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.”

In Which readme Hits Critical Mass for Nerdy Snake Puns

Very few are aware of the fact that Carnegie Mellon is a school that excels in robotics. So it was a real surprise when readme saw a news article talking about a CMU robotics project working to perfect mechanical snakes. As a snake lacks legs, wheels, or treads that might trip it up in bumpy terrain, experts assert its form is ideal for search-and-rescue missions and exploration in unknown terrains.

But not everyone is so convinced of the strength of the design. When informed of the project, CMU mechanical engineering/archaeology double major Indiana Jones could only mutter, “Snakes. Why did it have to be snakes?” Meanwhile, robotics major (with a PhD in Badass) Samuel L. Jackson notes that some environments will still provide difficulty to the robot, saying there’s “no way they’ll get these motherfucking snakes on a motherfucking plain.”

Nonetheless, the team presses on, with a whole host of mechanical widgets to ensure full snake accuracy. The body of the snake is formed of a series of interlocking segments which roll, wiggle, and undulate. It is paired with a remote shaped like a five-foot-long flute and a woven basket carrying case, and its code is all written in Python.

The snake’s history is a long one, full of twists and turns and winding trails. The original, ‘classic’ prototype possessed a very unique design flaw where every time the head touched any other part of its body, the whole snake would disappear and the team would have to start over. Later prototypes corrected this flaw, using a more ‘solid’ design structure, but the resulting snake had an unfortunate habit of hiding under cardboard boxes whenever someone looked at it. Current models still have a gaping security hole where they can be hacked by any twelve-year-old kid with a grasp of Parseltongue.

Researchers have managed, however, to teach their robots how to slither up sandy surfaces, in a breakthrough that triggered the recent wave of media attention. By observing sidewinder rattlesnakes, one of the only snake species with the ability to scale these surfaces, the team was able to unlock the secret of their unique slither. Similar projects slated for the future include observing the specialized swimming motion of the sea snake, the characteristic ‘glide’ of Southeast Asian gliding snakes, and the unique stair-climbing capability of the slinky. The team is already working with a group of oil salesmen from the Tepper School of Business on marketing the machine.

CMU Researchers Attempt to Brighten St. Peter’s Halo


St. Peter has been an employee at Heaven for about two thousand years, but has never had the opportunity to change the system. “I just never felt like I would make a difference, you know? It’s been…hold on…” Mr. Peter then turned to a growing crowd of people, yelled “Welcome to Heaven!” and opened the gates. “Sorry about that…Anyway, with the incredible growth in human population, there’s been an enormous increase in foot traffic, so I hoped to …hold on…”  Mr. Peter then turned to a growing crowd of people, yelled “Welcome to Heaven!” and opened the gates. “Sorry about that…Anyway, I asked God if I could get some researchers to come up here — temporarily, mind you — to try to find a way to reduce my workload. That’s where Carnegie Mellon came in.”

Members of the Robotics Institute have been working on the problem for approximately two months. “We’ve come up with some brilliant ideas, but the implementation is difficult. They’re expecting perfection, and we’re going to give it to them,” said head of the project Brian Wu. “The one we’re investigating right now is to have multiple robotic St. Peters at thousands of gates, but God felt that would cheapen ‘the arrival experience’, so we’re trying to make exact robotic copies of St. Peter.” readme wishes them the best of luck.

Another group was attempting to automate the process. As Brian James explained, “Having an announcement, slow-motion gate opening, and heroic fanfare for each individual has simply proven impractical. You might have noticed that we’re currently testing ‘group entrance’, which appears to be somewhat successful. We couldn’t even talk to St. Peter for more than 3 words at a time before; now we almost get whole sentences.” One student, who was repairing a small motor, suggested placing a conveyor belt under the ‘soul materialization area’. “Instead of St. Peter, we could have a leisurely ride through the gates and past some of Heaven’s most prominent residents — I think Brian 7 suggested a wax museum-type deal.”

Most of the researchers, however, were taking breaks to wander around heaven and reconnect with lost loved ones. “Hey, I might as well take the opportunity while I’m here,” said Brian 2. Others were not so enthusiastic. “I’m an atheist; how do you think I feel?” said one rather anxious researcher. “Every morning I wake up and go to a place that doesn’t exist. I’m beginning to doubt my own existence!”

