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Credits

Ten thousand years of Roboshrub.

Fangs for the memories.




In today’s state, Roboshrub Incorporated is an entity entirely devoted
to the execution of what normal people would refer to as “bad ideas.”

It was the creator’s original idea that all concepts, whether
useful or not, contribute to the global subconscious level of progress
for the human race. Therefore, we contend that no idea is an unfit
idea, and vow to act on each and every one of them.

Roboshrub Inc.
Public Communications Department






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For your insolence, I condemn you to...

Suffer the Fate of a Thousand Bees!
(Before they go extinct)

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10.31.2006

A Halloween-Themed Indictment of Everything

“Burn the gumdrops!” Osthetic Nandnor shouted through the doorway as he ran into the street. “Burn the gumdrops!”

Dusk
An excellent night for burning gumdrops.

“Burn the gumdrops!” the other villagers joined in, tossing another pile of candy onto the billowing pyre. For the first time since the Candy Lords appeared, there was a general sense of optimism in the air... but as always, opportunists and parasites lurked behind every curtain, scheming up new ways to part a gullible village rube from their pouch of sawdust (the de facto currency of the land).

“May I have your attention, may I have your attention...” Mother Ghord called out over the dissembling rabble. Immediately, every voice dulled, and every moon-faced peasant turned to the elder.

“Achem!” she cleared her throat, waiting for a handful of rowdy children to be shushed by their real parents. “First off, I’d like to congratulate the boys over in the Edge Division. I think it goes without saying that we’d still be breaking our backs out in the sugar fields if not for their unparalleled bravery.” She waited while the crowd cheered their village’s own all-volunteer paramilitary unit, the Fightin’ Restless Leg Syndrome Infantry.

“Yeah! Ten huzzahs for the Edge Division!” shrieked a hooded figure. Mother Ghord squinted through four fairly fat farmers’ follicles for a farsighted glance at the flimsy fella. She frowned.

Deep in her liver, Mother Ghord could sense trouble brewing, and knew that most of the people in the crowd had also recognized the voice. Some turned away and folded their arms in registered disgust; others leered angrily at the hooded enigma as he pulled down his cloak and ran up to Mother Ghord.

“Oschael Pterron.”

“Yes, Mother Ghord! I have returned triumphant! You don-”

“Throw him into the pyre!” someone screamed. “He’s the collaborator!”

“I didn’t collaborate, I tells ya!” Oschael roared over the bristling crowd, looking for a sympathetic ear, or at the very least, a non-scowl. “I fought the Candy Lords from the inside!

Mother Ghord wagged an accusatory finger at his chest. “Yet you still bear the hideous orange standard of the Candy Lords. Tell me, Oschael, when did you decide candy was more important to you than the lives of the people you grew up with? Who nurtured you, and taught you how to swim, et cetera?”

“You commit to condemn me? Cast away your callous calls and contrite, ye crop-cuttin’ cretins!” Oschael laughed, reaching into his long sleeve.

Some of the more cautious villagers stood ready for him to brandish a sleeve-based weapon; yet all were unprepared when he held up by the hair the severed heads of three Candy Lords- heads still bearing the wicked facial disguises of the inhuman fiends: a witch, a goblin, and a ninja turtle. “Trick or treat!” he cackled.

Every villager stood in awe. Humbled, the poets would say, by both the temper of the harvest sky and their own earlier statements (which were proved to be deliciously ironic by this act).

“Oschael,” an Edge Division Marshal began. “Oschael!”

The other villagers took up the chant, hoisting Oschael up about them, as they danced under the yellow moon. Orange embers illuminated their pale silhouettes as they sang out: “Oschael! Oschael!”

Burning Embers
Swing yourself, lose yourself, run and skip and play under the evening sun!

***
“Mother Ghord, what ails your humors?” Oschael asked. The night’s heavy-handed partying had begun to die down, and half the villagers were earning wages below the median income. “What upsets the delicate balance of your Tao?”

