The Canard Times

Saturday, February 03, 2007

A message from the editor

The Canard Times had recently delved into the future for source material and discovered that MIT would be holding a "largest number contest". It has just been shown that MIT held the event 3 years ahead of schedule and altered the ground rules, resulting in a breech of copyright laws. The Canard Times will be bringing this matter to court and using the video of the event as evidence.

- Ian A. Stramen

Monday, September 18, 2006

World Peace Achieved

Washington – President Bush along with the entire congress has declared victory over terrorism, poverty, all human illnesses, world hunger, budget deficits, discomfort, pain, suffering, and human conflict in general. He then popped off the stopper on a test tube and breathed in deeply saying, “This genetically engendered airborne AIDS virus will solve all your problems.” He was then heard to mutter under his breath, “And they said I wouldn’t leave a lasting legacy.”

Inspiration: See comment.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Bush: Wrongfully Incarcerated Should Get Same Benefits As Vets

Washington - President George Bush announced at a press conference today that all those that have been falsely imprisoned by the judicial system should receive compensation and benefits equivalent to service in the armed forces, if his proposed legislation becomes law.

“I propose that those that are wrongfully incarcerated for a crime that they did not commit receive the same benefits and services that veterans of the armed forces receive," Bush said.

"Additionally, they should receive the same amount of pay that a Private receives in the Army for the amount of time that they served. My rationale is that both military personnel and the wrongfully incarcerated sacrifice their lives or a part of their lives for the safety and security of the nation. No one can expect that all convictions in the US justice system are to be error free, and those innocent people in prison (and the small chance that we may one day be one of those people) is the ‘price that we pay’ for a justice system that removes the criminals from society. This parallels with the inevitability of having a military with people who risk their lives and sacrifice their freedoms to protect ordinary citizens.

“Likewise, the loved ones of those that have died while wrongfully imprisoned should receive the same compensation as those that have given their lives in service to their country.

Bush added: “Perhaps if wrongful convictions start costing the taxpayers too much money, politicians would find ways to reduce the margin of error. A cost benefit analysis might show that giving the justice system adequate resources and oversight might be cheaper than adding more exonerated people to the government dole.”


Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Islam Gobbles Up Christianity In A Hostel Takeover

Mecca - The global corporation Islam, Inc. bought out 51% of Christianity, Ltd. stocks and plans to convert all of the religion's storefronts into mosques. Government regulators are looking into trust violation issues while Muslim spokesperson Mohammed Shoyaib insists that there is no overlap, quality will remain intact and tithing rates will remain steady.

Christianity has a strong base of loyal customers that are predicted to worship only at the mosques that were previously churches and with Imam's that started as pastors or priests. Investors don't believe this will affect the bottom line as the religion's stock prices jumped $2.54 or 5.3% (ISM) in heavy trading.

While patronage remained high in the Americas and Third World, they have seen a steady decline in the lucrative Europe market where Sunday mornings no longer mean a surge in revenue. Also a major factor was the change in actors for the long time media icon "The Pope". While he was touring in sub-Saharan Africa crowds sometimes booed and chanted "Bring back the Polish guy."

Many Christian observers felt that a takeover was inevitable and were just thankful that another religion bought out their belief system. Many of the other entities that have also tried to have a stockholder majority in the religion included the South American nation Venezuela - for diplomatic reasons, Disney - which saw a captive audience in Sunday schools, Cyberdyne Systems - which sought it's long term goal of merging Skynet's artificial intelligence with human religion, and the economic system Capitalism - which has ideological imperatives for monetizing every aspect of human existence.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Unseated Pluto Will Form Own Party

The shocking results from the International Astronomical Union primaries have unseated Pluto from the Planetary Party. But Pluto has rejected his demotion to Dwarf Planet status by the caucus and circulated petitions to form the Super-Duper Planet Party.

Pluto, a 76-year incumbent of the Planet Party sees his new status as derisive. “It is clear that the IAU has formed this new distinction to belittle the office I’ve held for so long,” said Pluto. “They somehow believe that that these new spoiler candidates, Xena and Sedna among others, will diminish the status of the party and so have conspired to unseat me.”

Mars ambassador John Bolton defended the action stating that the field has become far too large and unwieldy. “It’s as if everyone wants to be recognized as a planet nowadays. Besides the “princess warrior” we’ve got Santa and the Easterbunny and even Chaos itself making claims. We had to draw the line somewhere.”

Pluto has long been a “swing planet” within the parties and always willing to “cross the asteroid belt” in order to build consensus between the Gas Giants and Terrestrial Planet factions. It was widely seen that Pluto’s facilitation of Mars’ war-like actions has let to his downfall.