However, the entire team was positive about the work they were doing. “It benefits both heaven and Carnegie Mellon — we convinced God to put our logo on all of our designs. Free advertising!” said Mr. Wu. When readme pointed out that those who would be seeing the logo would be dead, he replied, “We’ll be working on a satellite campus next semester.” St. Peter, meanwhile, looked happier than he had been in years.

Reasons Kim Jong-Un Had Been Missing

…also what we wish had been in theaters this weekend.

  • The robot leader created to replace Kim Jong-Ill (AKA Kim Jong-Un) has been acting strangely, perhaps learning how to love. Experts have taken it in for repairs.
  • Jong-Un is currently upping the dystopian level of North Korean by running his own competition where children battle mercilessly for survival.
  • What began as a pleasant hike in the wilderness has ended with the Dear Leader trapped under a boulder.
  • A high-level official has begun machinations to oust Kim Jong-Un, after a broken promise.
  • After a terrible storm on a cold February night, Kim Jong-Un woke up in a Pittsburgh hotel, only to find himself living the same Groundhog Day over and over again, never able to return to North Korea.
  • Kim Jong-Un realized that the very ideal that his country is based on is dehumanizing and oppressive. With his special power of being the Giver, he ran away from his home to the edge of his fictional society.
  • Kim Jong-Un is currently shooting an upcoming blockbuster with the Dennis Rodman titled “Bruh”.
  • Kim Jong-Un can’t seem to keep himself from an affair with a former campaign member, now private crisis manager working for her own law firm. And it’s not hard to guess why we haven’t seen Kim Jong-Un lately. (gasp) Scandal!

U.S. Race Relations Stuck in Time Loop

In an event totally unrelated to the shootings that kicked off the Ferguson protests, an 18-year-old named Vonderrit Myers, Jr. was fatally shot by an off-duty police officer on the eighth of October. In what will be a shock only to those who have either been living under a rock or who have only been recently resurrected to start the zombie apocalypse, Myers just happened to be black.

According to the officer’s report, he had been working a second job at a private security gig (still in his police uniform) when Myers caught sight of him and fled. When the officer gave chase, Myers hid in some bushes, pulled a gun out of his hoodie, and shot at the officer three times, at which point the officer retaliated with lethal force.

Subsequent investigations of the scene found no trace of either the hoodie Myers was supposedly wearing or the bushes he was said to have hid behind. But, hey, that doesn’t prove anything. Myers’s friends had plenty of time in the one day after the report came out to hide the hoodie and undertake a goddamn landscaping project to make it look like the cop was lying.

Then there’s the fact that the officer’s story literally changed the day people started pointed out the lack of bushes, and that this officer shot Myers a total of seventeen times, which even in a case of genuine self-defense seems somewhat excessive.

The citizens of St. Louis seemed to agree. Protesters gathered in the neighborhood after the incident shouting “Hands up, don’t shoot”—but, of course, there are absolutely no similarities between this incident and Ferguson. Also entirely dissimilar is the way the police claimed the St. Louis protest had turned violent despite protesters denying any such thing, or the extremely militant behavior exhibited by the police when faced with this initially peaceful protest.

But it’s not like this is a sign of some systemic problem with the system or something. There’s just no way racially-motivated police brutality still exists in our post-race United States of America (we elected Obama, after all). There’s got to be some sort of scientific explanation or something. Thankfully, readme was able to speak with a math major, who told it that Myers’s shooting was a perfect example of what she called ‘The Rodney King Phenomenon.”

“As a cop approaches a civilian they think looks suspicious,” she explained, “the level of force that is considered ‘appropriate’ approaches infinity. As such, we get results where three alleged bullets is temporarily equal to seventeen, and no bullets is equal to six.” readme asked her what determined whether or not a civilian was considered ‘suspicious’, she replied, “Racism. Like, duh.”

‘Purple Penguins’ too PC, say Critics

Activists are praising a Nebraska school district for its “adorable and inclusive” training initiative designed to make its middle schools more welcoming to trans, queer, and otherwise gender-nonconforming students. The initiative, among other things, encourages teachers to use gender-neutral language whenever possible. Instead of calling students ‘boys and girls’, for instance, which isolates children who identify as neither, the class might come up with a gender-neutral team name (the handout gives ‘purple penguins’ as one such example).

“Omigod, it’s the most adorable thing I don’t even!” cooed one Gender Studies major about the initiative. “A whole class of purple penguin babies I want to adopt them all!”

