Hasbro Unveils Enviro-Friendly Easy-Bake Oven

Pawtucket, R.I. – On Monday, Hasbro Inc. announced a new and improved version of the classic Easy-Bake Oven.  The updated version of the best-selling toy oven, originally manufactured in 1963 by Kenner Products, contains many earth-friendly features, and is marketed towards environmentally conscious youngsters and their parents.

The new “green” oven, is now actually green, replacing the traditional mustard color.  Though the shell, made from recycled plastics, was painted in China, Hasbro assures customers that the paint contains no lead.

The most significant change in the Enviro-Friendly version is the heating element, with the standard 100 watt light bulb being replaced by a 25 watt compact flourescent light bulb (CFL).

“We realized that by using incandescent bulbs, the traditional oven was not only heating up little cakes, but was also responsible for heating up the globe,” explains Mark Newland, Hasbro’s Product Development Manager.  “According to the consensus of all scientists everywhere, the use of these light bulbs has led to global climate change,” added Newland. 

“By using energy-efficient CFLs as the heating element in the new ovens, Hasbro is doing its part to reduce carbon footprints among toy users,” announced Newland to wild applause and the flashing of hundreds of cameras at Monday’s press conference. 

However, not all reviews of the latest Easy-Bake Oven have been favorable.  Skye Parker, a 10-year old from New Haven, Connecticut received a beta version from Hasbro last month.  “It was really bad,” said Skye.  “I wanted to make cookies, so I put the dough in the oven and turned it on.  I checked on it every hour for a whole day, and it never even got hot,” reported the young reviewer, who eventually gave up.  “I wanted to just go ahead and eat the raw cookie dough, but my mom said I couldn’t because it would give me worms.” 

When reached for comment, a Hasbro spokesperson suggested that perhaps the young girl did not follow the manufacturers directions and, instead, mistakenly used a cookie dough that was not certified organic.

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Gore endorses Obama for 2008, himself for 2000

Detroit, MI – Last night, environmentalist and former vice-president Al Gore endorsed Senator Barack Obama as the “next President of the United States of America.”  The endorsement comes at a crucial time in the election process – the time when both parties have already chosen their nominees.

“It is a time that Democrats need to be reminded to vote Democrat,” explained Gore.  “I wanted everyone to know that I wasn’t going to endorse the Republican nominee McCain, but the Democratic nominee Obama,” said Gore, a Democrat.  “Just so there wouldn’t be any confusion,” he added.

The time leading up to November’s 2008 Presidential Election is also a time in which Americans are in danger of forgetting the 2000 Presidential Election.  Gore’s speech was designed to remind them, over and over and over again.

“Thank you, Michigan, for supporting me in 2000,” Gore’s speech began, as college students in a crowded Joe Louis Arena looked at each other quizzically.  “2000?,” asked Jon Laidlaw, a sophomore at Michigan State University, pausing to remember back that far.  “I remember I liked the Power Rangers and Count Chocula cereal…but I don’t remember any election, and I certainly don’t remember this fatso.”

“In looking way, way, back, I can tell you that we have already learned one important fact since the year that the presidency was stolen from me: take it from me, elections matter,” said Gore.  “If you think Supreme Court appointments are important, if you live in New Orleans, if your anyone in your family is in the military, if you can’t pay your mortgage and fill up your car with gas, if you bought poisoned lead-filled toys or tainted pet food from China, if you have had anything crappy happen to you in the last 8 years, you know that elections matter,” the recent Nobel Pizza Prize recipient said to a cheering crowd.  “Even our dogs and cats know that if I was elected President like I was supposed to, none of this bad stuff would have happened.”

After reminding the audience that he was against the war in Iraq from the beginning, Gore transitioned into his endorsement of Obama.  “I remember that an eloquent legislator from Illinois named Barack Obama was just as rational, reasonable, and logical as I was, and joined me in opposition of that blunder,” said Gore.  “Furthermore, Obama is willing to stop the entire North Polar icecap from melting before our eyes, just like I would do if I were President, so there’s another reason you should vote for me…er, him.”

“Yes we can!, We need Change,” concluded Gore, causing the audience to scream wildly.  “Vote for Obama in 2008, just like you voted for me in 2000.”                     

Report: Orphaned blogs taking up limited Chinese bandwidth

Shanghai, China – A recent report finds that China’s severely limited bandwidth is being sapped by blogs that have been “orphaned.”  The phenomenon occurs when a user fails to post updates and, after a period of significant neglect, finally abandons the online journal.

The report finds that most Chinese citizens begin new blogs, rather than update old ones, after an average of 8 months of neglect.  “I needed a fresh start,” says Tan Dao, an economics major at the University of Shanghai, who is now on his third blog. 

“I just got busy and lazy, I guess, and didn’t update my blog for about a year.  It would have been embarrassing to post again, never mind that all my friends probably haven’t looked at it in 11 months…so I just started another one,” Dao explains.  The average resident of China has 3.6 blogs. 

The study finds that subsequent blogs tend to take on a slightly different look and feel, and are devoted, at least initially, to a specific theme.  This finding is contradictory to a previous study, which claimed that all Chinese blogs look the same.

China’s population, now approximately 1.3 billion, has led to a soaring data density.  The country’s bandwidth per capita (bpc) is currently the lowest in the world.  Orphaned blogs, most of which have active RSS feeds, links with search engines, and embedded images and videos result in a critical bandwidth shortage.      

According to most experts, these recent findings will undoubtedly lead China to implement a “One-Blog” policy, strictly sanctioning those who begin new blogs.   

