Third-World Catastrophes Ruin Spring Break

Thatcher Montgomery, Privilege Expert

To find out where college students were heading for spring break, readme hit the ground to get the word on the streets. What it found, however, was disheartening. There just weren’t any more good locations for vacations!

“I was thinking of going somewhere south, like maybe Mexico, or Cancún. Those are two different places, right?” readme eyed the student, wondering if there were any geography requirements in whatever college they were in.

“Anyway, I heard that there’s some weird virus going on down there, and that you can catch it from mosquito bites. That made me hesitant, but then I heard that it’s sexually transmitted, too! You can take precautions to avoid getting bitten by mosquitos, but when you’re blackout drunk on an off-shore stop during your cruise, sometimes sexually transmitted diseases just happen.”

readme pointed out that there were precautions to be taken against STDs, too, but the student had already moved on. The Zika virus was a large cause of concern for would-be spring break travelers, even though not everyone knew what it was called. Or what its effects were. Or anything about it at all, really.

“The zebra virus totally cancelled my plans to travel down to some third world country and party for a week! I don’t want any lasting consequences from my bacchanalian escapades. Especially if it means my head shrinks.”

As for other vacation locales, some students had been hoping to hit the beaches in Fiji, but Cyclone Winston hit them first. “I would still go to like, help give the economy a bump with my tourism and all, but I don’t really want to have to deal with sobbing natives and blown-over beach chairs.”

Australia was their second choice, but after hearing that the land down under didn’t even want a cute little baby, they decided their chances of getting in were slim.

One student was thinking of heading to India to visit a friend, but protests and water shortages put an end to that. Protests about what? Why water shortages? The student didn’t know, just that they would rather protest the fun shortage during spring break.

Finally, readme found some people who had settled on spring break plans. “We’re going to Syria, because it’s so cheap. It sounds like everyone’s moving out and they’re doing some remodeling, but we don’t mind a little dust. You wouldn’t believe how much they want us to come join them, the brochures they put out make it look great!”

Spring Break to be Spent Exploring Pittsburgh, or So Student Thinks

Thatcher Montgomery, Wasted Time Correspondent

Sophomore human-human interaction major Margie Webster doesn’t have big plans for spring break, but that isn’t holding her back. With a week off from classes, she’s looking forward to finally getting off campus and seeing what Pittsburgh has to offer.

“I spent spring break last year at a friend’s beach house in Florida, and that was a lot of fun. This year, though, I’m going to save some money and just stay here in Pittsburgh. I’m sure there will be something to do.”

Despite her unwavering optimism, Webster will spend each day of spring break sleeping in, eating cereal while watching Netflix, realizing it’s already 3pm and by the time she got anywhere it would already be closed, and then staying up late with more cereal and Netflix to repeat the process again.

Webster has ventured away from the campus bubble campus a handful of times, usually taking a bus directly to and from her destination. This spring break, though, she’s planning on doing some exploration, maybe walking around a little.

“I definitely want to go to the North Side, and see the Andy Warhol Museum, the Mattress Factory, the Children’s Museum, and the National Aviary. Oh, and the Science Center. Maybe I’ll take two days for up there, there’s just so much stuff!”

Unfortunately, Webster will never make it past Entropy for restocking her cereal supply.

“I haven’t even been to the Carnegie Museum of Art or the Natural History Museum, and they’re just down the road! Silly me. I’m going to make sure to hit those up, and then maybe wander around the Nationality Rooms in the Cathedral of Learning.”

When classes stop and spring break starts, Webster will feel a great weight lifted, and at the same time she’ll feel the cumulative effects of stress and less-than-ideal sleep she’s been getting the past two months. Instinct will kick in and demand that she sleep 12 hours a day to make up for it, and prepare herself for the months to come.

“Some of the restaurants downtown seem nice, too. If I can find someone to go with, that is.”

As of press time, Webster was daydreaming about walking up and down Walnut Street in Shadyside, but in reality she’ll just be working on that semester-long project she hasn’t started yet.


