OBGYNs across the country are rejoicing following the 5-4 Supreme Court ruling to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, informally referred to as Obamacare. The federal statute has been seen as a mandate to protract, prod, and purge America to zero population growth. Many doctors eager to expand abortion practices questioned whether the act would be found unconstitutional, and so for the past several months, put their abortion ambitions on hold. Following the ruling, their dreams can finally be realized. James Yaeger, Chief of Obstetrics at Cincinatti Medical Center remarked, "The flood gates are open boys. Dust off your speculums and crank up the aspirators, its time to extrude some embryos."
Walmart-Stores, Inc. announced to shareholders that it would move forward with its plan to open Abortion Xpress stations in all 3,029 Walmart Supercenters thoughout the United States. "Since Sam Walton opened our first store in 1962, Americans have embraced Walmart, and made it the American institution it is today. That is because we are able to meet all of their diverse needs. Whether those needs are to buy a toaster, pick up some Miracle Gro, or have their failure brood sucked out from their cervix with a vacurette," said Mark Reynolds, a spokesperson for the company.
Costco, looking to jump on the abortion bandwagon, has announced plans for similar stations in their six hundred stores. Company insiders have divulged that the company will be courting the troubled teen demographic with numerous campaigns. One of which, will grant free abortions to the first 100 girls who "like" Costco on Facebook.
Not everybody is benefitting from the Supreme Court ruling though. The price of tin futures has dropped precipitously in commodity exchanges worldwide, as traders anticipate a sharp decline in the demand for wire hangers.
In what many are calling a gamechanging development in the machine learning field, MIT engineers have programmed facial recognition software that can accurately identify whether subjects are Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, or Korean based on subtle features of their faces, which are impossible for humans to detect.
The program, called All Rook Same, was painstakingly tweaked over the past twenty-four years. Initially funded through DARPA, the MIT team, led by Liev Yahav, sought to accomplish this herculean task at a time when nobody thought it would ever be possible. Yahav explains, "Two and a half decades ago computer programming was primarily dominated by those employing top-down approaches. For programming facial recognition software this requires the programmer to code a staggering number of rules about what constitutes a face, and in our case what makes different faces distinguishable. The problem with this approach of course, is that nobody could tell the difference between Asian faces. Its like telling the difference between blades of grass. I swear, they must all be clones." The team therefore chose a bottom-up approach where the computer "learned" to distinguish Asian faces by sifting through millions of pictures taken from medical school student directories from around the world. For the first eighteen years All Rook Same merely learned to tell the difference between any two Asian faces, an enormous task in itself. Parsing out which nationality the faces belonged to came later. After a quarter century, All Rook Same is able to accurately identify nationality a staggering 82% of the time.
The group intends to sell the technology to a number of videogame developers. "Blizzard has been closely following our research for several years now. They propose to use the software to ensure a more even and enjoyable gaming experience for their popular real-time strategy game Starcraft. This would be accomplished by screening out Korean players, so they couldn't "pwn" everybody else. There may also be a need for this feature in Counter Strike," said Dustin Pace, an MIT associate professor who worked on All Rook Same.
When asked about future projects, Yahav says that they have already begun work on a program that is able to determine the approximate age of African American men, an ability that evades many Caucasians.
PNAPS would like to congratulate Minnesota congresswoman Michele Bachman on being named the pseudoscience advocate of the year by the American Academy for the Advancement of Pseudoscience (AAAPS). Bachman received the honor this past Tuesday at the annual AAAPS symposium in Washington DC.
Since 2006, when she was elected to represent Minnesota's 6th congressional district, Bachmann has been a constant media presence, frequently appearing on cable news programs championing new, groundbreaking, pseudoscientific ideas. In 2011, as a candidate for the Republican nomination in the upcoming 2012 presidential election, Bachmann's zeal reached new heights, proving that she is uniquely qualified to pervert science to meet the conservative agenda.
Bachmann's ideas have not only transformed the way Americans view scientific concepts, they have lead many pseudoscientists to reevaluate dogma. Her assertion that carbon dioxide cannot be harmful to the atmosphere because it is a naturally occurring substance, has redefined the way we view other innocuous, naturally occuring substances like hydrochloric acid, arsenic, and plutonium. Moreover, while her musing that swine flu outbreaks only occur under democratic administrations has been dismissed in the press as baseless fear mongering, prominent pseudoscientists agree that the correlation is alarming.
According to a statement released by the AAAPS, it was congressman Bachmann's assertion that the HPV vaccine leads to mental retardation that set Bachmann apart as the clear choice for the award. Dr. Martin Perlmutter, president of AAAPS said, "Mrs. Bachmann demonstrated that you can confidently make statements regarding the health care of millions of Americans based on a sample size of one. Moreover, correlation implies causation and peer review is unnecessary, as is a medical degree. Truly remarkable stuff."
Bachmann accepted the award before a packed auditorium, thanking those who have inspired her and providing inspirational words for the next generation, saying, "Today I stand before you on the shoulders of giants; Phillistine giants that roamed Judea 3000 years ago. Perched on them, high into the heavens, I can see the whole of a nation in peril. From the vegans of Vermont, to the heathen homosexuals on the hills of Height Ashbury, I see children going to school to be taught facts, only to come home to appalled parents. I stand here today, to tell parents and children alike, that facts are mere speedbumps, not roadblocks. The truth is what you make it."
