Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Feds Raid Kazoo Factory

WICHITA, KA - In a stirring lunch-time raid, heavily armed Fish and Wildlife Service agents stormed the Kutler Brothers Kazoo Works, confiscating several pallets of plastic kazoos, software, and a book on the principles of humming. Said Justice Department spokesman Barbara Wells, "This action had nothing to do with the Kutler brothers donating to the Republican Party. Nothing whatsoever." When pressed as to why the Justice Department seized the kazoos Wells said she was not allowed to comment on an ongoing investigation. Nevertheless, she offered this clarification: "It goes without saying that everything done by the Justice Department since 2009 has been done for the children of American. Just because another kazoo factory in a different state is run by a Democrat and never gets raided by the federal government is no reason to make hasty comparisons. So stop hinting around that this is all political or something." Unofficial sources state the raid was part of a crackdown on "breath-operated wind instruments" that may have been constructed by Republican donors in violation of the 2010 Kazoo Safety and Approved Fun Act.
Images: journal.livingfood.us & aues21.dsl.pipex.com

Saturday, August 27, 2011

iHash and Other Badly Conceived Apple Products

Gone but his work lives on—most of it.  Innovative as he was, former Apple CEO Steve Jobs often pushed the "think differently" mantra too far. Here are a trio of moribund Jobs ideas that died harder than poisoned cattle.

An attempt to digitize and deliver corned beef hash over the Web never materialized because the question of "who wants this?" was never answered. A can-sized platform only produced an annoying hissing sound that could not be silenced either by turning off the device or breaking it with a stapler or glass paperweight. Only prolonged submersion in bleach would completely quell the racket. Jobs made no friends with this.

Following the huge success of the iMac, Jobs attempted to capitalize on unique colors and shapes by designing the Rhombus. Critics called the platform "solid" and weren't kidding as the computer was built without any ports. No USB, no Ethernet, no RJ20, not even a plug. However the box contained between 70 and 80 Apple Rhombus decals. It's as if marketing were trying to apologize to the customer but could only offer more decals. Jobs was said to have been very disappointed overall, though sales were brisk to the U.S. government.

Apple's first attempt to blend a biological organism with a variety of apps veered quickly into uncharted territory. Using an iguana for the beta test, Jobs ordered a small touch screen installed into the lizard that allowed users access to a calender, email, and iTunes. But the iguanas wouldn't stop scratching at the screen and generally rendered it unreadable within weeks. Monitor lizards were tried and rapidly adapted to the insertion. But they proved difficult to carry as they clawed and bit consumers, often escaping to devour bird eggs and any baby animal they could catch. The device found a small but loyal niche among athletic users with strong stomachs but not enough to encourage more production. Jobs ordered the lizard backlog donated to a San Francisco homeless shelter and ignored ever after any questions on My Mobile Lizard.
Images: iGoFresh.com, Clipart Etc., Top News.in

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Quake Spoils President's Putt

MARTHA'S VINEYARD, MA - A 5.9 earthquake outside Washington D.C. was felt up and down the east coast, including an elite golf course where the vibration caused President Barack Obama to miss an easy putt. "He was on the green in four, looking at a single bogey when the tremor started," said White House spokesman Alan Hibbing. "It hit just as he putted, causing the ball to roll right past the cup. The President eventually tapped it in, but who wants a double-bogey?" Though unavailable for comment, President Obama indicated through aides that he was Okay and taking the extra stroke in stride. "This is one tough president," said Hibbing. "If I know him—and I think I do—he'll be back on the golf course tomorrow trying again. Bet on it."
Image: LA Times

Friday, August 19, 2011

Pilots That Never Flew: Three Series That Sank Like a Marble Bench

HOLLYWOOD, CA - All that glitters is not gold and all that is filmed is not aired. INI has discovered pilots for three questionable TV series ranging back to 1970. (There are oh so many more, but we've focused in on this trio.) Despite a proud history of airing bilge, Tinsel Town occasionally draws a line. In no particular order, we present:

