Majority of Nation’s Scientific Knowledge Now Comes from Snapple Bottle Caps

A study released today by the National Science Foundation states that most of the average American’s comprehension of science originates from “Real Facts” printed on the underside of Snapple bottle caps. According to the report, the quirky facts, which appear under the caps of all Snapple and Diet Snapple drinks, have quickly eclipsed news reports, television documentaries, and even high school and university classes as the primary source for the nation’s understanding of scientific truth.

“In a survey of the American public, less than half of the respondents were able to positively identify a diagram of the periodic table, let alone articulate the concept of an element,” said Roger Flanagan, a Presidential Science Advisor and the study’s author. “However, fully 87% knew that giraffes have black tongues, as stated in Snapple Real Fact #22.”

One of the study’s strangest findings was that Snapple Real Facts frequently provide supplemental knowledge about topics that the average American can often barely comprehend. “An overwhelming majority of the population recognized the accuracy of Snapple Real Fact #117, which states that ‘Saturn would float if it were placed in a gigantic bathtub,’” said Flanagan. “This is true, of course, because the gas giant has an average density that is less than that of water. However, we were surprised to find that only 9% of Americans could identify Saturn as a planet in our own solar system. It turns out the other 91% believed that the Real Fact was referring to the car.”

Reaction from the scientific community has been mixed. “Science is not a purely theoretical field—it affects our everyday lives in a number of ways. It’s alarming that most Americans don’t know simple scientific facts that affect their personal health,” stated Sandra Vorhaus, a molecular biophysicist at Johns Hopkins University. “On the other hand, I suppose that there may be some practical value in knowing that termites eat through wood two times faster when listening to rock music. That’s #52, by the way.”

Mitchell Goldberger, CEO of the Snapple Beverage Corp., praised the study’s findings. “Our company is proud to fulfill a valuable civic function through our Real Facts program,” he said. “Thomas Jefferson famously wrote that ‘a well-informed populace is the best defense against tyranny.’ How better to fight tyranny than with a little of the ‘best stuff on Earth’?”

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President Declares National Day of New Kids on the Block Remembrance

WASHINGTON, D. C. (AP)—In a solemn ceremony yesterday in the Rose Garden, President George W. Bush declared a nationwide Day of Remembrance for the popular ’80s singing group New Kids on the Block. “We are gathered here today for a single reason,” said Bush, flanked by his Cabinet and a bipartisan Congressional delegation. “To recall five American icons: Jordan Knight, Jon Knight, Joey McIntyre, Donnie Wahlberg, and Danny Wood. They were, are, and always will be our New Kids.” The President then released five doves into the air as a lone bagpiper droned the familiar strains of “You Got It (The Right Stuff).”

President Bush proceeded to read, in chronological order, the New Kids’ complete discography. “Stop It Girl. Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind),” he intoned stoically. “Popsicle. Angel. Be My Girl.” The list was later continued by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, radio personality Casey Kasem, and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

The day’s impact was felt both nationally and locally, as communities across the country held their own observances. All 437 citizens of rural Hanover, Montana gathered for a candlelight vigil in Courthouse Square, where the Chester A. Arthur High School choir sang their own rendition of “What’cha Gonna Do About It?” In St. Louis, Missouri, Mayor Francis Slay unveiled five life-size murals constructed by local artists from thousands of copies of the liner notes from Step by Step, the album often referred to as “The New Kids’ Sgt. Pepper.” The remembrance was even observed in outer space, as astronauts aboard the International Space Station donned vintage “NKOTB” t-shirts and released five doves into orbit.

Some citizens chose a quieter form of remembrance. William Freedman, a Camden, New Jersey bus driver, observed the day by leafing through his complete collection of New Kids trading cards. “Here’s #76, entitled ‘Jordan andDanny at the Studio.’ Look at them: so young, so innocent…there’s so much they didn’t know,” he said. “This one’s also a sticker.”

President Bush concluded the day with a nationally televised address from the Oval Office. However, Mr. Bush immediately broke form by tossing his pre-written speech to the floor and rising from his desk. “Sometimes words alone are not enough to express what we feel,” he murmured. The President then launched into an impromptu a cappella version of the New Kids’ hit 1989 single “Hangin’ Tough.” “Listen up everybody if you wanna take a chance. / Just get on the floor and do the New Kids’ dance,” the President sang in a full and lovely tenor. “Don’t worry ’bout nothing ’cause it won’t take long. / We’re gonna put you in a trance with a funky song, ’cause you gotta be / Hangin’ tough, hangin’ tough, hangin’ tough.” After several more verses and an improvised dance break, Mr. Bush returned to his seat and concluded his remarks by repeatedly screaming, “I love you Donnie! Whoooo!”

The members of New Kids on the Block could not be located for comment.

