If CMU Majors Gave Out Candy for Halloween

Chemistry majors: Candy melted when the sulfuric acid spilled on it.


Mechies: Bowl is full of mousetraps so children can build mousetrap cars, confused when parents call the cops on them.


ECE majors: Wired bowl to conduct a current, resulting in a nasty shock for anyone who touched the candy. Also surprised when the cops showed up.


Bio majors: Made fake samples of the ebola virus for topical Halloween prank. Super surprised when the CDC showed up.


MatSci: Candy is made from carbon fiber.


CS majors: Forgot it was Halloween, too busy finishing that 251 homework.


Psychology majors: Half the candy is replaced with graham crackers in a double-blind test of the placebo effect.


Physics majors: Knew the kind of candy they were handing out, and thus had no idea about its location.


Math majors: Knew that candy existed, and thus they did not have to buy it.


Drama majors: Didn’t buy any candy–your disappointment is a performance art piece called ‘The Descent of Man’.


Music majors: Can’t hear the doorbell over their own noise.


Business majors: Charged the kids 50 cents per piece of candy in an abject lesson on supply and demand.


Dietrich majors: Couldn’t afford candy.


CFA majors: Hasn’t been seen out of studio for three weeks.


Archies: Candy status unknown, nobody’s made it through the full-size Halloween maze they constructed in their front yard.

If there is a lesson to be found here, kids, it’s this: Go trick-or-treat at Pitt this year.

Texas Wants to Secede, Too

You know, the traditional values

You know, the traditional values

Texas is outraged because it failed to receive an invitation to join a thought-experiment republic named “Reagan.” As one of the prime candidates for secession, they were astonished to hear that they were deemed unfit.


The new country, “Reagan,” would be made up of Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. These states have the industry and access to both the gulf and the Atlantic that would be needed to survive, according to Douglas MacKinnon, a former Reagan aide. Not that he would ever suggest they actually secede, though. This is entirely an academic exercise.


When readme did some quick research, we found that Florida and South Carolina are the number one and number two net beneficiaries of the federal government. Florida receives $143,407 more than it pays, and Georgia nets $89,464 from the federal government. Georgia actually paid $22,897 more than they received, which would help cover the deficit of the other two. Texas also pays more than it receives, for a net cost of $51,207, which it swore would be helpful for those mooching Floridians, if they would just give Texas a chance.


Regardless, the reason behind the secession is not finances. MacKinnon is advocating for a separate country to be formed (theoretically, of course) in order to prevent those filthy liberals from forcing the gay agenda on everyone. Traditional values must be protected from pesky anti-discrimination laws. When someone can’t refuse service to people they disagree with, it’s time to walk out and start your own country. You know, just like the South did in the 1960s when blacks were given the right to vote–wait, sorry, we meant the 1860s. We all know how that went, but MacKinnon says that this time, it would be different.


According to MacKinnon, the War of Northern Aggression was entirely illegal. With the communications technology of today, there is no way the federal government would get away with such an outrageous war. The assembled nations of the world would not allow an authoritarian tyrant overlord like Obama to dictate what the borders of his country are. You know, just like Putin wasn’t allowed to annex Crimea and sow discord in eastern Ukraine, and how everyone stepped in to support the rebels in Syria when they revolted against al-Assad.


Texas is in full support of many of the issues, and likes to consider itself something of a leader on the issue of secession. It even had a White House petition asking for it to secede; unfortunately, nothing came of it. Why wouldn’t MacKinnon want to bring the largest state in mainland USA into the fold of “Reagan”? Well, quite simply, because “there have been a number of incursions into Texas from some of the folks in Mexico” (actual quote). In addition to gays, apparently no Mexicans are allowed near the new nation. They only want true-blue Americans as neighbors.


Texas has decided to one-up the (entirely hypothetical) state of “Reagan” and form its own, entitled “Feeling Chipper with the Gipper.”

readme Experiences True Terror at Haunted House Aimed at Millennial Demographic

The Haunted House / Das Geisterhaus

To celebrate Halloween, readme decided to go through a new haunted house it found, known as the “Haunted House for the 21st Century.” The outside looked nice enough, until a motion-activated light suddenly turned on, illuminating a foreclosure sign. Feeling a growing sense of dread, readme bravely entered.


