Barcelona. Spain. Blessed are the successful keepers of Gardenias, for theirs are the keys to the garden. I mean, come on. These plants are impossible. Yes, maybe they need more water than whatever is left in your glass every other week or dunno, maybe they are chatty plants who need entertainment or maybe, just maybe, they really only want to mess with your head. Be that as it may, their needs are beyond any normal human’s ability to meet them: select a site with full sun to light shade, make sure the soil is moist and well-drained, damp but not soggy, add organic-matter (what is that!?), etc. Most people have stuff to do that leaves little to no time to keep the Gardenias’ soil moist and its ph acidic.
On the other hand, look at succulents! There is no better houseplant in the world. None. Zero. Do they cry for water every two minutes? Do they need to talk about invisble parasites taking a nap on one of their leaves? Do they reproach you silently for not being able to stop the changing of the seasons? You may have guessed it: No. They plug away at their existence with quiet dignity, impressive autonomy, never whining, never batting an eye. What beautiful, self-controlled creatures! The very Marcus Aurelius of the vegetal kingdom.
Let’s hope Gardenias will slowly catch up. You tropical nightmares, you delicate terrorists, you prima donnas of sunny, but not too sunny living rooms – you get a grip! And by the way, please stop selling these at Ikea. I mean, doesn’t the fact that you buy them there, mean they will live long and prosper in your home? Yeah, just stick with the mugs.
Washington D.C. United Stated of America. One night before going to sleep Donald Trump noticed the coffee coaster on his night stand had changed. It was a strangely shaped thing with a pretty hard cover. Upon googling it, Mr. Trump found out this was a book. And not just any book, but Bertrand Russell’s “Proposed Roads to Freedom”. Funny, last time he had checked this Russell guy was a comedian.
He started reading and thought about the injustice in the world, about exploitation, hunger and how society could improve. Despite the socialist ideoloical stain, he felt this guy was on to something. Suddenly, as if lightning had struck him on a stormy night, Mr. Trump remembered he was the president of the United States and he could actually provoke change. He grabbed his phone and started tweeting “Exploitation no more! USA in defense of global oil. Starting AYSAP”.
Mr. Trump thought about areas of the world where petroleum had not been freed by the brave yet and Venezuela immediately came to mind. A country where oil is going through a serious and severe humanitarian crisis. The lack of means has impacted petroleum’s quality of life leaving it to fend for itself in a deeply violent and corrupt society. The situation escalated to such an extent that Mr. Trump felt morally compelled to intervene in order to re-establish peace among oil rigs, better extraction methods, and improved storage conditions.
Mr. Trump released a statement saying that with oil being the world’s primary fuel we must treat it right and provide everything it needs in order to thrive.
Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro is expectedly less than thrilled about the North American helping hand. However, the situation has been critical for more or less 10 years now. Citizens of Venezuela have been facing for over a decade a deepening political crisis, deadly violence, a scarcity of means, including a very poor health infrastructure with the situation constantly worsening. Mr. Trump hopes that imposing sanctions on the state-owned PDVSA will free oil from constant exploitation so that one day someone will have time to worry about the country’s population as well.
Written by Ana-Maria Taut, based on an idea by Anonymous.
Barcelona. Spain. We have come again to the end of January – the time of the year when one can still remember the weight loss resolutions made at the end of December, but not fondly enough in order to escape the bargaining stage of any weigh loss journey. It takes generally between three to four weeks of deprivation until your inner watchman is ready to give in. A little.
“After one month of saying no to everything that gives life meaning, it is natural to start thinking about the good times one had with a jar of Nutella, a bag of Haribo, marshmellows or plain old chocolate. People start feeling entitled to grab a “small bite” for all those times when they refrained from culinary excesses.”, British Nutrition Explorer, Ph.D. James Cook asserts. “Thus one enters the bargaining stage of the dieting plan when people basically negotiate their food intake with their superego. This is generally bad news. Our studies show that obsessive thoughts start attacking the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex where self control is managed. Phrases such as “just one small piece”, “but it looks so good” or “come on, now, it’s Sunday” begin to furrow deep into the the hippocampus, caudate and insula. However, the consequences we have discovered are always the same. Loosening rules leads to absolute chaos.”, James Cook continued.
Studies show that trying to change your diet opens the door to a whole new arsenal of self sabotaging tools. Especially keeping your favorite candy at arm’s length has been proven to increase the probability of weight gain by 99,99%, whereas keeping it in your pantry only represents 63% of increased risk. The psychological effects of giving in are also considerable. “The post sugar rush guilt is detrimental to mental health and your general motivation.”, psychologist Eduard Mindful explains.
