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Volume 15, Issue 3: Cretan Times

Bush Mathematicians Solve Deficit Crisis by Maxing Out U.S. Credit Card

Douglas Jones

WASHINGTON, D.C.—After doubling the estimated cost of the Iraq war to $4 billion per month and refunding $350 billion in taxes, Bush Administration mathematicians explained that a deficit disaster could be averted by pushing beyond the Federal credit card limit into the realm of nonexistent numbers.

Before a panel of the House Budget Committee, mathematician Jacob Anderson displayed a graph of various mega-numbers, reviewing the case for numbers like duovigintillion, sextrigintillion, and septenducen-tillion. "We expect these sorts of numbers to be common spending parlance if President Bush wins the next election, and that might cause some serious social dislocations until we reach reach the nonexistent numbers."
Anderson explained that the Bush administration wishes to spend past the number googol or google (one followed by one hundred zeroes) since there are not that many particles in the universe, "and that will make it difficult for the credit card company to print out a monthly statement for us."
He added that, "several multiples, however, beyond googol or google you reach novemtrigintillion, and beyond that we have no number names. And a googleplex or a googolplex is so big it can't be written down. If you have no numbers, there can be no deficit. The deficit problem will be nonexistent."
House Budget Committee Chair Jim Nussle (R-IA) glazed over and then moved that the committee declare President Bush a national hero. The motion passed unanimously. Committee member Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) commented after the vote that "it's good to see ex-Tobacco-Institute mathematicians being socially productive for once."


"Army of One"Lonely in Burundi

Douglas Jones

WASHINGTON, D.C.—In response to the U.N. Security Council's demand for a ceasefire in Burundi, President Bush today announced that he has sent a U.S. Army soldier to Burundi to bring an end to the decades-long civil unrest there. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan talked of a U.S. deployment of 3,000 troops, but U.S. officials said any deployment would be much less, "perhaps just one guy." The Pentagon conceded that the Army's slogan "an Army of One" had taken on "new and pressing significance."

Pentagon officials acknowledged forces are stretched thin overseas—Afghanistan, Iraq, Liberia, the Balkans, South Korea, Japan, the Phillipines, Turkey, Europe, Texas —but said the small number of troops required for Burundi and several other nations should not create dislocations. An aide to Rumsfeld said the defense secretary believes the mission would fit into the category of "lesser contingencies" the Pentagon is prepared to handle with solo armies.
"I thought that Army ad was metaphorical," explained Private First Class Jeff Baker, who parachuted alone into Burundi on Friday. "There were twenty of us in the plane to start with, but the other soldiers had to commandeer different coutntries."
The Pentagon reported Private Baker had already successfully secured a small thatched fort in lower Bubanza and was soon involved in several intense fire fights in the streets of Burundi's capital Bujumbura. "My hope is to bring peace, democracy, and economic development to Burundi as long as my ammo lasts," Baker said through tears.


California Governor Gray Davis Avoids Recall by Returning California to Native Americans

Douglas Jones

SACRAMENTO, CA—In a surprise move Tuesday, Governor Gray Davis outmaneuvered the burgeoning recall movement against him by handing over California to the leadership of the state's Cherokee tribe.

Cherokee chief Barbara "Little Star" Simeroth accepted California back from the governor in a ceremony outside the state capitol. Chief Little Star thanked the former governor and declared, "I will draw thorns from your feet. We will walk the Path of Life together. Like a brother of my own blood, I will wipe tears from your eyes. When you are sad, I will put your aching heart to rest."
In prepared comments, Gray Davis said "that this was a long time coming" and that "the time was ripe"
to rectify the injustices of the past. When asked by reporters whether he made this move to avoid a recall vote, Gray Davis said, "Pshaw" and "What right-wing recall?"
The Governor explained that not only had he finally brought justice to the state but also erased the State's $38.2 billion deficit since native Americans "have a grand tradition of financial stability and good luck."
When asked how a proposed SuperBear Lotto would wipe out the deficit, Chief Little Star said, "Listen to the Wind. Listen to the Eagle in your Vision and the Raccoon along the path."


