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Google Acquires Luxembourg

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Mountain View, CA – In a surprise announcement internet powerhouse Google today revealed that it had acquired the western European country of Luxembourg.

luxembourg.gif

According to European sources, Luxembourgians are enthusiastic about the buyout hoping that Google will bring its highly touted financial and connectivity resources to the aid of the landlocked nation. Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker was quoted as saying, “If we must be enveloped by larger powers, at least we can now chose those powers.”

Google gave no indication of what possible use the search engine giant could have for a small country, but speculators have begun to fear a software industry land-grab as hours later Microsoft announced that it was in the process of acquiring the African nation of Lesotho.

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The Amalgamated Assembly of Stammering Stockbrokers
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Steam Cleaner Charged With Brainwashing

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Chicago– Small business owner, Harold Smocking, was arrested today on charges of criminal brainwashing. His company, Esteem Cleaners, which provides an innovative combination of personal development and pressure washing, has up until now boasted an impressive track record of profitability and really clean sidewalks.

Witnesses say that Smocking used the boredom and mind numbing noise of his pressure washer to lull victims into a hypnotic state, leaving them vulnerable to his suggestions, which focused mainly on large tips and irrational behavior. Clients’ personal development goals are alleged to have been overridden by Smocking in favor of more entertaining hypnotic suggestions, like profuse public flatulence and singing “I’m a Little Teapot Short and Stout” in crowded bus stations. Smocking is being held without bail with trial set for this sometime this decade.

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The law offices of Avarice and DeCeit,
“Specializing in minor injuries and major settlements, at Avarice and DeCeit you’re not just a number, you’re a number with a lot of zeros behind it.”

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Previous Story: Maslov’s Pyramid Revised

Maslov’s Pyramid Revised

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Key West – The Institute of Cognitive Institutions today announce that longtime psychological model Maslow’s Pyramid has been revised by the Institute’s board of review, replacing self actualization with chocolate as humanity‘s greatest need.

Funny Psychology- Chocolate in Maslovs New Hierarchy

Created by Abraham Maslow, the pyramid describes the progressive nature of human motivations, starting with basic needs like food and safety near the bottom and moving to progressively higher needs as each one is met. In the original model, self-esteem needs were followed by self-actualization which included accepting individual weaknesses, being unafraid of failure and transcending selfish interests.

“Chocolate was a better fit,” said Institute Director George T. Rutabaga, “self-actualization was just too difficult for most people, so we chose something easier, to help individuals achieve a sense of accomplishment in their personal development.”
Rutabaga describes chocolate as having what psychologists refer to a “pull-up effect” on the other needs. “Hungry? Eat chocolate. Insecure? More chocolate. Unloved? Low self esteem? Chocolate, more chocolate and suddenly you are at the top of the pyramid. This is truly a breakthrough in psychology. ”

Although many psychologists oppose the move, citing psychoanalysis as humanity’s greatest need, recent studies seem to support the ICI decision, linking chocolate intolerance with aggression, warfare and political aspirations.

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The Association of Schizophrenic Legislators
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Previous Story: Pharmaceutical Companies Send Troop Surge to Secure Border

Pharmaceutical Companies Send Troop Surge to Secure Border

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Niagara Falls– The final contingent of private security contractors reported for duty today in Niagara Falls, joining nearly 50,000 troops already deployed along the Canadian-American border. Funded by an alliance of major drug manufacturers, the troops have formed a blockade, effectively sealing off Canada from the American population. John Doughfus, a spokesmen for pharmaceutical giant JonesSmithPixelMilesCough went on record saying, “We’re not just some multi-billion dollar corporation, we are also a legal citizen of this country, and we are concerned about the security of our borders. Don’t think of this as a business move, think of it instead as a international neighborhood watch, keeping our country safe from harm.”

Although no clarification was offered to explain what harm might threaten the security of the northern border, drug troops have so far confiscated several million dollars worth of inexpensive Canadian prescription medicines, terming them “threats to National Economic Security.” In response to questions of operational timelines and the eventual withdrawal of troops, Doughfus said, “It is far too early to talk about retreat. We are here to protect the American people and we will not leave until the threat is eliminated. To pull out now would send the wrong message to the insurgent forces of competition targeting the fragile American economy.”