Scientists advise it is better to keep your food stored at the supermarket. They have enough room, correct temperatures, and additionally you need an increased willpower to go get the goodies. The lengthy process of getting dressed, leaving the house and walk a few hundred meters for something you have to pay for is enough to disarm 75% of dieters. “Studies also show that you can’t eat what is not there.”, James Cook informs.
In conclusion the most important aspect to understand is that the line between eating only two gummy bears and eating the whole pack (because actually one ate 80% of it anyway so it’s all the same, what the heck) is a very thin one. Don’t take that chance. It’s not worth it. Stay away from the enemy that hides behind the mask of a perfectly soft, delicious, golden gummy bear.
Martorell. Catalonia. Spain. After releasing the market classics SEAT Ibiza, Arona and Tarraco, the Spanish automobile giant is planning a new stunning model for customers who value safety above everything else. The automobile will be revealed to the public this Tuesday, January 29, and is expected to cause a frenzy most of all among wives, mothers and girlfriends with a tendency to stress over their loved one’s well-being. The new SEAT CUIDADO is designed for increased safety, limited speed capacity and an intelligent adaptive system that warns about potential threats, especially those generated by other drivers.
Additionally, the new SEAT CUIDADO has an inbuilt device that gently slaps your hand when trying to grab your mobile, an anti-wifi router that disables any connectivity while driving and brakes that auto-activate whenever the colour sensor spots a yellow or red traffic light.
“You are basically unable to text while you drive, speed irrationally or break most of the traffic rules”, Atención Chauffeur, CEO of the Spanish automobile giant informs.
“This seems pretty boring, Atención”, what does this model bring to the table to compensate for all the fun stuff you can’t do while driving?”
“It preserves your life, to begin with, so you can have some real fun later, after you get from A to B with all your limbs in place. Apart from that, it also has an inbuilt software that allows interactive swearing. This groundbreaking technology supports your attempts at creating new swearwords. It even interacts with you while doing so, as it offers suggestions and rates your linguistic versatility with zero moral judgement, coño.”
“This car is also extremely dog-friendly and has an extra comfortable back seat with a dog adapted safety belt. Makes your dog look cute and super educated. You love it. They love it. It’s a win-win situation. We have tried to adjust the car in order to make it cat-friendly, but they just pee all over it and try to make sure it knows who the boss is. It’s a car! But then again, communication with cats is generally limited. And we don’t negociate with terrorists on general principle.”
The new SEAT CUIDADO will be revealed this morning after specialists have assured the public with rave reviews that it is the safest, nicest and best car you can possibly purchase.
Written by Ana-Maria Taut for Anonymous.
Barcelona. Spain. After having had enough of the rainy, cold weather of Gotham City, and looking to eat a more varied diet, convinced that there is life on the other side of a burger, Batman and Robin decided to move to Spain and enjoy its beauty, mild climate, and impressive culinary diversity.
“We chose Barcelona, the pickpocket capital of the world, to carry out our work. It’s a city that undoubtedly needs our attention. We never run out of stuff to do and people to save, and then we get to celebrate our success with small trips to Costa Brava or a swim in the sea (not Barceloneta – yes, we’ve been briefed)”, Batman declared for our newspaper this past weekend.
Things have been going great with the energic duo in town: less burglaries, less cars broken into, and an overall improved sense of security. Until one ominous day.
“Robin and I were in a very big hurry to help a mother and her child out of a burning building. We got there in no time in our batmobile and double parked in a narrow street in the Gothic district. Yes, we know we were not supposed to, but come on, it was the child’s life or a parking ticket. We made the choice any superhero would make.”, Batman stated, defending their actions. Admittedly, their argument is a pretty strong one. Except from the local authorities’ point of view.
“When we came back,” Robin continued, “there was no batmobile. The officers had towed it or at least that’s what a ticket placed on the ground said. (A propòsit, my Catalan has improved a lot since we got here.) Soon after we understood that we were left in the middle of the city without a vehicle, we tried to contact the police and inform them of the exceptional situation. However, it was 12pm when we got there and the offices were already closed. We were lucky enough that Spiderman was in town for the weekend, so we called him up and he gave us a spiderweb ride back to our airbnb rental where we got a chance to catch up. We were’nt able to find a normal flat to rent yet, so we’ve been staying with airbnb for 6 months now. It will be hard to move every two weeks without a car, though.”