Of course, readme noted, more important was the positive impacts this would have on all its students, regardless of their gender or presentation. Trans and queer students would benefit from having an environment where their gender was respected, female students would feel more comfortable participating in male-dominated subjects, and even male students would benefit from the destigmatization of ‘girly’ behavior.

The Gender Studies major nodded seriously, then chirped, “But purple penguins!”

Despite the sheer cuteness of that mental image, the initiative drew quite a lot of flak from critics. That may seem a bit odd, until one remembers the cardinal rule of conservative Internet politics: every regulation ever made in order to help a marginalized group is actually an attack on you, personally, and if you don’t respond by telling everyone you know this is exactly the sort of PC bullshit that’s destroying America, the commies win.

As such, commenters soon arrived on news sites to berate the districts’ “idiocy” and bemoan the fate of America today. One even accused the school of promoting “the deconstruction of fundamental family and religious values” because clearly gender diversity is a religious issue. For who could forget 19:12 of Exodus, where the Lord said to Moses, “Take heed to yourselves, that ye shall not buy your daughters Transformers, or let boys wear the color pink, and for the love of Me don’t call anyone a purple penguin, that’s not a real thing.”

Now, this issue holds a special place in readme’s heart, considering readme is itself genderqueer. And it’s never been shy about that fact, or that it has the genitalia of a newspaper, but it wasn’t until recently that readme had figured out just where it lay on the gender spectrum. And as last Saturday was National Coming Out Day, readme feels this is the perfect time to announce to its readers that readme’s gender is, in fact, a purple penguin. It should have been obvious, frankly, since readme is too awesome and adorable to be anything else. So rock on, Lincoln school district, and rock on, purple penguins.

Microsoft Misplaces Windows 9 Dev Team

Microsoft has announced their new operating system, which should be available sometime next year. After the ups of Windows 7 and downs of Windows 8 and 8.1, Microsoft is surely aiming for another high point in Windows 9–wait, Windows 10?

That’s right, Microsoft is skipping over the number 9 in favor of 10. While it may seem confusing at first, readme can assure you that it makes perfect sense. Windows must have lost track of their development team.

We got in touch with a high-up in Microsoft, Dolla Doors, who agreed to speak with readme, after she was coerced into a broom closet. “Well, to be honest, I didn’t even notice that we had gone straight to 10. It just started showing up on the agenda, and no one really keeps track of these things anyways. What comes after eight? Nine, ten, 42, 7, does it really matter?” When pressed further about what really happened to Windows 9, she responded: “Who knows, maybe 7 ate 9.”

How could Microsoft lose an entire team of developers, working on such an important new piece of software? “Well, the last I saw of them was around cubicle 73B a few months ago. However, some of the over-40s were pretty entrenched in the XP section. Anyways, they must have wandered off and gotten lost. This place is a fucking maze.” We asked what would become of them, Doors shrugged. “Either they’ll come stumbling into the break room one day, or a janitor will uncover their remains.”

When we asked Microsoft’s HR department about this, they pointed to a clause in their employees’ “Terms and Conditions” handbook that covered this situation. Apparently Joe Schmoe and the rest of his development team didn’t read it fully before checking the box and choosing continue.

Doors admitted that in the new Windows 10, the “9” key will be non-functional, Excel will not include row 9, and the font sizes will also skip the number. However, these so-called features will be removed shortly in a Service Pack 9. “This update will be just like the Windows updates you all know and love,” Doors assured readme. We assumed that meant it will incessantly let you know it’s available until you finally click the damn pop-up, which would cause it to take over your computer for the next 4 hours.
The jump from 8 to 10 is also supposed to encourage development of programs and apps. “We’re following the philosophy of, ‘If you build it, they won’t come,’ which has worked for the past few iterations of Windows. That’s why we’re now offering huge incentives for third-party developers.” In addition, skipping Windows 9 avoids naming one of the most widespread operating systems after an unlucky number, according to Japanese superstitions. “We skipped Windows 4 for the same reason. And after all the great luck we’ve been having with Windows 8, we don’t want to jinx it.”

Memes About Ebola in America Spread Faster than Ebola in America Itself

But actually.

But actually.

