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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 spigot threads."
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 said Thursday.

"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 superheroes
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 surrounding merchants.

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 for comment.
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 full
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 E-3

Critic Consensus: King Kong About a Monkey

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