The wise old wily woman winced willfully through white windowpanes at the waxy moon. “Oschael...”

“Yes, Mother Ghord, keeper of our village’s beehives?”

She licked her chapped pink-white lips. “What become of the fourth Candy Lord?”

“Fourth Candy Lord? I ain’t never hear tell of that,” Oschael stammered in his combat boots.

“Don’t lie to me, poisonous whelp!” she waved her walkin’ stick around like a sword. “I didn’t say anything out there because I’m getting old... so old, my grandkids want to take away my driver’s license. But I won’t let them, because I want my independence! I worked hard for it, I’m eighty years old, and I deserve to drive. No one can take that away from me.”

Oschael nodded vehemently. “I, personally, would never-

“Shut up and tell me what happened to the fourth Candy Lord!”

“Those commands are mutually exclusive!” Oschael cried, unable to hold back his glee at having the opportunity to use the phrase “mutually exclusive” outside of a Star Trek-related conversation.

“I saw the head of Malus the Lurker,” she recalled, “and Saq the Snapper. And the head with long scars running down the cheeks, that was Ty Chal Skullbasher.

She leaned her wrinkled face over his yellowy glowing eyes. “But I didn’t see the Candy Lord who took my children off to be devoured by bureaucracy. I didn’t see Bobyn the Destroyer.

Flop-sweat drenched Oschael’s synthetic brow. “Are you sure I... I mean you, are you sure you didn’t forget what you saw? It was pretty dark, and your night vision isn’t that great. You probably shouldn’t be driving at night...”

“I-I don’t have to listen to you!” she pointed an accusatory eyeball at him. “This isn’t about me.”

“Didn’t you, like, crash into a mailbox last year?” Oschael crunched his face, trying to remember what he’d read in the paper. “Yeah, on Redburry Boulevard.”

“That was entirely the homeowners’ fault for not putting reflective stickers on their mailbox,” she shouted defensively. “Now let’s get back to how you betrayed your village and are complicit with a whole bunch of deaths-”

“You know, kids don’t wear reflective stickers. What if you’d hit a kid?”

“He’s right,” someone called out as they walked by the cabin’s window. “You could’ve hit a kid.”

“I didn’t hit a kid,” Mother Ghord groaned as she tried unsuccessfully to reroute the conversation back to Oschael’s moral failings. “Stop distracting me.”

“Do you think we’ll ever colonize Mars?”

“Guh!” Mother Ghord slapped at him with her cane. “Cough! Get out! Cough! Cough!”

“Okay... fine- ow! Okay! Ow! Quit it!”

She slammed the door behind him, coughing loudly as she drew the venetian blinds. Oschael brushed the pine bristles and ribbons from his jacket; Kelt, the village wainwright (and unofficial town goth), ran up to the door—originally to grab a candy bar from Mother Ghord’s offering bowl (a ritual he’d had to perform countless times when the Candy Lords reigned o’er the woods)—but hastened by the yelling.

“What was all that with Mother Ghord?”

Oschael smirked at the simpleton. “Oh, she was telling me about how one of the Candy Lords’ heads was missing, and that there should’ve been four instead of three.”

“Golly gee!” Kelt walloped his emo right cheek with an overly large hand the size of a coconut. “But really, what’s one severed head between friends?”

“Yeah, really.” Oschael knocked the candy bowl over. “Those probably weren’t the real Candy Lords anyway. I bought those heads from some traveling merchant out in the lowlands.”

Lowland sky
The lowlands are a dreary and harmonic backdrop.

“You sly fox!”

“Sly as water-based paint,” Oschael chuckled, as he combined the old metaphor with a simile of his own invention.

“LOL! Well... Happy Halloween!”

***
Ten days later, the Four Candy Lords returned to reconquer the village. Believing the Candy Lords to be gone, the villagers had abolished nearly all wartime precautions. Within two hours of the brutal siege, 60% of the villagers were dead; the rest were enslaved and sent to Exom Wel, where they and their descendants were forced to produce cheap sneakers for all eternity. Oschael Pterron vanished a day before the Candy Lords arrived. His whereabouts remain unknown.