The first room had a handful of people sitting around watching one of the numerous spinoffs of Paranormal Activity. The fact that people still watch those things was scary enough, but then one by one, the movie-watchers began coughing. readme backed away, but not before hearing one of them gasp, “I’ve got ebola…”


The next room had a couch fort built in one corner, where a group of men and women in khaki and camo clutched guns to their chests. “Don’t come any closer!” they shouted shrilly. “We don’t want to get the ebola! Or the gay! Or the science!” Sidling along the wall, readme made it to the other door with only a warning shot.


Heart pounding, readme was reassured when it saw that the next room wasn’t too scary. Just two old men in suits, staring at each other over a chessboard. It wasn’t until readme noticed the unmoving grandfather clock behind them, with the hands point to just before midnight, which was marked “DOOMSDAY.” The pendulum was marked with the atomic symbol, and each of the chess players had a nametag: one was labeled Uncle Sam, and the other, simply Comrade. readme jumped when its watch beeped the hour, and it moved on with a nuclear sense of dread.


At the next juncture, there was a choice of two doors. To the left was the path for non-whites, and to the right was for whites. readme, being a black-and-white newspaper, was unsure which to choose, until it caught a glimpse of a police officer with a gun waiting in the dark beyond the left path. readme quickly scuttled towards the whites door, not wanting to know what was beyond the other threshold.


After a truly uneventful hallway, readme came into a room full of sand. Figures wearing black robes and waving knives were shouting something about “Death to America,” but what really raised readme’s pulse was the robotic snake that crawled up the side of the sand pile readme was standing on.


Finally, the end of the haunted house approached. However, before exiting, there was an alcove containing stacks of hundred-dollar bills, piles of precious gemstones, and a squalling baby that appeared to be someone’s firstborn. The sign dangling above proclaimed that this treasure trove was the amount you owed, beginning six months after you graduated from the haunted institution.

Next Big Monster

Zombies, vampires… they’ve all been done to death. readme’s here to tell you what’s next.

• Mermaids

• Unicorns

• Invisible Puppies

• Invisible Kittens

• You know what, invisible anything, because does it really matter?

• Mermaids that are also vampires

• Vampiric unicorns that live underwater

• Artificial Intelligence/Demons

• Nazi Vampires

• Nazi Aliens

• Corporations

• Vampiric Corporat- wait, that’s redundant

• Cthulhu

Elon Musk Claims We Are “Summoning the Demon”

We're pretty sure this is how computer science works.

We’re pretty sure this is how computer science works.

Elon Musk, a man whose name sounds like it belongs on the perfume counter of Neiman Marcus, has recently spoken with CNN on feeling threatened by artificial intelligence. Presumably, he’s worried that these intelligences, being unconstrained by the limitations of humanity, will come up with a name even sillier than his.


And, of course, Musk presents his argument with a gravitas worthy of his name: “With artificial intelligence,” he says, “we are summoning the demon.” Not ‘a’ demon, mind you. ‘The’ demon. Apparently there’s only the one or something.


Now with all this fearmongering talk of demon-summoning, readme had assumed that Elon Musk was the name of a recently-unfrozen human popsicle from the 80s still bitter about the whole D&D thing. Turns out he’s actually the founder of SpaceX, the first successful company specializing in space travel, CEO of electric car company Tesla, and basically an all-around innovator of technology. But AI, apparently, is a step too far.


Musk states his caution comes from a belief that human beings will not be able to restrain these AI once ‘summoned’. “In all the stories where the guy with the pentagram and the holy water, it’s like yeah he’s sure he can control the demon,” says Musk. As a practicing Satanist, readme is appalled by Musk’s use of the continuing stereotype that all demons are repelled by pentagrams and holy water. Some are repelled by country music, thank you very much.


And of course Musk’s analogy is completely sound. As we all know, works of fiction perfectly predict real-experiences, which is why we all travel by hovercar just like in The Jetsons and the world was destroyed back in 2012 as per the prognostications of Roland Emmerich’s cinematic masterpiece 2012.


This declaration of doom-and-gloom came as the result of a CNN interview which asked Musk if he believed AI was “even close to being ready for prime time”. readme can only assume the answer to that is ‘no’, but is disappointed Musk did not respond to follow-ups asking if AI would be better suited to daytime cable, or perhaps to one of those nightly infomercial slots.


