The “Perpenplanker”: A Campus Legend Unmasked

by Celine Delaunay, Moderate Annoyances Correspondent

It was several months ago, on November 4th, 2016, that it was first reported that a man was spotted on the exterior wall of Wean Hall. As there was no physical evidence or substantial witnesses to corroborate this story, the tale was deemed simply a poorly executed prank. But when he was seen on the walls of the UC on the 7th and then again on the 15th on the side of our very own Margaret Morrison, it could no longer be dismissed.

After many months of failed attempts where it seemed the wall stander would disappear right as readme got wind of his whereabouts, he would vanish, this past weekend, finally, one of our own was able to successfully go undercover in order to find and interview this man.

His name is Norm A. Lity, a sophomore here at CMU with an undeclared major. He was very clear that he referred to his work as “perpendanking,” no doubt a pun on the dank meme of planking that began to grow in popularity starting around the early 2010s. One notable difference, however, between the two activities is that rather than hold his arms at his sides, Norm holds his above his head in a sort of steeple grip.  When asked further questions, unfortunately, Norm refused to respond.

Why is Norm doing this? What does he hope to accomplish? How is he able to defy the laws of gravity? No one quite knows, but one thing is clear: knowing that this man has walked in his shoes that he has then placed on the walls of their campus, CMU students will be further dissuaded from licking the walls. Furthermore it seems, for now that he is not a danger to anyone at CMU, he simply wishes to share his craft with his fellow students.

Readme Reviews: Samsung Galaxy S8

by Mark Saporta, readme Tech Review Editor

Samsung’s newest cell phone in its long-running Galaxy line is slated for release in under a month, and we at readme’s Tech Review Division have gotten our hands on a leaked prototype. We are excited to bring you this early review of what is already shaping up to be a revolutionary product in the world of telecommunications:

The Galaxy S8 is, first and foremost, a phone. You can make calls using it, and you can text your friends using the phone’s built-in SMS application. The Galaxy S8 also supports many other applications, which run the gamut from social media to exercise to games. Many applications come pre-installed on the phone, but there are thousands of others that can be installed to it from the internet. This heavy focus on applications may seem overwhelming at first, but it quickly sets the utility and flexibility of the S8 apart from the competition.

Perhaps the most interesting and novel feature of the Galaxy S8 is its large touch screen, which takes up nearly the entire front of the phone. Virtually all the functions of the phone are accessed by using this touch screen, with the exception of a “home button” that allows the user to return to the main screen. Using the touch screen is incredibly intuitive, and obviates the need for the clumsy keyboard-based navigation that so many phones currently rely on.

Another major upgrade present in the Galaxy S8 is the ability to access the internet on the go. With the purchase of a monthly data plan, Galaxy S8 users will no longer be tied down to WiFi hotspots; they will be able to surf the Web, check their Myspace pages and watch the hottest new online videos wherever they have a cell signal.

With all this advanced technology packed in, you may expect the portability of the Galaxy S8 to suffer somewhat. Amazingly enough, this couldn’t be further from the truth: the S8 will be among the thinnest and lightest phones on the market. It easily and comfortably fits both in the hand and in the pocket, and its sleek, minimalistic design is very appealing. The one downside it faces is a battery life substantially lower than Razr or BlackBerry users may be familiar with, but this is more than outweighed by its increased functionality.

Overall, we at readme’s Tech Review Division believe the Samsung Galaxy S8 represents a massive step forward in cell phone technology. With its touch screen, internet capabilities, and thin, lightweight design, it is leaps and bounds above both previous versions of the Galaxy and virtually all the competition. At $399, the Galaxy S8 is certainly not cheap, but the cost is more than worth paying to join what is shaping up to be the future of portable communication.

readme Review: Highly recommended

Schenley Park Awaiting Approval for Recreational Use

by Spencer Early, Green Spaces Correspondent

In a public Citiparks meeting last week, Mayor Bill Peduto made the controversial proposition to allow certain parks for recreational use. Citing difficulties with enforcement and expressing doubt about the deleterious health effects of using parks for fun, Peduto put forth this contentious suggestion. The proposed pilot program, “Let’s Have Fun at a Park”, will gradually phase in parks for recreational use, starting with Schenley. While the practice of visiting one of the city’s parks to go for a run, walk the dog, or otherwise benefit one’s physical and mental health is commonly accepted, this highly contested move of legalizing the act of visiting a park for fun has created divisive lines in our community.

“Enjoying your recreational options should be a personal choice,” said pro-recreational park user Ben Blazer. Other voices supporting the recreational use of Schenley Park included police chief Scott Schubert, contending that “excessive enforcement and inspection of doctor’s orders to ensure visitors of Schenley Park are there solely for medical purposes is straining on the city budget. By opening Schenley Park for recreational use, we can re-channel our resources towards cutting down on violent crime, as well as potentially boosting the economy.”

