Denver, Colo.---Despite blustery snow and frigid temperatures, an influx of humanity has sent Colorado's population soaring into the upper stratosphere during the first week of 2014.
Local population estimates for the mountainous, equiangular state, which normally hover about the five million mark, have recently ranged from the billions of trillions to close to infinity, with no end in sight. The reasons for the sudden increase are still extremely hazy, but in the words of one resident, “It's a message from the universe, and we'd better listen.”
Washington, D.C.---Citing irreconcilable differences, the Federal government of the nation formerly known as the United States of America announced that it was closing down operations, effective Tuesday at 12:01 A.M. EDT. Its assets shall henceforward be managed by its parent company, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, pending the outcome of debt resolution later in the month.
The United States is unique among Western-style democracies for the ability of its government to shut itself down when unneeded, such as during times of impending civilizational collapse. When asked to comment on the situation, a White House spokeswoman was quoted as saying, “Please try your call again, or ask your operator for assistance.”
Moscow—Disappointment was expressed by the Russian capital today, after United States President Obama canceled his September meeting with its own presidential counterpart. This action follows the similar disappointment, felt and duly expressed by Obama, resulting from Moscow's recent granting of temporary asylum to the most wanted object of the U.S., Edward Snowden.
A dispirited Kremlin building, its normally bright exterior taking on a sulky gray cast at being snubbed, stood forlorn as both citizens and visitors instinctively gave it plenty of room in passing. A nearby tour guide attempted to cheer his English-speaking flock by making the quip "Two disappointments do not make an appointment," but the subdued laughter ended a few seconds later as a sudden rain shower drenched the group.
The sun shone upon the Swedish capital of Stockholm, meanwhile, as it was announced that President Obama will pay a visit to that country in place of the canceled Moscow trip. Delighted and festive preparations were already in progress, and it is anticipated that a large gift of information is being readied for the guest and his associates.
London---Doctors at St. Mary’s Hospital report that a successful breeding in captivity of Homo regalis britannicus has occurred, resulting in a single viable male offspring. Observers and enthusiasts of the species are hopeful that additional mating products will arise from the same pairing, both individuals of which have the desired youth and physical traits considered important for a healthy and aesthetically pleasing strain.
H. regalis once dominated the inhabited world, but their numbers have dwindled due to loss of habitat and lack of genetic variation. Fearing eventual extinction, royal advisors and other breeding experts recently began a series of social and political experiments, designed to entice some H. regalis individuals into mating with other hominid species including H. sapiens. Careful husbandry is required in order to avoid excessive hybridization, leading to over-robustness and anarchic traits. The ideal result will be the restoration of a thriving, yet controllable, H. regalis population that can be used in future trial off-planet colonization efforts.
Critics of the continued maintenance of living H. regalis members insist that they are merely expensive pets, and too much of a drain on the economies of nations who keep them. Proponents argue that the species actually helps such countries because of the tourism and merchandising income generated by its mere existence. Visitors pump large amounts of money into the owner nations’ economies in order to view living and breeding habitats of H. regalis, even at a distance and when no individuals can be spotted in the wild. Merchandising especially benefits H. regalis owner nations who maintain at least moderately friendly ties with former colonies, who are the largest consumers of species-themed memorabilia.
Lansing, Mich.—The city of Detroit filed for Chapter 9 protection Thursday. At an estimated market capitalization of $150 billion, it becomes the largest publicly-owned municipal entity to declare bankruptcy in United States history.
Once the industrial gemstone of the American midwest, Detroit has fallen on extremely hard times since the 2009 restructuring of its parent company, General Motors. It now stands largely vacant.
In response to the filing, Detroit has been temporarily removed from the Dow Jones Municipal Average and replaced by Portland, Oregon. It will continue to trade over-the-counter under the symbol XXXDM.
Sheremetyevo Transit Zone—A wraithlike being of pasty resemblance to former C.I.A. analyst Edward Snowden appeared briefly Friday before a skeptical gathering of human rights activists, most of whom had long abandoned belief in the 30 year-old traitor’s existence.
