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.

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

Freshman Sent into Despair over Looming Research Paper

sad male student lonely looking out the windowby Cam Wong, Hardest Class OMG Correspondent

A student was found near-comatose and spouting gibberish on the steps of Porter Hall earlier this week. When revived and questioned by student health services, the student’s only response was “sources… more sources…” followed by broken sobbing and incoherent screaming. This continued for several minutes, as the student became more and more agitated until caretakers were able to provide citations to several contemporary research articles on the effect of social media on the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Witnesses claim that the victim seemed to enter a state of blind panic upon seeing a political rally sign while entering the Gates-Hillman Center, causing them to begin hyperventilating before rushing out into the night and being found outside by campus police. The student, who has elected to remain anonymous, has been confined to their dorm room with minimal access to any social media that might trigger another attack.

Investigators say this is only the most recent of many such incidents relating to a as-of-yet unknown cause, currently labeled as “76-101”. Incidents range from outbursts in dorm rooms to sudden unexplained nausea attacks while in class to, in dire cases, collapses between classes. The precise cause can vary from incident to incident. One student reported a sudden feeling of dread (much like a heart attack) when overhearing a bystander mention the word “eleven” while discussing a math problem.

Campus reports show that these attacks are not just limited to freshmen, but can in rare cases cause significant distress in sophomores as well. First-responders and student health officials urge campus residents to be aware of the dangers, and to report any case of 76-101 they may encounter.

ReadMeAttempt1.docx

by Nick Rauen, Freshman Gripes Correspondent

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It’s 4 AM and you sit back in your seat and sigh. That Interp paper that you procrastinated on for far too long is finally finished—or at least has met the word count. That’s what counts, right? You close your laptop and, in putting it away, knock over the two Starbucks cups and the one-too-many Red Bulls. You make your way down from the end of the hallway and walk into someone messing with the Wean Elevator. You shrug, turn the corner, and walk over to the stairs. You finally make it to the door when you see the downpour outside. The weather gods have picked the worst weather out of the random hat.

Every building is connected, right? You can make it back to Donner while barely going outside. Wean to Doherty, 10 seconds to the UC, another 10 seconds to West Wing. You can probably make it through the night without your humanity being subsumed by the torrent. You move down the hallway and find the entrance into Doherty, crossing the small connecting hall and wandering into the sloping maze. The exit on the other side of the hallway seems not to exist. Confused, you decide to head down a staircase, hoping the topographical clusterfuck that is Pittsburgh somehow caused the exit to be a floor further down. The abyss welcomes you, the stairs seeming to make less and less sense. If the floor slopes up, does that mean that you are actually going up floors? What does “up” even mean anymore, you ponder.

There is a door labeled simply “ART.” As you push past it, it creaks with decades of disuse. The corridors became narrower, and as you turn the corner you see the shadows of two figures huddled against the wall. They seem to be crouching over… some form of idol? They hear you approach and, startled, turn towards you. You hear their footsteps as they come toward the open door.

You flee in terror, tripping over your feet, choosing random doorways and hallways, desperate to escape. Your mind becomes more delirious with lack of sleep as the last bit of Red Bull fades from your system. You become desperate, falling to your knees when you see it. A slight glimmer reaches your eyes. The sunrise washes over you as you crawl to the exit. Safe.

Better Know A Trustee: David A. Tepper

by Skye Toor

2016-10-07-2

Whether it be from the David A. Tepper memorial crater, formerly a field of trees, to the David A. Tepper Memorial School of Serious Business, formerly a place where actual math used to be done, to last year’s David A. Tepper Memorial Lake on what used to be Forbes Avenue in front of Hamburg Hall, we’ve all heard of David Tepper.

Not two years ago, there was talk of Carnival ending due to his desire for a quadrilateral where Midway used to be. He’s just that passionate about geometry. Last year, he picked up the whole of booth with his bare hands.

Tepper is so scary that he recently forced the state of New Jersey to redo their entire budget when his company moved. He was tired of Governor Chris Christie’s unfortunate habit of standing behind pumpkin-spice-flavoring-plated scarecrows. We already knew that, but what we didn’t know is that Tepper definitely doesn’t have a hairless snake man fantasy (which is definitely not why he moved the company to Florida to be closer to hairless snake man and Florida Governor Rick Scott). We all know he moved the company to Florida so he could hire alligators for bouncers instead of Italians.