Thursday, August 03, 2006

Osei's Lesson - Part 1

I am honored to tell you of the first task I performed for my King. I was charged to serve Osei, an intimidating man of an overbearing size. He was brought in to see the King by his village’s elders who said that he routinely mistreated his wife and many children. The King asked many questions about his children; their names and ages. He was particularly interested in Dansia, the man’s three-year-old daughter who He learned was very afraid of his father. The King’s ruling was that the only food that the man could eat for a month was the food that Dansia gave to him by her own volition. I was the one he chose to ensure that his ruling was carried out.

I followed Osei home-although he twice tried to lose me in the crowd-and found that his family had taken the opportunity of the trial to vanish with their belongings. He growled and threw the remaining bowls at the walls. When he reached for the bowl with a heel of bread, he withdrew his hand with a hiss, as though it were hot. He first looked stunned by the welt that was growing on his hand, courtesy of my walking stick. Then he acknowledged me for the first time.

I did not allow him to vent his rage upon me, since that was not the role I was asked to perform. So, he was only given a step before the rage and consciousness was taken from him by a swift blow of my walking stick.

I then stood still and meditated for an hour on the face and habitat that Osei created for himself. I saw the anger-lines etched deep around his eyes through years of overuse. It will take many more years to smooth them out. I saw wear-marks through the handles of the family tea cabinet. I understood that the dowry must have been a great sacrifice for the wife’s family. That twine meant to keep the tea set safe was continuously torn off and retied. I smelt the sweat of the father overpowered the rest of the family’s sweat. I smelt the lavender water used to diffuse the air of soiled diapers.

Osei came to and shivered as night had settled. He eyed me wearily and put fuel in the oven. With his back turned toward me he tried to slip a sunflower seed into his mouth. The walking stick struck the nerve running behind his jawbone, making the muscles in his cheek collapse temporarily. He had difficulty drinking his tea since he couldn’t close his mouth and he returned to ignoring me.

In the morning he went to work constructing the defense walls around the city. There wasn’t much room on the top of the wall and so he complained loudly that I was in the way. He also tried hard to jostle into me and shove me off the wall but I found myself where he wasn’t at all times. One time when he was relaying blocks of stone up a steep path to the top, he swung his stone wildly, trying to catch me off guard. He would have lost his balance and fallen if I had not pulled him back by his belt. After that his fellow workers had given me the name “Osei’s Ghost” which the neighborhood adapted.

During lunch one of the workers tossed him a fig, noticing that he had not brought a lunch. I caught it with the stick and looked at Osei with my eyebrows raised. Anger came from Osei as he looked back at me. “It’s no use, Gramel. He wants me to starve to death. I saw him kill an old man because he asked me if I’d like an olive.”

Monday, July 03, 2006

Ted Turner, D.C. and $1 Billion

By habit, I always arrive first at high-level meetings – about five minutes before the Senator. This way I can make any adjustments necessary and preempt any snafus. The senior aids for the Democratic and Republican leadership of both the House and the Senate, plus the heads of the DNC, RNC and their respective election committees weren’t snafus, they were “realignments”. All of the presidential contenders were there also. I Blackberried the Senator. By the fact that the other aids were all talking nervously on their cells or emailing their own bosses suggested that they were as unprepared as I was.

I never would have guessed that Ted Turner would have the ability to pull off a stunt like this. Perhaps the president is the only one capable of pulling all of these players into the same room at the same time, but to do it without our knowledge takes Beltway resources outside of Turner’s grasp.

There were rumblings that Turner was seeding political muscle. He hired large swaths of lobbying firms; many of which were diametrically opposed to each other. Through the invitation-only blogs our junior aids have been trolling, they’ve learned that the firms have all signed nondisclosure agreements with Turner.

The congressmen had all arrived and sat around the industrial-sized board room table and their aids sat behind them around the wall. Turner came in and went right to work on us.

“Thanks for coming. I’m offering to completely and fully finance every single congressional election and the presidential election if you meet with my conditions. First, you’ll have to make it legal. The two grand cap won’t work.” He slipped a piece of paper to each head of the RNC and DNC. “A half a billion dollars,” Howard Dean said dryly.

“Second,” continued Turner. “I will be you’re sole source of funding. All monies raised for the next election cannot be used for that election. Send it back; give it away to charity – fine. It cannot be used for electioneering.”

“Third, you will pass a law requiring that all future federal campaigns will be fully and completely financed by the public.” Groans filled the room. They all realized what this was really about.

