Thursday, March 31, 2011

With Oil Predicted to Vanish in 49 Years, Scientists Plan to Drill to the Earth’s Mantle

SAN NARCISO, Calif. -- According to global economists, there could be less than 49 years of oil supplies left, even if demand were to remain flat. “Energy resources are scarce,” Karen Ward, senior economist for HSBC, said in a research note. “Even if demand doesn’t increase, there could be as little as 49 years of oil left.”

Barring existing constraints on supplies, the world would likely see a 110 percent jump in demand by 2050, equivalent to 190 million barrels a day. But without discovering major new reserves or alternative energy sources, experts anticipate the growing demands to remain unmet. Even diversifying to natural gas would fail to ease the pressure on oil because its supply is as geographically dense.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tyler Perry to Take Over as Oprah in New “Oprah Winfrey Show”

CHICAGO, Ill. -- On May 25, Oprah Winfrey will wrap up production on the final episode of her popular talk show after 25 years. But Harpo studios, home of the television icon’s long-running hit series, will not be abandoned. Rosie O’Donnell, whose own talk show won six consecutive Daytime Emmys, will relocate to the Chicago-based studio for 130 original episodes of a new series that she touts as “kick-ass.”

However, the producers of both “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and O’Donnell’s new venture acknowledge that despite occupying the same set, the format and audiences will not be the same. “O’Donnell represents a much different demographic,” said Andrew Freast, an associate producer. “Oprah’s providing Rosie with a top-notch crew and a great stage, but the similarities end there. This is not going to be ‘Oprah’ starring Rosie O’Donnell. But we do have something special planned for diehard Oprah Winfrey fans. This isn’t the end, but a new beginning.”

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Marketing Blunder Over Wiz Khalifa’s “Rolling Papers” Causes Problems for Area Head Shops

SAN NARCISO, Calif. -- Wiz Khalifa’s much anticipated “Rolling Papers” hit shelves today, but because of a half-baked marketing campaign mix-up, head shops across California have been inundated with fans hoping to score a box of cigarette rolling papers featuring the hip-hop artist’s face emblazoned on the materials.

“It’s been a real drag, man,” said Ernie Niebstoch, proprietor of Santa Calcetines-based smoke shop Gage Against the Machine. “All these people are like accusing us of blowing smoke up their asses, but we don’t carry Wiz Khalifa papers. It’s a CD. Download it from Amazon or something. But they’re all ‘Give me the pape, bro, I got a big fatty to spark up.’ So, I started telling ‘em that the Zig-Zag guy on the skin was Wiz. You know, right? This one time, I told my girl that the Quaker Oatmeal dude was Barbara Bush, and she like totally fell for it. I’m not worried that anyone’s gonna get burned over it. Mostly, they forget what they came in for a few minutes later and ask for some Cheetos. Dude, this’ll all blow over tomorrow. I mean, this wouldn’t be a big deal if they advertised the record during Spongebob. So there’s some free advice for your PR biddies, Wiz. You’re welcome.”

Japan Earthquake Shortened Earth’s Day and Caused Sky to Fall, Say Congressional Republicans

SAN NARCISO, Calif. -- An analysis of the devastating March 11 earthquake in Japan, presented by geophysicist Richard Gross of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, has found that the intense temblor accelerated the planet’s rotational velocity, shortening the length of the 24-hour day by 1.8 microseconds. Newly elected Congressional Tea Party Republicans promptly commissioned an independent study to refute JPL’s findings, claiming that only a higher power or historical inaccuracies in gauging the speed of the planet’s revolution -- both feasible explanations -- could account for the discrepancy. However, the results of their analysis, published today, revealed data more perilous than previously believed about the condition of Earth.

The head researcher for the study, entitled Investigating Alleged Planetary Alterations from Massive Tectonic Shifts (IAPAMTS), addressed the House of Representatives today with this message: “Ladies and Gentlemen of Congress, the sky is actually falling.”