“Самотестирование завершено успешно,” the Snowdenesque presence assured attendees. “Я жду входа.” After expressing a desire for political asylum, preferably in a location reachable by some means of travel, it proceeded to wax lyrical in praise of host country Russia’s principled stand on human rights, at which point it was hastily turned off.
Edward Snowden is wanted by the United States on a variety of vague charges. His half-immigrated presence remains trapped in metapolitical limbo within a narrow region of Sheremetyevo International Airport, under the watchful eye of Russia’s Federal Security Service.
Friday’s hastily-arranged meeting commenced at 5 p.m. Sheremetyevo Transit Area Time and lasted approximately 43 minutes. Members of the press and news media were barred from the event, thus ensuring it worldwide attention.
Undisclosed Location---The Encyclopedia Blipvertica News Team has conducted an exclusive interview with an unnamed source in the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. This source has agreed to give us some of the real story behind the recent drama surrounding Edward Snowden.
EB: Thanks for meeting with us. There has been a lot of confusing news out there over the Snowden case, and we're happy that you've chosen EB to help clear things up.
US: No problem. Now that things are winding down, we can be more open about what our man was doing out there.
Massachusetts---Unseasonably mild weather and an incontinence of civic urge combined to propel voters by the dozens to polling places across Massachusetts for Tuesday's special Senate election primary. The Democratic race pitted the extremely left-leaning Rep. Edward J. Markey against the moderately extremely left-leaning Rep. Stephen F. Lynch. A handful of Republicans also competed for the opportunity to enjoy a humiliating defeat in the June 25 general contest.
Massachusetts special elections are a triennial event sponsored by the State Elections Division to raise awareness for candidates of below-average electability.
At 8:03 p.m. edt, Rep. Markey was officially declared the Democratic nominee with a commanding lead of 4,239 votes to Lynch's 2,711 (14% of precincts reporting). He will face Marathon survivor and former Navy SEAL Gabriel E. Gomez, who amassed an impressive 6,042 Republican votes (87% reporting).
Port Canaveral, Florida---Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos announced Wednesday that his underwater expedition had successfully recovered two Saturn V first-stage engines from the ocean floor 360 miles off the Florida coast. If authentic, the artifacts pose credible evidence of manned space exploration conducted by the United States.
The Saturn V is believed to have been the most powerful rocket ever built. Historical manuscripts discovered at the ruins of the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas reveal an imposing assemblage of perhaps as many as five Rocketdyne F-1 engines comprising its first stage, each engine providing 750 tons of thrust at sea level.
Vatican City---Pope Benedict ⅩⅥ⁻ tweeted an oblique farewell to his 1,622,248 followers today and exited the Papal Palace amid cheers and celebration. His resignation officially takes effect at 8 p.m. Vatican Time (2 p.m. Eastern/1 p.m. Central).
The pope's decision to retire in this fashion is extremely irregular and carries significant theological and safety concerns. There is no known procedure for reversing the papal consecration process, which binds heavenly force within the temporal flesh of the host. The optimal method of resignation by a pope therefore is death, whereupon his mortal remains are interred within a lead-shielded coffin as a precaution against the effects of catholytic decomposition. The pre-death scenario is decidedly less favorable, and requires the outgoing pontiff, or , to maintain a physical distance of at least 50 meters (164 feet) or risk annihilating with his successor. This notably occurred in 1294 when Celestine Ⅴ⁻ and Boniface Ⅷ⁺ inadvertently collided. The ecclesiovacuum produced by the encounter, called the , lasted for two centuries and necessitated the temporary relocation of the papal residence to the city of Avignon, France.
United Nations---Stern rebukes worldwide followed North Korea's latest nuclear test on Tuesday. The United Nations, in particular, has conveyed a disappointed tone and frowning demeanor. It warns that even sharper criticisms may follow any further provocations.
This is the third known nuclear test by the charter Axis of Evil member. Past expressions of disapproval by other countries had been hoped to prevent further tests, but to no avail as the world has now seen. Further sanctions, expressions of unhappiness, and outright social cuts direct may next be attempted. It is hoped that the increased intensity of these will have some impact.