Student Plans to Break Every Spring in Sight


Spencer Early, Elastic Metal Expert

Still confused about this upcoming “spring break”, freshman Charlie Thumpwig decided to do as he was told rather than ask the question, “What is spring break all about?” He figured there must be at least a few dozen springs in each of the approximately 230 robots on campus. Would 9 days really be enough time to break all of those springs? Thumpwig pondered.

Planning to carefully disassemble each robot, remove and break every spring, and then reassemble each machine, Thumpwig pored through the floorplans of every campus building, drawing a detailed map. Undercover readme reporters were able to get an up-close, exclusive view of Thumpwig’s plans, until they happened to sneeze and Thumpwig ordered them to “get out of my dorm room!”

It looked as though his route would spend the most time in Gates and Newell-Simon, breaking the springs in robots ranging from Tank, the roboceptionst, to Baxter, the multi-purpose factory robot. If Cobot happened by, Thumpwig would break its springs as well. A slight detour would be made to the University Center, where the Robotics Club is. Also, because Thumpwig is a real go-getter and always goes above and beyond the minimum expectations, he was hoping to have time to desolder every connection of RoboBuggy while he was down there.

Thumpwig also realized that it wasn’t just robots that had springs to break: any trampolines on campus were fair game, as well as staplers, faculty kids’ pogo sticks, chip clips, and all clicky ballpoint pens. He wasn’t sure if the dorm mattresses had springs or were just thick padding, but by golly he was going to rip one open to find out. No spring would be safe from Charlie Thumpwig. Not during spring break.

What Should CMU Spend the Marvell Settlement Money On?

• Defending all of our other patents

• Free tuition

• Coke parties

• Moving campus somewhere warm

• Kanye’s debt

• Scott Hall 2

• Plugging all the holes in Wean

• Replace Culinart with real food

• Increase diversity scholarships (not a joke)

• Build an actual walkway to the sky

• Hire Lobster Boy full time

• No seriously, increase diversity scholarships

• Create 3 Bill Dietrich clones to raise more quarters of a billion dollars for the University

• Unearth the Cut, rebuild the bridge

• Finally clean that damn fence

• Buy Marvel Studios

• Build a statue of Captain Marvel

• Build a statue of Captain CMU

Rate of Return on Dark Money Hits 6-Year Low

Look at how sad this man is. LOOK HOW SAD.

Mark Saporta, Senseless Inanity 2016 Election Correspondent

The Bureau of Campaign Finance Analysis (BCFA) has just released grim news concerning the state of the campaign donation market. According to its latest report, following Jeb Bush’s momentous but altogether unsurprising announcement that he was exiting the 2016 Republican primary, the rate of return on massive anonymous political donations is lower now than at any point since the Citizens United decision in 2010.

Despite hundreds of unreasonably wealthy (yet surprisingly shortsighted) donors dumping $150 million into the coffers of Bush’s Right To Rise PAC, his campaign began sputtering as early as last August and he was buried in all three early primary states. In fact, according to the report, the more than $33 million he spent in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina translated into only 92,000 votes total. This is in marked contrast to the 2012 Republican primary, in which Mitt “Self-Deportation” Romney steamrolled Santorum, Gingrich et. al. with a significantly smaller hoard of money.

Also contributing to the decline in returns on dark money is Hillary Clinton’s currently middling performance against Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary. Despite having the support of the entire Democratic donor class, Clinton has gone 1-1-1 in the three primaries held thus far and looks to be due for an arduous battle against an old, white, grumpy socialist guy who was until recently a longer shot than your average ICBM.

Not only have the returns on Super PAC contributions fallen considerably from their peak in 2012, but returns on other forms of campaign contributions have skyrocketed. GOP frontrunner and (honestly, it’s not even worth registering disgust at this point. If America really wants a xenophobic insult comic whose policy proposals are so vague as to essentially not exist as its Republican nominee, who am I to stand in its way) Donald Trump has risen to his commanding position at the top of the field almost exclusively through self-funding, and Sanders is combating the Clinton juggernaut semi-successfully on millions of donations of $20 or less.