When asked about his other partner in crime, Batman responded: “No clue whatsoever what Catwoman was doing this weekend. I’m on the wrong end of our love-hate relationship again. It’s just so sad with us sometimes. Sorry, don’t want to burden you with my woes. And no, I did not slap Robin for double parking and getting us in trouble. It’s me, not a meme!”
Batman and his sidekick are expected to get back to saving our city sometime next month when they will be able to find someone at the police station to talk to in order to recover their batmobile. Until then, they will rely heavily on Uber and T10 for public transport. Please watch your pockets until further notice.
Written by Ana-Maria Taut, based on an amazing idea by Anonymous.
California, USA. Formerly known as Laramidia. A rare statue of an Elvisaurus Rex specimen was exposed Wednesday,January 22, in a McDonald’s restaurant in Sacramento, California. The third degree cousin of the Tyrannosaurus Rex is mostly known for being the source of inspiration for Elvis’ hairstyle, as well as for his nickname: The King (Rex means King in really old Italian).
“We invite kids to yank at it and ask him to play some songs. The Elvisaurus Rex is well-known for his advanced musical skills. Not only was he a really cool looking dinosaur, but he could sing, dance, and play instruments. The only artistically inclined dinosaur in history is also a very sociable member of the species, known to devour on average only 3 out of 5 potential threats.”, Paleontologist Paulie Otto Logan Geest explains.
“Dinosaurs are fascinating and yet all we know about them comes from the study of fossils, with the unique exception of the Elvisaurus. This dinosaur’s hairstyle stood the test of time like no other and was miraculously preserved intact. Can you imagine what other dinos must have looked like and how much inspiration we could have drawn from them?”, Mr. Geest gushed about the lovely creatures.
Kids are amazed by the singing dino with the cool hairstyle and many parents admit that they had no idea Elvis basically copied his wibe, saying that dinosaur impact on Western pop culture is not something that’s always on their minds. Other adults in the room stated that they forgot to remember to forget and had in inkling of the dino’s influence on the biggest rock and roller of all time.
The interviews however were cut short by Elvisaurus as he started singing the beloved pre-tectonic-plates-movement classic:
###Wop-bop-a-loom-a-boom-bam-boom tutti frutti
au rutti tutti frutti au rutti tutti frutti
au rutti tutti frutti au rutti tutti frutti
au rutti wop-bop-a-loom-bop-a-boom-bam-boom###
Written by Ana-Maria Taut, based on a great idea by Anonymous.
Washington, D.C. Sick and tired after years of discrimination and neglect, rocket scientists claim their right to pep talk and encouragement when things get rough in their profession. Studies show increased level of stress, with some levels reaching up to 8.5 Ω on stress detector scale.
“We study roughly 25 hours per day. That leaves us with basically no time to eat, sleep or engage in any kind of social activity. There is no life beyond science, not if you’re a rocket scientist, and it would be nice for society to finally acknowledge this fact.”, astrophysicist Brandon Smart E. Pants explains.
“There is no solace on earth for us – for such as we – who search for hidden space dimensions, that we may or may not see. I don’t even remember the last time I saw pizza, for that matter. The delicious pepperoni, the wonderfully molten mozzarella, the crispy thin crust. Would you call that life?”, astronaut Floyd A. Way, member of the space crew Andromeda 8, messaged us to inform. “Popping pills is fine for a while, but everything has its limits. Unless you’re a rocket scientist.”, he added.
Of course, one can get out of the science business if one wants to. “Look at Brian May! He went from rocket to rock scientist like it was nothing! How cool is that?! Looks like someone attended all their noise control seminars.”, former colleague Auggie March pointed out. “But how many of us can do that? Who will dedicate their time to exploring space and time warps, aeroelasticity and whether or not there’s life on Mars? David Bowie?!”
Rocket scientists urge society to acknowledge the hardship that a life in science implies, by sending encouraging photos of cats, puppies, and extra large pizzas.
Come on folks, it’s not rocket science!
Planet Earth. After identifying an increased enthusiasm among the population for spreading New Year wishes way past its socially accepted date, the Ministry for Common Sense Affairs issued a statement on Thursday, January 18, informing that everyone is welcome to keep wishing a happy new year, love, luck, happiness to their friends, family and foes up until March 1.
“Eyerolling and frowning is discouraged upon receiving the good wishes 15, 25, or even 55 days after New Year’s Eve”, Ford Liff-Clover, spokesperson for the Ministry of Good Luck Wishes recommends. “Just nod, smile and say thank you”, he continued. “Be nice.”
Out with the old, in with the new(ish): may you be happy the whole year through(ish).
Happy New Year!