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The Institute for Public Privacy
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Previous Story: Driver Ordered To Attend Arrow Literacy Course

Driver Ordered To Attend Arrow Literacy Course

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Little Rock– This morning Randal Rufus reported to court ordered driving school. Unlike more traditional driving courses, this one focused on parking lots and directional arrows. “I never thought it made no matter which ever way I went in a parking lot, but now I know better,” said Rufus, who was joined by a dozen others at the class.

The course included instruction on identifying arrows, recognizing the direction of arrows, and traveling in the direction of the recognized arrows. Instructor Douglas Brown reports early success with his students, “They are not bad people, they’ve just never been taught proper parking lot etiquette. It’s an exciting opportunity for me, because I am not just teaching, I am helping to break the generational cycle of arrow illiteracy.”

All courses are two weeks long and advanced courses are also available covering dual direction aisles and shopping cart avoidance strategies.

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The National Progressively Pessimistic Party
“Reminding you that there has never been a better time for darker outlook.”

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How to Write Sensational Headlines

Dissociated Press presents:
The Fording Report
A Special Report by Herman Fording

In my long and illustrious career I have fabricated countless headlines; all of them brilliant, many of them true. Except for one in 1992 about the Trans-Icelandic Iguana Guano gurney race, but I try not to think about that one

Yes, the headline is the single most important part of any story, assuming of course, you wish it to be read. A bad story is not good, but a bad headline is evil.

Take for instance this story, freshly ripped from the annals of internet journalism:

By Randolph E. Schmid, Associated Press Writer.

Chimpanzees may have been using stone “hammers” as long as 4,300 years ago. An international research team, led by archaeologist Julio Mercader of the University of Calgary, Canada, said Monday it had uncovered the hammers, dated to that time, in the West African country Ivory Coast. It would be the earliest known use of tools by chimpanzees.

The hammers were used to crack nuts, a behavior still seen in chimps in that area, the researchers said in a paper in the online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The finding may indicate that a “chimpanzee stone age” began in ancient times, the researchers say.

I chose this particular story for its extreme badness.

I mean, sure it’s factual and accurate, containing real scientific discoveries and everything, but there is no mention anywhere of politics, Britney Spears, or Hurricane Katrina. How can you call that news? Even members of the Society of Boredom Thriving Anthropologists would be snoring away after the third sentence, in danger of possible electrocution from drooling into their keyboards. This story should come with a disclaimer stating: “Extreme Bore-o-hazard. Do not read this story while operating heavy machinery, washing machinery, or even on the toilet. You will lose consciousness, and possibly die.”

Of course the easiest thing to do would be to rewrite the story itself, giving it some snap and a little flair. -Like this:

Saskatoon – Today Britney Spears testified before congress in a non-binding video deposition from her rehab facility in the Scottish Highlands. Pointing to security breaches in historical events found in the wake of Katrina, she briefed legislators on her latest developments in the field of primate anthropology. It was a short session.

However, since most journalistic organizations are more interested in “accuracy” than flair, we will have to limit ourselves to merely re-crafting the headline.

First we take the original headline, still dripping from its long emersion in monotony:

“Did Ancient Chimps Use Hammmmmmm………”

Sorry, I drifted off there for a minute.

Then we throw it away and create a bold new headline, composed entirely of real words taken from the actual story:

“Archeologists Crack as Ancient Chimps Hammer Ivory Coast”

See how easy that was? Quality journalism doesn’t have to be difficult.

So there you have it, even though the story itself is still in danger of violating the Geneva Convention due to inhumane levels of boredom, we might still snare some unsuspecting readers, thanks to our newly improved headline.

That’s all I have for now. Come back next time and I’ll show you how to transform complete strangers into “highly respected sources” and then bend those sources to your newsbreaking will.

Click here for Herman Fording’s next groundbreaking feature:
Simply Stunning Examples of Sensational Headlines

Or see Fording’s previous journalistic effort click here:
Medical Mayhem