The atmosphere was tense this past week in downtown Bethesda MD, as the Occupy NIH movement entered its eighth week of consecutive protesting. Over the past two months, principle investigators from across the country have converged on the National Institute of Health's main campus, in order to voice their frustration with the increasingly parsimonious funding agency. On Wednesday, police officers were deployed to maintain order after a group of PIs burned a dummy of NIH director Francis Collins in an Arby's parking lot. The use of tear gas and tasers by police during the crackdown has been viewed by human rights groups and watch dog agencies as an excessive use of force. Several prominent investigators have warned the Bethesda police department that any similar tactics employed by officers in the future will be met with awkward, passive aggressive, resistance.
Dr. Harold Vogelstein of UC Davis was one of a number of investigators wounded when officers opened fire on a crowd of protesters with bean bag rifles. He told PNAPS, "For the past sixteen years I had an RO1 grant, but now like thousands across the country, my funding has dried up. First I had to let go my lab techs, then my post-docs, and now that my last remaining graduate student has graduated I have resorted to having high school interns perform in vivo electrophysiology experiments. This is absurd. Mid-size labs like mine become smaller, small labs go bust, and large labs, the ones who don't need the funding, are the only ones to get it. They just keep growing larger and larger. The NIH is only concerned with the welfare of 1% of labs in this country. They have completely forgotten the other 99%. We can't all be Howard Hughes Investigators."
Many residents of Bethesda have mixed feelings about the movement. Dante Piaget who lives in Bethesda and commutes to nearby Rockville MD says, "While I am certainly sympathetic to their cause, I am growing to resent having to pass by the investigators on my way to work. All they ever do is sit around, drink wine, and listen to NPR all day."
The Large Hadron Collider is expected to address questions on the cutting edge of physics and provide humanity with a deeper understanding of fundamental laws governing the world. What is the nature of dark matter? Can we detect extra dimensions as predicted by string theory? Does the Higgs boson exist? What happens when you propel the prime minister of Russia at velocities approaching the speed of light? Answering the first three questions will undoubtedly take many years. This past Friday, physicists at CERN answered the fourth.
For those who are familiar with the personal life of the Russian premier, Vladamir Putin's decision to be thrust at near impossible speeds through a 27 kilometer long underground tunnel should come as no surprise. Over the past several years, the 58 year old Putin has cultivated a mythical public image. The superhuman premier has been documented racing formula one cars, excavating Greek ruins from the depths of the sea, harpooning whales, commandeering tanks, and tracking wild animals while shirtless in the Siberian wilderness. On Friday, Putin became the first human to be shot through a particle accelerator.
While the experiment required some difficult adjustments to the collider, physicists at CERN ultimately thought the hard work paid off. "While many may view the experiment as a publicity stunt for Prime Minister Putin, at CERN we believe that it has provided invaluable insights into both string theory and physiology, two disciplines that haven't been explored together since the fifth season of Lost," said Dr. Henrik Ulmer, a chief scientist at CERN. Testing ran smoothly with the exception of one trial in which the prime minister accelerated rapidly and broke through a wall in the collider's main ring. Catapulted five thousand meters high into the Swiss Alps, Putin landed at the summit of Chamonix-Mont-Blanc which he skied down barefoot. Putin returned to CERN later that day, having tackled an ibex and impregnated four women on his descent down the mountain. When asked how he felt to be part of such cutting edge research, Putin replied "I would have preferred to do it shirtless."
Researchers in the lab of Dr. Carol Schultz at McGill University's Center for Behavioral Psychobiology have demonstrated in a paper in this month's issue of Pseudoscience that people like good things. This bombshell finding comes hot on the heels of the lab's recent publication that poor people are more likely to be sad. For millennia we have assumed that people like good things, but until the Schultz lab provided low-resolution fMRI images supporting the assertion, society had no scientific basis for the belief. Amazingly, when researchers presented subjects with rewards of money, snacks, alcohol or oral sex, the reward centers in their brains showed increased activity.
In a correspondence with PNAPS Dr. Schultz explains the findings: "Despite trillions of observations by billions of people over thousands of years confirming the phenomenon, we felt we needed to put the matter to rest by directly showing that when a macaque monkey or undergraduate student receives felatio, there is an average increase in the number of voxels in the nucleus accumbens and ventral tegmental area that display a higher level of blood oxygen level dependence (BOLD signal). This indirect measure of metabolic rate may or may not indicate an increase in the general activity of a heterogeneous population of millions of neurons we know little about. I think its safe to say that we as a species can safely conclude, for the first time, that people do indeed like good things."
News media and popular science magazines have heralded the publication as a major scientific breakthrough. Discovery magazine declared the finding "a pivotal insight into the exploration of self." The popular social media site Facebook experienced technical difficulties on Thursday as millions of users simultaneously flocked to their profile pages to display the pretty pictures of brains alongside the link to the paper they didn't read, and through some tortuous feat of logic and narcissism, inappropriately link the finding to their pathetic lives.