Monday, March 28, 2011

Local Girl’s Near Death Visit to Heaven Contrasts Colton Burpo’s Account in Best-Seller “Heaven is for Real”

SAN NARCISO, Calif. -- Last week, a four-year-old boy named Colton Burpo made national headlines when his father, Todd Burpo, appeared live on TODAY to describe his son’s extraordinary account of meeting Jesus and John the Baptist in Heaven after a near-death experience in 2003, caused by a ruptured appendix. Colton’s story, which frames Todd Burpo’s best-selling book “Heaven Is for Real,” has reached 1.5 million readers since its release in November. The intricate details and straightforward delivery of Colton’s narrative have convinced over a million people that the Christian version of a perfect afterlife truly exists. But a local girl in San Narciso County, who also experienced a supernatural near-death event prior to being revived by paramedics, recounted a much different tale of Heaven. The provocative details in the girl’s story have forced a wave of righteous outrage throughout countless Christian groups in the community.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Video Game Expert Unlocks Secret Animation in Google’s Houdini Doodle

SAN NARCISO, Calif. -- Thursday marked the 137th birthday of legendary magician and escape artist Harry Houdini. To commemorate the one of the world’s most influential illusionists, Google released a special doodle on its homepage, reminiscent of the posters Houdini had used to promote his act during the early 20th century. Google has made headlines for its recent doodles, including an interactive undersea-themed graphic honoring author Jules Verne, 17 holiday-themed doodles that progressed through two days in December, and a playable Pac-Man doodle that celebrated the anniversary of the video game’s creation. It came as some surprise, then, that the Houdini doodle was little more than a static image. But a gaming expert in San Narciso County says that everyone in the United States missed the joke -- that a clever attempt to reveal the secret of the poster, essentially allowing “Houdini to escape,” would have caused the image to animate.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Conservatives Blame Obama’s Invasion of Libya on Nicotine Withdrawal

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Senator John Kerry, head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Indiana Republican Richard Lugar, a ranking member, have shared a long, agreeable history on approaching international issues. But now Lugar has expressed outrage to his colleague about President Obama’s military drive into Libya without Congressional approval, a decision that Kerry has championed.

Lugar, who is up for reelection, wrote a letter to Kerry demanding immediate hearings on the United States’ involvement in Libya. “I believe hearings not only would provide some important answers to Senators and to the American people,” he wrote, “they would induce the Obama Administration to conduct in-depth contingency planning that does not seem to have occurred.”

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Westboro Baptist Church to Protest Elizabeth Taylor’s Funeral, Citing Her as Gay Icon

LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- Legendary actress Elizabeth Taylor, star of Hollywood classics “Cleopatra,” “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” and “National Velvet,” died Wednesday at the age of 79. Taylor, who first achieved stardom at the age of 12, became more widely known for her tumultuous love life, obsession with diamonds, and addiction to alcohol and painkillers than her abilities as a thespian. The cause of death was listed as congestive heart failure. A friend close to the actress said, “After eight failed marriages and a number of torrid affairs I can longer count, it seems her heart finally broke once and for all. She will be missed.”

Fukushima Reactor Emitting More Radiation than Believed - Expert Sees Medical Benefits

SAN NARCISO, Calif. -- Austria’s Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics published a report Tuesday calculating that two types of radioactive particles released in the first four days of Japan’s nuclear crisis have reached 20 to 50 percent of the levels emitted from Chernobyl within a 10-day period, adding to the growing concerns over the contamination of milk and vegetables near the Fukushima reactor. These figures contest original estimates from France’s IRSN radiation protection and nuclear safety institute, which put the levels at only 10 percent of those from the Russian disaster. The newly published findings have again created panic among Californians, who fear that dangerous amounts of radiation may already be contaminating the air by coastal cities.

Stanley Kotex, a senior nuclear engineer at San Narciso-based Yoyodyne and former Tea Party candidate for Congress, addressed the City Council for a second time to downplay these concerns -- and tout the increased exposure as a potential cure for cancer.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Aflac to Replace Gottfried as Voice of Duck with Ben Affleck, Chris O’Donnell or Mike Farrell

LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- Supplemental insurance giant Aflac has been meeting with several Hollywood agents to seek out a new actor to replace comedian Gilbert Gottfried as the voice of the Aflac duck. Gottfried provided the shrill, irascible, and unpleasant personality of the mascot for over 11 years. He was fired from his duties after making a series of jokes about the earthquake in Japan. About 75 percent of Aflac’s revenue comes from Japan, where the insurer’s ads feature an actor with a less abrasive voice.

Judge Orders Psychiatric Evaluation of Arizona Shooter Jared Lee Loughner

PHOENIX, Ariz. -- A judge has ordered Jared Lee Loughner to undergo a series of psychiatric evaluations at a dedicated facility in Springfield, Missouri, to determine if he is competent to stand trial. Loughner is accused of 49 criminal counts, including murder and attempted murder, for his alleged part in the January 2011 shooting that targeted Representative Gabrielle Giffords during a “Congress on Your Corner” rally she was hosting outside an area grocery store. Six people were killed and 13 others were injured. Loughner’s attorney argued against relocating his client to Springfield, describing Loughner as “seriously ill,” and Missouri as “cruel and unusual punishment.”

