Tuesday, May 18, 2010
After two decades of debate, physicists have chosen to assign the most widely used scientific measurement as being exactly one hundredth the mass of Phillips who, despite frequent attempts to get in shape, has been stuck at a consistant weight of 100 KG, or 220.42262 lbs for over 12 years.
Bernard Colliex, a project leader for the Standards Committee for the IBWM explains the decision to take advantage of Phillips' unwavering mass as a breakthrough in maintaining scientific consistency, ensuring that all fields of investigation will henceforth hold perfect agreement over reported measurements.
"We have such confidence that Phillips will never make his weight goals, despite many failed and pathetic attempts at dieting and exercise," Colliex said, ". . . that we are willing to peg the exalted kilogram to the constant mass of this frustrated yet consistently obese man."
Since their inaugural meeting held in 1889, when the committee was charged with maintaining the uniformity of the international system of units, the kilogram has been long defined as being equal to the mass of a particular cylinder made from a platinum-iridium alloy kept in a vault near Paris, France.
Unfortunately, physicists for the international advisory group have measured slight variations in the cylinder's weight, making it unreliable. Because many units in the SI system are defined relative to the kilogram, its precision is necessary for scientific research around the world.
The committee expressed confidence that using Mr. Phillips as new reference point will give them the highest degree of precision to date. They noted that while Phillips had been known to walk a couple of miles over lunch break, he would subsequently reward himself with a McFlurry on his drive home from work, so any weight changes have been shown to be indistinguishable to 10 decimal places.
For David Whittle, a similar circumstance almost got him into hot water at work.
Having upset three female co-workers by scoffing at their contributions in Tuesday's budget meeting, Whittle, a deputy finance director and rather distasteful human being, was mistakenly labeled as merely a woman-hater by the female members of the South Pacific Coffee Company's marketing department.
Whittle, often labeled as a sexist by the women who know him, created a flurry of outrage within the brand management team at the Chicago-based coffee distribution company. Comprised of all women, the entire marketing department was shocked by Whittle's recent comments about their apparent lack of critical thinking skills.
While attempting to get them to "think straight about their budgets", he was reported to have accused the team of having their "pretty blonde hair pulled back so tight, it cut off circulation to their chemically bleached brains."
Cynthia Reynolds, one of the targets of the verbal assault, immediately set up a meeting with Human Resources to file a complaint on behalf of the other women in the group. To her surprise, it turns out that Whittle in fact despises most everybody and does not limit his hate-filled bile to just women.
Upon learning of her mistaken attribution of chauvinism, Reynolds was embarrassed and apologetic.
"Oh dear, I had no idea," she said red-faced. "I almost made a big mistake, didn't I?"
According to Howard Regan, the company's HR manager, there was no need to be alarmed about Whittle's apparent focused rage and hatred.
"He can be a real jackass to most everyone who knows him," Regan said, "but he's relatively harmless, spreading around his prejudiced hostility equally".
Regan recounted a similar misunderstanding last week when Whittle apparently went off on Trevor from accounting for leaving the spoon drawer open in the break room, letting loose a barrage of ethnic slurs not heard since the Chicago Race Riots of 1919.
"I was able to calm Trevor down and point out that David's just a big prick to pretty much everyone," Regan said. "Good thing he's not just a bigot, or we'd have a racial harassment lawsuit on our hands."
Despite Whittle's constant personal attacks on his associates and their distinguishing characteristics, the employees of South Pacific Coffee Company were relieved to know that there was no evidence of sexual, religious, and racial harassment in the workplace.
Their traumatic experiences with Whittle have been written off as nothing more than him just being a truly awful human being, completely indiscriminate in his verbal assaults, and not specifically a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Saturday, May 15, 2010
According to the small-statured Sumwego and his band of pre-teen freedom fighters, the proclamation was meant to assure there would be no retribution for the swift and brutal attack on Ugandan Army troops and supplies.
"I called it," Sumwego announced while high-fiving his vicious but socially awkward preadolescent soldiers. "We will see no retaliation from these government dogs."