“Did you really think that you could force us all to pass your bill with a massive bribe?” asked a Republican senator.

“Morgan told me that you did that for his clients all the time,” Turner said.

Nervous laughter came from the other party. Morgan is the lobbying point-man for the asbestos legislation that was designed to bail out the industry from their employee’s lawsuits, at the taxpayer’s expense. Turner must have hired his firm. The laughter was nervous because they realized that their lobbyists might have relayed some of their dubious practices also.

During the next couple of weeks, our respective lobbying firms let us know of the extent of Turner’s bought knowledge of our past dealings. The weight of the unspoken blackmail pushed down on D.C. like a low pressure front. Not much work was done in moving forward; too much energy was spent retracing our steps.

The bill was pased with many bland statements, no one willing to openly support it or directly oppose it; that was left to the Freshmen who knew not of the subsurface typhoon. The few lobbying firms that opposed it retracted their statements shortly after making them. Even the President seemed to roll over without much fuss. No one group should have this much power.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The Canard Times Appears Slightly Forlorn

Springfield - The Canard Times delivered an official statement followed by a press conference stating that it may have noticed a lack of attention. Ian A. Straman, the publications' official spokesperson vehemently asserts that this statement "should not in any way, shape or form be construed as 'loneliness'."

"As a detached observer of the most underreported non-events in existence," stated Sraman. "The Canard Times denies the presence of any feelings, emotions or empathy within its words or between its lines."

When asked about the Times precipitous fall in both authorship and readership, Stramen lamented that he himself has been neglectful. "Some people believe there is but one reason that they were placed on this earth, although I wouldn't go quite that far, I certainly neglected my duty and obligation to vigilantly report on the more blatant absences of certain occurrences."

Some within the press corps suggested that bringing attention to the Times imminent demise was just a publicity stunt to drive up circulation. "There was no doubt in my mind that such a slanderous assertion would be leveled at such a venerable institution. Without any expectation of reward and operating on a negligent budget, this publication has brought you groundbreaking exclusives that you will find no where else." Wiping the stinging tears away from his eyes, Stramen added, "The Canard Times wishes to make it known that it feels apathetic to your accusation and does not feel either hurt or betrayed by the members of its own community or their obvious schadenfreude."

Iraqis Protect Themselves With US Flag

Baghdad – The American flag is now being plastered everywhere in Iraq. This isn’t some newfound Iraqi love of the Stars and Stripes. Instead, the flag is being used as protection against US military force.

Since the ruling by the Supreme Court that Jesse Hanson, demolition expert in charge of destroying a historic building that had the flag painted on its side by conservationists, was indeed guilty of breaking the Flag Protection Law according to the newly instated Flag Desecration Amendment, Old Glory has been seen painted on homes and businesses from border to border in this war torn nation.

Legal experts disagree whether US soldiers can be court marshaled for breaking the law by desecrating the flag during the course of their duties.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

MIT Holds Biggest Number Contest

Cambridge - The old joke in the field of meganumerology is that it’s not the size of your numbers, but how you use them that counts. But one budding mathematician believes that you need to find the largest numbers before you are able to use them. So Mathew Frederin, Masters student of mathematics at MIT devised a contest to find some suitable numbers to study.

“My real interest is trying to find out which of two numbers is bigger, which isn’t as easy as it sounds when you are dealing with numbers on this scale”, explained Frederin. Finding a novel thesis topic in mathematics isn’t easy either, but thanks to a late night of drinking and playing math games with classmates he came upon the difficulties of determining the relative values of these meganumbers.

“I figured that there must be a systematic method for stratifying these numbers,” Frederin said. “But when I looked through the literature, it looked pretty bare.” Now that he had a thesis topic, he needed a way to gather data. “Computer generated numbers were predictably easy to categorize. So, I needed to find a human source for these numbers, written in the wide spectrum of mathematical notation used to create these numbers.”

The students and faculty at MIT were an obvious resource and at his adviser’s suggestion, created a contest. The rules are simple: Within 15 seconds contestants write on an index card English words or mathematical notation a single whole number that is less than infinity. The highest number gets the $1,000 grand prize with $500 and $250 going respectively to the second and third place winners.

“I sent out grant applications everywhere for the prize money,” said Frederin. “I never knew that the Department of Defense was that interested in the math contests.”

Contestants shouldn’t expect instant gratification for their 15 second effort. “Although it depends on the number of contestants, I fully expect it to take over a year to go through all of the cards and write proofs for the top finishers to discern which is the largest. This is my thesis project, after all.”

Inspiration -

Free Web Site Counter
Online Degree Programs