Bryan, Ohio---Ohio Art Company announced Saturday that Etch A Sketch inventor André Cassagnes has passed due to undisclosed circumstances. He was 86.
The Etch A Sketch was an early handheld tablet device, and the first to achieve significant market share. It was fully portable and had a 7-in. × 5-in. screen with a resolution of approximately 85 lines per inch. Although criticized for its closed architecture, monochrome display, and frequent data loss, it nevertheless became extremely popular due to its affordability and ease of use.
First unveiled by Cassagnes in 1959 under the name L'Ecran Magique, the design was sold to Ohio Art for $25,000, and went on to become the vanguard of a burgeoning, billion-dollar consumer media tablet industry. Fifty years later, it is still being produced at the company's Bryan, Ohio factory in Shenzhen. In March 2012, Mitt Romney's presidential campaign used the iconic device as its symbol of progress and forward-thinking ingenuity.
André is survived by his wife Renée and his three children, Sophie, Patrick, and Jean Claude.
Washington, D.C.---In an uncharacteristically terse fifty-minute speech interrupted only by applause and occasional points of order, Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) bade farewell Wednesday to the legislative body in which he has served since 1985. He is to be sworn in Friday to replace former Senate colleague Hillary Rodham Clinton as the nation's secretary of state.
Kerry leaves behind a highly successful career in the U.S. Senate, whose permissive, deliberative environment and lack of time constraints were well-suited to his talent for droning on interminably. His hours-long monologues, during which he might switch positions several times before ever arriving at a point, overwhelmed adversaries and dominated debates at the expense of his shorter-winded peers. In a rare display of bipartisan unity, the Senate approved Kerry's nomination by a 94-3 vote.
The secretary of state is the highest-ranking Cabinet officer, primarily responsible for immigration policy, accepting the president's resignation, and maintaining diplomatic relations between the United States and those countries with which it is not currently at war.
Tehran, Iran---Iran's official news agency, IRNA, reported today that the Islamic republic has recovered alive a rhesus macaque which it had sent into Earth's lower ionosphere Monday.
The docile, 17 in. tall, 14 lb. mainly herbivorous Macacus rhesus villosus becomes the highest-order mammal yet to have survived having been launched into space by the charter Axis of Evil nation. During its twenty minute voyage aboard the rocket-propelled capsule Pishgam, the creature reportedly achieved an altitude of 75 miles, briefly locating it just within the lowest reaches of an extremely loose definition of space.
Washington, D.C.---The U.S. Postal Service today raised the cost of a first class stamp from 45 to 46 cents.
The increase, which affects more than two million stamp collectors in the United States, was approved by the Postal Regulatory Commission in November amid grave concerns about the agency's future solvency.
Once a cabinet-level department of enormous political clout, the Postal Service is an independent bureau required by statute to be financially self-sufficient. Although technically a part of the federal government, it receives no public funding except for a $15 billion loan, and relies on sales of stamps and other souvenirs as its primary source of revenue.
Washington, D.C.---Gunshots rang out in the nation's capital at 11:52 this morning, marking the second term of office for President Barack H. Obama.
Heading into the presidential election postseason, the Romney Corporation faced two serious obstacles. The first was an incumbent president only faintly despised within his own party. The second was a credibility gap among conservative voters who feared that beneath the Republican nominee's calm and rational exterior lay an equally calm and rational interior.
But by Monday, September 17, a third and far more perilous obstacle had revealed itself in the form of an excruciating 51-minute video of bland jokes, ponderous digressions, and stilted banter, against a soul-crushing backdrop of seat-squirming dullitude.
It has been reported elsewhere that several highly offensive and politically self-damaging remarks from Romney were also to be heard in the film, but this reviewer did not make it that far. Doubtless these shall be analyzed to the point of inanity in the popular press, but to no great purpose. There exists only one truly unforgivable sin in American politics: the cardinal sin of boredom.