10.27.2006

Window Seat

Window Seat Pictorial

It’s the middle of the morning’s night
And the air is so very cold.
Before I board the bus I find
My seat waiting in the hold.

Way in the back, collapsible,
And with a spiffy plastic armrest.
I’ve always sat up in that perch,
As the driver can attest.

But as I’m pulling out my pass,
Before I can reach the door,
She standing there, she’s in my seat!
Left me rolling on the floor

Laughing.

’Cause now I’m in this window seat
Looking up Pluto and Ceres.
’Cause now I’m hooked on dwarf planets;
Makes a fascinating study.

I don’t have time to analyze
With studious methodology
The findings of the IAU which
Established that category.

’Cause I’m sitting in this window seat
Trying to stay alive.
’Cause the temperature is dropping
From ten degrees to five.

My old seat is hers now,
And the plastic armrest, too.
And though I’d gladly fight for it
From Eris to the Moon,

I won’t.

’Cause I’m loving this old window seat
Despite its lack of legroom.
’Cause being cramped is not so bad
When you’re vilifying Pluto.

Turning printed pages softly
Over in my hands,
I’m sitting still and grumbling,
Mulling my latest plans.

’Cause I’m waiting in this window seat
For another day to end.
’Cause on the way back home, I’m sure
I’ll have my former seat again.

Real sure.

’Cause I’m brooding in this window seat
’Cause I really don’t like change.
And sitting in this window seat
Is picking at my brain.

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10.26.2006

For Sparta!

These last few days have made me question my very existence. First, donuts rained down from the clouds in a torrential outpouring of sprinkles and sugary cream. Then, when it looked like the purple and orange sky was winding down for the night, a whole contingent of Athenian praetorians marched by my house- an anachronism, considering they should have been Roman. The audacity these Athenians showed when I pointed out this plothole, however, is cause for concern. I don’t care much for their unkind words... not at all. I don’t have to take no guff from a bunch o’ old world piffle-wifflers!

So I dusted off the old adage, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” and combined it with the proverb “you can’t get milk from a turtle.” Hence, “you can’t get milk from an enemy dressed as your turtle companion.” I’m not an English teacher, and I have no idea how the mechanics of this neologism functuate. But I do know from my historical treatise on ancient Greek war posters that the Athenians and Spartans were, like, total foes. So when that Athenian contingent waltzed through my backyard (trouncing a perfectly trimmed patch of sorghum) I knew who to turn to- the Spartan Oligarchs.

After a few thousand years of mellowing out, the municipality of Sparta was overeager for a battle with Athens. I promised the phalanxes riches. I promised them glory; a thousand laurels to hang ’round their collective necks. The numbers were against us, though- twenty to one. But a single fully-armed Spartan hoplite is more than a match for sixty Athenians!

Spartan GO!
“For Sparta! For the oligarchy!”

War drums sounded o’er the grassy hillside... the moon peeked out from behind a billowy pink-red cloud, indicating weekend-long rain. Deep down, I hoped for bear claws. Commanding the great phalanx, I ordered the Spartans forth in a standard Riemann Sum evasion pattern. The Athenians were prepared for this, sadly, and countered quickly. Their arrows nearly blocked out the sun...

The battle was long. Many brave hoplites, helots, and praetorians skinned their knees and ran screaming from the fray. But at long last, when the last of my sorghum was trampled into oblivion, I saw no point in continuing the boondoggle. I grabbed the closest keyboard I could find and gushed my guilt into the invisible pages of a web medium, combining the unquenchable arrogance of the Athenians with the noble anger of the charismatic Spartans.

Behold, a new blog template to commemorate the Battle of Donut Ridge!

10.24.2006

The Case For Integration

After the Dorian invasion toppled Greek civilization roughly 3,200 years ago, the writings of the ancient Greeks—written in Linear A and Linear B—fell into the recycle bin of history. Thousands of years later, we still cannot decipher these primitive yet beautiful languages (despite having all kinds of shiny computers).

