Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Web Exclusive: Babbler invited to The Amazing Meeting

After decades of animosity, skeptic James Randi invited The Babbler to participate in his Amazing Meeting in Las Vegas.

“He’s going to send us more information,” Said publisher Chris Olson. “So far, all we know is that we’ve been invited to send a representative to their Ham panel.” Olson added, “I want to assure the residents of Bolingbrook that we will offer of vigorous defense of all things pork. We’ll defend the love of eating a succulent ham, and we won’t be afraid to argue about mystic powers of bacon in front of a gang of 1000 soulless skeptics!”

Babbler editor Sara Langston said that none of The Babbler’s psychics would attend TAM this year.

“TAM, as they like to call their convention, is like a black hole of negative psychic energy. When our psychics can figure out how to compensate for that energy, our psychics will apply for the million dollar prize. This year, we hope The Skeptics Guide to the Universe will accept our $5 challenge as a show of good faith. Debunk any of our stories, SGU, and we’ll give you $5. That’s $5 for five skeptics!”

When asked to comment, Randi replied over the phone, “Let’s just say that I have a very special surprise for you guys.”

Randi then mentioned that he knew The Babbler’s original publisher, John Olson. According to Randi, the two met in 1964.

“John was trying to hire me to perform at a fund raiser.” Said Randi. “He said he was going to start a newspaper for town that didn’t exist yet. Then he went off about Soviet mind-control satellites. That when I knew your founder was full of woo.”

Olson then bet Randi $1 that he couldn’t guess what he was drawing on a notepad.

“He said that only a psychic could know what he was drawing. I just glanced at picture as he flipped the page.”

According to Randi, Olson then refused to pay Randi, claiming that he really had some kind of power.

“I didn’t need the money, but I was willing to prove a point. Then I thought that if I was willing to take a challenge, then psychics, faith healers, and others should be willing to take the challenge too. So I wrote my own check and promised myself that I would give it to the person who could convince me they had supernatural powers. Thus, the challenge was born, and I owe it all to the man who started The Babbler.”

Randi then promised that any psychic or reporter The Babbler sent to TAM would be safe.

“They might even come away a million dollars richer.”

Near the end of the interview, a man in the background said, “I love you. I love you more. I love you more than I disbelieve in ghosts. You hang up. No, you hang up.”

“Excuse me.” Said Randi.

Seconds later, the man yelled, “Where’s my phone? It just vanished!”

This reporter then heard Randi say, “He loves you so much that he can’t hang up the phone. So I’ll do it for him. Catch you later hon.”

Seconds later, he sighed, and said, “Kids these days.”

Please note: All articles on this site are works of fiction.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Bolingbrook officials prepare for ‘slight possibility’ of massive global earthquake!

Bolingbrook officials are preparing for the “slight possibility” of a worldwide earthquake occurring this week.

“The Department of Homeland Security says a country hostile to US interests is preparing for such an earthquake.” Said Ellen, a source in Bolingbrook’s Department of Disaster Management. “If there’s even a one precent chance that such a quake will strike, we have to be prepared. The residents are counting us!”

According to Ellen, the global super-quake is expected to occur between Monday and Saturday.

“We think there will be an event on Monday,” said Ellen. “While this event will trigger the quake, The actual quake might not occur until later in the week. Like a parent that gets upset at first, and then explodes later on. The Earth might do that. Just using a metaphor of course.”

Adam, a member of the Bolingbrook Police Department who wouldn’t say his last name, said he overheard a lieutenant tell some off-duty officers to “be ready” on Monday.

“Why would he tell them to be ready?” Said Adam. “I think something big is going to happen this week!”

Steve, a member of the Department of Information Technology, said that increased activity on the Internet concerns village officials.

“We’re seeing a lot of ‘buzz’ about Monday.” Said Steve. “It seems to have started in East Asia, and now it's in the Western World. There is something going on, and it could be earthquake related. To be safe, we’re preparing for a massive earthquake.”

The sources agree that a global earthquake would be a major disaster. Along with property damage, the quake could also lead to a “temporary to permanent” collapse of human civilization. Many communities would be forced to fend for themselves for months or years. They also concede that the survivors of the disaster would be more likely to have their religious faith strengthened by the event.

