Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Federal Agents Call Portland Bomb Plot Suspect "Confused" and "Ridiculous"

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Mohamed Osman Mohamuda, a 19-year-old naturalized American from Somalia, was arrested Friday by federal agents. He was charged with plotting to detonate a bomb during a Christmas-tree-lighting ceremony in downtown Portland.

The imam at the Islamic center Mohamuda had attended in college told reporters that the boy appeared to be in a state of constant confusion. “He would say things that weren’t true. He told people that he was getting married, but he wasn’t. He told people that his real name was Wally. He told people that he was a gifted basketball player and lover. But all who knew Mohamuda saw through these lies.”

Monday, November 29, 2010

Computer Virus Attacks Iran's Uranium Enrichment Centrifuges

TEHRAN, Iran -- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad admitted today that the country’s centrifuges, used in the highly controversial enrichment of uranium, had been infected with a malicious computer virus, supporting reports issued the week before by Western diplomats.

Ahmadinejad continues to insist that the nuclear program is aimed strictly at power generation, but major Western powers that include Russia, Iran’s longtime ally, have become increasingly concerned that the enrichment program will soon enable Iran to build and launch nuclear weapons. The likely target, as intimated in Ahmadinejad’s vitriolic speeches, would be Israel.

Ahmadinejad did not specify which virus had plagued the systems controlling the centrifuges, but other officials in the Iranian government described some of the adverse effects. Said one scientist on condition of anonymity, “The virus created problems for only a limited number of our centrifuges, but the software has not been restored yet. Whenever we attempt to access the compromised platforms, a strange man in a banana suit appears singing a song about peanut butter, jelly and baseball bats. Our top code breakers are working around the clock to decipher the message, which can only be attributed to a decadent Western regime.”

Heroic Doctor Alan Rumack Dead at 84

LOS ANGELES, Calif. --  Dr. Alan Rumack, one of the heroes responsible for the successful landing of distressed Trans American flight 209 to Chicago in 1980, has died of complications with pneumonia. He was 84.

Walmart Pulls "Rock Band -- Def Leppard Edition" Over Missing Drum Stick

SAN NARCISO, Calif. -- Thousands of angry fans flooded the phone lines and email servers of MTV/Electronic Arts and its retailers with complaints over today’s release of the eagerly anticipated “Rock Band – Def Leppard Edition” game. The issue stems from a perceived design flaw in the drum kit.

“It’s been chaos in our Customer Service lines,” said Zeke Gersch, a Walmart manager in Bennington Vale. “We expected a lot of orders with Christmas coming up, but not this. All the games are screwed up. There’s only one drum stick in the box. Even worse, the drum kit itself has all these extra foot pedals that no one knows how to use. I can’t for the life of me figure out what the game-making people was thinking.”

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Shop in Slovenia to Swap Misfit Toys for Practical Gifts

LJUBLJANA, Slovenia -- On a narrow cobbled street winding up to a medieval castle overlooking the Slovenian capital, the Darilnica gift shop opened this month. Darilnica is a place where people can exchange dubious Christmas gifts of any kind for something they really do want.

According to Reuters, "If your drawers are packed with the ghosts of Christmases past in the shape of unwanted gifts, a new Slovenian shop may be just the thing for you this year."

Four outcasts -- a failed silver prospector, a winged lion, an elf dentist and a reindeer with body image issues -- decided to open the shop to "make people think before giving presents," particularly at Christmas.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Holiday Theater Review: "Miracle on State Street"

SAN NARCISO, Calif. -- Today begins The Tank Players’ original production of “Miracle on State Street.” The musical play, which runs through December 19 at the Buffum Plaza Arts Center in Santa Calcetines, re-imagines the holiday classic “Miracle on 34th Street,” but told from the perspective of a group of damaged people in contemporary Chicago. The McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade, formerly The State Street Holiday Parade, provides the backdrop of the story, just as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade propels the events that unfold in “Miracle on 34th Street,” the inferior and now cliché basis of The Tank Players’ new show. Performance times and ticket prices can be found at the venue box office, the Tank Players’ Web site, and on our Community Events Calendar.

“Miracle on State Street” parallels the core character and plot elements of its predecessor, but there the similarities end. The underlying themes of State Street are much grittier and morally ambiguous. In the 1947 film, the acceptance of blind faith might be the epiphany that startles Maureen O’Hara’s pragmatic and independent character, Doris Walker, back into line with the subservient and unquestioning role of the ideal post-war woman, but State Street’s Doris Walkerinski learns that existential dread and apathy are the tools of survival in a corrupt and impoverished 21st century city that finds itself inching closer to ruin with each passing hour.

The action in State Street is often narrated in the style of a Greek chorus by a group of postal workers who carry muted bugles.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Obama Food Program Threatens Bush Weight Loss Policies

WASHINGTON, D.C -- Americans are still too fat, but obesity rates in the United States appear to be slowing, according to newly released research. Government data show that 68 percent of U.S. adults are considered overweight, having a body mass index of 25 or higher. A third are obese, having a body mass index of 30 or higher.

“Obesity continues to be a significant health concern,” Marge Blomquat of the National Center for Health Statistics at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a telephone interview. Weighing in at a biscuit shy of 300 pounds, Blomquat can no longer travel outside her bedroom for in-person press briefings.