This sudden reversal has made the 2016 presidential election a poor climate for large political investors, and the BCFA is advising plutocrats interested in the market to invest in statewide races instead. That way, instead of making no difference whatsoever, their sums will neutralize the effects of the other party’s campaign donations, which is much more useful.

At press time, if any more billionaires want to stimulate the US economy by throwing their hard-earned cash at fruitless candidates, they can feel free.

PSA: Ditch Passwords, Use Dvorak


Spencer Early, Dvorak User

A new study conducted by the Information Security Office determined that, while helpful in keeping out malicious identity thieves, an average of 0.112 percent of time on a computer is spent entering passwords. To combat this formidable time-waster, a team of security experts devised a cracker-proof alternative, the Dvorak keyboard layout. CMU Chief of Information Security August Dvorak says “[students] have a lot on their minds, so they shouldn’t be wasting 15 seconds each day entering passwords and trying to remember them. This change will make things much easier.” Especially since “no one would ever use it,” all would-be identity thieves will be utterly confused by the gibberish output from the esoteric keyboard layout. Making the switch to Dvorak will be simple, as most operating systems support Dvorak as an ANSI standard.

With the proposed security initiative, students should be able to leave their laptops unattended on the third floor of Gates without fear of some passerby making an unauthorized facebook post about “I’m a slug”—which would instead type “C-m a ongi”, which is precisely the sound a duck makes gargling saltwater. The potential thief would then immediately call the Marine Animal Rescue to administer proper medical help to the duck to stop the primitive salt gargling.

ECE major Sydney Elliott claims the change will be a roaring success for him. “This whole password business is especially bad when I mistype my password. Not only do I waste time and have to re-enter my credentials, but also, I nervously look over my shoulder in fear someone accusing me of hacking someone’s account.”

However, not everyone is pleased with this new initiative. Die-hard qwerty user Christopher Sholes contends that “The uprising of Dvorak is destroying American values such as finger gymnastics, carpal tunnel, and reduced typing speeds. We must act now to fight the keyboard layout change.” At press time, Sholes was seen conducting research that could expose security holes in substituting passwords with arcane keyboard layouts.

Wikileaks Releases Confidential Valentines

Apratim Vidyarthi, Stolen Valentines Correspondent

Wikileaks recently announced its most troubling cache of files since the Snowden affair, revealing the inner thinkings and workings of presidential candidates. As news goes, these releases were of primary interest to TMZ and E! News, though CNN did run 24 continuous hours of news coverage in a break from their search for MH-370.

Hillary Clinton went for the classic message, with a card that said “Roses are red, violets are blue, campaign for me, because you owe me for 20 years of suffering for you.” In a sign of political shrewdness, Clinton released this message along with her latest batch of emails, fearing that hiding her Valentine’s day message would lead to another 12-hour hearing in Washington DC. A Clinton campaign member, who wishes to retain her anonymity, stated that they hope that this romantic gesture shows that Hillary Clinton has feelings, engages in feelings, and hopefully this will improve her standing amongst younger voters who don’t believe Clinton has feelings.

Bernie Sanders reverted to his stump speech in his message to his wife: “99% of my love is devoted to 1 person: you. Under my Presidency, everyone will get a chance at love. Secretary Clinton has taken donations from Cupid. She will not take on big love.” Sanders is reportedly a big romantic, having taken his wife to the most beautiful of all places for their honeymoon in the 60’s—the USSR.

Marco Rubio gave his wife a card that simply stated “Let’s dispel once and for all with this fiction that Barack Obama doesn’t know what he’s doing. He knows exactly what he’s doing.” This came as no surprise to scientists, who have begun to investigate whether Senator Rubio is natural or manmade. Constitutional scholars have yet to debate on whether a robot could be eligible for the highest office of the nation.

