetal position in the backseat. The first  fisherman picked him up and walked him into the cafe, laying him down gently on a seat made of a wood crate with an old coffee ad stamped onto it. He picked up a pillow, which was printed with a vintage tourism ad, and placed it under his head.

They’d grown quite fond of the hapless foreigner in the time they’d spent caring for him. “I think he’s going to like this place,” the first fisherman said to the second. Unfortunately, the second fisherman didn’t hear a word the first one said, because fond of the foreigner or not, he had just seen the waitress who was coming over to take their order, and she had stunned the very fire of life right out of him, down to its smallest, most infinitesimal spark, and it was all he could do just to remain standing. He gasped when she looked at him, and quickly averted his eyes.

Feeling a bit lightheaded herself upon seeing the sunlit smile of the second man who’d entered, the waitress said kindly to the first fisherman, “We’ll take good care of him. Don’t you worry.”

Nigel, for his part, slept through the whole exchange, unable to thank the angels of the river who had come to his rescue. He woke up just before lunch with a raging hunger. The kind waitress, who seemed to have a spring in her step, brought him a menu, and as soon as he saw ‘smoothies’ and ‘guacamole’, he knew he was in a safe place and nothing bad or scary could ever happen again.




find part one:  former backpacker shocked by revelation that he is a complete yuppie now here

find part two:  family super embarrassed of member killed by (baby) lions here


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Family super embarrassed of member killed by (baby) lions

baby lion nat and alex uganda 02

Hong Kong resident Nigel Dortmund has been missing for several days after embarking on what is now being considered an ill-fated safari trip through northern Uganda. He is presumed deceased after his personal effects were found near a well-known play area of several infant lions.

While safari reports record the size of the suspected lions as ‘small’, their age as ‘infant’, and their cute factor as ‘major’, it appears that they were still able to kill the 30-year-old tourist.

The Dortmund family has repeatedly requested that the newspapers reporting on their missing and presumedly deceased son remove any and all references to the size, ferociousness, and dangerability of the lions which took his life. Private sources indicate that the family is concerned their image and name will be negatively impacted by the fact that their dearly departed was slain by animals which appear in pictures to resemble cuddly, stuffed children’s toys.

At the recent memorial service in his hometown, pictures of the alleged killer lions were responded to with ‘Awww!’s and similar exclamations of delight and pleasure from the crowd. Many seemed disappointed when the slide show switched to childhood pictures of Nigel and murmurs of disapproval spread throughout the audience.

“Nigel was great, sure,” commented one guest. “But you have to see those lions. They are seriously the cutest.”

One guest confirmed that she “literally couldn’t even handle how cute the lions were”.

In an attempt to stem the damage to their reputation, Nigel’s family, joined by close friends, organised a protest and awareness march through downtown on Saturday night in which they aimed to educate the public on the fact that “baby lions are dangerous, too” and that “people who may or may not have been killed and eaten by baby lions are really manly and tough, just as much as anybody who gets done in by a more serious animal, and, actually, getting eaten by something super cute might make you even tougher than other people who get eaten by (subjectively) scarier, larger things, like sharks, dinosaurs, or bears.” It was a lot of information to include on one placard, to be frank, but they wanted to get their point across.

Unfortunately, as per usual, having too much text backfired, as the billboards and placards of the marchers also featured large, hi-res images of the creatures, who are admittedly just the most adorable. Instead of being demonised as the dangerous killers they really are, baby lions are now enjoying an unprecedented boom in the public’s approval rating, accompanied by skyrocketing general feelings of warmth and happiness among those who viewed the images.

After reports surfaced that Nigel was most likely eaten after wandering through his campsite at night looking for muesli, several large muesli producers have taken steps to distance themselves from the incident, with one major anonymous source confirming that they do not believe eating muesli increases in any significant way the likelihood of death by baby lion.




find part one:  former backpacker shocked by revelation that he is a complete yuppie now here

find part three:  tourist rescued by passing fishermen here




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Former backpacker shocked by revelation that he is a complete yuppie now


In an attempt to get back to the good ol’ backpacking days he is incessantly mentioning to friends (and  most likely leaning on for social validation), Nigel Dortmund, 30, of Hong Kong, signed himself up for a four day safari tour of western Uganda.

In the weeks preceding the trip, and even through the four-hour drive to the reserve, Nigel regaled his companions with tales of the travel adventures of his early 20s, detailing the numerous mishaps, serendipitous encounters, and downright escapades he had been a part of over the past decade.

Upon arriving at the safari entrance, however, his horizon began to darken. In a sign of what was to come, Nigel felt a sinking in his gut as he realised that there would be no bathrooms, hot showers, or Starbucks for at least three nights. In that moment, he understood with a start that he had become a full-blown yuppie, changed irrevocably by the years spent as a professional in Hong Kong. He hated being sweaty outside of an upscale urban gym; he thought about cheeses from time to time; all of his business socks were intentionally paired with his outfits; he didn’t go to Starbucks, because he had some rant against corporatocracy, but he really liked having them around, because they made him feel comfortable and safe; he drank unnecessarily complicated cocktails; he had footwear which he referred to as his “Tuesday shoes”.

A safari was suddenly looking like an exceedingly unwise proposition. He had voluntarily signed up to be apart from all of his favorite things, and now he was paying to sleep on the ground in a tent and be around smelly zoo animals. He didn’t even notice the exotic animals the group drove by on their way to the campground.

As the group began retiring to their tents, Nigel began asking frantically if anyone had some Greek style yoghurt and muesli for breakfast. Secretly, he had determined to wait until everyone else was asleep so that he could use the group’s abundant drinking water for a quick shower. He’d even heat it up over the campfire. Given, however, that they were camping on a safari with dangerous animals, exiting the tent in the middle of the night would mean that there was an estimated 50/50 chance of being eaten immediately by a lion, or big, weird beetles, or malaria.

Nigel, beyond the influence of statistics at this point, had already made up his mind.




find part two:  family super embarrassed of member killed by (baby) lions here

find part three:  tourist rescued by passing fishermen here




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