Following the epidemic of the Ebola virus in Liberia, as well as many other areas of Africa, Ebola hype has taken the world of media by storm. The sudden surge in interest over the past few weeks is notable, not due to the obviously irrelevant fact that people only started paying attention when some American guy got infected, but rather to the veritable waterfall of Ebola-related memes that have spread across the Internet in the intermittent time.

Ebola, which has at least three related articles on Know Your Meme and several memetic pages on Facebook, has become the greatest danger to Internet society since the Doge Plague of 2013. In a stunning display of misplaced foresight, Fox News discussion board commenters have rallied to prevent the spread of Ebola memes into their community. Experts have stated, however, that these commenters are in fact at the lowest risk for this epidemic. Instead, other communities may be at a much higher risk.

Moderators at 4chan, 8chan, 16chan, 32chan, and progressively exponential siblings have discussed new ways to prevent the spread of terrible Ebola memes between boards. Quarantine has been raised as a potential solution; certainly, the moderators of /tg/ and /lit/ have good reason to protest the spread of “Ebola-Chan” and “Captain Ebola” to their “more civilized boards.” It has been reported that posters in /v/, a video-game discussion board, have ceased all Gabe Newell fat jokes and are instead praying to Half Life 3 for “deliverance from these really shitty memes.” However, even these measures may not be enough.

A part-time nurse at a hospital in Dallas, who wishes to stay Anonymous so that her mother can’t see her posting history, has come forth as infected with Ebola memes. IT staff at the hospital blame her condition on a poor Internet filter and a lack of proper education with respect to Internet culture. Ms. Anonymous has since begun bleeding image macros all over 4chan as well as leaving shitposts everywhere.

“I could have respected her a bit more if she’d just kept that crap in /b/,” said another Internet user, who also wished to stay Anonymous for fear of reprisal from companies such as Valve and Nintendo, who he has insulted in the past, and who obviously care a great deal about the inane mutterings of a greasy twenty-something living in his parents’ basement. “But once she started shitposting in /v/, the whole place went to hell. I almost miss the Mountain Dew and Doritos jokes now.

“At least she didn’t get the chance to spread it to /mlp/,” he added. “Have you seen how fast those bronies make may-mays? They’d have iPhone users texting each other some ponified Ebola-Chan picture and greentext by this time tomorrow.”

Cliven Bundy Wants Fences, Still Won’t Pay Taxes

Here you go, Cliven!

Here you go, Cliven!

If you kept up with the news last year, you may remember Cliven Bundy as the Nevada rancher who inspired dozens of conservative states-rights supporters to take up arms in response when the federal government committed the horrific crime of making him pay his taxes. You may also remember Cliven Bundy as the Nevada rancher who inspired dozens of conservative states-rights supporters to pretend like they totally didn’t know him when it turned out he was racist as fuck.

Regardless, their heroic stand against the evil federal government was a rousing success. On April 12, the dastardly federal police retreated against the righteous might of Bundy’s illegal mob militia (sources report the police were seen shaking their fists and saying “We’ll meet again, Spiderman”). Two days after Bundy’s victory over this shameless attempt by the government to needlessly control his private property, some of his private property wandered out of control onto Interstate 15, causing a crash that heavily injured two.

The driver in the incident drafted a lawsuit against Bundy in early September, saying that as a private rancher it was his duty to keep his cattle from becoming a public safety hazard. Bundy of course, being the self-sufficient, non-government-reliant maverick that he is, had a different response: it was the state’s fault his cows got loose.

See, Bundy says, the state government failed to maintain the fence around the interstate, and thus he cannot be held culpable. Representatives of the state called bullshit (which according to Bundy is a healthy foodstuff high in protein. No, really) on his argument. They noted that Bundy’s cows should not have been able to get near the fence anyways, as he had not purchased grazing access for the government-owned land in between his ranch and the interstate.

But who are we going to believe, the government that steals from its citizens by lawfully taxing them, or the man who said that being on welfare is literally worse than slavery? Clearly, the state ought to have done a better job of stopping Bundy’s cows from wandering onto their property, but without actually stopping them, because that land belongs to the county anyways and it’s unconstitutional. Or something.

Some have used this incident as evidence that Bundy is little more than a self-serving hypocrite. But that’s not fair. It’s the federal government Bundy refuses to acknowledge, not the state government. It’s not like those two groups are affiliated, or anything. And in the end, all Bundy wants is to reap the benefits of government-funded public works without reservation, without having to contribute to the government in any way he deems inconvenient. How is that in any way inconsistent?