However, others are not so thrilled with the proposal. Director of park safety Bea Keehrful warns “We don’t want people to think that going to a park to play can be a wholesome activity. Any form of recreation is inextricably linked with ill side effects. Also, visiting parks ‘just for fun’ can be a dangerous gateway into other risky activities such as standing up to stretch for every hour of sitting at a desk.” Such mounting concerns are reasons why Schenley Park is still awaiting approval for recreational use. Concerned citizen Bob Boring worried that “[my daughter’s] school will allow them to go past the safety of the fenced-in playground to a park for so-called ‘recreational use’ – imagine what horrors she might see. It still sends chills down my spine recalling The Incident of the summer of ‘05 when the two kids caught playing hopscotch at Mellon Park got carted off to jail. Recreational use of parks is illegal for a reason.”

In the meantime, Peduto recommends visiting Schenley Park for recreational purposes under the cover of darkness until the law is passed.

Fashion This Week: King Koopa’s DAPPER New Suit

by Ben Kaplan, Haberdashery Correspondent

Majestesty. Class. Prowess. Confidence. These are the words that come to mind when one sees Bowser, King of Koopas, new Dapper suite. Behold it in all its glory!

As you can see, Bowser has decided to go from boss, to BOSS. Matched against the backdrop of purple skies on his gleaming white ship, Bowser’s suit nicely accentuates his more “sharp” ivory features, further accented by new chrome spiked arm-bands.

Despite the raw audacity of his new look, one critic at Fansided.com bemoaned that Bowser hasn’t gone far enough, and should seek to completely emulate what TV Tropes defines as full-blown “Pimp Duds.” Specifically, the critic complained about Bowser’s lack of a pinky pimp-ring and obligatory pimp-cane.

However, Bowser is far too regal and classy for that kind of attire. He is a father of one biological and seven adopted children, as well as a father to his men. Additionally, prostitution is antithetical to the Koopa Kingdom’s traditional monarchical values and emphasis on strength/the ability to defeat Mario as being the decider of status, and not just fancy clothing.

With such an undeniably dapper outfit, Princess Peach, Bowser’s bride to be, must be so thrilled with herself. In the top picture, notice her wide eyes of amazement and cupped hands in awe. And in the picture to the left, she is absolutely swooning! One of course must ask if rival suitor, Mario, could still possibly have a chance. This publication thinks not—not in those grubby jean overalls and garish red getup at least!

Overall, it’s a new look capturing his highness in a new light that illuminates Bowser’s trademark power yet shines with an opulent well-founded sense of decorum.

Elon Musk Announces Elon Musk

by Ben Kaplan, Silicologne Valley Correspondent

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, founder of PayPal, and originator of the Hyperloop Concept, has announced his latest breakthrough: an Elon Musk cologne line.

“With the (very) rich scent of Elon Musk pervading one’s body, men—and women—can maximize working duration and efficiency by inundating the senses to dull their mind against non-working distractions” declared the billionaire inventor.

Elon attributes the power of his Musk to its scientifically engineered design and manufacturing process. Ingredients include lithium due to its mood improving neuroprotective properties (so one feels better about working a 16 hours overtime). Pheromones distilled from the towels handed out to the hardest working engineers at Tesla and SpaceX. Small quantities of rocket fuel (‘cause rockets are awesome)! And California cedar extract, because Elon thinks it smells nice during those rare moments he ventures outside his office, the testing facilities, or his mansion (which probably has an automatic car elevator in its garage, minimizing exposure to the temptation of nice weather/spending time outside).

But what really gives Elon Musk an edge over the competition is its state of the art manufacturing process. Every vial of Elon Musk is mixed drop by drop with automatic robotic pipettes capable of drip-dropping 387 drops of Elon Musk ingredients per minute. Once drip-dropped, the vial is tested by an electronic nose capable of detecting molecules at parts per quadrillion. Finally, each vial is shaken up by a robotic arm encased in glass (for the protection of the factory workers) capable of 19 pumps per second—“which is 8.7 times the maximum amount of pumps by an arm on an adolescent boy arm who just discovered porn” quipped Mr. Musk.

Lastly, one cannot fail to mention the elegant packaging of each vial: A mono-colored bottle with a bulge at the bottom that tapers off until 2/3rds up its length, building out again to the same width as the original bulge before quickly tapering into a minimally protruding spray nozzle, decorated only with a white “EM” logo.

Real IRL True Life Facts About Vegans

by The Voice of Reason

In a study conducted by readme, team researches attempted to determine precisely what it is about vegans that makes them so despicable. Is it their incessant protesting of the natural order of killing animals to survive or their protein-deficiency induced delirium? Listen up right quick: it was those vegan jagoffs who tried to tell us bacon caused cancer back in ‘15. The so-called “cancer researchers” were using unsound methods to arrive at their conclusion. Employing an outdated and fallacious method known as an epidemiological study, they came to the erroneous conclusion that some of the greatest foods are carcinogenic. While “epidemiological studies” are mocked by today’s advanced society, we must remember that the very “scientists” who did this investigation are of the tribe that believes that we should all subsist on grass and twigs.