Friday, March 18, 2011

St. Patrick’s Day Celebration Off to Rough Start After Gays Banned from Parade and Sermon Portrays Saint as Pitiless Church Assassin

SAN NARCISO, Calif. -- Flared tempers and controversy marked San Narciso County’s annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration, which caused police to rally near the only Catholic church in the area. According to authorities, the festivities were overshadowed by a speech about the historical St. Patrick, delivered by a Catholic theology student attending San Narciso College. Tensions in the community further escalated with the announcement that gays would be prohibited from marching in the parade.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Expert Dispels Nuclear Power Fears, Encourages Following Japan in Reactor Development and Whaling as Clean Energy Sources

SAN NARCISO, Calif. -- Gregory Jaczko, the top nuclear regulator for the United States, gave a dire assessment of the burgeoning crisis at Japan’s nuclear reactors yesterday, saying that lethal radiation from exposed spent fuel rods could force emergency workers to abandon their efforts to prevent meltdowns of damaged reactor cores at the Fukushima Daiichi plant. Several members of the Nuclear Regulator Commission (NRC) and the Union of Concerned Scientists have begun issuing tentative warnings to states off the western coast that dangerous levels of radiation could make their way to the nation’s shores if the situation worsens. The exigency has fueled outrage from environmental groups about the perils of continuing the Obama administration’s pledge to build new reactors on U.S. soil. GOP and Tea Party politicians, however, scoffed at the “hyperbolic” nature of the concerns, and cited nuclear fuel as one of the cleanest and most efficient energy sources available, next to whaling.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

CNN President Throws Tantrum after Wasting Millions on Bogus California Tsunami Coverage

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. -- When, in the absence of civil defense sirens, local authorities roused Southern Californians to action on Friday morning, the threat of a potentially destructive tsunami was on its way. In an impressive response, local scientists, government officials, first-responders, and citizens showed exemplary calm under duress, which led to successful evacuation efforts. Major news organizations mobilized to cover the impending disaster, which turned out to be waves ranging only from one to three feet, gently rocking boats in area harbors. Media analysts estimate that by diverting coverage from Japan to California, outlets such as CNN lost millions.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Public Restroom Closures Largely Unnoticed

SAN NARCISO, Calif. -- Last week, at the request of Mayor Manny DiPresso, the San Narciso Public Works Department closed all public restrooms located on Bennington Vale city property. DiPresso cited the need for additional budget cuts to combat the threat of “Hollisterization” gripping hold of the city. After completing the necessary paperwork, DiPresso admitted that he was flushed with pride over the success of his efforts and the sweeping support for the act.

DiPresso expressed confidence that the cuts would not soil his reputation or cause a stink in the community.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Google Crisis Response for 2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT -- The editors of this publication would like to notify all readers (the handful of you who can stomach the site) that Google's project has created an easy-to-use but robust informational resource for the 2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami. The site includes alarms and warnings, maps, real-time updates, disaster bulletin boards, transportation data, utilities block-out information, and news.

Click here to access the site. Again, our best to all victims and their families worldwide.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

8.8 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Japan

TOKYO, Japan -- A massive 8.8 magnitude quake has hit northeast Japan, causing a four-meter tsunami along parts of the country's coastline. The temblor rattled buildings and caused some minor fires. The fact that buildings remain standing is testament to Japan's amazing infrastructure. Internet and phone services are already being restored. The government's response to the emergency has been controlled, organized, deliberate, and efficient. Unfortunately, many American news outlets seem more concerned about the value of the Yen dropping in the global marketplace.

We at The Bennington Vale Evening Transcript are suspending publication Friday through Sunday. Articles will resume on Monday.

We encourage people to donate blood or supplies or resources as needed by relief organizations. To follow news of the event, we recommend Reuters, BBC and Aljazeera as sources, which have historically provided some of the most accurate and timely reporting of international incidents. And finally, to our friends and loved ones in Japan, our thoughts go out to you. We wish the best to all those affected, either directly or indirectly.

Charlie Sheen Sues Warner Bros. for $100 Million and Strange List of Concessions

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. -- Charlie Sheen, the embattled star of “Two and a Half Men,” has escalated his war of words against Warner Bros. to the courthouse, where he is suing the studio and the executive producer of the show for $100 million. Sheen’s attorney, Marty Singer, said the lawsuit seeks to recoup salary and wages owed to his client under contract. Warner Bros. terminated Sheen four days ago, citing health concerns and various “felony offenses,” which Singer said provided insufficient legal grounds for firing the actor.