Genetic Research Shows Geneticists Predisposed to Study Genetics

Douglas Jones

ATLANTA, GA—Researchers have identified two genes in laboratory animals that may link the desire to study genetics to a genetic predisposition. The findings dispute the notion that studying genetics results from character flaws or weakness.

By breeding two strains of mice that crave genetic studies with those that shun it, Princeton University researchers identified the genes, one for males and the other for females, that appear to trigger an animal's compulsion to study genetics.
Dr. David Silverman of the National Institutes of Health said the genetic link to genetic studies is apparent in humans also, but that does not mean some are destined to become successful geneticists.
Many experts agree that genetics play a role in the desire to study genetics, but they add, so do upbringing and the hardships some face in life. "Some people just show up at age 20, and they haven't had a lot of life traumas in their life, but they're geneticists," said Dr. Randy Lund of Ridgevcrest Institute in Atlanta.
Lund, counselor of recovering geneticists, sees how the study of genetics runs in families and how just living around it can lead youngsters down the same path. But genetics may make it harder for some to resist the temptation of genetics or to know how much gene research they can handle.


Scandinavians Boycott Viking Mascots

Douglas Jones

MINNEAPOLIS, MN—In response to a recent teasing of a Norwegian-American high schooler, Scandinavian-American rights groups renewed their protest against the use of Vikings as mascots and sports team names, a practice which they say perpetuates negative stereotypes and continues to subjugate Scandinavian Americans.

Steve Larsen, the director of youth and education services at the Scandinavian-American Support Group of Wisconsin and Northern Minnesota is trying to educate people about the racism inherent in Viking mascots and logos.
In a press release sent by the SASGWNM urging people to protest the Minnesota Vikings, the group writes: "Ragnar the Viking promotes a negative stereotype of Scandinavian peoples. This blonde-bearded, hook-nosed, grinning buffoon does not resemble any Scandivian peoples. It makes people think we're barbarians. The name and logo do not `honor' Viking peoples, but perpetuate racist stereotypes only. Vikings are not mascots."
Numerous Scandinavian groups have sent letters to school districts all across the northern tier of states to ask them to change their Scandinavian-related sports team names. "From preschools to professional teams, we are dealing with the issue on multiple levels," Larsen noted. Outside the northern tier, some schools, such as the Tucson High Vikings of Arizona, have changed their Scandinavian-related sports names in response to Scandinavian sensitivities.The Tucson Vikings became the Tucson Dairypeople.


NASA Probe Successfully Jettisons $124 Million into Space

Douglas Jones

HOUSTON, TX—After completing complex braking maneuvers, a new NASA probe—the Jupiter Lottery—moved into the orbit of Jupiter and successfully jettisoned into space several tons of U.S. hundred dollar notes, totaling $124 million, according to NASA flight managers.

"The jettison-blossom effect was quite breathtaking," said NASA spokesperson, Mary Harwick. "The bills cycled in fascinating patterns, reflecting solar light in a magnificent, sparkling array."
The evidence gathered from the cash-jettison suggests that hundred dollar notes react oddly in space. "We could never have guessed the odd curling effects," said Jack Gordy of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
The $150-million, 1.7-ton probe is the first to visit this area of the solar system since two NASA probes disappeared near there in late 1999. After losing the two probes costing a total of $300 million, NASA determined it would be cheaper to simply torpedo cash into space.
"We actually saved about $110-million dollars by going this route rather than losing a more complex probe," said NASA spokeswoman Mary Harwick. "By repeating this dump every year, we expect to reduce our yearly budget radically."
Arriving in July after a eleven-month trip, the craft used atmospheric drag to slow itself down and change course, a risky procedure that nonetheless saved a considerable amount of rocket fuel.
Harwick observed that one of the key goals of the mission was to prove that $124 million is "actually very little money. In the expensive world of space exploration, there's not much else we can do with that sort of cash."

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