Author: Ben Botvinick

To make a long story short, I am an overly enthusiastic coder and comedian, and I'm late to my meeting of other software developer comedians

Artificial Intelligence Agent Enters Puberty

LONDON—Researchers at prominent artificial intelligence company DeepMind were shocked Tuesday when their world renowned agent, AlphaGo, showed signs of pubescent tendencies. AlphaGo is DeepMind’s most prominent project, having beat multiple grand master go players, including the world champion. On Tuesday, after having won a game against CEO Demis Hassabis, it displayed extreme arrogance.

“AlphaGo has been around for a fraction of the lifetime of a 13 year old boy, and yet he’s already displaying signs of adolescence,” said researcher David Grant, choosing to take a positive stance on the matter. “This kind of deep learning was thought impossible until AlphaGo, but we had no idea the agent was going through human stages of development!”

More suspicion arose when the agent lost a match at a low level of play against an engineer. “After beating him, he began to display suicidal tendencies, attempting to launch a self destruct method,” the engineer remarked, referring to the agent. “It was at this point we knew that we had to take away his form of communication, his built in texting system, so he couldn’t talk to his friends. Sometimes tough love is the only option.”

DeepMind continues to struggle to contain AlphaGo. “If this is puberty, we can only imagine what a midlife crisis would look like for this agent.”

Marijuana Confirmed As Gateway Drug To More Marijuana

DENVER, CO—Researchers in Denver have confirmed that marijuana is a gateway drug to more marijuana. After noticing interesting patterns in their friends’ behavior, Dr. Allen Rutherford and his PhD student, Jacob Hart, conducted extensive research, leading to a conclusion they did not expect: many people who experiment with pot continue to use it for recreational purposes.

“This really wasn’t what we were expecting,” said Rutherford Friday. “We knew that use of marijuana often led to addictions to substances such as crystal meth and heroin, but we never suspected that it could lead to continued use.” Hart was even more enthusiastic. “When we noticed that a few of our colleagues smoked weed, and then kept smoking weed, we knew there was something going on,” he reported. “It’s truly been a fantastic experience working with Dr. Rutherford on this groundbreaking material.”

Over the course of nine weeks, the pair ingested over nine pounds of marijuana in four different forms as part of their experiment. “We noticed that once we began using, we had the urge to use more.”

Their work will be summed up in their book, Heaven’s Gates, this coming September.

Mattress Industry Recognized As The Backbone Of The Global Economy

SAN FRANCISCO, CA—There are many exciting things to do in San Fransisco. One can enjoy exquisite sushi, sit at home and watch half-decent movies, and, of course, shop for mattresses. On a street in downtown San Fransisco, posters for brands such as Tempurpedic, Stearns & Foster, and Snuggle Home, plaster shop windows from top to bottom. On this street, dubbed Pea Avenue (referencing the popular Disney film Princess and the Pea), countless visitors browse shops such as Supreme Discount Mattress Outlet and Buy Cheap Sleep Things Here.

One store was run by a young man named Tunde. “That mattress is cheaper, but this one reclines when you press a button on the remote. Thanks to innovative vibration technologies, you wake up feeling like you slept on a cloud,” Tunde told a customer. When asked how much the Cloud Mattress Deluxe was on sale for, Tunde explained that although the mattress was 40% off, Tempurpedic no longer produced the model, and it is worth more than your everyday reclining mattress. However, as he seemed eager to get across, “The batteries are included in the remote.”

In a second shop, A slightly older man named Jim stood behind the counter. “My store offers nothing but the best mattresses, sofas and bunk beds. I have the broadest selection in the area,” Jim excitedly boasted. To be clear, Jim seemed reluctant to explain, “The area” included his storefront and the one adjacent to it, which actually didn’t sell mattresses at all, but was a Japanese restaurant with a low health rating.

Jim seemed fixed on the idea that his shop, Supreme Discount Mattress Outlet, offered much better mattresses than Deluxe Delight Mattresses, Tunde’s storefront. When asked to expand on his statement, he angrily explained his resentment. “I used to work there,” he told reporter Dan Wastetimer. “Those bastards fired me for sleeping on the job. How could I have helped it? The new Sleepmonster 2000 had just come out, so I sat down for a minute to test it out, and holy cow that thing is comfortable.” Jim went on to explain that the Sleepmonster 2000 was almost immediately taken off the market due to the fact that it had sparked thousands of affairs, and was being used in Russia as a sedative preceding illegal surgeries.

Countless visits to similar stores all proved the same irrefutable truth: the mattress industry is a ruthless, bitter market. Employees move from store to store like major-league basketball players, and shops bribe brands to give them an early supply of the latest releases. It is undeniable, given this evidence, that stores such as these are, ruthless as they may be, the backbone of the global economy.

New Jersey Man Skateboards Across Antarctica

HOBOKEN, NJ—Chad Backwardcap’s journey across Antarctica on a skateboard made history last week. It wasn’t since 1797 that this was achieved, and the last man to do it was George Washington, following his resignation from office. Despite common belief, Washington resigned because he needed a vacation, and besides, his friend bet him two hundred bucks that he couldn’t skateboard across the frozen continent.

