News of science tomorrow – today!



Dateline: 2120:

(Announcer:) “Next on Channel 1,233,567, on live interactive holovision – Mrs. Dimschwitz, please lower your skirt, you’re distracting the rest of the audience – Our weekly round up in the only news that matters – news about matter.”

“Welcome once again to Science News Too Obtuse To Use, or, as we like to call it, SciNewToObtuTo-you! I’m Fred Ball, and this is my co-anchor, Mildred Toomany. Say hello, Mildred!”

“Hello, Mildred.”

“And here we are on the 15th day of January – when only yesterday was the 4th of January, can you believe it, Mildred?”

“I cannot! Who knew that the Julian Calender could be found to be so much more precise than the Gregorian?”

“Just a reminder, folks, to set your calenders ahead appropriately.”

“Or the World-Wide Temporal Agency can do it for you, but at extraordinary cost.”

“Mildred, I see you have your hand wrapped around another amazing discovery of science!”

“Yes, Fred, I have in my hand nothing less – or more – than an example of the recently discovered quiggly particle.”

“Well, just open your hand and – I don’t see anything there, Mildred.”

“Of course, not, Fred, it’s way too small to see. It’s ten times smaller than a quark, and 50% the size of a Diddly-Boson. In fact no one’s ever seen a quiggly particle. It doesn’t even leave a trace. It’s only half a dimension and lasts for – well actually it comes into existence and vanishes so rapidly – well, the mathematics for this are so beautiful, it just feels good to know its there. This discovery really raises the question whether the existence of anything need be assumed in making scientific discoveries. ”

“Thank you for introducing the topic of tonight’s panel discussion, Mildred! Our guests, physicists Fred Maven, Fred Hacker, and Fred Jaybird will be on hand to pummel philosopher Fred Socratic before tackling the question, does the existence of anything need be assumed in making scientific discoveries.”

“I just raised that question, Fred.”

“I know, that’s the subject of tonight’s panel discussion.”

“You could give me credit for it.”

“I did Mildred, I thanked you for it.”

“I mean, credit in my savings account -”

“Haha, Mildred, you’re such a card! Now -”

(Both together): “Shut up and calculate!” (Cue laughter.)

“Thank you, Mildred -”

“- no, thank you Mildred.”

“- yes. Now, onto tonight’s news:

“The Nobel prize in physics is to be awarded to the famed Euroturk particle physicist Fred Bob, who proved the existence of aether using the multibillion dollar Mixmaster Whirligig that now fills the area that was once Switzerland. ‘The entire history of physics must now be re-written,’ the Nobel committee remarked in its announcement.

“The Royal Academy for Classical Physics in London issued a condemnation of the Nobel Committee’s decision. ‘We opposed the building of the Mixmaster Whirligig on purely ethical lines, and events have proven our fears prophetic. No right-minded Briton will have anything to do with a theory that is not rigorously mathematical, or which violates the sacrosanct Occam’s Razor principle – which, as we all know, originated in England, as most great ideas have.’

“Meanwhile, in what some perceive as related news, the highly respected Lacanian Institute at Harvard announced that textual analysis has confirmed that Albert Einstein was probably experiencing a psychotic break when he imagined time to be relative. However, US President Mildred Fred Clinton-Bush denounced the Lacanian Institute as a ‘subversive coven of unAmerican elitists,’ and promised that the statue of Einstein standing before the Washington Monument would not be removed. – over to you, Mildred.”

“Over in China, the People’s Republic is once again in violation of the International Agreement on Internet Narcissism, by engaging in another cyber-war with itself. Informants say that some 2 billion gigabytes of utterly worthless information about Chinese shoe sizes have been hacked and sent to a secret account in a German bank to which not even the Chinese will have access. The Republic of Google has lodged a formal complaint, saying that ‘the possible loss of any information threatens the freedom of programmers everywhere to explore greater surveillance methods.’ In possibly related news, Google has denied cooperation with the NSA in embedding re-usable toilet paper with rapidly-uploading recording devices. – back to you, Fred.”

“A class action law suit has been filed today against the SIX MILLION DOLLAR MANufactory on behalf of transgender recipients of that company’s prosthetic testicles, who claim that the said devices frequently fail to produce the advertised nano-bot sperm. Fred Splegman, owner of the company, has offered to provide his own sperm in compensation, but as he has undergone gender-changing surgery more than 40 times, his doctors warn that he may not have any. A reported leak from the laboratory of his company suggests that the technicians resorted to the use of tinker-toys to construct the prosthetic testicles, due to budget constraints. – Mildred?”

“The New Age colony on Mars is in trouble tonight! Levitation having become a verifiable skill, the colonists all wanted to learn it, but they apparently have not mastered the skill of returning to the ground. Consequently, some 7,000 colonists are pressing against the ceiling of the colonial dance hall, threatening to disrupt the integrity of the structure. Scientists at NASA are going into conference to quantify the value of the colonists before deciding not to do anything about the situation.

“In possibly related news, the Agency for Communications with Extraterrestrials reports a possible breakthrough in their attempts to send messages down a one dimensional string to life-duplicate intelligences in a parallel universe – No, that news isn’t related, and its not really news, and in a dramatic update, the ACE is at this very moment reporting complete failure. – Fred?”

“In biology this week: As usual, nothing to report -”

“Not true, Fred! On the southern coast of Argentina, a sailor salvaged from a ship-wreck is rumored to have sighted a living bird, flying above the Southern Polar Sea -”

“Wasn’t there once ice down there, Mildred?  I vaguely remember something about that from before my mind was uploaded into this borg.”

“Well, you know that it’s official policy that climate change never happened – but I admit that I too remember something about ice… feeling … I think it was called  – ‘cold.'”

“Feelings, hmm… neuroscientists were never able to find those, Mildred.  But I see bewilderment in the faces of our audience.  Yes, Fred Bagelschwapper? Birds?  Well, can any one remember what a bird was? Something like a jet without after-burn, wasn’t it?”

“We have a hologram of one showing now, Fred.”

“Gosh, what an ugly thing! I’m so glad we got rid of all the life forms in 2101.”

“Yes, Fred, and just think! No more pollution!”

“Unless you count the radiation from that nuclear energy catastrophe that made all India uninhabitable last year!”

“Oh, Fred, you’re so droll!  Now -”

(Both together): “Shut up and calculate!” (Cue laughter.)




Cartoon: by Gaspirtz, Wiki Commons
Gif: by Gadgetroid, Wiki Commons


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