In addition to the $100 million, Sheen is also pursuing punitive damages that include the placenta of a three-nippled California mountain beaver, a garden gnome with “Cambodian facial features,” a birthday party hosted by the cast of “Sons of Anarchy,” tickets to the Spider-Man Broadway show, a vial of ichor, and a time machine capable of sending him to Jenna Jameson’s bedroom circa 1996.

Discussing the legal action, Sheen posted on Twitter, “Fastball: Torpedo away... You corporate Trolls were warned. And now you’ve been served!”

Warner Brothers executives, also via Twitter, issued this response: “Use ur magic fingers and mental Vatican warlock powers to conjure the $$ urself. #Winning so much it hurts.”

Unfamiliar Ash Wednesday Rituals Cause Confusion and Confrontation in San Narciso County

SAN NARCISO, Calif. -- A larger-than-usual gathering of Catholics celebrating Ash Wednesday in Bennington Vale caused confusion and havoc among the community’s predominantly Evangelical Protestant population. According to Mike Fallopian, Yoyodyne executive and chairman of the conservative Peter Pinguid Society, the problem began with an incident at the area Trader Joe’s.

“At first I wasn’t sure what I was seeing,” Fallopian explained. “These three women were standing in line with dirt smeared all over their faces. Normally, when you politely tell someone they have something on their face, they discreetly wipe it away and thank you. Not so much on Ash Wednesday, it turns out.”

Wisconsin Poised to Sell Vacant “Staff” Parking Spaces at Schools and Public Buildings

MADISON, Wis. -- As the United States watched the standoff over union rights unfold in Wisconsin, Republican lawmakers in the state brought the matter to an abrupt close Thursday, preparing to strip virtually all collective bargaining rights from public workers. Opponents called the decision one of the most powerful blows to unions in years. Governor Scott Walker praised the Budget Repair Bill as a boon to both the state and its many businesses.

In order to pass the bill, Senate Republicans outmaneuvered their absent Democratic peers by invoking a rare procedural tactic that removed all spending measures from the collective bargaining legislation, and allowed them to proceed with the vote alone.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

House Republicans Accidentally Cut Themselves From Budget

SAN NARCISO, Calif. -- After dethroning fiscally reckless Democrats from the House of Representatives, and riding high on aggressive campaign promises to slash the deficit, House Republicans presented a proposal to gut $2.5 trillion in spending from the federal budget over the next 10 years. Gone would be Amtrak subsidies, bloated checks to the Legal Services Corporation and National Endowment for the Arts, and some $900 million to run the President’s hotly contested, socialist health care agenda.

The “Spending Reduction Act of 2011,” proposed by members of the conservative Republican Study Committee, was intended to reduce current spending levels for non-defense, non-homeland security, non-veteran, and essentially all non-military programs. However, in the flurry of slashing items from the budget, Republicans inadvertently ended all public funding for Congress, effectively sending themselves to the unemployment line for benefits, which they also eradicated in their proposal.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

As Pope Exonerates Jews, Controversial Study Finds They Did Not Kill Jesus

SAN NARCISO, Calif. -- In a new book, Pope Benedict XVI extends a sweeping exoneration of the Jewish people, whom replacement theologians often hold accountable for the death of Jesus. The Second Vatican Council issued a similar declaration in 1965, but Benedict is the first pope to make such a statement personally. Jewish scholars called his arguments a milestone in thwarting the “foundation of anti-Semitic persecution.”

The Pope’s exoneration, in time for Lent, comes on the heels of a controversial study conducted by theologians at San Narciso College, which finds that the Jewish people did not kill Jesus, as many believe. According to their research, crucifixion did. They also believe that Italians in the region during that time may have carried out the atrocious act.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Warner Brothers Sends Charlie Sheen Lengthy Letter Citing Reasons for His Firing

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. -- Marty Singer, Charlie Sheen’s lawyer, demanded that Warner Brothers pay the actor for the eight episodes of “Two and a Half Men” that were cancelled in the wake of Sheen’s increasingly bizarre public behavior. In response, studio executives from Warner Bros. issued a lengthy letter citing every reason behind the decision to terminate one of their highest grossing stars, the primary problem being that Sheen “committed a felony offense involving moral turpitude.”

Not unsympathetically, however, the letter also acknowledged that “your client has been engaged in dangerously self-destructive conduct and appears to be very ill.” The following excerpts, which have been leaked to this publication, contain highlights of Warner Brothers' rationale in arriving at its ultimate decision.