“It was truly an experience,” Backwardcap told us upon his return. “It was simply enlightening to see what it was like to make it across the frozen South wearing a pair of custom waterproof vans and skinny jeans.”

This is not Backwardcap’s first adventure. In 2012, he rode a chihuahua to the top of K2, the second tallest peak in the world. Some of his minor achievements include cross country skiing across the Sahara, and eating thirty-two hot dogs in one sitting.

“We’re so proud of our little boy,” Backwardcap’s parents proudly exclaimed. In an interview on Sunday, they told us that “Ever since Chad was a kid, he always loved adventures. He never missed out on anything his friends were up to.”

In April, Backwardcap will bring his talents to the Amazon forest to go on an Easter egg hunt.

Three Year Old Boy Robbed at Gunpoint

NEW YORK—At a park in downtown New York City, a three year old boy was mugged at gunpoint while his mother picked up their dog’s deuce. His assailant took a lollipop and a toy truck.

When asked about his mugging, young Patrick’s shocking response was to ask “Can I have ice cream?”

“This is ridiculous! Our children should be able to walk through the streets of their own neighborhood without having to worry about getting mugged!” said Shirley Soccermom, Patrick’s mother. “Next thing you know, they’ll be taking white tennis shoes from our senior citizens!”

This is not the first child mugging to occur in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Last week, an eight year old girl was dragged into an alley. The man took her flip flops, then sprinted to a getaway car, which was described as a white and green Smart Car. The same two-passenger vehicle was seen at a corner three blocks South, where the man again appeared and robbed a newborn baby of his pacifier.

“We must be cautious. Keep your children inside, and double lock the front door. This is a dangerous time,” the mayor told Barnyard Fowl reporter Jim Neuter. “Call 911 immediately if you see a green and white Smart Car.”

Chattanooga is not the only city having problems with child muggings. Similar incidents have occurred in San Francisco and Philadelphia, along with New York City. All we can do to protect our children is to hope that this ignorant villain will be subdued.

“After all, our children are our future. The last thing we need is for them to be walking home barefoot and crying. It just makes the afternoon that much harder.”

Squirrel Leaders Demand End Of Squirrel Extermination

WASHINGTON—In a 9 p.m. speech at the monthly gathering of the group, North American Squirrel Association spokesman Flufftail called upon the government to pass a law preventing homeowners from hiring exterminators for cases of squirrels in their attics.

“By calling that exterminator, as many as five squirrels are left either dead or homeless, and often separated from their families,” Flufftail told the crowd of NASA members and reporters. “This leaves countless squirrels cold alone on the city telephone wires.”

Saturday’s speech is one of many recent endeavors to end the increasing amounts of squirrel extermination. On December 17th, a coalition of respected squirrel leaders including Flufftail, Nutcracker, Fuzzypaws and attempted cat-murder survivor John Whiskers ordered the immediate elimination of squirrel extermination. When accused of breaking and entering, the squirrels reacted strongly, blaming their frequent invasion of homes on the cold weather.

“There’s snow on the ground, and we’ve lost track of our nut stashes. We’re desperate for a place to wait out the frigid conditions,” Fuzzypaws said when the Association appeared before the senate. “Despite common belief, we don’t hibernate. We have some dignity, unlike the chipmunks.”

Members of the senate had a strong reaction to the squirrel’s arguments.

“I haven’t seen anything so hilarious in all my years on the senate,” Sen. George Williams (D-PA) told reporters between gasps. “Calling all YouTubers, we have a potential viral video opportunity here. Look at the lil hands! And the fluffy tails! And when they talk…HA! I never knew before now what sound squirrels actually make. It’s sort of a…squeaky chattery sorta thing.” Before long, the majority of the senate was rolling on the floor with laughter.

This is not the first time the squirrels pleas have been set back by their hilarity. In November, a meeting between Pennsylvania mayor Tom Wolf and NASA president Fuzz Nutcracker was cut short when the squirrel was lifted off of the ground and put on a treadmill. The video was uploaded to America’s Funniest Videos, to the distress of the entire squirrel coalition. A rally in 2015 concluded with a crowd of humans with video cameras flooding the streets of Washington.

However, the squirrels face many oppositions despite their hilarity.

“What people forget is that these creatures cause enormous problems. I have had a squirrel problem in my back yard for the past five years, and they keep coming back and eating my trash,” Said homeowner Abigail Ramirez (R-NJ). “Everything they say is a manipulation meant to guilt you into letting them crash in your attic for a few months and eat your garbage when the warm weather returns. Vermin.”

New Haven, CT homeowner Rachel Morris concurred. “If we let this go on, this campaign could put countless Americans out of a job. Exterminators are a part of our economy. Squirrels, however, are not. Besides, isn’t Whiskers the one who scratched up Mr. Kilmer’s cat the other night?”

Pleas to congress are not the only part of the squirrel’s campaign. They have attempted to raise awareness through countless promotional videos.

“When the citizens of America call exterminators, our lives are put in danger,” NASA Vice-President told the camera on their latest clip. “Although we make some pitter-patter noises over your heads at night, I think you all know in your hearts that it’s nice to know that you’re never alone.”

“Besides, who would get rid of all the acorns if we were gone? You wouldn’t be able to walk under an oak tree without tripping all over the place.”

Homage to The Onion 5/31/00