Of course, sources in the Chicago skeptical community offer an alternative explanation. According to skeptics who refused to be directly quoted, there won’t an earthquake Monday, but a “Boobquake.” The event, which has over 160,000 participants listed on Facebook, is a protest of Iranian cleric Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi’s comment that, "Many women who do not dress modestly ... lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which (consequently) increases earthquakes."

A blogger named Blog Hag asked women around the world to wear either their most cleavage revealing outfits, or their shortest shorts on that day in protest. Her blog posts imply that she believes global seismic activity will be normal on Monday.

In case she’s wrong, our sources say Bolingbrook is prepared.

“The United States may not exist after this week, but Bolingbrook will prevail!” Said Ellen. “Let me also assure residents that in the new order, should it come about, Roger will offer amnesty to his critics in exchange for their silence and hard work.” Ellen added that Bolingbrook Mayor Roger Claar will be in a safe place, but not the command center located under the Bolingbrook Golf Club.

When asked to comment, Claar replied, “I’m not saying that, 'B' word!” You’re trying to trick me into saying something pornographic!”

Also in The Babbler:

Pirate zombie spotted near downtown Chicago
Aliens barred from CFI Chicago conference
Arizona officials deny they will consider all Bolingbrook residents space aliens
God to smite Bolingbrook on 5/1/10

Please note: All articles on this site are works of fiction.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Web Exclusive: Skepchick will attempt to break an interplanetary record at Clow UFO base

By Reporter X

Controversial Skepchick Elyse will be falling to Earth next month. Literally.

In a press conference at Bolingbrook’s Clow UFO base, Elyse announced that she would attempt to set the record for the longest sub-orbital free fall while pregnant. She told the gathered alien reporters that on May 1, a Venusian spacecraft will take her 500,000 feet above Clow. Wearing a specially designed antigravity suit, she will then jump out fall to Earth at supersonic speeds. If the suit works, it will then gradually decelerate her fall, allowing her to land safely.

“A pregnant woman falling from space? What the (Expletive Deleted)? No! Women Thinking Free!”

According to Elyse, the jump is a publicity stunt for her nonprofit organization, Women Thinking Free Foundation. The recently formed foundation’s goal is to educate the public about science, “fake science”, and “critical thinking” about issues of interest to women.

Supporters of the foundation say it supports such worthy causes like Skepchicamp, Skepchicon, a lecture series, and a top secret project to be announced at The Amazing Meeting.

Critics say the group promotion of “critical thinking” will lead women to doubt their intuition, vaccinate their children, spend less on beauty products, and move to another country.

When asked how safe her record attempt would be, she replied, “If something goes wrong, I’ve been assured that Clow’s medical staff can put both of us back together without any problems.  Their doctors are awesome!”

While preparing for her stunt, Elyse met with representatives from dozens of alien races.

“I haven’t made this many friends since the last TAM Skepchick party,” Said Elyse. “I found out that the  galaxy is full of skeptical aliens. They want to reveal their vast knowledge to us, but they’re afraid to because so many humans believe in woo. Skeptics are doing a great job bringing rational thinking to the male population. Women Thinking Free wants to make sure women aren’t left behind. We want men and women to experience the still more glorious dawn that awaits us.”

Oliv Norla, the captain of the Venusian star ship that will carry Elyse, said she was impressed with her hard work and dedication.

“If no one will give her a medal for starting a nonprofit foundation while pregnant, then the least I can do is help her set an interplanetary record. Women Thinking Free!"

According to The Phobos Beer Foundation, the current human record for a freefall while pregnant is 10,000 feet. The overall record for free falling over Earth while pregnant is 75,000 feet. Ki Bacca from Proxima Centauri inadvertently set the record when her partner ejected her from their spacecraft. She also set the solar system record for greatest distance fallen without injury, and the largest divorce settlement in the history of Milky Way galaxy.

Jona Swko set interplanetary record for the longest free fall ever, 40,000 miles over Jupiter, before its tracking device failed. Swko was filming a commercial for the Jovian Tourist Board when his antigravity device failed. Some experts say it may have still have been alive when it crashed into the planet’s core.

Please note: All articles on this site are works of fiction.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Communists invade Bolingbrook!