First and foremost, the folks at readme determined that the main reason someone would be possessed to become vegan is by some sort of love, unicorns, and other such brainwashing, cloaked under their so-called “compassion for animals” and “environmentalism.” I mean really, who could possibly be accepting of someone who would dare to think of the consequences of their actions? A group that has the audacity to question the current system will be lampooned, and rightly so. Do you really expect us to get any protein from cucumbers? Do you presume we can get lions to eat tofu zebras? Any modern medical expert knows we evolved to eat the flesh and mammary secretions of factory farmed animals.

So I want y’all to use yer noggins! Next time some vegan tries spreading their propaganda about trying to “save the planet” and generally being a carrot-lovin’ hippie, remember this here fact right now: you need meat to get protein. And besides, if everyone went vegan, all the ranches would shut down. Fences and walls would be demolished and the cows would take over the world. Turkeys would crash through windshields all over the earth when they could be living safely on a farm, having the peace of mind that at the ripe old age of 5 months they’ll get an all-expenses paid trip to a nice tingly bath followed by a shiny spinning disk to give them one last satisfying tickle to the neck. If you vegans think you’re such good people, how would you like knowing you’re to blame when all the feral hogs start rooting up your local organic radishes? How would y’all so-called “conscientious consumers” like knowing about all the corn and soybeans you mercilessly slaughter? Plants have feelings too.

Slice of White Bread Chosen to Fill Open Supreme Court Seat

by Mark Saporta, Political Hellscape Correspondent

In yet another in a series of political stunners, Donald Trump has chosen to fill the open seat on the Supreme Court with a literal piece of white bread.

The seat, vacated nearly a year ago by the death of Justice Antonin “Far-Right Nutjob Before It Was Cool” Scalia, was intended to be filled by the eminently qualified Obama nominee Merrick Garland, but a combination of Republican intransigence and NO WAIT THAT WAS THE ONLY REASON caused his confirmation hearing to be delayed to the point of mootness.

Naturally, Trump’s nomination of an inanimate slice of uncooked toast has made waves among politicians and ordinary citizens alike, or at least among those who consider Alex Jones’ InfoWars rants to be anything less than God’s honest truth. The nomination was duly criticized by Senate Democrats and-

*deep sigh*

Okay, look.

Do you have any idea how hard it is to be a political satirist these days? And don’t give me any of that “are you kidding? there’s more to satirize than ever!” crap. Coming up with stories more insane than what’s actually going on right now is a legitimate challenge. The best I can do is resort to the shallow jab that Neil Gorsuch is boring. Hell, Gorsuch doesn’t even seem like that terrible of a choice, but what else am I going to write about? Sean Spicer? Steve Bannon? Trump complaining on Twitter about the travel ban ruling? They’re pretty much all already parodies of themselves.

Man, I remember the good old days, back when the Republican primary race was completely up in the air. We still had hope then. God, the most pressing issue we were facing was that Congress was incompetent, as though that was something that hasn’t been continuously true since 1774. Remember how I wrote that article about celebrating Government Shutdown Day? Heh, that was a pretty good one.

That must’ve been back in Fall 2015. I was so young then. We all were.

Anyway, Neil Gorsuch is boring, he’s pretty conservative, at least Trump didn’t nominate [insert reality TV star here] for the bench, etc., etc.. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna pour myself a drink, make myself a sandwich, lean back in my standard-issue CMU desk chair, and dull my political sorrows, if only briefly, with anime and My Brother, My Brother and Me.

At press time…man, whatever.

Day 7: They Still Do Not Realize I Am Not a Readme

by Kevin Thies, Secret…Aaaaagent Man

What is “readme”?

That’s the question I’ve been asking myself more and more lately. It only first occurred to me as I stood in front of the barren kiosk, the usual perch of the weekly readme. Where do they come from? Are they sustainably sourced from a room of students, the input being food and coffee, and the final product being these documents scattered around campus?

I’ve been asked many a time to write for readme, since they’re constantly looking for funny writers, non-funny writers, photomanipulation artists, and freshmen, and I finally decided to jump in and see just where readme gets its content. Writing for readme would allow me to go undercover and see just where it comes from.

However, this proved more difficult than I had originally anticipated. First of all, I had to find something to write. Afterwards, I would have to use the pretense of writing for readme to get into one of the meetings. I hesitantly decided the 4:30 meeting on the 27th would do for my infiltration. After those two steps, I’d be in the home stretch.