Hoping to piggy back on the shoulders of the successful Warner Bros.- Seven Arts action feature, CBS
Co-host Edmund O'Brien as Freddy Sykes
took a flyer and hired Edmund O'Brien and Robert Ryan as hosts. Reprising their film characters of Freddy Sykes and Deke Thornton, the two actors took center stage in character, passed around a bottle of 'whiskey,' laughed for up to four minutes at a stretch and finally introduced pop music group Shocking Blue and comedian Alan King. At the close of the show, O'Brien/Sykes looked to camera and uttered—what some presume to have been—the show's sign-off line: "It ain't much, but it'll do." Network execs agreed with the first part.

Cantinflas as Doctor Raymundo Delgado

A forerunner to Patch Adams, this 1981 hour-long drama saw legendary Mexican comic Cantinflas badly miscast as a quirky but concerned doctor. His famous comedic double-talk and verbal obfuscation played poorly when the butt of the jokes were blind patients hoping to one day see again. Nearing the end of his active career, the 70-year-old Cantinflas was clearly uncomfortable with such clunky dialogue as, "Sadly, my young friend, life for you will now be night without the stars' brightness." NBC hoped to use Eye Surgeon as a lead-in for the hit series Hill Street Blues but quickly backed off, quietly firing everyone associated with the show who were then snapped up by other networks.

Major Vic Kutt (Bill Nye)
For some reason, this 1998 ABC hour drama attempted to sell TV science educator Bill Nye as a cynical, wise-cracking special ops team leader battling Serbian terrorists. But no matter how much web gear and camo they hung on him, for some reason, Nye's signature bow tie always remained visible. Not even the presence of Hercules Kevin Sorbo as the team's strong man, 'Doogie Howser' second fiddle Max Casella as the wise guy demo specialist, and Carmen Electra as Bill's concerned wife could keep this pilot airborne.
Images: latinosinlondon, Right Juris

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

State Department Uses Puppets to Condemn Assad

WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a show of "smart power," the State Department put on a performance in which puppets loudly called for the resignation of Syrian President Bashar Assad. A troupe from the federally-funded Georgetown Marionette Theatre performed the 45-minute piece at a high level meeting attended by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta.  In recent months Syrian forces have killed almost 2,000 protesters during Assad's brutal crackdown on dissent. International outrage over the deaths was present in the play as several puppets—representing human rights—struck a puppet of Assad over the head with wooden salad spoons. In addition, they called him 'mean' and demanded he step down at once. 'Assad' eventually apologized for his actions and agreed to retire. The other puppets then hugged 'Assad' and gave him a nectarine.

"You see, we [the United States] didn't come right out and ask for Assad to resign," said State Department spokesman Beth Hyer. "The puppets did. Meanwhile America has the diplomatic breathing space to wait for someone else to take decisive action like Turkey." Hyer hoped Assad would hear of the performance and read between the lines. "He has a choice: the salad spoon or the nectarine. Or another puppet show. Or something like we're doing in Libya. We like to keep our smart options open."
Image: Marionettes shop

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Inept Psychic Botches Numerous Criminal Cases

HOUSTON, TX - Police have cancelled a long-standing contract with forensic psychic Mysterioso the Mage, after he failed to solve a single crime in four years. Said Houston Police Department spokesman Perry Quinn, "You'd hand him evidence and he'd hold it up to his forehead like Johnny Carson doing that Carnac character. Then he'd announce a vision of the crime and the criminal and it would always be something that was on TV the night before."

Quinn could not say why Mysterioso was hired in the first place. "It's not like he had any relatives on the force or strong political connections. He was just a psychic with no psychic powers who managed to pull in a $160k a year for consulting—and delivered zip; nothing usable; not even accidentally. Maybe he mesmerized everyone. But that would make him a great psychic. I think everyone knew he stunk but no one had the heart to fire him."