What’s the most amazing thing about Tepper? No, it isn’t the fact that his company Appaloosa Management sounds like the lover of apps and upgrades that we all need. It’s that, despite being so serious business that he moves markets when he goes on CNBC, he can’t get his namesake school out of 18th place for “best” school of “serious” business in the nation. It’s actually been falling in the ranks as he becomes more and more famous for being more and more profitable.

The Tepper School of Serious Business isn’t being serious enough about the facility that now bears Tepper’s name. The School of Serious Business isn’t as serious about business as Tepper. But I guess we knew that already.

TOC to be Rescheduled Earlier for July Next Year

by Kwanpo Cheng, Professional Professional

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As the technology sector continues to grow indefinitely without signs of stopping, large companies have been looking to hire their summer interns at an increasing rate. While this year’s Technical Opportunities Conference (TOC) has taken place at the start of the academic semester, coinciding with the pressure of many students’ first homework assignments, officials say the TOC in 2017 will take place in July, almost two months before school officially opens.

“We have considered carefully about the timing of this wonderfully successful conference,” President Subra Suresh said in an interview. “We recognize that schoolwork often interferes with our students’ professional development and places unnecessary additional stress. If we make the process occur earlier during their time off, then they will not have to worry about it later.”

News of this broke shortly after Carnegie Mellon’s professional development liaison met with representatives of large companies, who unanimously agreed they would like to have first priority at hiring CMU students.

“Your academic career is all about getting that amazing job at your dream company and nothing else,” said a spokesman for Facebook. “We figured, why not let it happen over the summer so it can consume every part of your life? You can do that instead of hang at the beach all summer. And trust us—we know you did,” he added.

Carnegie Mellon has released a long-term plan involving moving up dates for the TOC and other career conferences. “If this goes well, we can expect to have a long wait-list of summer internships by the year 2020,” said Kevin Monahan, head of Career and Professional Development. “Students will be able to apply for jobs two, three years in advance.”

The Creative Arts Opportunities Conference (CAOC) is not expected to change, however. “We don’t really know what they do anymore,” said Monahan.

Students Give Up All Hope

Apratim Vidyarthi, Sleep-Deprived Correspon… zzz…

The Walking Dead has decided that CMU is the perfect place to simulate an atmosphere of desolate madness with sleepless zombies, our sources in Hollywood report. Ernest Dickerson, one of the directors of the Walking Dead, visited campus and noted that students seem to have given up, given their inhuman standards of hygiene and nutrition. Dickerson said that students seem to “be emotionally distant, with their brains in far away places. These poor children look just like the sleepless, emotionally hollow zombies that Walking Dead aspires to portray in every episode.”

One student on campus said, “this is perfect. Wait… what is the Walking Dead? I don’t get out very much.” Professors on campus seem to relish providing more work to their students, maintaining that buildings like “Gates and Wean will feel empty without the near lifeless bodies of students littered in study halls. It just won’t feel like good old CMU.”

Despite this hopelessness and sleeplessness, CMU was recently ranked number 27 in work-hard-play-hard schools in the U.S., prompting many in the student body to wonder who plays hard, and to ponder on what they missed while they were deep inside the basement of a laboratory, coding for hours.

Analysts — and believe us, we have a lot of analysts — at readme have suggested that this sleeplessness and desolation on CMU’s campus could be the perfect moment for a robot uprising from the robotics department. No word from the robotics department — most of the students in that department fear human contact.

We wish you the best of luck in surviving the next few weeks.

CS Majors Must Pass Turing Test

Thatcher Montgomery, CS Translator

Graduating students from the School of Computer Science have had a new requirement this year: passing the Turing test.

“Our students have always been the best and the brightest, able to crack any code and program their way through any puzzle,” said Andrew Moore, dean of SCS. “However, they often have trouble communicating with the peons—er, excuse me, I mean people, the people who aren’t intimately familiar with programming.”

In an attempt to make their students more sociable, SCS has added the Turing test to the list of graduation requirements. Originally used to see if machines could successfully mimic human behavior for a certain period of time, the exam is now being used to see if CS students can function in a world outside of CMU.

“Our preliminary results were frustrating, because our students kept transitioning from standard English to pseudo-code almost immediately after greeting their partner,” Moore explained. “With the help of some coaches, however, we were able to train them to recognize which topics were acceptable—for example, the weather—and which were not—like 251 homework.”

Some students see this as a step in the right direction. “I’m much more broadly marketable when I can talk with fellow human beings about subjects that they actually care about!” One CS student chirped.