Six supporters of the Revolutionary Communist Party protested in front of the Fountaindale Library in Bolingbrook. Despite chanting outside the library and threatening to stage a sit-in, no arrests were made.

According to sources, the protester were angry because the organizers of Bolngbrook’s Enlightened Discussion, a two day convention, decided not to invite Sunsara Taylor to speak.

“How could anyone not invite her to speak?” Said David Z. Bond, a protester from Chicago. “She’s stood up to Bill O’Riley, and she’s the best promoter of Chairman Bob Avakian!”

Dale X. Chu, another Chicago resident, said he heard a rumor that the organizers made a joke about Taylor.

“I’ve heard from a friend of a friend who reads enlightened e-mail lists, that the organizers considered having tagline, ‘Come to BED with Sunsara Taylor.’ Even thinking of her in a less than feminist manner is counterrevolutionary!” Chu then held up a red book and whispered, “Accept my self-criticism, Bob, for I’ve had oppressive capitalist thoughts!”

After chanting outside the library, and demanding to speak with a library employee, librarian Donna Habenstein met the protesters outside.

“I drew the short straw.” Said Habenstein.

Habenstein asked what the protesters wanted.

Bond replied that they wanted Taylor to be invited to BED. “I mean Bolingbrook’s Enlightened Discussion! Accept my self-criticism Bob!”

Habenstein replied that the Library had no control over BED.

“Don’t say BED!” Yelled the protesters before they started writing in their red notebooks.

Habenstein offered to give the protesters a meeting space, to send a “a planner of that event” to talk to the protesters.

“No!” Replied Bond. “We want to disrupt their meeting!”

“If you want to disrupt their meeting, we’ll have to call the police!”

“We’ll videotape it!” A protester exclaimed!

“Then we’ll video tape everyone trying to access the Internet!” Said Chu

“Except those who are trying to learn about Chairman Bob!”

Before Habenstein could reply, a protester’s cellphone rang. “It’s Sunsara!”

According to Habenstein, the protester put Taylor on the speaker phone. She admonished them for holding an “unauthorized action.” Taylor then said she would give them a chance to explain why they did not consult the vanguard party first.

Bond explained that they wanted to be considered worthy of the “advanced thinkers” of the Revolutionary Communist Party. They hoped that if they organized their own protest, they would be allowed into the vanguard party.

Taylor, according to Habenstein, said, “Now that I have condescended to listening to your excuses, I have reached my decision. All of you will go back to Chicago and write a self-criticism. Then I will make sure you are all properly educated about the error of your ways!”

Before the protesters left, one of them handed the phone to Habenstein. Habenstein said Taylor apologized for the actions of the protesters, and offered to give the library free copies of Avakian’s books.

“I told her to wait until we finish building the new library. Then she started talking about ‘synthesis’ and the ‘science of revolution’ and something about the Internet being full of images of child rape. That’s when I hung up. Boy, I thought the Brook Report was bad.”

When reached for comment, Taylor replied, “I already have a speaking engagement then.  Still, I wish they would have respected me with an invitation.  This will be remembered after The Revolution.”

The organizers of BED send an e-mail to The Babbler, claiming that they never considered inviting Taylor to speak.

“We’re looking for speakers that are critical of materialism. Like Deepak Chopra or Dr. Charlene Warner. We want speakers who will go beyond the TED speakers.”

When this reporter went to Mayor Roger Claar’s home for a response, Claar opened the door and said, “For your information, I have been a Republican longer than you have been alive! How dare you accuse me of working for the Democratic party. Just because I know the correct name of their party doesn’t make me a Democrat.”

He then pointed towards his flags. “I don’t see any communists flags up there, do you?”

Claar then slammed the door shut. A few seconds later, he opened the door. Holding a phone, he said, “You’re not the conservative blogger, are you?”

This reporter said no.

“Then don’t take my comments personally.” As he closed the door, he said into the phone, “Now as for you!”

Also in The Babbler:

Scientist: Iceland volcano will destroy the world!
UFO misses Bolingbrook and blows up over Wisconsin
Anti-psychic kitty banned from James Randi’s Internet forum
God to smite Bolingbrook on 4/25/10

Please note: All articles on this site are works of fiction.