She added, “Around 17 percent of young people aged two to 19 are considered obese. But that’s an improvement.”

Blomquat’s studies show that the government under President George W. Bush had taken aggressive action to remedy the situation, with the benefits just now being realized. According to reports by the nation’s governors, as many as 27 states witnessed substantial decreases in food consumption and weight gain, especially in children, single mothers and African Americans.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Retraction: Misprinted Recipe for Cooking a "Roasted Michael Brea"

SAN NARCISO, Calif. -- The editors of The Bennington Vale Evening Transcript sincerely apologize for a typographical error caused by the auto-correcting feature of our content management software. Yesterday, in our print edition, we posted a recipe from Julia Child for a roasted pepper sidedish to accompany your Thanksgiving Butterball turkey. For some reason, which remains inexplicable to us, the word “pepper” was replaced by the software with “actor Michael Brea.” Brea, you’ll recall, was the character actor on the ABC show “Ugly Betty” who was arrested for stabbing his mother to death with a sword in her New York home while screaming, “Repent! Repent!” He claims that he was merely listening to the Pixies' song “Caribou,” which contains this chant as its chorus. Brea also testified that his senile mother had tripped and impaled herself on the sword, which she mistook for the broom.

Dairy Apologizes for “Milf” Typo

SAN NARCISO, Calif. -- Toward the end of World War II in 1945, the Stueve family of California founded Alta Dena Dairy. Throughout the 1950s, it earned a reputation as one of the most innovative farms with its line of healthy choices in dairy products. Today, thousands of consumers in Southern California continue to have milk and other products delivered directly to their homes by Alta Dena. The heritage and ongoing presence of the “milkman” is something the dairy honors and proudly promotes:

Chances are, you’ve never seen him. In fact, you may think he’s no more than a quaint myth from a simpler time. But the truth is, the good, old-fashioned milkman still exists.

We’ve been delivering tasty, healthy foods to homes just like yours for over 50 years. With just a phone call, you can join our 30,000 satisfied customers and make your life a little easier.

But today, Alta Dena’s public relations team faced an unexpected backlash of community outrage for which it has spent more time milking forgiveness than cows. The issue stems from a typographical error that appeared in the logo on 20 milk trucks in Alta Dena’s new fleet and on the company’s Web site.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Snubbed by the Cast of "Jersey Shore," Kim Jong Il Attacks South Korea

SEOUL, South Korea -- Fourteen South Korean Marines and two South Korean civilians were injured after North Korea fired dozens of shells at a South Korean border island today. The attack comes only days after it was discovered that North Korea was pressing ahead with its illegal nuclear program.

South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak scrambled jet fighters, moved civilians into shelters and called an emergency security meeting with his advisors, a presidential spokesman told reporters. In light of North Korea's admission of having built a new uranium enrichment facility, which violates its international obligations, tensions have escalated across the globe.

Monday, November 22, 2010

California Continues to Lead Nation in Available Labor

SAN NARCISO, Calif. -- For nearly three decades, a steady decline in available labor resources had plagued California’s employers. Despite eight years of business-friendly initiatives put in place by the Bush administration, many of the state’s business owners continued to find themselves reeling from the disastrous policies of the Clinton era. “Those were gloomy times for us,” said Barnabas Hamroid, founder of San Narciso's temporary labor juggernaut, The William Tell Staffing Agency. Fighting back tears of frustration and nostalgia, Hamroid sighed, “There were days I feared we’d never quite recover.”

TSA Screener Detects Testicular Cancer in Traveler, Saves Life.

SAN NARCISO, Calif. -- Ceremonies will be held today in honor of William Fallopian, a local San Narciso boy turned hero. Fallopian, son of Mike Fallopian, a well known Yoyodyne executive and chairman of the Peter Pinguid Society, works for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at Los Angeles International Airport. Fallopian garnered national attention last week when, during a routine full body screening, he detected testicular cancer in a traveler waiting for clearance at the security checkpoint.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Documents Show Auschwitz Death Camp Doctors Living on Food Stamps

WARSAW, Poland -- Archaeologists working to better understand the reign of Hitler and his Third Reich have discovered food coupons for some of the notorious SS doctors at the Auschwitz death camp, including the sadistic Dr. Joseph Mengele.

Nearly 300 documents were found in the attic of a house undergoing renovation in Oswiecim, the town where the Nazis built the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp.

TSA Groping Procedures Attract New Employees to Agency

LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- Since the recent incident between Southern California resident John Tyner and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), which involved the now infamous “groping” scandal, travelers are debating whether to continue moving about the Land of the Free by plane. Several civil liberties organizations have gone so far as to urge fliers to forgo air travel on November 24, historically the busiest day in airports across the country.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

80-Year-Old Hobo Given Life Sentence for Petty Theft

SAN NARCISO, Calif. -- Mae Verdulia is known to many Bennington Vale residents as the off-beat but strangely charming panhandler who begs for change and cigarettes outside Piers Addleson's Pea House. Her coy smile, burlesque potty mouth, and witty attempts to divorce customers from their loose change have earned Verdulia a place in many local hearts. However, it turns out that the seemingly harmless and self-proclaimed hobo is also an 80-year-old career criminal with a record stretching back to 1955.

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