Now, the question turned to finding an appropriate subject to write about. After all, I would need to write for readme to successfully infiltrate their system. However, I figured the writing could come later. It was then that I realized that there was another, more subtle, question to address. How? How does one write for readme?

Having gotten used to keeping an eye out for the latest readme before entering Schatz, I began flipping through the pages while pretending to not be alone so as to not draw too much attention to myself. I knew readme was typically filled with funny content and witty commentary. However, I myself wasn’t graced with good writing or a particularly strong sense of literary humor, so I felt that was out of the question. I realized then that what readme was looking for wasn’t dying memes or political commentary, but another meta article. People love meta, even if it isn’t particularly funny. The stage was set. All I needed to do was wait for the meeting and set the plan in action.

Fast forward a few days. I successfully got into the readme offices. The staff there thought I’d be writing an article, and didn’t suspect a thing as I jotted down notes, keeping track of the small details and topics, especially when they started making waffles. These had to be what they sustained themselves with, the input to the system that creates readme. I asked Janine, a “fellow compatriot,” if the waffles, and by extension readme, were sustainably sourced. Her answer, and the very thing my search had been for all along, was no. There it was. readme is not sustainably sourced, and was fueled by waffles, not coffee. My quest being over, I inconspicuously hung around for another hour before being one of the last ones out.

Nobody suspects a thing.

 

Trump Signs Executive Order Editing Statue of Liberty Plaque to “LOL NOPE”

by Mark Saporta, Political Hellscape Correspondent

The world was rocked this week when, in one of his first moves as President, Donald “Already At Mid-Second-Term Levels of Disapproval” Trump signed an executive order shutting down America’s refugee program and closing its borders to people from several Muslim-majority countries. Despite throngs of people across the political spectrum coming out in opposition to this piece of counterproductive political showmanship, readme can now confirm that Trump is doubling down by formally changing the plaque on the Statue of Liberty from Emma Lazarus’ sonnet The New Colossus to, simply, LOL NOPE.

“Reliable” sources within the Trump Administration have also indicated that the new text will not only be in 400-point font but will also be in bolded Impact, so as to “make certain the message gets across that, yeah, we super all the way don’t want you here.” According to Trump’s nascent Office of Management and Budget, the project is expected to cost $2 million, which when converted to Not Crazy Person Money translates to a cool $15 mil, minimum.

Naturally, politicians of all stripes and people across the nation have been incensed by Trump’s brazen willingness to essentially deface a national landmark with particularly unclassy xenophobia. Well, politicians of some stripes and roughly half of people across the nation, at least. The rest are A-OK with it. Why wouldn’t they be? After all, Breitbart just put out an article alleging that the immortal words “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to break free” are fake news produced by the liberal media to defame our glorious leader. Obviously.

Among the people across this nation who actually are incensed, though, a heroic few are getting off their asses and doing something about it, for instance by writing invective thinly disguised as satire. Truly, these brave men and women are doing yeomen’s work out there in the political wilderness, taming the beasts of tyranny with elegant strokes of their blades. Well, pens. Keyboards, if we’re really being honest.

(This is me I’m talking about here, by the way. Can you tell? Anyway, yeah, it’s me. Mark Saporta. The writer of this article. I’m basically the best. You’re welcome.)

At press time, Trump had quietly issued four more far-reaching executive orders while the media desperately attempted to process the previous four. Welcome, my friends, to the Darkest Timeline.

 

More Accurate Names for CMU Classes

by Mark Saporta, Most Reliable Source of CMU Knowledge

Interp: High School English Redux

Intro to Philosophy: Freshman Self-Righteousness Seminar

Elementary Japanese: Weeb Trash 101

Concepts of Mathematics: Lern 2 Pruf

Calc III: Because Double Integration Wasn’t Tedious Enough

DPAPI: Literally Just AP GoPo

Reason, Passion, and Cognition: Four Months of Extremely Intuitive Psychology

Behavioral Decision Making: The Same Thing, Again

Behavioral Econ and Public Policy: America Sucks! The Class

Intermediate Microeconomics: WHOOPS ECON REQUIRES CALC

Intermediate Macroeconomics: Have Fun With 12-Variable Equations, Asshole!

Financial Crises and Risk: The 2008 Recession! The Class

Public Economics: Macro, but a Third as Difficult

Game Theory for Economists: Surprise! It’s Literally Just Math

Writing for Economists: Formatting is Ninety Percent of Your Grade

Stat 201, 202: Barely Even Worth Attending

Intro to Probability: WHOOPS STATISTICS REQUIRES CALC

Econometrics I and II: Statistics, But Presented Confusingly

15-110: CS for Future Presidents

15-112: Basically a Part-Time Job, but You’re Paying to Do It

15-251: CS Theory Hell

15-213: Systems Hell

15-410: 9th Circle of CS Hell

15-418: All 9 Circles of Systems Hell at Once