Icelandic elf charity: Rebecca Watson hates elves!

From the pages of The Greater Manchester Mumbler:

Despite the humanitarian crisis facing Iceland’s Huldufolk, donations to the Save the Icelandic Elves charity have dramatically declined.

“Elves are dying because of the eruption of Eyjafjallajokull.” Said Carl Mitchell, Director of STIE. “They’re calling out to the British Isles for help, and no one wants to offer a single pence to them.”

Mitchell blames the American expatriate Rebecca Watson for their financial woes.

“I called Rebecca Watson to ask her for a donation.” Said Mitchell. “She said that the elves caused the eruption of Eyjafjallajokull and were responsible for her missing NECSS.”

According to Mitchell, Watson said, “I am going to tell all the Skepchicks and all British skeptics to drive your organization into bankruptcy!”

After the phone call, Mitchell said contributions to his charity dropped to zero.

“What did those poor starving, ash covered elves ever do to her?”

When reached for comment, Watson denied ever speaking to Mitchell, denied the existence of the Huldufolk, and denied leading a boycott against STIE.

“Let me guess.” Said Watson, “Someone from The Bolingbrook Babbler moved to the UK and started your rag. Because you guys suck just as hard as they do.”

In an informal phone survey by The Mumbler, Five percent of respondents believe Icelandic elves need help, 75 percent believe Iceland wants to destroy the UK economy, 20 percent believe Iceland is a terrorist country, and one person warned The Mumbler not to “use any part of my name in your (obscenity deleted) stories!”

Please note: All articles on this site are works of fiction.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Mayor Claar to Clow aliens: No one will suffocate!

By Reporter X

Despite cutting funding for life support systems at Clow UFO Base, Mayor Roger Claar assured an angry crowd of aliens that they would be safe.

“No one is going to suffocate!” Exclaimed Claar over the jeers and screams of the crowd.

Claar made the announcement at the last village covert operations budget meeting. Most of the 100 aliens in the audience either live in Clow’s Special Environmental Needs section, or know beings who do. SEN is for beings that cannot breath Earth’s air. For many, this is the only place at Clow where they can walk around without environmental suits.

According to Clow’s administrator, who spoke over Skype and had his voice scrambled to protect his identity, Clow hires contractors to create “premium” versions of the aliens’ home world atmospheres. The administrator explained that by switching to lower quality gases, Clow could save money while still providing a breathable environment for all of its alien residents.

“To paraphrase President Obama,” Said Claar, “you’ve been breathing Cadillac air, and now you’re going to have breath Toyota air until we get out of this budget mess.  Either way, it's still breathable air.”

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Prehistoric computers recovered from Whalon Lake reveal global cooling debate

By Reporter X

Information found on prehistoric computers recently excavated from Lake Whalon show prehistoric humans debating global cooling 19,000 years ago.

“This is the greatest discovery since we unearthed a prehistoric skyscraper at the Elmhurst-Chicago Stone Company Quarry in Bolingbrook.” Said John, a source at Will County Office of Covert Archeology. “I told them we shouldn’t have flooded the dig site. There were still amazing finds.

According to alternative anthropologists, a technologically advanced city stood at the site of what is now Bolingbrook. At it’s peak, the city, probably called Tauago, had an estimated population of about 500,000 and the equivalent of 1990s era technology. The anthropologists say the area has been secretly excavated since the 1980s. They also claim that Will County uses alien cloaking devices to conceal the ancient buildings from the public.

According to John, very little was know about the actual inhabitants of Tauago. Until three years ago, it was believed the residents were an unknown species of humans know as “Bolingbrook Man.” Now scientists know that the residents were Homo Sapiens.

“Most of their writings were on paper, which has faded away, and computers, many of which were destroyed when the glaciers buried the city.”

Don, who asked that we not use his real name, claims to be an expert in prehistoric computers. He says the recovered computers were servers used for a computer bulletin board. Once they were able to crack the passwords, Don said the computer was filled with posts about global cooling.

According to Don, the city was part of a larger pre-Clovis civilization. While the city’s economy was carbon based, like modern society, the larger civilization was based on intelligent plants. It also appears that Tauago was created in a desperate reverse global cooling.