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Tragedy of Facebook’s Defriend Day - Elegy on the Loss of Once Dear Acquaintances

EDITORIAL -- The social networking site Facebook has become such a significant aspect of people’s lives that many have neglected to fully consider the sweeping ramifications of this new media. One such implication is the fact that most people have hundreds of “friends” on their profile who cannot truly be labeled as such -- or even as acquaintances, or even as strangers in crowds they might one day stumble upon again. Many “friends” are, in reality, total strangers. If you don’t recognize the faces on your friend list -- most likely because you dizzily exchanged profile information over drinks in a claustrophobic nightclub -- then “Defriend Day” has been named in your honor.

But what of the victims traumatized by “Defriend Day,” those who languish in the long shadow cast by Facebook’s grandeur and its elite? What happens to those of us who’ve lost cherished friends, only now discovering that our relationships were nothing more than vacuous courtesies? I offer this elegy in response.

Bob Crane’s Murder Now Ruled Difficult and Lengthy Suicide

SAN NARCISO, Calif. -- Bob Crane was an American disc jockey and actor, best known for his performance as Colonel Robert E. Hogan in the television sitcom Hogan's Heroes, which ran from 1965 to 1971. Crane appeared in a number of other career-crushing shows, including Police Woman, Quincy M.D., The Love Boat, and NBC's shortlived The Bob Crane Show, which the network canceled after only three months. Crane also achieved infamy for his addiction to pornography and masturbating openly in front of friends, whenever the mood struck. He died under mysterious circumstances, which were officially ruled homicide. Until last week.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Mariah Carey and Charlie Sheen Admit Taking Money to Perform for Gaddafi

LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- Mariah Carey and Charlie Sheen are the latest celebrities to admit that they had financial ties to Libya. Carey accepted payment to perform for Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Charlie Sheen, who has reportedly paid Gaddafi’s government over $2 million, came clean about his purchases of Libyan moonshine, exotic prostitutes from the presidential harem, and for babysitting services. Members of the Gaddafi family themselves oversaw the child care responsibilities for Sheen’s five children, treating them to an authentic Bedouin experience by dragging them deep into the desert and forcing them to sleep alone in a tent.

Brandon Davies Suspended from BYU Basketball for Premarital Sex, Girlfriend to be Flogged

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah -- Brigham Young University basketball forward Brandon Davies has been suspended from the team for the rest of the season after violating the Mormon school’s honor code. Davies admitted Monday to breaking the campus-wide ban on premarital sex.

BYU officials announced Davies’ suspension on Wednesday, but described his actions as nothing criminal. “In fact,” said one school spokesperson, “it was worse than criminal. It was a sin. If we can verify rumors that Davies told classmates that gays should have the same rights to marry as normal folks, he’s off the team for good. May God help him.”

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

No Dr. Seuss Birthday Doodle - Google Slights Memory of Great American Author

OP ED -- Today, March 2, commemorates the 107th birthday of literary genius Theodore Geisel, known to generations of young readers as Dr. Seuss. So where’s the Google Doodle honoring the legacy of this great American? I opened my browser today and saw only the standard Google home page. I suppose that because Seuss was considered a raving liberal, Corporate America and its overlords have decided to give the good doctor a pass today. As perhaps the only Democrat in San Narciso County, I certainly know how that feels. I can’t even get a bus ticket in this town without an interrogation about my destination, my reasons for traveling, or who I’m meeting once I get there. But no, I’m not going to equate these uncomfortable inspections to a trip through East Berlin’s Checkpoint Charlie. The treatment I receive in San Narciso’s much worse, because the scrutiny is being instituted by businesses. Think of writing a check at Radio Shack, and you’ll understand the life of a progressive in this eugenic Stepford community.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Bank of America Accidentally Shuts Down Web Site Trying to Delete Evidence of Fraud

SAN NARCISO, Calif. -- Bank of America customers reported on Tuesday that the bank’s Web site, which controls the on-line banking platforms for millions of Americans, was completely down. Although the bank restored service for a brief time, the site became inoperative again in the afternoon. Bank of America spokespeople denied that the systems had been compromised, despite threats from Anonymous -- a “hacktivist” group that supports WikiLeaks -- to launch attacks similar to those that plagued PayPal and HBGary. Based on a tweet from Anonymous, which concluded by saying, “We love problems that solve themselves,” technology experts doubt that the group had anything to do with the outage.

Bartholomew Hyootner, a San Narciso-based IT specialist who’s been following the situation, said, “My preliminary findings suggest that a BofA network geek accidentally deleted thousands of customer records instead of the evidence that proved bank officials knowingly sold billions worth of toxic securities to investors. Happens all the time. One database table gets confused with another. It’s an honest mistake.”

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