However, constitutional scholars taking Senator Cruz to court over his citizenship were not surprised by Cruz’s message to his wife. Cruz actually apologized to his wife, saying “I am sorry we’re not together this Valentine’s day. I love you as much as I love America, which by the way is my home country. I love you more than I love machine gun-cooked bacon, and more than Obama loves socialism.” Scientists referred to Cruz’s usage of the word ‘sorry’ as further evidence that Cruz truly is Canadian, and is simply putting up his repugnant facade to gain the trust of (American) voters.

Donald Trump’s Valentine’s day message was classy as himself, writing to his wife that “no wall can get between us. I love you more than I love myself. Also, I would date my daughter.” Analysts expressed surprise not only at the fact that Trump was romantic, but also at the idea that someone is still married to Mr. Trump.

Jeb? Bush, whose candidacy has evolved from Jeb! to Jeb? to Jeb… had a desperate message for his wife, whom he confused as a South Carolina voter: “I hope you’ll vote for me!”

Finally, Wikileaks did not release messages from Ben Carson, who was widely reported to have been asleep during Valentine’s day and thus have missed it; and from John Kasich, who Wikileaks mistakenly identified as an unknown democratic candidate.

Captain CMU to Join Avengers after Marvell Settlement


Kwanpo Cheng, Super Correspondent

After a seven-year legal battle, Carnegie Mellon and Marvell Technology have finally reached a deal for a massive $750 million payment. Additionally, a new original hero would be added to Marvell’s Avengers lineup and will be featured in the upcoming Avengers titles, Infinity War before starring in a solo film.

CMU President Dr. Subra Suresh broke news on the patent infringement suit between CMU and Marvell in a mass email to alumni. As a life-long fan of comics, Suresh is excited for movie-debut of Captain CMU.

“I have been working on the design of Captain CMU for as long as I can remember,” Suresh wrote. “This is a revolutionary step toward expanding the accessibility of our computer science program through a relatable superhero with powers that can educate children and adults alike.”

A quick sketch is attached to the email, depicting the initial designs for Captain CMU wearing a tartan cape and living with a pet terrier on campus. Despite extremely high programming course-loads, Captain CMU still finds the time to balance homework, friends, and saving the world. Various professors from the university offer advice on controlling the computer-science-related superpowers.

Students initially expressed concern for how Marvel became involved in the lawsuit, but became enthusiastic upon seeing the concept designs. Junior Justin Sudha says, “I loved seeing Captain CMU battling the Wean transformer on the Fence, then rushing off to class—in Wean! It does not get any more CMU than that.”

According to a university press release, the legal team fought for years to include Captain CMU in the lineup despite opposition from Marvell stating, “We are not Marvel Studios, please do not confuse us with something completely different.”

Marvell Technology is a global producer of storage, communications, and consumer semiconductor products. After the settlement, CEO Sehat Sutardja expressed shock and confusion to the decision, saying, “I honestly don’t understand how this happened.”

Upon hearing the news, Daisy Ridley and Matt Damon have both expressed interest in the role. Critics believe their experience in action films will come in handy. The two-part Infinity War movies are set to be released in May 2018, with the solo film released by 2020.

What Is Lunar Gala?

If you don’t know what it is, the name Lunar Gala could mean anything. We asked students what they thought it meant.

• A pagan ritual under the winter sky

• One of those things people in Greek life do

• A new nocturnal subspecies of apple

• Multi-billion dollar NASA initiative to throw a totally bangin’ party in the Sea of Tranquility

• Multi-billion dollar NASA initiative to throw a kind of mediocre party in the Sea of Tranquility

• It’s not real. CMU TV faked the Lunar Gala on a soundstage in Arizona

• A female-centric celebreation (it’s a “gal”-a, after all) of Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter

• Alternatively, a female-centric celebration of Miles Luna from Rooster Teeth

• A normal gala, held outside, but every once in a while someone points up to the sky and shouts, “THE MOOOOON!” and everyone howls at the sky like a wolf

• A coming out cotillion ball for celestial life forms