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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.

(Read more…)

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 an­tipope, 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 Great Schism, 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.