CMU-themed New Year’s Resolutions (That You’ll Give up on by February)

Remember to make New Year’s resolutions next year

Attend all of your lecture classes

Invent time travel, use it to get all your resolutions from last year done

Invent time travel, use it to get all your 251 homework from last year done

Join readme (*cough* *cough*)

Punch a goat so hard it explodes (not a CMU-themed resolution, per se, more of a general life goal)

Lose five pounds (so you can fit in your buggy)

Quit drinking (Red Bull)

Cut back on the Vocelli’s

Try leaving a cluster before 3am once or twice in the year

Figure out why the first floor of Doherty doesn’t connect to Wean

Figure out why we have Wean

and finally: Graduate

Seriously, Science. Stop.

Scientists have recently come forward saying there may be more planets beyond Neptune in our solar system, with orbits too distant to be observed by conventional means but still orbiting around our sun. They came to this conclusion after analysis of what they refer to as “extreme trans-Neptunian objects” (or “ETNOs”), two of which had orbits that seemed more similar to those of planets than anything else.

 

If science will permit readme to don its “extreme trans-facial intelligence modifiers” (or “smart-person glasses”) for a moment, readme would like to say one thing: bullshit.

 

Now, readme knows what you’re thinking. A ninth, even tenth planet in the solar system? That sounds pretty cool. Why aren’t you excited to find out there might be more to our solar system than we previously imagined, readme? Let readme tell you why: readme is old, kids. It’s, like, twenty now. That’s positively ancient. You know readme was alive when VHS was a thing? And phones with actual buttons? readme could tell you stories, kid. Back in its day, we had to do our twitter hashtags by hand. Uphill. Both ways.


But the great thing about that you never have to be happy about change, ever. It’s like a rule or something. So as a wizened old twenty-year-old, let readme tell you something, science: back in readme’s day, we had a ninth planet. We called it Pluto. And you scientist took it away. So fuck you, scientists. readme doesn’t care how “extreme” your trans-Neptunian objects are, if they’re not Pluto you can go stick it where the sun don’t shine (on the far pole of Uranus, which due to its 98-degree axial tilt leaves each hemisphere facing away from the sun for periods of 42 years at a time).

Activities Fair Guide

activities fair

So, brave soul, you have decided to venture forth to the event known as “The Activities Fair.” And, for some odd reason, you have decided to wear an impractical horned helmet. Despite your choice of headgear, we believe we can give you the rundown on what’s what.

  1. The Quidditch Team may be present. Watch for Bludgers.
  2. The robo-snake seems to have lost control. I’m sure the Robotics Club will handle it.
  3. Weigand doesn’t seem like an ideal launchpad, but it appears the Rocket Club disagrees.
  4. Camelot. It’s only a model.
  5. The Ballroom Dance Club would be happy to gain a new member, although you may have to change out of your helmet and put on your dancing shoes.
  6. Although this gentleman may look like he’s here for ballroom dancing, don’t be fooled. The KGB has spies everywhere.
  7. The snitch. We don’t know where it is, but if you see it, let the quidditch team know.
  8. readme, your favorite satire news organization.

Yelling Into the Void

The hardships of being a dapper bear

The hardships of being a dapper bear

Oh. Hello, readers. I suppose you’ve picked up one of these readmes being handed out by one of the charming fellows in the bear hats at the Activities Fair. That or you’ve mugged one of the aforementioned fellows and are now reading through your stolen loot. Which is somewhat in bad form, really, but I cannot fault your taste in newsletters.

 

I’m sad to say you’ve caught me at a bad time. I suppose I should be excited this time of year, what with all the excitement and the new blood, but–it gets tiring, sometimes. I feel like we’ve done all we can to spread the wonderful word about readme. We’ve tried dapper bears. We’ve tried hipster music. We’ve tried threats of communism. And yet every year we keep having to roll out the same old song and dance to get new members. What are we doing wrong, dear readers?

 

Are we simply too awesome to you to consider joining our organization? Are we too charming and jovial? Do you fear that, if you were to step into our meeting room, you would burst into flames for clearly no mortal is able to withstand the glorious sight of a bear in a top hat and monocle? If so, then you need not be alarmed; at worst I will only eat you. And even that doesn’t happen all that often.

 

But, really, I assure you that joining readme would be jolly good fun. We have our own office, which we share with the remainder of the good chaps on the Activities Board (I wasn’t going to mention that, but they’ve informed me it’s good for this thing they call ‘branding’). The office is absolutely smashing, which I mean in both in the sense that it is enjoyable and pleasant, and in the sense that I smash things in it from time to time. I cannot help it; I have these great bear paws and occasionally they snag on things.

 

Furthermore, we have scintillating conversation in which we discuss current events and then compare them to fictional events. I am told this is called a ‘reference’, and it is quite popular with the kids these days. However, we then use these references to compile readmes, which we then distribute to you, dear reader, and I have no doubt if you’ve read this far that you appreciate the effort with which you do so. So why not take a little of the burden off our shoulders? Visit our humble meeting spaces. Observe the environment. And, if you should feel so inclined, join us in our endeavor to make the CMU campus a sillier and more lighthearted place, one dapper bear at a time.


Those interested should contact our editor-in-chef at mbreitfe@andrew.cmu.edu for more information, and be on the lookout for upcoming editions. Thank you.

Science Destroys Dreams, Again

The hopes and dreams of comic-book aficionados everywhere were crushed by a recent paper documenting an investigative study on a meteorite that landed in California three years ago. Scientist were hoping to find signs of prebiotic organisms in the meteorite, but found that, rather than inadvertently releasing an alien virus that triggers mutant superpowers in all those it infects, we were the ones infecting the meteorite.

 

It turns out that “meteorites can be contaminated by Earth-based organics very quickly”, with bacteria and other microscopic organisms taking no time in overwhelming the native extraterrestrial organics by sheer numbers. This confirms what astrobiologists have always feared: there is no conceivable way for scientists to gain space-based superpowers.

 

“The whole reason I became a scientist was so I could get my hands on a radioactive meteorite and develop superpowers due to an inexplicable flaw in the lead shielding that lets the thing bathe me in its mysterious cosmic rays,” says one disgruntled physicist. “And now it turns out the shielding was there to protect the meteorite from exposure to me?”

 

“Yeah, the whole thing was a real bummer,” says Scott Sandford, co-author of the original paper, in regards to his team’s discovery. “I was a perfect candidate to gain accidental superpowers. I even had the alliterative name and everything.”

 

This finding overturns everything previously believed by fiction-based science, such as the healing powers of CPR and what is known in the scientific community as the Johnny 5 effect, whereby lightning causes machinery to spontaneously gain sentience. In particular, superhero origin stories have suddenly come under new scrutiny. The findings by Sandford et. al have led many in the scientific community to conclude that the Green Lantern’s power ring really came from a cereal box, that Peter Parker was most likely left unaltered by his radioactive spider bite while the spider gained all the proportionate strength of a human, and that Superman was probably just some neighboring farm baby who wandered into the Kryptonian rocket when the Kents weren’t looking.

 

Despite the setbacks caused by his paper, Sandford remains optimistic that studies of this kind will be a fruitful area of research in the detection of possible origin stories. Sandford finishes by saying that in studying artifacts from outer space, scientists “must always be vigilantes–vigilant. That’s what I meant to say. Vigilant. But also fight crime in your spare time.”