Violations of international rules of war have been raised amid eyewitness reports that Sumwego ignored cries of "time out" from disoriented soldiers. Reports have surfaced that he may have even commanded his unit to fire on soldiers who had designated a nearby matoke tree as "base".
It is unclear whether Sumwego's "no tag-back" proclamation will even stand according to international observers as he failed to invoke "infinity" after his announcement, leaving the period of safe operations in that region uncertain.
Colonel Robert Sibanda, a United Nations military observer assigned to the Ugandan war zone, has some doubts as to whether the fleeing army personnel could even hear Sumwego's prepubescent voice over the secondary explosions and death throes of the government soldiers.
"If they can't even hear what you are saying, then it shouldn't count," Colonel Sibanda said.
After a long campaign of guerrilla attacks on government supply lines and paramilitary patrols, Somwego stands poised to lead his troops into the port city of Jinja by sometime in the early spring. Upon learning of his approach to the prized center of trade for southeastern Uganda, Somwego's parents, who are being held in a government work camp, were asked about their son's rise to power and recent achievements.
"We are so very proud of Ogwambi," his father, Ojore Sumwego said. "I didn't lead my first insurgency until I was 23".
Sumwego senior was quick to point out, however, that young Ogwambi had much to learn about how to properly conduct a revolution and was concerned about what his son will do once the city is taken.
"He won't appreciate how good a strategic resource he will have in his small hands," said the young partisan's father.
"Oh sure, he'll hold on to the city for a while, toy with its inhabitants," Sumwego senior said, "but then he will just get bored and move on to something else. I mean. . . that new machete we gave him for his birthday last year just sits in the garage. There is no pleasing the boy."
Friday, May 14, 2010
The non-verbal, unwritten agreement was established hastily and without negotiation, just seconds prior to the delivery of Grey's orange juice and honey roasted peanuts and Towson's Pepsi and pair of Jim Beam mini bottles.
Each contract participant's refreshment was to be provided on their own allocated 16.625 by 9.625 inch square horizontal surface but the flight attendant's planned service for the two passengers was impeded by her laptop and his Super Sudoku book.
Towson's quick action to unclasp and lower the unused center seat's tray table drew implicit approval from Grey as she immediately secured half of the much needed surface space. Her requisition of the left side of the tray table was met without objection from Towson.
The two-hour agreement was not without some contentious moments however. Just minutes after the seat-belt sign turned off, Grey got up and went to the restroom. It was at that moment that Towson attempted to obtain 10% more space upon her departure. His assumption was that by her vacating the area, it was an act of acquiescence by Grey of any property claims.
An immediate challenge was levied by Grey upon her return and a new agreement was reached after fifteen minutes of non-verbal negotiations. Tactical napkin placement and subtle maneuvering of their Biscoff cookies once again resulted in a relatively equal, although rather asymmetric, sharing of the tray.
When the plane's final descent into Denver was announced, the joint-use arrangement was dissolved just as effortlessly as it was created. Without so much as a spoken word, Grey and Towson each fulfilled their final obligation to the initial agreement, applying an equal and simultaneous force to the bottom of the tray and returning it to its upright and locked position.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Clean up teams from across the area have been complaining that the Federal Emergency Management Agency was slow to act in replacing the dwindling number of terns, gulls, turtles, and other gulf creatures they had been using to sop up the growing volume of crude oil that was spewing into gulf waters at the rate of over 210,000 gallons a day.
Their demands appear to have been answered as pet shops from across the country mobilized and shipped hundreds of truckloads of parakeets, cockatiels, and box turtles. The first delivery of these super absorbent creatures is expected to arrive by the end of the week.
Rear Adm. Mary E. Landry, the Coast Guard’s on-scene coordinator for the Louisiana oil spill disaster, expressed gratitude to the nation’s pet industry for providing the much needed mopping up resources.
“Petco and PetSmart have been superb corporate partners in the response to this tragedy,” said Admiral Landry. “We ran out of ibis and marsh ducks earlier this week so this couldn’t come at a better time.”