—Originally written for The Yale Record in 2003

Whites Appropriate One Millionth Slang Term

MILLBURN, New Jersey (AP)—When fourteen year old Madison Flanders uttered the phrase “Fo’ shizzle, my nizzle” to a group of friends in the suburban Short Hills Mall, she had no idea that she was making linguistic history. Lexicographers at the American Heritage Dictionary have officially identified this statement as the one millionth time that whites have totally usurped a word from black slang into their own idiom.

“Young Madison may not fully realize its implications, but her light-hearted quip authoritatively tipped the scales of ‘fo’ shizzle, my nizzle’ in favor of Caucasian, as opposed to African-American, usage,” said Dr. William DeWitt, editor-in-chief of the dictionary. “Besides the obvious milestone this case presents, it is also noteworthy for being the fastest such appropriation we have yet recorded. The time between when blacks first used this unique phrase and whites totally coopted it is a record seven and a half months. Just for some historical perspective, it took forty-nine years for whites to put their definitive stamp on the word ‘cool.’”

If past usage trends are any indication, “Fo’ shizzle, my nizzle,” which roughly translates as “for sure, my acquaintance,” will abruptly decline in use among young blacks as new slang terms are created to take its place. However, all evidence indicates that this cycle will endlessly repeat itself, as these same novel expressions will once again fall into mainstream white usage, thus necessitating another round of linguistic invention.

“African-American teens have been the ‘R&D lab’ for new slang in the U.S. for the past hundred years,” stated Dr. DeWitt. “Ever since whites started using the word ‘hunky-dory’ around the turn of the century, this pattern has consistently recurred. However, despite the symbolic significance of cracking one million, a disturbing trend is developing. We’ve observed that the gap between when blacks first coin a new slang word and whites steal it is decreasing at a nearly exponential rate. Our current projections indicate that by 2015 the majority of whites will be using new black slang just twenty-one seconds after creation.”

Dr. DeWitt continued: “No one really knows what will happen once the black-invention-towhite-vernacular interval hits zero. Some speculate that it could be akin to entering a black hole—the everyday laws of linguistics that we live by may no longer apply. A few experts have even gone so far to say that at that point—and I know that this is hard to believe—whites may even start to invent slang for themselves, which will in turn be picked up by blacks. I can’t even imagine what such a nightmarish linguistic terrain would look like.”

Asked for comment on the “slang meltdown” described by Dr. DeWitt, Madison Flanders commented that it was “totally wack.”

—Originally written for The Yale Record in 2003

Make Islam Great Again!

Now, I’ve always thought that there’s no god but God and—get this—Muhammad is his, you know, his messenger. It’s true, folks. The Prophet Muhammad, peace be—a lot people don’t know this—but peace be upon him. Oh boy, this guy, this—this is a great prophet. Fantastic prophet. I mean, the Kaaba? Have you seen this place? It’s this big black thing, sort of a cube. Same color as Trump Tower, in fact. Beautiful, just really, really beautiful.

The hajj? Have you heard about this, the hajj? This is a great hajj, big league hajj, and, in fact, I hear it’s happening again this year. I’m not a Muslim, but I’m starting to think that I might just go visit the hajj myself!

A lot of people are saying that there are five pillars of Islam, and these pillars—these are great pillars. I’ve seen them, in fact. Not a lot of people know about this. But listen, folks, I’m a builder—I think I know a thing or two about pillars! The Trump organization is a very successful company, believe you me, and we wouldn’t have gotten very far if we had stayed with only five pillars! Maybe there should be a few more pillars of Islam? I mean, why stop at five? You know? The five hundred pillars of Islam—doesn’t that have a kind of nice ring to it? Just an idea, just an idea.

Okay, they’re telling me I have to wrap it up. Thank you, thank you very much. So let me just say: as-salaam alaikum! Make Islam Great Again!

Trump Death ‘A Hoax’; GOP Convention Still Deadlocked

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CLEVELAND — Chaos reigned as the Republican National Convention stretched into its third week, with delegates still in shock over the revelation that Donald J. Trump is not actually dead.

Mr. Trump, the real-estate developer and former reality TV star who electrified the nation with his plainspoken style and bombastic rallies, released a prerecorded video message from an undisclosed location yesterday stating that the apparent crash of his TrumpAir jet was “a fake.”

The nation’s attention has been riveted to the Caribbean since Mr. Trump’s plane disappeared from radar early on July 4. CNN has devoted 24/7 coverage to the missing Gulfstream, but choppy waters off the coast of Bermuda, coupled with a series of radar malfunctions that that the Federal Aviation Agency called “inexplicably bizarre,” hindered the search-and-rescue mission.

It appears that Mr. Trump, with the help of a group of former cast members of the NBC television show “The Apprentice,” faked his own death in order to avoid being nominated as the Republican candidate for president of the United States.

Meanwhile, despair was palpable on the convention floor as delegates rejected the compromise ticket of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. A rival ticket of Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina and former senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania also failed to win a majority. After 257 ballots, no candidate has garnered the required 1,237 votes needed to secure the nomination.

There was a moment of panic on the convention floor when former Texas Gov. Rick Perry appeared to be brandishing a six-shooter. Mr. Perry was quickly subdued by a crowd of Kasich delegates. A Perry spokesperson later clarified that the weapon was “merely ceremonial.”