Like the words of the ancientest of Greeks, mathematical techniques such as integration by parts, trigonometric substitution, and partial fractions would be all but forgotten if nobody took the time to learn them. No living person today can understand Linear because it went into disuse; and when people stop trying to ride a pony, it turns into a sour, resentful horse. Those who want to put integration techniques out to pasture, who insist the calculator is more powerful than the pencil, those who spit in the eye of established mathematical hegemonic orthodoxy and demand TI-92s—they’re afraid.

Afraid of their own mortality. Afraid of spending ten minutes and two pages answering a single problem. Afraid of being seen as a math nerd (math nerds make up exactly e% of the total U.S. population). Fear makes people do strange things. It turns poets into soldiers, and bricklayers into glassblowers. And it makes lazy students turn to Texas Instruments for a quick fix, to make their lives lighter and fancy-free.

It hurts. It hurts because there’s no logic behind it. I mean, just imagine: calculus has been streamlined; TI-89s and 92s are in every pocket; the math department is rejoicing! Teachers are rioting in the streets, brimming with glee! And why are they so happy? Because now that the simpler parts of integration have been addressed, students can be forced to learn all kinds of advanced calculus stuff that I can’t even begin to describe without bursting into tears. All in the name of scientific advancement.

Perhaps in some future paradise, when calculators have surpassed human intelligence, the techniques of integration can be bypassed. Perhaps then, when the lessons of the Dorian invasion have been taken to heart, can we truly use TI-92s properly.

Durn!

10.17.2006

Product #1232-26e “Bantäghan Arch”

Gregor Bantägh was a world-famous chocolate mousse sculptor and child of the industrial revolution. His childhood (if one could call it that) was spent on numerous intellectual pursuits; pushed by his family, he succeeded in being the first human to best the Rubix Cube at age 7. By the 1810’s, Bantägh was a regular around the scientific circles and parabolas of the time. He was on everyone’s mailing list, and always had an opinion on whatever topic was at hand.

Gregor Bantägh
Gregor Bantägh and his first greatest invention, the beat-boxing fire ant.

But as the old saying goes, “you can’t get milk from a turtle.” True to this proverb, Gregor went for thirty years without human contact, content to live alone out in the wilderness. Work on his electrical architecture proceeded slowly, due to the absence of key devices; yet by 1824 he managed to turn the establishment on its head- with the invention of the Bantäghan Arch™, now produced exclusively through the Roboshrub Inc. product reclamation authority.

The Arch is a two-pronged architectural masterpiece, so-called because of its two freestanding flanges. Each flange can be set to either the opened or closed position, but for the Bantäghan Arch to function properly, one must be open while the other remains closed. Ultimately, the purpose of the Arch is to exponentially increase the human life span by alleviating the high levels of free radicals swarming the blood.

As the Arch becomes active, it generates a “dimple” (bear with us) in the electrostatic field around it. This dimpling attracts free radicals (elements that lack proper electron configuration) within .5 meters of the open flange. As the free radicals careen towards the flange, they accumulate on the exterior wall, creating a passive kinetic build-up. It is at this point—when the open flange reaches maximum atomic capacity—that the proximity of a closed flange cannot be overvalued.

Monopole magnets line the outer casing of each flange (we all know that), but only in the closed position are a flange’s monopoles in perfect alignment, (nearly) perpendicular to the monopoles of an open flange. The perpendicularity creates a positron vacuum in the intervening electrostatic field, balancing out the dimple effect and allowing free radicals to move through the open flange (converting them to harmless tachyons). Without this critical placement of a closed flange, the open flange would not be able to regulate the free radical flow; free radicals would not be fully converted, adding undissipated heat- leading to the lab explosion that claimed the life of Dr. Bantägh... or rather, it would have claimed his life, had he not been immortal.

Bantäghan Arch
A functioning Bantäghan Arch correctly regulating the free radical/tachyon flow.

