Volume 17, Issue 5: Cretan Times
Male Whales Beach Selves Instead of Asking Directions
BREWSTER, Mass. More than two dozen whales stranded themselves
on the shores of Cape Cod Bay last week, and experts say sonar
equipment detected heavy "whale chatter"
before the suicides. "It was pretty clear
they were bickering with other whales, perhaps females," said Kristen Page
of the Cape Cod Stranding Network. Officials suspect that strong tidal fluctuations changed normal
travel markers. Illnesses, especially stubbornness, appear to have contributed to
the strandings, the network said.
"They could have just asked the dolphins for help, but nooooo," Kristen Page said. Mike Barnes also of CCSN
suggested dolphins are a little uppity, and the whales could have
figured things out if they had just gone on a little further.
Five of the whales had to be euthanized, while the rest were found dead. "The euthanized whales were nearly back in the water, but I felt
some obligation to the females," said Kristen Page. The CCSN was notified
of several whales in trouble, swimming around trying to look like they
knew what they were doing, but snow closure complications prevented members
from reaching them in time. "Snow must have covered some signs," said Mike Barnes.
OPEC Promises to Stop Goofing Around with Oil Spigots
KUWAIT After U.S. satellite imagery on Tuesday showed
some OPEC leaders pushing and shoving each other through oil sprinklers
and others turning hoses on and off, causing havoc in international markets,
OPEC promised to knock it off for the time being.
U.S. Energy secretary Sam Bodman complained, "These people
don't comprehend how this sort of horseplay complicates our modern
economies." Following sporadic giggling, OPEC decided to maintain current
production levels or maybe not. It strongly hinted
it would consider reducing its output early next year in order to form a large
black pond in the desert. "We like the mirror effect it has," noted the closing report.
Today's meeting in Kuwait provided the strongest indication
in recent months that OPEC will not discourage members from
bringing beach balls to meetings. In its final statement, OPEC said it would "take
all measures considered necessary to keep the hoses unkinked and not strip
Ali Aj-haidi, a Saudi oil spokesman, told reporters here that "People take oil so seriously. We just want to have fun. Back off, sirs. We don't have spring break."
North Magnetic Pole Drifts Aimlessly toward Siberia
PORTLAND Earth's north magnetic pole is drifting away
from North America and toward Siberia at such a clip that "it is sure to
spawn several disaster movies," scientists
"Magnetic north might be seeking a colder home or just enjoy
playing tricks on scouting organizations," paleomagnetist Joseph Steen
said. Scientists have long known that magnetic poles migrate and, in
rare cases, swap places; some poles even move back in with their parents.
"This may be part of a normal oscillation or it might be Russian
drawing it toward Siberia in order to dominate the world," Steen
said Thursday at the American Geophysical Union meeting.
Steen answered several panicked questions about Santa Claus by
noting the distinction between magnetic and geographic north. "There is very
little evidence that geographic north will drift the way magnetic north has."
AGU president Colin Noker assured that audience that if geographic north
and south swapped places, earth would notice only minor changes, "except
that northern people would become more hospitable."
Wal-Mart Moves Tanks into Tiananmen Square
BEIJING Despite growing criticism of its business practices,
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. today moved two hundred blue tanks sporting the Wal-Mart
logo into Tiananmen Square and forced lower prices on all
Armed Wal-Mart troops then proceeded to open four new
makeshift tent stores on each corner of the
square. Video shows Wal-Mart soldiers dragging customers into the stores
past smiling Wal-Mart greeters. Wal-Mart executives were not available
Wal-Mart Watch Executive Director Andrew Gross said, "I
knew it, I knew it, I knew it. We've been trying to tell you this was going
to happen, but America ignored us." Anna Normon of Sprawl-Busters
explained that this was Wal-Mart's announced "Higher Expectations Week" in
swing, with over 1,110 worldwide events planned.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhang Piyue said the
Chinese government welcomed its Wal-Mart masters but warned the low-price
chain not even to think about sending tanks to Taiwan.
Late Tuesday, the New York Times published a leaked
internal document from Wal-Mart detailing the corporate giant's plan for
world domination, starting with famous city squares. The document reveals
that Wal-Mart plans to begin the worldwide onslaught by floating a huge blue
disk over Times Square, New York, cutting off sunlight and making New
Yorkers scream like stuck babies. Mayor Bloomberg said Wednesday his office
is watching the skies carefully and has only spotted "some thick clouds, and on
the ground, only a handful of blue tanks."
Democrats Propose Legislation Renaming Bush "Nixon"
WASHINGTON, DC Given the momentum of the presidential
wiretapping questions, congressional Democrats will propose a bill next
week renaming President George Bush "President Richard Nixon."
"We realized all the subtext was being lost on the American
people," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein.
"Many people simply don't remember what a gift Nixon and his wiretapping was
to Democrats." President Nixon faced charges of illegally
wiretapping seventeen individuals.
Democratic switchboards were overwhelmed with complaints
from constituents trying to find out why representatives opposed
wiretapping those with terrorist links. "When
we started suggesting Bush might be a reincarnation of the most evil man in
the twentieth century," said Sen. Carl Wyden, "they were quite satisfied."
White House press secretary Scott McClellan said the president "is
quite attached to his current name and will resist all efforts to alter it."
Democrats denounced the president's response as reckless politicking. Democrats
have been watching reruns of "Marcus Welby, M.D." and "The
Partridge Family" to get back in the
Nixon-era mood. Laura Bush remained adamant that if her husband's name
were officially changed, she would continue referring to him by his
nickname, "Chuck Norris."
Report: Wyoming Unprepared for Tsunami
CHEYENNE Extra-large tsunami waves generated by an ocean
earthquake would threaten at least one million residents in Wyoming, according to
a new report.
The bleak study being released Monday found gaps in the
state's readiness to handle a tsunami, including flaws in the existing warning system
and building codes that don't take into account tsunami-strength surges.
"I don't think we're ready yet, but we're getting there," said
Richard McCarthy, executive director of the Wyoming Tsunami Safety
Commission, which issued the report. "More and more people have learned to
spell tsunami because of our efforts." A growing percentage of
Wyomingresidents have heard about tsunamis occurring somewhere in the world.
The state Office of Emergency Services produced inundation maps
that show the super-flat areas most at risk, but few communities have used them
to map out and mark evacuation routes, the report found.
Along with threatening lives and property, a giant tsunami would
strike an economic blow to the state. If a tsunami shut down Wyoming for
two months, notes the report, the economic loss would "very likely" be picked up
by national media.
Hillary Clinton Named New Commissioner of Baseball
Critic Consensus: King Kong About a Monkey