Others, however, question the assumption that this will make them more enticing hires. “All I want to do is work for Google or Facebook. Everyone there already knows how distributed parallel systems scale big data to mobile using the cloud to provide software as a service.”

Coaches were quick to point out which terms had the highest chances of causing a faux pas: “I facepalmed when one student walked up and complimented someone on their back-end, and then offered to improve their big O.”

It remains to be seen if the new requirement will be kept in future years, especially as AI inches ever-closer to passing the Turing test. “We are keeping an eye out for any students who attempt to cheat, by writing a program that passes the test instead of just taking it themselves,” Moore assured readme.

Forbes Pedestrian Mall Closes

Spencer Early, Street Crosser

Last Saturday, Forbes Avenue officially reopened, causing much rejoicing for both motorists and pedestrians who had grown tired of looking at the perpetual traffic jams on Fifth Avenue and Craig Street. However, one group has been affected inequitably—the throngs of people who during the closure used the street as a fifty foot wide pedestrian walkway.

When Forbes closed several weeks ago, many CMU students took advantage of this seemingly rare event. But as the weeks wore on, they began to take the closure for granted. “It’s basically just a sidewalk. But what were those white stripes for? I think it had something to do with a designation for where you are allowed to walk dogs.”

Then, on Saturday, April 2nd, the unthinkable happened and vehicular traffic returned to Forbes Avenue. Some students were still desperately trying to regain their old pedestrian walkway, flitting across Forbes before the walk signal. At first, they were met with little opposition, amounting to nothing more than cars swerving around them. “I thought it was strange that there were cars driving right through the pedestrian mall, without anyone even getting mad at them. The nerve of some people!”

But with the return of the work week on Monday, the reopening of Forbes crushed the few remaining dreams of the new pedestrian thoroughfare. “I thought we pedestrians had it made. Now I have to wait for the all too familiar ‘beep-boop’ just to get to class”, complained sophomore street-crosser Stuart Dunmoyle. “I wish they would just build a tunnel, or invent jetpacks or something.”

Maybe one day, students living in Morewood, Stever, Mudge, or apartments north of campus will have a dedicated, pedestrian-only passage across the main artery. Until then, street-crosses can console themselves with the fact that crossing Forbes with the beep-boop is still better than playing Frogger to cross Fifth at the WQED building.

Imperfect Person Visits Imperfect Campus

Thatcher Montgomery, Lukewarm Hillary Enthusiast

The Carnegie Mellon student body was split on Hillary Clinton’s visit to campus on Wednesday, with some unhappy due to the fact that she is a fallible human being, and others supportive of her despite the inherent flaws that come with existing.

readme didn’t attend the event itself, seeing as readme had a prior engagement at the printers when the event happened, but it did manage to get opinions from students on both sides of the issue.

Some students were worried that Clinton’s past was made up of poor choices and wrong decisions. One student elaborated, stating that “despite her pioneering efforts as a female politician and the work she’s done as First Lady, Senator, and Secretary of State, she’s also done a lot of things I don’t like.

“That’s why I dislike the fact that she’s coming to talk to people similar to me, and think it’s outrageous that any CMU student would want to see her. Presumably, they don’t like her either, and because she cannot ever reach true perfection but is stuck in her deeply flawed mortal coil, she can’t have anything to say worth listening to.”

Another student disagreed, however, claiming that “just like the rest of us, Hillary’s made some mistakes, sure, like her friendship with big business and her private email server. But hey, who wouldn’t be friends with big business when you can charge ‘em a cool 353k to have dinner. And her struggle against the imperfect nature of humanity and the meaningless of existence makes her something of a hero, in my eyes.”

A third student didn’t seem to care much one way or another. “I mean it’s cool to have a presidential candidate on campus, but I’m not personally a huge fan so I might not go. My biggest issue is why the fuck it’s being held in Skibo gym? Does she really want to drive home the fact that we need to invest in higher education and infrastructure? Or maybe she’s confused and thinks it’s kinda like the actual Skibo castle.”

The event was purportedly well-attended, despite the complaints. Clinton’s speech was focused on issues important to CMU students, like affordable higher education, the economy and job market, and immigration. The only protestor was a streaker, who was quickly tackled by secret service agents and escorted out the door. Afterwards, Clinton played four square with Sigma Alpha Epsilon. Bill also showed up and played some sick saxophone beats while Chelsea freestyled over the top.