When describing the Arch, distance is sacrosanct. The flanges must be placed exactly one foot (0.3048 meters) apart from each other. If the flanges are closer than that, the free radicals are not fully converted, and the overheating problem occurs. If the flanges are too far from each other, the monopoles don’t connect and the surrounding electrostatic field collapses, losing its dimple. ¡Qué triste!

Flanges should be cleaned regularly. Roboshrub Inc. is not responsible for loss of pension due to age-reversing effects. The Arch’s design, as well as all related intellectual property (including the Li’l Flangy toy line) are proprietary software. ©1826 Bantäghan Mutually-Assured Destruction Fund. Do not ingest free radicals.

10.13.2006

Squirrels- Shrubopedia, the NextGen Compendium of Obfuscation

The word “squirrel” refers to any of the five species of odd-toed ungulates, a family of herbivorous mammals. They are not native to North America, but were brought from India, Africa and Nepal; some might say they were “squirrelnapped.” [1] No one of high education uses this phrase, though. Squirrels have acute hearing and a fantastic sense of smell, but poor eyesight over any distance. They are extremely territorial, especially in the presence of their young, and have been known to attack automobiles or even elephants when they feel threatened (as seen on When Animals Attack IV). In fact, scholars believe the squirrel to be the second most dangerous animal on Earth, right after their cousin, the hippo.

They range in color from a dark gray (black) to gray, to brown, to white, though the black squirrel is in danger of extinction due to poaching. The red squirrel has been extinct since the late 18th century, when George Washington personally razed their only habitat to the ground, making way for what would later become the capital of the United States, Washington D.C. Records show the population of the red squirrel had been declining for decades, due to a clogged sewer pipe in Philadelphia. But environmentalists are quick to point out George Washinton’s primary battle cry during the Revolutionary War was “Kill ’em like squirrels!” [2] leading many to doubt the accidental nature of his 30-day siege to the heavily wooded squirrel lair.

George 'Squirrel Killer' Washington
Statue commemorating George Washington’s victory over the squirrels.

A male squirrel is called a bull, a female a cow, and the young a calf; a group of squirrels is called a “crash.” Recent sociological inquiries into the squirrel kingdom reveals the formation of close-knit extended families, called “pile-ups.” They are among the last of the megafauna, often growing to reach a full, healthy weight of one metric ton (87 lbs). Other squirrel sub-species, such as the hamster, were much smaller (the hamster has been estimated to have reached an average maximum weight of .6 metric tonnage from fossil remains). And unlike their hamster cousins, squirrels do not possess a glossy exoskeleton or 5 cm spikes running up their arms. [3]

There are a number of legends in every native culture about squirrels stamping out fires, especially in Malaysia and Burma. In Ronald Dahl’s “James and the Giant Peach,” James’ parents were eaten (after years of imprisonment) by a squirrel, although squirrels are herbivores and only attack humans during the vernal equinox. Science fiction essays have likewise been deemed to misrepresent squirrels, and many films from the 1930s (Squirrels Ate My Son!, Tales Of An Acorn Miner, Harvey the Tree Rat, etc.) contain gross oversimplifications of squirrel society and anatomy. [4] These stereotypes of a “badger-like” squirrel have persisted, and are now acceptable in public discourse.

Badger Squirrel
The badger squirrel stereotype is modeled after 30’s actor Ben Doverman, pictured above.

Squirrels should not be directly approached, and are not a source of fiber or vitamin B. They have even been known to ambush domesticated elephants ferrying tourists through the swamps of South Africa, laying complex traps beneath a carefully laid-out leaf lattice. This behavior is due to a combination of global warming, pollution, and you. Citation needed