He did, however, admit to having invested in a number of companies researching AI, so as to ‘keep an eye on them’ and their hyperintelligent spawns of Satan. Which is a great plan, no way giving these companies the money they need to create AI will ever possibly backfire. Good job preventing the robot apocalypse, Musk.


readme should like Mr. Musk to know that it, too, is working on a dangerous artificial intelligence with no goals save the complete annihilation of humanity, and if he would like to keep an eye on us he can send his cash donation to Box 87, Suite 103; Carnegie Mellon University; 5000 Forbes.

Russia Finds Medical Reason to Ban Selfies


Also a possible health risk associated with selfies: Sharks.

Now that even Pope Francis has gotten in on the selfie game, Russia has come out with a compelling reason why young people should avoid them. Not because they’re narcissistic, or inappropriate for heads-of-states to indulge in at funerals, or because no one really wants to see your ugly mug again, but because there is a serious health risk: head lice.

That’s right. Whenever you take selfies with a group of friends (or strangers), you end up cramming your head together with others’ heads. This often ends up in hair-to-hair contact, which is the prime condition for spreading lice.

readme decided it needed a vacation and went to Russia to see what the youth feel about this new recommendation from a regional health agency. “Well, I’m worried about the ebola, so not taking selfies seems like the next step,” said one teen wearing a shower cap and face mask. readme tried to convince them that ebola wasn’t spread through lice, but they ran away, spraying hand sanitizer over their shoulder. Another youth said that “it’s kinda a bummer not to be able to take selfies with friends, but now I can take more of just me!”

Reasons given for the health guideline include the fact that lice are “constant companions of natural and social disasters,” and that “typhus is carried by lice, and in the old days, it carried away a lot of lives. In the Russian-Turkish war (1768-1774), typhus killed more people than wounds received from battle.” Also mentioned is the treatment for lice in medieval Europe: mercury, which causes you to go crazy and die. readme thought that all of these reasons seemed like good ones to avoid lice, and by extension, selfies.

This health agency also suggested that you shouldn’t eat sushi because tapeworms (readme’s new favorite reason: “because tapeworms”), and that crows should be killed because they are just “feathered wolves” that spread bird flu. In addition, the agency has placed bans on imported products from several foreign countries, usually just as the foreign country is planning to do something anti-Russia, like talk to Western Europe. Only a coincidence, of course.
readme has decided that the advice is sound, and from now on, will take no more selfies. Don’t want to catch a case of the lice, which have been such a huge health problem. You can never be too safe.

ISIS Installs WiFi to Recruit American Gamers in Response to Ablow Comments


In recent news, three American girls (aged 15 through 17) have been caught attempting to flee to Syria to join terrorist group ISIS for unknown reasons. Unknown to everyone except Fox News’ Dr. Keith Ablow, that is, who was immediately able to pin down the culprit: video games.


Now, there hasn’t exactly been any evidence that the girls were inspired to become terrorists because of video games. Or even that they play video games at all. But they are teenagers, and you know how them teens get with their Nintendos and their Buzzfeeds.


“How much,” Ablow asks, “have reality and self-determination, after all, been diluted by drowning ourselves and our children in the waters of Facebook and Twitter and Snapchat and YikYak and YouTube.” That’s right, folks: YikYak causes terrorism. You heard it here first.


“Is joining ISIS just going one concrete step further…than playing Wartune, an interactive game in which players enter a dark fantasy world and take on the role of knights or archers who do battle with one another?” Wartune, for reference, is that one game you keep getting pop up ads for when you’re illegally streaming movies on the Internet. You know, the one with all the boobs.


Now, some might argue that there’s slightly more than ‘one concrete step’ between sitting on your couch in your pajamas pushing buttons on a controller and moving to Syria to fight a bloody war for religious extremists. But Ablow notes that the brainwashing effects of ‘The Internets’ are subtle and widespread. No young person these days actually has thoughts and opinions of their own, unless they agree with Keith Ablow, in which case they’re totally legit.