“You read the posts, and you see people wondering if their reliance on plants was removing so much C02 that it was causing the world to cool.” Said Don.

Don provided printouts of some of the posts. One poster described the dire consequences of not switching to a carbon based economy.

“If we don’t change our ways, the Earth will become covered in ice, and slip off the world turtle!” Said user BerryMan.

Sheconomist offered a counterpoint. “Cities are expensive. We have to dig a few inches to get oil, and then we have to collect the burning rocks. It would hurt the economy to move away from plants. We don’t fully understand the special scrolls, so it could be that the ice won’t overtake us. It’s better to risk our civilization than to risk our economy. People come and go, but markets are forever!”

There were also posts questioning whether the glaciers were advancing at all.

“Sure the glaciers had their fastest advance over the last ten years.” Said Hothead. “But last year they retreated a few feet! That means global warming has started, and we should behead the freeze advocates!”

Some offered religious objections. “The goddess would never let us freeze to death. The end will come when the world turtle dies and drowns us all in the great sea.”

The BBSes also had video files. While some dealt with the debate over global cooling, most were of females kicking each other near the groin.

“This prehistoric culture was dominated by females.” Said John. “They would kick themselves near the groin to show their superiority. If men wanted to be taken seriously, they would have to let someone kick them in their private parts. We believe this genetic memory is reason so many men like to be kicked in the balls, and upload the video to YouTube.”

Alternative anthropologists believe that after the glaciers overtook Tauago, the former residents and the plant civilization migrated south. Unfortunately, the soil further south couldn’t support their plants. The starving plants, in an act of desperation, consumed all the humans, before shriveling up and disintegrating.

John says Will County is considering funding more underwater expeditions at Whalon Lake. He doesn’t know when scientists will reveal Tauago's ruins to the public.

“It’s bad enough that people don’t accept evolution.” Said John. “Imagine trying to tell them that Native Americans didn’t always live in harmony with the environment, and that humans can change the climate. Imagine the uproar!”

Also in The Babbler:

Downers Grove man chooses Farmville over Playboy model
Chicago teen arrested for trying to hack ‘Reality Matrix’
Aliens: Universe is not inside a black hole
God to smite Bolingbrook on 4/20/10

Please note: All articles on this site are works of fiction.

Friday, April 9, 2010

From the UK: ‘Yanks infiltrate parliamentary elections!’

The Babbler is proud to print another article from our UK sister publication, The Greater Manchester Mumbler. Because of the UK’s strict libel laws, they cannot run this article in their print edition. Help them out by going to the UK Libel Reform Campaign website.

Over a month after the public learned that some Troy candidates received political training in the US, some now suspect that there are parliamentary candidates who are really US citizens.

Donna Parker of Nottingham claims that she saw a young Tory candidate acting strangely at a pub.

“He kept saying, ‘bloody’ this and ‘bloody’ that.” Said Parker. “If I didn’t know any better, I’d swear that he was some American bloke who was pretending to be British. Well, sir, if you’re going to pretend to be British, you’d better bloody well know more words than ‘bloody!’”

William Hannan of Manchester, claims that he heard a Labour candidate said something quite peculiar.

“I overheard the man talking to a football fan.” Said Hannan. “When he said that he was of fan of Manchester United Soccer, I nearly choked on my beer! Who the bloody hell calls football soccer? Only a Yank would say that.”

Hannan then added that he heard the candidate say he was “pissed” with the Tories.

“Not ‘pissed off.’ Pissed. Why would he be drunk with the Conservative Party?”

Jill Hunter, of Dunwich, claims that he heard an odd speech by Lib Dem candidate Charles Reed.

According to Hunter, Reed started by saying that he was a proud “Brit” who believed in “Baseball--” He stopped himself, then said, “I meant Cricket, Shepherd's Pie--” An advisor then whispered into his ear. Several seconds later, Reed said, “Some people say the Lib Dems are too open when it comes to border security. I say we can all agree that radical Islamists suck!”

“Everyone said, ‘Here! Here!’” Said Hunter. “Still, I couldn’t help but think that something was off."