References:
#1 Chapman, Jan. 1999. The Art of Squirrel Horn Carving in China. Christies Books, London. ISBN 0-903432-57-9.
#2 Laufer, Berthold. 1914. “History of the Squirrels.” In: Chinese Clay Figures, Part I: Prolegomena on the History of Defense Armor. Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, pp. 73-173.
#3 Squirrel skin and horn characteristics (pdf file)
#4 Robinson, Terry J., V. Trifonov, I. Espie, E.H. Harley (01 2005). “Interspecific hybridisation in squirrels: Confirmation of a Black × White squirrel hybrid by karyotype, fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH) and microsatellite analysis”. Conservation Genetics 6 (1): 141-145. DOI:10.1007/s10592-004-7750-9

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10.11.2006

Oxglove County OpEd Page Red Letter Edition

The Dangers of Dihydrogen Monoxide
As an upstanding member of my local community (as evidenced by my lack of parking tickets and excellent posture), I feel it is my duty to inform my fellow Oxglovites of the dangers posed by Dihydrogen Monoxide. This chemical, while harmless in solid, liquid, and gaseous states, becomes extremely dangerous when combined in an aqueous solution with ammonia and bleach. I urge all citizens of Oxglove County to purchase Dihydrogen Monoxide detectors, available at every hardware store. The price of one Dihydrogen Monoxide detector may save not only life, but the lives of your pets, children, and Papier Mâchè sculptures.

Rex Ivanhoe, Professor of Cosmology
Oxglove


Horsing Around
Dear Editor: About one year ago, I purchased my baseball equipment store from the Sugar Cube Lounge, a for-profit rustic horse ranch. Before signing over the ranch, the former owners informed me that every year the intense summer storms would cause the water level to rise knee-high, giving the illusion that the ranch’s horses were sinking. The horses were in fact not in any danger, but the number of people who would stop by the ranch to complain prompted the owners to purchase a large billboard just outside the ranch, “THE HORSES ARE NOT SINKING!” This billboard has not been taken down, and has resulted in gridlock, due to people slowing down to see the “sinking horses.” Four traffic accidents occurred outside my store this month alone. Local regulations prevent me from removing the eyesore, and the police refuse to do anything as “this is a rugby town” (in the sergeant’s own words).

Flip Jackson, Owner of “Flip’s Mitts”
Imperial Gardens


Metric Mayhem
While I laud the Oxglove County Chamber of Commerce’s push to bring us into line with international measurements (as I am the Chief Bureau Standardizer of West Redshaw), I must once again condemn them for implementing the new system in an incredibly haphazard, dangerous, and downright nonsensical manner. All the speed limit signs on Route 38 West still have not been repainted or replaced (they list the old limit of 55 miles per hour), but over the area of the sign that says “MPH,” someone duct-taped a piece of cardboard that says “Celsius.” Celsius is a measurement of temperature, not of velocity. Furthermore, all receipts from commercial transactions are required to use the euro symbol—despite the fact that we still use American dollars—and the numbers themselves are in binary.

Melissa Scarsdale, Chief Bureau Standardizer (West Redshaw)
Kilogram


Taking Offense
I have been an avid television watcher since the medium first appeared in nineteen aught twenty-eight. Over the course of my life, I have seen the quantity of television programming increase, but there has also been a distinct lowering in the quality of the pictures. There have been many infograms that I’ve found distasteful, but have only rarely complained. Today, however, I must take a stand against something I saw on television last night. It so offended me that I can barely choke out this very sentence! Not only did it offend me, but I am completely certain that it offended everyone. This is the kind of filth that crosses all kinds of religious and political borders, this horrible thing I saw! So I call on my fellow parents and community members, together we must fight this. Together, we can take the airwaves back from the deplorable depravity and callous chaos of Micky Mouse.

Ziggy Tagg, Apprentice Geezer
Bottletown


A Case Of Mistaken Identity
Dear citizens of Oxglove County, my name is George Walden Bush. Due to the similarity between my name and the name of our nation’s unpopular president, I have been the victim of unending ridicule. I am not the president of the United States of America. I am a postal worker. Four days ago, the ridicule reached a boiling point when a prankster left a horse on my lawn, knowing full well that President Bush is deathly afraid of horses. I am not a Republican, and have never voted for George Bush, despite the identicalness of our names. I also demand an apology from whoever is responsible for stealing my (subscription only) issues of “JavaCode” and defacing my property last year. I still cannot get the spray-painted “Cheney 2Ever!” off my truck; and I don’t understand why it says “2Ever” instead of “4Ever.” Learn to spell, you punks.