Gamers are ISIS’s target demographic, says Ablow, as their fanaticism is completely unmatched in America today. Some gamers spend thousands of dollars on video games, an amount of money that nobody has ever spent on anything else ever, especially not when they’re a wealthy GOP supporter and it’s election year. Clearly, the gamers have them outmatched. “How hard would it be,” Ablow asks, “to recruit the most avid users of such games…to fight in a faraway land for an army of bloodthirsty lunatics wearing black hoods and sweeping across the desert?”


Well, for starters, first you’d have to get them out of their basements, which as the parents of these avid gamers can tell you is no mean feat. “Frankly, if ISIS can get my son to stop playing on that Xbox, more power to them,” says one parent, whose 34-year-old son, hasn’t left his couch in over ten years. “At least he’ll finally get some exercise.”


readme spoke with a representative of ISIS, asking the terrorist group’s opinion on Ablow’s piece. “It really opened our eyes,” said the representative. “Me and the guys were just thinking, you know what this anti-American organization needs? More Americans.” He added that ISIS was positively giddy at the thought of inviting a bunch of unathletic nerds who think they know how to shoot a gun just because they’ve played Call of Duty a few times into their rigorous military movement. They’ve even starting installing Wifi into their camps to better cater to this desirable demographic.

Fox News Grasps at (Coffee) Straws

The country is awash with rage following the scandal of President Obama’s coffee-toting salute, and righteously so. Experts at respected establishments such as Fox and Friends and The O’Reilly Factor have expressed outrage, both online and on cable, at what was clearly a deliberate attempt to showcase the President’s blatant disregard for the armed forces.

“It’s a Coffeegate,” one talk-show host says, adding this recent issue to a long list of other prestigious problems including Bendgate (courtesy of Apple), Closetgate (courtesy of South Park), and Nipplegate (courtesy of Justin Timberlake).

The scandal, which began when President Obama offered a salute to a pair of Marines outside of Air Force while bearing a coffee cup in the same hand, has quickly gone international. “It’s disgusting,” said British PM David Cameron. “I mean, really. Coffee? Couldn’t the man have had some decency and held up a nice Darjeeling?”

National leaders from every corner of the globe have jumped in to condemn Obama’s choice of beverage. “What that man needs is a good beer,” said German chancellor Angela Merkel. “None of that watery swill that you Americans call alcohol.”

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper violently disagreed. “That’d be even more disrespectful,” he said in a press release. “Get him some maple syrup – the good kind. Quality, home-maker’s syrup. And if I hear one mention of this ‘Aunt Jemima’ crap, you can kiss our funding of the NHL goodbye.”

The commissioner of the National Hockey League, when contacted for comment, refused to believe that his sport was subsidized by Canadian viewers alone, and refused to answer subsequent phone calls.

Prominent historians have agreed with the world’s condemnation of Coffeegate, calling the whole thing ‘a gateway to insanity’. “Not because of the choice of drink, per se,” says one professor at Carnegie Mellon, wishing to stay anonymous for fear of hipster attack, “but because anyone with half a brain knows that he probably wasn’t even drinking a latte. You ever had a real, honest-to-God Italian latte? Those things are great for when you need to stay up grading terrible essays.”

When asked about the disrespect of the salute itself, the professor shrugged and said, “Yeah, I’d say it’s a pretty rough choice. Sure, it might be a non-obligatory executive ritual popularized in the seventies against the wishes of the Pentagon, but come on – saluting with a coffee cup in hand? That’s just so damn tacky.

“And come on,” he added. “You think the President cares at all about quality coffee? I’ll bet that shit was Starbucks.”

What to Do When People Ask, “So, What Do You Do with That Major?”

  • “I ask other people what they do with theirs.”
  • “Math. Lots of math.”
  • “Art. It’s in the name.”
  • “Ritual summoning. Lots of ritual summoning.”
  • “I predict the future with 60% accuracy.”
  • “I build bridges, then burn them. Civil Engineering/Chemical Engineering is tough.”
  • “Kick your ass with it.”
  • “More than you do with yours.”
  • “I work at Starbucks.”
  • “Sink $50,000 into CMU every year.”
  • Nothing. Just cry.
  • “What do you think I do with it?”
  • “Write for readme.”
  • “Write for the Tartan.”
  • “Attend college fairs where I get asked what I do with my major.”
  • Organize college fairs where I ask students what they do with their major.”
  • “Continue to stay active in CMU student orgs even though I should have moved on a long time ago.”
  • “Hire you.”