A full transcript of the recording released by Mr. Trump is below:

Melania, what time is it? What? The whaddyacallit, zone, is different. Yes! No, no—oh, okay.

Good evening, my fellow Americans.

Well, I am sure everyone is really happy to see that Donald J. Trump is not dead. I’m looking at Twitter and a lot of people are pretty sad. Sad!

So let me just say no, I’m not dead. And that’s a good thing, folks!

Listen, guys—it was all a fake, okay? It just was. I didn’t want to do it, but frankly…well, you all left me no choice.

You see, here’s the thing—it’s pretty funny, and I think we’re all going to have a big laugh about this once the whole mess blows over—which it will, trust me, okay?—the running for president thing—well, I never actually wanted to win!

I know I know, it sounds a little bit, well, a little cuckoo, but just hear me out.

Look, I’ve been very successful in life, okay? Very successful. My businesses, I mean—hey, I went to Wharton, which is a fantastic school, I made a lot of money, I have a beautiful wife—in fact I’ve been with some of the most gorgeous women in the world, I mean we all know that the Miss Universe pageant…[STATIC]

…I just wanted to have a little fun. Just a little fun. It wasn’t just about the money, okay? Okay, we sold a lot of hats, and these are great hats, let me tell you. People are always coming up to me and saying, “Mr. Trump, this is a great hat, I bought one for myself and one for my father, and he fought in Korea!” So, I love the troops, I do. Honest injun!

And it wasn’t about getting power. Listen, I have plenty of power. If I wanted more power, I would have run against that bozo, whatshisface, De Blasio, in New York—and I would have won, okay? Because people in New York, they love me, they really do.

And, honestly, who would even want to be president of America? I mean, to be perfectly honest with you, it’s a lousy job. A whole lot of grief, and for what? Bupkis! I mean, you don’t even get paid that much—I had my people look into it, and listen to this—the president only gets paid four-hundred K a year. It’s nuts!

So why did I decide to run for president? Well, I wanted the attention! The media—listen, the media, they’re just losers. Losers! There are some very good people in the media, I have a lotta friends in the media, but eighty percent of them are dogs, just absolute dogs.

And I know how to deal with these morons, because I’ve been doing it for forty years.

So we had a little deal going, me and the media—a win-win deal. I’d give a speech—a great speech—and the media would be there, and everyone would watch, because everyone wants to know, ooooh, what’s Donald going to say next, what’s going to happen next, we gotta watch, you know—and so cable news got really great ratings. I put on the greatest show on Earth, my friends. And everyone either loved me or hated me—so they had to keep watching.

One thing I learned from this whole deal is I figured out that the media needs me more than I needed them! Listen, a lot of vacation homes were renovated on the North Fork because of Donald J. Trump, believe you me.

And you remember that musical, “The Producers”? With Nathan whatever? That was a great show, I went right after it opened—I mean, it sank a little after Nathan and that other guy, with the wife, left—but it gave me a lot of ideas. A lot of ideas! I could actually could win by losing—on purpose. It makes sense if you think about it. I mean, I know that Mexico won’t pay for the wall. I’m no fool, folks.

And the funny thing is, well, what I didn’t exactly count on at the start of my plan here was that the people I was running against would turn out to be such a giant bunch of losers. I mean, Jeb? Little Marco and Lyin’ Ted Cruz? Whatshisface, the black one—Ben Carson?

And these freaks and fools were supposed to be the Republican A-Team. It just makes me laugh. [Laughs.] If I was still on “The Apprentice,” I would have fired the whole lot of them on the first day!

Okay, so here’s the pretty crazy part—once this whole thing got out of hand, I started trying as hard as I could to throw in the towel. To stick a knife in my own back, I mean. But the dumdum Republican primary voters wouldn’t let me! Remember what I said right before the Indiana primary? “Ted Cruz’s dad killed JFK.” I mean, we all know that’s just nutso. But guess what happened? I won and Lyin’ Ted dropped out the next day! You can’t make this stuff up, folks! It’s nuts, just totally wacko nuts, I’m telling you.

So really I had no choice, friends. You all just left me no choice. I didn’t want to fake my own death, but you all really left me no choice, okay? No choice.

Alright, Melania over there is telling me it’s time to wrap things up. Here’s the deal. There’s a lot of money to be made in the news business, but most of the people who run these channels are morons—I mean, Al Gore, that guy, he bought a cable channel and sold it to some Arab for half a billion dollars. We are talking real money here, folks! So I got some really great ideas for what to do when this whole thing blows over.

Here’s what’s gonna happen. I’ve just put together a really special deal with Fox News. Something that’s technically called a “hostile takeover.” It’s gonna be named TrumpTV, and it’ll launch January 20, 2017. Listen—it’s gonna be huge.

Folks, that’s all I got! God bless you. God bless you. God bless America. Okay? Melan—[END OF TRANSMISSION]