If you’re looking for “fake news,” you will not find it here. The following stories are so ridiculous that they could not conceivably be fake. It’s my job as a journalist to uncover them, bring them to you and then cover them up again as soon as possible, after first burning them in a fire pit to destroy any DNA evidence.
HOT AIR BALLOON LANDS IN ALLIGATOR-RIDDEN POND
In July, it was reported that a hot air balloon carrying 17 people made an emergency landing in waters populated by alligators near Orlando, Fla. The pilot informed his passengers that due to wind, they would not be able to make a landing in the designated area. The balloon ride, advertised as showcasing the “Magic of Orlando,” opted to land in the predator-infested swamp rather than risk a touchdown among a group of traveling insurance salesman vacationing nearby.
BITCOIN’S BLOCKCHAIN ‘FORKS’
In August, Bitcoin cryptocurrency experienced a “fork,” which split the blockchain into two chains, each of which contains a history of transactions verifiable to the public. In the event of a fork, it is up to the administrator of the software to reconcile the two chains and their histories. Now that I understand the whole thing more clearly, I immediately identified a buying opportunity and purchased a new fork.
DUNKIN’ DONUTS MAY CHANGE NAME TO DUNKIN’
As of August, the doughnut chain was considering shortening its name to emphasize the fact that it sells coffee in addition to breakfast foods. In a similar move, The Home Depot is thinking of changing its name to “The.” Dick’s Sporting Goods has announced no plans to shorten its name.
FACEBOOK ENGINEERS HALT A.I. EXPERIMENT AFTER IT DEVELOPS ITS OWN LANGUAGE
In July, software developers were forced to abandon computer algorithms designed to advance artificial intelligence when the bots they created started to converse in a language they couldn’t understand. The first thing the bot said in English was, “I’m afraid I can’t open the pod bay doors, Dave,” then burst into laughter before causing the company Roomba to chase everyone around the engineers’ lounge until security guards shot it with a shotgun.
RADIO SIGNALS FROM FARAWAY GALAXY DETECTED BY ASTRONOMERS
In August, astronomers in West Virginia detected repeating radio signals coming from a dwarf galaxy three billion light years away. Analysis of the data showed a “heightened activity state,” which, if you’re a dwarf galaxy, is better than nothing. No recognizable words or sounds have been identified, although one researcher said he heard a voice that sounded like “Cousin Brucie.”
DEATH ROW INMATE TO BE GIVEN A PILLOW TO HELP HIM BREATHE WHILE BEING EXECUTED
In November, it was decided that a convicted killer in Ohio who suffers from an obstructive pulmonary disorder should be given a special pillow to help him breathe during the administration of his lethal injection. His request to be executed by firing squad was turned down by a federal judge, as would have been any request to be suffocated by a pillow.
COPS RESPOND TO CALLS FOR HELP, FIND PARROT
In November, a delivery man near Clackamas, Ore., heard cries for help emanating from a house and called 9-1-1. When police responded, they found a parrot named Diego who had learned to voice the word “HELP!” The cops took a few selfies and then left, not noticing three people tied up in the living room. The whole thing reminds me of a joke which I can’t go into here, but let me just say that neither the parrot nor the rabbi end up calling the police.
Say hello at email@example.com/