Tuesday, December 30, 2014

In the (fake) news

Internet braces for entire year of hoverboard jokes

THE INTERNET — As the year 2015 dawns, IT experts across the world are adding hundreds of miles of servers to accommodate what it expects to be at least 15 terabytes’ worth of references to the fictitious Mattel hoverboard seen in the film Back to the Future II.

Back to the Future II, released in 1989 and partially set in the year 2015, depicts the hoverboard — a floating skateboard without wheels — as a common mode of transportation. Though the hoverboard technology seen in the movie has not become a reality, Internet experts expect a minimum of 4 billion joke references to the toy in the next 12 months.

“We’re anticipating most of these references to be in the form of a question about where their hoverboards are,” said Miles Bratton, one of more than 850,000 engineers involved in the massive project. “That prediction opens the door to the possibility of overlapping identical hoverboard queries in our servers to save space. Because, really, people are unoriginal.”

Bratton suggested that in order to avoid potential overload during peak times, those wishing to make Back to the Future II jokes should diversify their references to include the fake movie Jaws 19; autopilot dog leashes; the Cubs winning the World Series; and/or the inexplicable return of Pontiac dealerships.

The server project is the largest of its kind since 2005, when the Internet discovered cats.

Politician admits to speaking at “Wipe Out Texas” rally

“I didn’t know that’s what it was,” he claims

WASHINGTON — Sal Stallworth, a newly elected member of the U.S. House of Representatives, acknowledged Monday that he spoke at a “Wipe Out Texas” rally in 2006, though he said he wasn’t aware of and didn’t agree with the rally’s message.

The political blog Cirque du Solons broke news of the incident last week, citing a newspaper brief from July 27, 2006. The post went viral, amassing 1.2 million hits in three days and attracting national attention.

Stallworth downplayed his participation in the rally, saying it was simply one stop in his campaign tour.

“I didn’t know that’s what it was,” Stallworth said of the anti-Texas rally. “I was a young politician trying to get my footing. I took every platform that would have me to spread my message, which centered around the flat tax, not wiping out Texas.”

Stallworth further denied any associations between himself and the rally’s sponsor, the Coalition to Eliminate the Lone Star State.

“I had no idea about the group’s aims, certainly not from their ambiguous name,” he said. “That was poor vetting on the part of myself and my staff, I admit.”

The CELSS, founded in 1980 and boasting 6,000 members, is led by Duke Dunn, a longtime fixture on the state-annihilation scene. He is most notorious for his series of books blaming America’s woes on the “Texan lobby” and “the Lone Starist media.” In April 2006, Collins was arrested for attempting to spray-paint "TEXAS GO HOME" on the Houston Astrodome, an incident that made national news.

“I missed that,” Stallworth said.

Video footage of the rally, posted by Cirque du Solons, shows Collins introducing Stallworth to a standing ovation, in front of a “WIPE OUT TEXAS” banner. In the video, Stallworth begins his speech by saying, “Remember the Astrodome!”

Stallworth defended his introductory remark by saying, “The Astrodome was once the Eighth Wonder of the World and now it’s vacant, decaying and overshadowed by Reliant Stadium. I was just reminding people to remember it, that’s all.”

He acknowledged that his indiscretion might look bad to some, but asked for understanding and forgiveness.

“We were a completely inept operation. Seriously,” Stallworth said of his 2006 campaign. “Just to drive that point home, we spoke at several more CELSS rallies and at an assembly that called for the stealing of children’s puppies. Chalk it up to youthful naivete.

“We’re much smarter now, I assure you.”

Protest wins over people it stranded in traffic

SAN DIEGO — A demonstration against police corruption that blocked Interstate 5 on Monday successfully brought trapped motorists over to the cause, organizers said.

An estimated 350 protesters formed a human barrier across the highway at approximately noon Monday, bringing lunchtime traffic to a standstill. Though motorists were angry at first, honking their horns and yelling at the demonstrators to get out of the way, a medley of chants from the crowd soon got the captive drivers to see the error of their ways.

Motorist Bryan Talley, who was at the front of the vehicle convoy, said the protest “made [him] think.”

“I was on my way back to work from my lunch break to meet an important client,” Talley said. “And I was pretty pissed at first that I had the bad luck of being stopped by the demonstrators. But then I realized that my luck was actually good. I finally saw what a sheep I was and how I’d let life and work get in the way of what I should have been thinking about all along, which was this group of protesters. They made it to where I couldn’t avoid it any longer. That was grand of them.”

Paramedic Erin Gladstone echoed similar sentiments. She was among the staff in an ambulance transporting a gunshot victim to the hospital.

“Normally, a disruption in the traffic flow is the last thing you need as a paramedic,” she said. “But the ferocity of the protest really got us all thinking. It certainly moved our patient, who mustered up all the strength he could to make a solidarity gesture before flatlining. His wife said it’s how he wanted to go.”

Not everyone was convinced, however. One snarled driver was photographed trying to drive around the line, an image that immediately went viral online with the caption, “Part of the problem.”

That driver, Marilyn Davidson, said she was missing an organizational meeting of Citizens for Fair Policing, a group that monitors police corruption.

“Because of the protest, I didn’t get to arrange a meeting between the CFP and the local police union,” she sighed.

“I’ve been behind the protesters’ cause 100 percent for a decade,” Davidson continued. “But after 20 minutes of being roadblocked, I was looking around for some cop cars, I can tell you.”

Buoyed by the success of the protest, activists plan to repeat the spectacle at an undisclosed interchange to bring attention to ongoing economic turmoil in Belarus.

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