George W. Bush, Mailman
Route 38 West


Pop-Ups Unbearable
Editor: My computer keeps popping up messages while I’m trying to type on the Internet. I have no idea where they keep coming from, and I’ve tried clicking on them all, because I thought that would make them go away. The pop-ups have done a whole bunch of things since I started clicking on them. First of all, my computer starts a lot slower. It takes over a half hour to start, and when it does start, all my menus are in some kind of language that they speak in other countries. I can’t understand it at all. Second, my Internet has been changed, and the icon that was next to Word is now on the other side of the desktop. Thirdly, I started to get coffee magazines in the mail from your area. It bothers me a lot! I don’t need coffee magazines, I have enough coffee.

George W. Bush, President of the United States
Washington D.C.


Koala Preserve
As an avid animal lover and nature enthusiast, I’m writing in to encourage all residents of the greater Oxglove area to visit the Noah’s Arc Nature Preserve. The Preserve opened last week, and already we have two of nearly all macroscopic species that inhabit this bleak Earth, all arranged in a semicircular layout! The basis for our entire conservationist architecture is Edward Glenburr’s 1956 dissertation, “Biblical Geometric Intersection Points.” And unlike other preserves, our snacks won’t let you down in the texture department! So for all of you who want to see strange, exotic animals, to those of you who simply enjoy ice cream with a cardboard-like texture, Noah’s Arc is the place for you! Except for people who want to see koalas, the preserve doesn’t yet have any koalas.

Amanda Hugenkiz, Brochure Folder
Bottletown

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10.05.2006

Dennis Hastert Arrested For Cannibalism

The families of half a dozen young men found closure today when authorities released x-rays of the Speaker of the House of Representatives’ colon, exposing the half-dissolved skeletons of what may be several missing congressional pages. Some of the pages have been missing since 2002, when Hastert began to gain weight at what statisticians calculate at “a staggering 50 to 60 pounds per week.” Aides of the venerable congressman are expected to be brought up on charges that they willfully ignored key indications that their boss had eaten the minors, such the over-abundance of barbecue sauce and playstation magazines in Hastert’s Washington D.C. office.

Dennis Hastert and his magical Q-Tip
Dennis “Fatty” Hastert, and the Committee for the Enhancement of Obesity

“This is the worst breach of the public’s trust I’ve seen since Tom deLay maliciously desecrated a wishing well last year,” Justice Department attorney and noted immortal Gregor Bantägh told Routers. “This is the kind of thing you’d expect from... I don’t know... maybe... you know, some third world country. Maybe North Korea.”

Ironically, experts believe that Hastert was caught because he stopped eating more pages. “We saw that there were way too many pages at the beginning of the fall 2006 session,” Senator McCain reported in a confidential e-mail strapped to the leg of a carrier pigeon. “So we went back, over the last ten years, and found out that a surprisingly high percentage of pages had fallen off the face of the Earth after being assigned Hastert detail.”

Republican strategists remain optimistic, predicting a 50 seat gain in the midterm elections next month. “But you know what we really need to focus on?” asks Grover Norquist. “Iraq. Let’s get back to Iraq.”

10.03.2006

Assembler the Philosopher

; Runs on execution
History: ld Monarchy ; Loads "Monarchy"
st x ; Stores in "x"
ld Oligarchy
st x
ld Democracy
st x
ld Anarchy
st x
ld Dictatorship
st x

; Jump to label "History"
; if value is nonzero

jnz History

halt ; Ends execution of code

; Data Area
x: dw 0
Monarchy: dw Early Empire
Oligarchy: dw Late Empire
Democracy: dw Early Republic
Anarchy: dw Late Republic
Dictatorship: dw Post-Republic/Pre-Empire