Crews on site may actually find the clean up to go a little quicker as the small songbirds that will be available, such as parakeets for example, are one-time use, easy to handle, and are disposable.
“The larger birds work great. I mean you can wring out a pelican and reuse it a couple of times but they are really heavy and, frankly, it’s been tough to find any around here lately,” said Roger Woolsey, a volunteer from nearby Gulfport. “Parakeets and budgies are excellent because they can fit in one hand and you know that you’ve sopped up as much as they’ll take when they stop chirping.”
Turtles, tortoises, and terrapins are apparently great oil collectors also, as evidenced by the large sea turtles washed up on the shores of the Louisiana and Mississippi coasts this week. But with the absence of any available live sea turtles since the weekend, crews were thrilled to have thousands of box and mud turtles at their disposal.
“I don’t know where it goes, but these little guys can ingest up to twice their weight in petroleum products,” said Woolsey. “Now we can get some serious clean up done.
As the oil spill disaster continues to loom, Admiral Landry expects they will need to tap into more cleaning resources and has requested that other animals be shipped in. Within the next couple of weeks, sea otters, seals, and northern sea birds will be captured and brought in from Prince William Sound in Alaska.
“Those little guys did such a great job during the Exxon Valdez spill,” said Admiral Landry. “We thought we’d give them another chance to be in the spotlight.”
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Astley caught everyone by surprise when he suddenly launched into the 1987 chart topper “Never Gonna Give You Up”, leaving the audience redfaced and mouths open in disbelief, collectively realizing that they had just been fooled.
“We were all very much enjoying the show,” recalled Oxford resident Celia Thompson, “…and then he really got us good.”
The mood of the 800-plus crowd knew that something was dreadfully wrong as soon as Astley started into the troublingly familiar lyrics “We’re no strangers to love. You know the rules and so do I…..”.
“I just can’t believe I fell for that…again” Thompson said, referring to the Music-a-ganza Festival in Bedford last summer when Astley maliciously Rick Roll’d 1,200 fans who were expecting to hear songs off his most recent album Portrait.
Stella Samuelson, a spokesperson AGE, is concerned that these deaths are not mere coincidences, noting that no other record holders have fallen victim to this disturbing trend.
“You don't see the men with the longest beard have such a high mortality rate," Samuelson said. "Every single member of the 'longest bikini parade' has had a clean bill of health since taking that record last year. It just isn't fair."
AGE noted that these people are not only celebrated as the oldest people in their own country, but as in the case of Mrs. Chinen, they are the longest living people on the planet.
Samuelson says that the world’s really-really-old people are frightened now that they see that even their most exalted and celebrated members are dropping like flies.
"They are treasures within their community and they should be protected,” Samuelson said.
AGE asks that law enforcement look into who or what might be responsible for the taking of these supercentenarian’s lives, citing that Ms Chen only held the title as world’s oldest living person for a mere eight months before she mysteriously passed away.
“Before Mrs Chinen, was Gertruid Baines of California,” Samuelson said, “. . .and she only had the title for nine months. And before her? Mariade Jesus of Portugal who died tragically in January 2009, only holding the title for three months.”
And the list goes on. Records show that no one holding the position of “Oldest Person Alive” has lived to enjoy all the benefits that come with the title for more than 15 months before they inexplicably die. Some have not lasted longer than a month, as was the case of Emma Tillman who died in January of 2007 at the age of 114, just four days after taking the title from Emiliano Mercado del Toro of Puerto Rico.
“That shocked so many of us in the extra-elder community,” Samuelson said. “She didn’t even get her birthday party covered by the local news or receive her obligatory phone call from Willard Scott.”
The search is now on for the current oldest person living on Earth but it should come as no surprise that no one is coming forward to claim the position. Samuelson believes something nefarious is going on and hopes the international community will get to the bottom of it.
“I don’t blame them for staying in hiding,” Samuelson explained. “Claiming this title is like signing your own death warrant.”