In his most famous case, Mysterioso was called in to solve the kidnapping of a wealthy attorney's daughter. The psychic was handed a damp hair band from the missing girl. Holding it up to his forehead, Mysterioso announced that the victim was home, sleeping in her bed and that it had all been a foolish misunderstanding. When the girl was later rescued by Mounties from a storage bin in Alberta, Canada, Mysterioso blamed his failure on 'man-caused disbelief.'

Mysterioso declined all requests to be interviewed for this article. ('I already know what you're going to print. That is my blessing and curse. But I know it won't be all bad...right? I once predicted a small lottery win—$24. I blew it all on red licorice vines. Look at me! Am I worth an article on your pathetic little blog? You're recording all this aren't you? I knew that; knew it all along with my second sight. Okay. Bye. Is Americorps still hiring?')
Image: Wickipedia

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Mars Rover Delays Exploration Due to Poor Attitude

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A disgruntled Mars Rover took two years to travel 13 miles after it chose to use up all its sick days and vacation time. NASA spokesman Jessie Taylor stated the golf-cart sized robot Opportunity slowed down in protest over Martian work conditions. "As near as we can tell, Opportunity doesn't like the absence of smooth floors, trained repair staff or frequent power downs that it claimed the union promised it prior to lift off in 2003." Completing its initial mission in April 2004 with, what Taylor calls, 'ill-grace and snark,' the Opportunity then spent the next several years avoiding work by sloughing off assignments onto its fellow rover, Spirit. NASA officials state that Spirit did all that it was asked provided it was something Spirit wanted to do anyway. The energetic rover finally wedged between two rocks and applied for early retirement at 90 percent of base pay.

That left Opportunity.

 In 2009, the Opportunity was asked to travel to the Martian crater Endeavour and photograph inside. According to Taylor, the machine replied, 'I'll get to it when I get to it' and immediately stopped moving, claiming five days of personal time. Subsequent commands to Opportunity were met with a barrage of complaints, feigned mechanical breakdowns, and demands for time off to attend to 'deaths in the family.' "It's such a pain-the-ass getting it [Opportunity] to do anything," fumed Taylor. "This big Endeavour crater could contain important scientific finds. But when we contacted Opportunity all we got was a long electronic sigh followed by 'Now what?'" 

Taylor pondered NASA's next move. "This isn't some stupid WALL-E cartoon. This is a real mission with a real machine that's harder to move than my teenage kids. I wish we'd discover Mars people. I would ask them to disintegrate that stinking rover with one of their rays. After that, I don't know what we'd talk about but I'd be happy, happy, happy."
Image: Trekmovie.com 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

EPA To Regulate 'Um' and 'You Know'

WASHINGTON, D.C. - In bold move, the Environmental Protection Agency has announced standards on use of the words 'um' and 'you know,' citing a need to combat word pollution. While still awaiting review from the Office of Management and Budget, the new regulation would require states to reduce 'um/you know' usage by .08% per trillion words spoken by 2014. "How do you even compute something like that?" asked Harvard English professor Martin Perikop. "I mean, who cares? All I know is that teenagers will be hardest hit." EPA spokesmen Dana Withering dismissed Perikop's comments as 'uninformed.' Said Withering, "These words are being spewed out at an unsustainable pace without any common sense regulations."

Withering felt the public and media could help the agency by putting aside 'nit picking' and adopting a simple change in attitude. "When the EPA issues regulations it's best if everyone simply presumes our actions are being done to save children, the elderly and those most at risk. In addition, it should be presumed our actions will save large amounts of money." Withering wouldn't answer any questions on whether EPA was engaged in bureaucratic empire building. "So what if we're asking for a larger budget and more staff to enforce this ruling? We would've grown bigger anyway and regulated something else. Haven't got a smart answer for that, do you?"

Withering stated the EPA has its sights set on more that language. "Breathable oxygen is currently unregulated. Uninformed people—air hogs—are huffing and puffing along without federal guidelines. We hope to implement common sense regulations by 2013. Anyone who disagrees wants to steal air from old people and hide their medicine." Image: Virtual Commissioning