Sunday, January 31, 2016

Sheep Found to be Alien Communication Towers

A recently released study reveals that news readers on social media platforms only read headlines and not the connected articles. The year long intensive study followed social media users on sites such as
Facebook and tracked their news reading activity.

The majority of social media users were found to have only read the headline of a linked news article. The social media users then immediately went and started making comments on the social media site on their feelings of the article.

The company behind the study stated that only one percent of all of the social media news readers actually clicked through the link to read the actual article. The company also stated that 78 percent of all the responses to the article had nothing to do with any actual facts or what the article was even about.

The study went on to show that the headlines didn't even need to be based on any actual news.

“In fact, the more outrageous and untrue the statement in the headline the more responses it gained on social media platforms,” said Ira Votchoo, the head of the study organization.

The study also showed that images increased the likelihood of leaving a comment. However, images didn't actually need to be connected with the article to raise the likelihood of a comment being left. Of the social media test subjects, 98 percent were unable to state whether the image had any real connection to the linked article.

After the results from the survey were released many of the nations top newspapers immediately announced the termination of all of their staff writers. The newspapers have announced that they will be switching next week to headline only editions online and ending the print editions as well.

“We don't need staff writers to create heads, an editor can do that just as well,” said Payrant Dinesti, a newspaper publisher.

The news seems to have shocked the nation according to postings on social media platforms which have included such comments as, “This is all Obama and his socialist policies fault,” and “Boycott all milk products.”

Journalists seem less shocked about the results of the survey, many of which stated that the survey results have been known within the news writing community for years.

“We've known for years no one actually read the articles,” said Skip “Wordz” Mapatchek, a 25-year journalist. “For the last two years all my articles have consisted of the answers to last week's crossword puzzles in random order and no one has ever noticed.”

The result of the termination of all journalists is expected to bring large profits to the struggling newspaper industry that has been financially deficient after the results of last year's survey which showed that most readers under the age of 29 thought newspapers were only used in the old days to line bird cages and not actual carriers of information.

Sunday, January 24, 2016


The sunlight flitters through the trees, eventually reaching the ground, reflecting off the dense white surface, and bounding back to the sky the outside awash in overly bright light. Sometime after 10:30 last night the snow that had pelted Richmond, Virginia for over 36 hours had subsided and for the first time in two days the sun is beating down. The winter storm, dubbed Jonas by The Weather Channel, has finally cleared the area.

WWBT, Richmond, reports that depending on your exact location between 12 to 17 inches of snow now blankets the area. A quick survey of the parking lot makes it look more like 17 to 20 inches. The cars all look like spirits of their former selves, haunting the parking lot for eternity. Mostly brooms, with a few dustpans, snow brushes, ice scrapers, and other assorted tools, are used to begin clearing the thick white mass by a populous that is not prepared for the beating that they have received.

“Motorists are advised to stay off roads not only for safety, but to allow crews to clear snow as efficiently as possible,” VDOT states on their website. The roads and parking lots are a mess. A singular swath is cut through the middle of the complex parking lot, the only path the plow last night cleared. The Times-Dispatch, Richmond's daily newspaper, has announced that the Sunday paper will only be delivered to limited areas and delivery won't even commence until after noon. The rest of the routes will only be delivered to once it is safe for travel. The Washington Post and The New York Times, both of which are printed for the local marketplace around Washington, D.C. will not be available today at all locally since they were unable to make the roughly 110 mile trek from the D.C. area, which was hit far worse by the winter storm, to Richmond.

Off on the side a snow blower run by the property maintenance kicks on. Richmond slowly tries to dig out from the mess, a process that will take time. VDOT told WWBT that secondary roads may be difficult for the next few days.

For most of Richmond, and I suspect a lot of the area, yesterday's snow day continues into today and for some will probably continue into Monday.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Virginia: A Snow Odyssey

Last winter New England was hammered by winter storm after winter storm. As a result, Boston, Massachusetts, reached a new seasonal snow fall record. Now 2015 is over and the first major snow event of 2016, dubbed Winter Storm Jonas by The Weather Channel, is now pummeling the East coast causing chaos from North Carolina to New York City, not New England.

The devastating storm has crippled the nation's capital, where The Weather Channel was reporting that citizens were advised as of Friday night to have a minimum of 72 hours worth of essential supplies available. The storm has also caused Republican presidential candidate and New Jersey governor Chris Christie to leave the vital New Hampshire primary campaign trail to return to New Jersey to oversee the state during a state of emergency due to the winter storm.

Here in Richmond, Virginia, we are getting the bottom end of the winter storm. Nothing like our neighbors to the north. WRIC Richmond, was reporting as of 7 A.M. today that the Richmond metro area had received between 5 to 7 inches depending on one's exact location, with an additional three to five inches expected to fall today. WRIC also reported that there were 290 accidents within the Richmond metro area on Friday daytime and overnight.

As the snow continues to fall and the wind chill lowers the temperature to low double digit numbers, if you are anywhere in this winter storm you know that it is dangerous to be out. This is a great time to curl up with a nice book.

Friday, January 1, 2016

The Things We Resolve

By Ken Johnson

For those who follow the Gregorian calendar, the New Year has officially arrived, which is at least easy for us to foresee these days. The Gregorian calendar has only been in use since 1582, when it replaced the Julian calendar which was a much more complicated calendar. No longer are augurs required as part of the calendar process.

And it is on this day, which also interestingly enough was the day that Julius Caesar was deified two thousand and fifty seven years ago, that we all must remember to start writing a different year on checks, if you still even write checks anymore. And we start our New Year's resolutions.

New Year's resolutions date back to the festival of Akitu in Mesopotamia, where as part of their New Year's festival (in the month of Nisannu now March/April) they would make promises of what they would do in the upcoming year to appease the gods. Now we make resolutions of what we want to do for ourselves.

The Babylonian promises would have to do with others, for instance returning what had been borrowed, be it a physical item or money. Now our resolutions are purely gluttonous, although for many one of the resolutions will to be less gluttonous.

As one enters 2016, tries to remember to write the new date on checks, and comes up with their resolutions, they might want to think back to the Babylonian's and instead of making gluttonous New Year's resolutions that focus purely on themselves but ones that would benefit others around them.