Pyongyang. North Korea. Despite a pain- and shameful loss against Quatar on January 13th, North Korea’s national team is still standing tall in the race for the Asian Cup.
The unique team in football history who can only lose once, North Korea, is presented with one logical option on January 17th in their match against Lebanon: to win. The extraordinary success of the North Korean team is a direct consequence of the unsurpassed ambition of their Supreme Leader, Kim Jong-Un.
The North Korean Leader’s support is so all-encompassing in fact, that Kim has sworn to deport all the team members who lose a match to hard labor camps where they will be taught “real football”, among other activities. This has proved to work as a wonderful motivational tool which makes players push their limits on the field. Should the team lose, all the members will be deported, then replaced, making it impossible for the same composition to lose twice.
The North Korean football team is without a doubt the most successful in the world, due to this ingenious rotation. They are coached, trained and cheered on by the Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un, the best, most handsome and most supreme, supreme leader who has ever walked the Earth – the Renaissance man, the athletic wonder, the reason why the Elative was introduced into the Korean language, to express that to which nothing bears comparison.
Okay maybe Trump, a little.
Altaussee, Austria. A worrying number of Austrian snowmen have called in sick Monday morning after heavy snows fell over the Alps. The snowmen could not report to work because of respiratory diseases resulting in an increased need for rest and snowmen adapted beverage intake.
The authorities have started to give out extra thick scarves and hats for the suffering snowmen, while doctors investigate a strange symptom of their affliction. The snowmen are reportedly feeling a strange carrot smell that is causing them great discomfort.
“We still don’t know what is going on at the moment”, Snowmen Specialist PhD. Benjamin Cole Nose explains. “We are investigating and trying to find a remedy before spring comes and wipes out the snowmen colony here in the Austrian alps. Of course, we are in contact with our German and Swiss counterparts, who speak of the same symptoms in their areas. With Snowmen lives so short and fragile we need to make sure we find a cure fast. Until then, please refrain from cooking, baking or otherwise preparing foods that contain carrots as the Snowmen are really grossed out by it.
Written by Ana-Maria Taut, based on a great idea by Anonymous.
Barcelona. Spain. Following an extreme number of citizens falling ill in winter, because of the low tepmerature, the high humidity and the, sometimes, extremely chilly winds that are typical for this Mediterranean city, local entrepreneur Fernan Dol, has decided to make a new service available to the flu- and fever-ridden population.
“Your health took a hit, why should your social life? We want to provide an environment where people are welcome to display their symptoms confidently. You can cough, sneeze and complain as your heart desires, while enjoying our homemade remedies, special teas and delicious cups of Frenadol, Coldrex, Neocitran. Strong liquors are also available under the counter for Eastern Europeans and other brave peoples. The average room temperature will be 26°C so that you don’t have to shiver all the time, additionally you can bring your own blanket to sweat out the cold.”
“I am looking forward to the special Vitamin cocktails! They say the menu is going to be fantastic!”, area sick person Jordi Friolero gushes about the new bar.
“¡Ostia, qué frío!, the first bar for the sick in the Catalan region will open its doors on February 1st. Come in, have a drink and let your germs mingle!”
Barcelona. Spain. “We are frightened and don’t know how exactly to deal with this over the next three days”, area woman Alba Abella declares. This is how long the cold wave is estimated to last in the beautiful Spanish region of Catalonia.
With temperatures dropping from an average of 18 °C to a bitter 15°C, and the unimaginable 11°C on Friday, January 11th, the population is slowly starting to panic.
“We have considered barricading ourselves in our homes and drinking lots of imported strong liquor”, Josep Maspoch, a liquor salesman suggests.
“It is unusual for people here to suffer such low temperatures. It comes as a shock and we, the authorities, are working on a project allowing people to stay at home and discontinue work whenever the temperatures go below 15 degrees Celsius. The people’s safety and wellbeing is of utmost importance to us.”, Ada Colau, mayor of Barcelona informs. “Of course, same goes for children. School is out during the “small ice age” – as we like to refer to it.”
Order and normalcy is expected to be established in Catalonia on Saturday, January 12, when people will be able to go on enjoying the end of season sales. They are advised to limit leaving the house until then and to make sure they stash up on food cans and potable water. As well as enough jamón, tomatoes and olive oil, which goes without saying.”
“We recommend citizens pick up free Vitamin D supplements at their local drugstores, to help with the bleak days of diminished sunshine and lower tempetures.”, mayor Ada Colau advises. “Also, special services are being held in churches all over the city and in Montserrat requesting the speedy return of good weather .”
Good luck to everyone! May the sun shine through!