When asked to comment, Michael Steele, the Chairman of the US Republican party, denied that members of his party were secretly running for office in the UK. He added, “We like to wear baseball caps. You like to wear cricket hats. As long as you cover your head, you can be where it’s at. Why are you looking at me like that?”

As for Reed, who spoke to us while waiting for his “new image consultant,” he insists he is British citizen.

“I studied a bit in the States.” Said Reed. “So some of it rubbed off. But I’m hoping that this meeting will get me back on track.”

Suddenly, this reporter heard the sound of a door opening in the background.

A woman exclaimed, “Oh my God! Look at you! You look like you’re still wearing your school uniform. And your web site says you have no experience. Don’t you know what DC Turner, a soon to be famous director, is saying about your party. ‘Lib Dems! Time for change! Pee-yew!’ We have so little time before the May election to make you look mature and knowledgeable!”

When Reed mentioned that he was finishing a phone interview, the women asked, in horror, if he was talking to “The Daily Fail.” When he replied that he was talking to The Mumbler, she screamed “Oh my God!” and apparently grabbed the phone.

“Don’t even think of running this interview.” She yelled. “Or my marketing firm will destroy you!”

Please note: All articles on this site are works of fiction.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Eight hospitalized following pro-Navistar rally in Lisle

Eight people were hospitalized for Carbon Monoxide exposure following a pro-Navistar rally in Lisle. The demonstrators hoped to show critics of the proposed vehicle testing facility that diesel fumes are safe.

“I was sick of those whiners saying that the proposed testing facility in Lisle is dangerous.” Said Chad, one of the hospitalized demonstrators. “I don’t hear them complaining about the Reagan Tollway running through Lisle, or all the gas stations that have diesel pumps.”

The “spontaneous rally” was held grounds of the former Lucent Technologies headquarters. Participants want the Village of Lisle to approve the sale of the building to Navistar and provide tax incentives to reward Navistar for moving their headquarters to Lisle.

At the climax of the rally, the eight individuals stepped into a glass cube containing a diesel engine. They turned on the engine, and hoped that by emerging from the box unharmed, they would silence opponents of the proposed sale.

Instead, the eight people began to complain about headaches and nausea. Still they vowed to press on.

“I read a post on the Internet that said diesel fumes can’t kill.” Said Doug, who refused to provide his last name. “So I told everyone in the box to hold on. The future of Lisle depends on us standing up to those people.”

Minutes later, Lisle police officers arrived. Officer Ellen X. Carmichael was horrified by the sight of the box.

“Their ignorance was stunning.” Said Carmichael. “Sure diesel engines emit less CO than gas engines. But as the ratio of CO to oxygen increases, it can become deadly. Those fools only had minutes left to live.”

Carmichael and her fellow officers used tasers to clear a path to the glass box, and then shattered the door with their batons. EMTs then rushed the eight demonstrators to the hospital where they were treated for CO exposure.

“I reread that Internet post.” Said Doug. “It went on to state that the Holocaust never happened because diesel engines can’t kill. Since we almost died, I guess I should be more careful before planning stunts like this.”

At the beginning of the rally, about twenty people gathered on the Lucent grounds to hear pro-Navistar speakers.

“It was great.” Said Paul K. Normal of Westmont. “The speakers were awesome, and two well dressed men handed out signs with patriotic spellings. I didn’t know you could also spell terrorism “trrorism.”

One of the speakers tried to draw connections between opponents of the Navistar proposal and outside organizations.

“The idea that the state should control private property is, wait for it, communist. People who want to undermine a major defense contractor are, wait for it, communist! One of the outspoken opponents of Navistar’s move is from, wait for it, a communist country!”

The Lisle police department refused to comment for this article. When this reporter call Mayor Joe Broda’s office, the receptionist said he was busy. In the background, a person who sounded like Broda said, “What does this have to do with vaccines? Can you cure all of Giant Steps’ students? That’s the question, Jenny.”

Navistar officials, who would not be identify themselves, insisted that they had nothing to do with the protest.

Also in The Babbler:

Scientist: Water turning everyone into women
Chicago Judge: First Amendment doesn’t protest public urination!
Mayor Claar: Who is James Randi, and what did he come out of?
God to smite Bolingbrook on 4/17/10

Please note: All articles on this site are works of fiction.