Northern Baptist ‘Kingmakers’ meet to select future presidents

SEATTLE, Wash. – Northern Baptist Convention (NBC) ‘Kingmakers’ met this week in Seattle to determine the next 30 years of NBC presidents.  The meeting comes a week before the convention’s annual meeting, held this year June 10-11 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The Kingmakers is a secret society of high profile Convention pastors and executives who meet irregularly to control the direction of the NBC.  Their chief role is to select, groom, and nominate Convention presidents who will implement the Kingmakers’ Strategic Plan without hesitation.

Though the week’s meetings are held at undisclosed locations, many believe they will be staged at various 4 1/2- and 5-star restaurants in the Seattle area.  Washington resident, April Wilson, an 18-year old waitress at P.F. Chang’s, claims to have spotted a meeting at her restaurant on Tuesday.

“I waited on a table of overweight men in really nice suits.  You know, the ones with the shirts that are soft blues and yellows, with the white collars…and cuff links,” Wilson said.

Asked if the group of men were cordial, Wilson replied, “They were okay, but they were ‘camped-out’ for, like, an hour after they finished eating.”

“Plus, my tip was weak because they didn’t order any alcohol, not to mention that one guy left me a tract instead of money,” bemoaned Wilson, a Shoreline Community College sophomore.

Asked if she heard what they were talking about, Wilson reported, “they were, like, talking about some guy and wondering what his health would be like in 20 years.”

In Indianapolis next week, the Kingmakers will nominate Donny Shunt, a mega-church pastor from Woodstock, Illinois as NBC president.  If elected, Shunt will be up for the traditional second year re-election.  The society’s original nomination, R. Halbert Molar, Jr., president of the Northern Baptist Theological Seminary, was sidelined due to health issues.  Molar will likely be the 2010 and 2011 nominee.

During their Seattle meetings, the Kingmakers undoubtedly discussed a strategy for the possibility of an average messenger nominating an average small town pastor for President of the NBC.  The society was taken off-guard by such a nomination in 2004 that saw a no-name pastor receive 20 percent of the vote.

Meetings wrapped up Friday morning, to allow the Kingmakers to return to their respective cities and campaign for Shunt during Sunday services.         

Church member excommunicated for criticizing Expelled

FREEPORT, Kans. – On Sunday, the Church at Clearwater Crossing announced the excommuncation of Kevin Walker, one of its longtime members.  Walker, a 33 year old systems analyst at Danville Industries, has been a member of the church for 28 years.  According to church officials, Walker’s membership was terminated because he openly criticized Expelled, a recent pro-Intelligent Design documentary.

The offending comments were made in a Wichita-area Starbucks where Walker had gathered with other members of the Thirty-Somethings Sunday School class, after watching the Ben Stein documentary.  When prompted to give his opinion of the film, Walker is reported to have described it as “unfunny,” “disorganized,” “rambling,” “dishonest,” and “$9.50 that would have been better spent on another one of these coffees.”

“I couldn’t believe what I was hearing Kevin say,” said class member Amy Strahan, who was so appalled that she knocked her Venti Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Latte into her boyfriend’s lap.  “I mean, I thought he was a Christian.”

In Walker’s opinion, the film began well by effectively chronicling the dismissals of prominent intellectuals who dared to even raise the possibility of Intelligent Design (ID).  “Stein was arguing that in a free society, like America, all points of view should be given a hearing,” he said.

However, Walker believes the documentary quickly got off track when it ridiculed the evolutionary hypothesis that life began on the backs of crystals or was seeded by Extra Terrestrials.  “When Stein dismissed [Darwinian scientist Michael] Ruse’s hypothesis as quickly as the scientific establishment dismisses ID, the film’s thesis suffered irreparable damage,” Walker said.

Walker also cited Stein’s gross oversimplifications, leading questions, goofy cartoon clips, and his “painfully annoying voice” as only some of the reasons why he believed the movie tanked.

Church staffers learned about Walker’s denunciation when Arthur Durnham, the Thirty-Somethings class facilitator, approached them for advice.  “When Artie told us that one of the class members had spoken out against Expelled, we knew that we had to take decisive action,” said Jerry Spinks the church’s Executive Pastor.  “After all, we have fragile homeschoolers in our congregation who could be corrupted by [Walker’s views].”

Spinks reports that dozens of the church’s homeschooled families are flocking to the film, hoping that it will equip the youngsters with facile one-liners with which they can diffuse and dismiss Darwinian dogma.

According to Spinks, the staff’s greatest concern was Walker’s spiritual condition.  “The reviews of this film are so telling: Christians love it and the liberal, vegetarian, secularists give it rotten tomatoes,” argued Spinks.  “Since Kevin didn’t like it, he is clearly unsaved.”

The church took action at the weekly staff meeting.  “We hadn’t exercised biblical church discipline in over 60 years,” explained Spinks.  “But Kevin’s sin was so egregious that we knew we had to do it.”  Spinks says he was nominated to handle the sticky situation since he has a background in corporate human resource management. 

“Despite the fact that Intelligent Design goes out of its way to say that it is not arguing for the Christian God and despite the fact that Ben Stein is a messiah-denying Jew, the ID movement and Expelled are obviously anointed works of God,” Spinks said.  “When Kevin spoke out against Expelled, he was rebelling against the will of the Lord.”

Asked if it was possible for Kevin Walker to be restored to the congregation, Spinks replied, “No. Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is the unpardonable sin.”