Sunday, June 13, 2010
Upon learning that someone held an interest in who they were and what their lives were like, socially inept outcasts and the perpetually ignored citizens across the country waited with anticipation for the census forms to arrive.
As required by the Constitution, the U.S. Census is charged with counting every resident in the United States, even those citizens that nobody cares about. The questions are limited to collecting information about residents’ names, address, age, sex, and race in order to properly allocate federal funds targeted towards public works projects, hospitals, schools, and emergency services.
Having no common bond with anyone around her, Sarah Feldman, a lonely Chicago area resident, was excited to open up her newly arrived correspondence and eager to tell someone –anyone– about her personal attributes, anxious to share her hopes, dreams, and aspirations.
Unfortunately for Feldman’s fragile self image, the Census questionnaire was no more interested in her well-being --or what her summer plans were-- than anyone else she may boldly claim as an acquaintance.
“This is it?” Feldman asked with disappointment, realizing that the form was limited to 10 simple questions, and not one was about how her day was going. “It’s like only a page long!”
Feldman was quick to notice that there was no place to tell anyone about her three cats, who she claimed are like children to her.
“I’d want to write about how cute they are when they wrestle or how this one time, when Mr. Kittles found The Big Bopper lounging in his warm spot in the kitch. . . ” Feldman said as this reporter lost interest.
“Also, it didn‘t ask what religion I was.” Feldman said. “I had just converted to the Seventh Day Adventists and now I’m much more at peace. By the way, have you found Jes–.”
Feldman was unable to offer anything else of substance but was intrigued that the Census form did ask for her phone number. She has since spent long hours sitting by the phone waiting for someone to call.
Census Bureau Director Robert Groves has been surprised at the pathetic responses from Americans that spanned cultural, racial, and educational backgrounds.
“The slogan for the 2010 US Census is ‘We can’t move forward until you mail it back,’” said Director Groves. “Although, it appears as though some of our solitary citizenry are having a great deal of difficulty moving forward.”
The Census Bureau reports having received tens of thousands of letters from shut-ins and the homebound hoping that the agency that resides within the Department of Commerce would soon write back.
“They are begging that we please ‘ask them something else. . . anything’,” Director Groves said. “We cannot be your pen pal.”
Additionally, many were further distraught to learn that the Census is only conducted once a decade and won’t be back in 2011.
“I was hoping a census worker would drop by maybe next year,” said Feldman, who hasn’t had a face to face conversation with anyone for three months due to being chronically homebound with agoraphobia. “No one ever came to see me this time. . . . someone please visit me.”
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Why the international terrorist organization made such a tactical blunder in allowing the American spy agency into their inner circle is not entirely clear. However, after a years-long intelligence stalemate, agency sources indicate that al-Qaeda accepted the CIA's friend request in early May of this year.
"It was a complete one in a million shot but we had exhausted all of our options" CIA spokesman, Paul Gimigliano said, "but after experiencing only modest intel gains lately, we just went for it to see what would happen."
Gimigliano credits the Agency's success to a recently hired data analyst who suggested a new social media battle front against international terror networks. In December, a request was sent to the Director of the Office of Terrorism Analysis for the establishment of a joint operation to click the "Add as Friend" button.
Five months later, "Operation Evildoer Link" was launched and after four days of nail-biting anticipation, a message came through indicating that the secretive terrorist organization finally accepted the CIA as its Facebook friend. As a result, the CIA was rewarded with a treasure trove of network connections, photo albums, friend lists, as well as likes and interests.
CIA officials were amazed at how easy it was to access the terror network's inner friend circle but it became clear that the need for social acceptance was al-Qaeda's achilles heel.
"As it turns out, they were friending anyone who would ask," Gimigliano said. ". . .how do you have 4,000 friends, really? We should have thought of this a long time ago."
Within days, the CIA exhausted their collection of data from al-Qaeda's main wall page, quickly cataloguing who it was talking to, recent insurgency operations it attended, and its "liking" attacks on infidels by other terrorist groups. Investigators then stumbled upon a much longer record of its reign of terror by clicking an "Older Posts" link at the bottom of the page.
"It just opened up a complete history of their operations," Gimigliano said. "As it turns out, they were actually involved in the 9-11 attacks after all. . .glad we were able to put that to rest."
CIA analysts were again able to get a deeper understanding of the group's nefarious enterprise by clicking the "info" button which revealed what activities al-Qaeda was into, its interests, where it went for training, and its favorite movies (none), music (none), and television shows (none).
This release of operational information to western intelligence agencies has been devastating. Al-Qaeda has subsequently found its leadership decimated and had several major attack plans thwarted over the last month. However, just as it has in the past, al-Qaeda will adjust and adapt and the CIA is preparing for that day.
"Now that they've de-friended us, we'll have to look for other sources of information," said the CIA's spokesman. "We hope we can get one of our agents to join a Yemini terrorist club on Meetup.com or something."
Currently, the CIA is hoping al Zawahiri (al-Qaeda's #2) will accept their recent LinkedIn connection request.
"It's more of a business-oriented networking site," Gimigliano said, ". . . more of a trusted professional thing, so we don't think he will suspect anything."
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Small objects are constantly colliding with the earth every day, and most go unnoticed. Large meteors however will very rarely cross Earth's orbit but one can never be too prepared for "the big one".
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has released simple recommendations that will guide you in avoiding the apocolyptic devastation that astronomers tell us isn't a matter of "if" but rather "quite possibly any day now. . .I mean, you never know".
This excerpt from FEMA's guide on Preparing for an Extinction-sized Meteorite Impact should help you get ready for the earth shaking impact and the complete destruction to follow:
Preparing for an Extinction-sized Meteorite Impact - A FEMA Guide to your Health and SafetyYou too can improve the perception that you are doing something to make you and you loved ones safe by going to FEMA.gov and download the complete copy. The guide is expected to be updated sometime after December 2012.
In advance of death raining down from the heavans, Government agencies may issue health and safety advisories or recommendations as to how to prepare for the impending annihilation of all sentient life.
If you have any questions or concerns, you should contact your local or state emergency management department and pay close attention to the important instructions conveyed through their panicked screams.
Here are some tips for riding out the all-encompassing devastation.
- Be sure to stay indoors. The great majority of injuries during such an impact are cuts and abrasions caused by flying shards as well as huge chunks of the meteorite and earthly debris. Additionally, expect a fair amount of incineration from the molten planetary crust raining down from the skies.
- Make certain that you collect all essential medications --both prescription and over the counter-- for your emergency kit. You should then be able to adequately sedate or induce a state of detached euphoria for you and your family to ride out the destruction of all of humanity.
- No need to wear eye protection as the resulting fireball from the impact will likely be beyond the horizon so you'll be safe from any immediate thermal radiation. However, you'll want to reinforce windows and doors to guard against the 1,000 mph super-heated airblast encircling the globe.
- Collect your cold weather wear to ride out the decade-long winter created by the sun being obstructed by atmospheric ash and smoke. Temperatures could drop below freezing --even in the summer-- and because you'll be without electricity or a natural gas supply for years to come, you'll want to bundle up.
- Keep your clothes and perishables in sealed plastic bags so they don't get wet from the 800 meter-high tsunami that will destroy coastal communities worldwide.
- Pack up a couple of week's worth of canned and dry food items as well as bottles of water. In doing so, you'll keep yourself occupied and not worry yourself about the coming mass extinction event not seen since the end of the Permian some 250 million years ago.
- Develop a family emergency plan so everyone will know where to meet under the shadow of their impending doom.