Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Just To Be Clear

Just to be clear, News from Rockettopia has moved! It is now at www.rockettopia.com.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Lawsuit-Embroiled Weird Shoe Company Defends Itself; "Our Shoes Protect Against STDs"

After settling a lawsuit claiming that they lied about the health benefits of their shoes, Barefoot Shoe manufacturer Vibram struck back at critics by claiming that their shoes protect against sexually transmitted diseases. Vibram had marketed its strange individual-toed shoes by claiming that the shoes
(1) Strengthen muscles in the feet and lower legs
(2) Improve range of motion in the ankles, feet, and toes
(3) Stimulate neural function important to balance and agility
(4) Eliminate heel lift to align the spine and improve posture
(5) Allow the foot and body to move naturally
But in 2012 Valerie Bezdek sued on a charge of false advertizing, pointing out that Vibram had, to quote Bezdek, "Pulled their 'science' out of their ass." After checking with their science department, discovering that it consisted of five dusty mannequins in lab coats, and then checking with their marketing department, Vibram decided to settle with Bezdek and pay 3.75 million dollars to people who have bought their shoes. Wait, what? 3.75 million? Oh. Total. Each person who purchased a pair of FiveFinger and can provide proof-of-purchase shoes will be eligable for a refund of approximately 50$. Vibram will not, however, compensate buyers for the emotional trauma of being mocked by the friends they had remorselessly preached the benefits of FiveFinger to. The judge who ruled in the case is, however, 'leaving open' the option of forcing Vibram to compensate the people who had to listen.
Today, Vibram defended itself from accusation of lying to their customers by responding that although their shoes did not, in fact, promote any kind of foot, leg, or muscle health, the shoes were incredibly effective at protecting against Sexually Transmitted Diseases. "Unlike our previous assertions, which we now regret and never would have made if we had thought someone would check them, science does show that FiveFinger shoes protect against sexually transmitted diseases more effectively than almost any other product on the market." The spokesman then cited a study conducted by Rockettopia University earlier this year that found, in a sample of nearly a million individuals, no instances of contraction of and kind of STDs by people who often wore FiveFinger shoes. The study concluded by stating that, "[T]he data speaks for itself. FiveFinger shoes are incredibly effective at preventing the transmission of Venerial Diseases including but not limited to Gonorrhea, syphilis, and Herpes. The effect of FiveFinger on reducing STD rates equals only that of total sexual abstenance... Oh. I get it now. Maybe I should get rid of these." (Behe 31)


Further reading:

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Donetsk, Ukraine Observes Passover By Re-Enacting Antisemitism

The embattled city of Donetsk, Ukraine celebrated the Jewish holiday of Passover this week with the ancient tradition of antisemitism. Someone, it's currently unclear who, posted notices around the city telling Donetski Jews,

All citizens of Jewish nationality over the age of 16 who live on the territory of the sovereign Donetsk Republic must before May 3, 2014, appear before the Donetsk Republic commissar for nationality affairs in Room 514 of the government’s offices. The cost of registration is 50 US dollars.
That this event coincides with Passover may not be a coincidence. Passover celebrates the legendary escape of the Jewish people from Egypt, which, if historical, is the oldest case of antisemitism. Jews celebrate passover by gathering with family, praying, and eating Matzah, a kind of bread-cracker hybrid which ancient antisemite tradition claims is made from the blood of christian boys. However, many moderate antisemites today believe that such stories are not factually correct, but merely serve to remind believers that Jews must be feared and hated. Given the long history of Judiasm, antisemitism and Passover, it only makes sense that antisemites would celebrate Passover with the persecution of the Jews.
The tradition of antisemitism seen here has a rich cultural history. Archaeologists have found evidence of antisemitism dating back to hundreds of years before the birth of Christ, and it has been continuously practiced to some extent ever since. Antisemitism can range from the banning of synagogues to clothing restrictions to restrictions on residence to outright massacres, and in extreme cases systematic murder. Some critics have condemned antisemitism for being " is prejudice, hatred of, or discrimination against Jews for reasons connected to their Jewish religion or heritage" (Source: Wikipedia), but others respond that antisemitism is a rich and diverse culture that should not be painted with one brush.
One such person is Artem Oleksiy, an official of the self-declared Donetsk Republic. "We have a long tradition of antisemitism.", he told News from Rockettopia. "This new requirement that Jews register with the government is simply an expression of our rich cultural heritage. We are proud to be bigots." When asked if the Jew Registration Drive would lead to the establishment of ghettos, voting restrictions, and laws about Jewish-owned businesses, Oleksiy dismissed such claims nonchalantly. "Absurd. Those plans are not to be released to the public for three months yet."
As a practicing Jew, I hope that the two traditions of Judaism and the irrational hatred of Jews can coexist peacefully in Donetsk.


Saturday, April 12, 2014

AGSA Should Not Have Kept Quiet About Day of Silence

The student body awoke last Friday to discover that it was the national Day of Silence. The Day of Silence, which is organized locally by the AGSA (All Genders and Sexualities Alliance), is a day on which participants keep silent to protest the social pressures that make GLBTQ teens stay silent about who they are. Unfortunately, this year the AGSA did not talk to the school beforehand about the day of silence. So when Friday 4/11 arrived, the student body was caught off-guard. Many would-be participants were forced to speak because they had not been able to fill out the paperwork in time. To be absolutely clear, yes, I am saying that at Rockettopia High School, one must fill out paperwork days in advance just to be allowed to shut up.
Although supporter badges were avalable at the doors, and many students wore them, many have spoken out encouraging the AGSA to talk to the student body about the Day of Silence next year.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Ryan Proposes New Budget; Likely More Campaign Tool Than Legislation

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan today announced that he would be attempting to propose an updated version of his trademark budget proposal this Wednesday. Ryan's budget will cut taxes radically for the rich, increase defense spending, cut medicaid, and, of course, repeal the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. The budget proposal is strange in that it has no chance of passing the Democrat-controlled Senate, and that Ryan-Murray budget, which Chairman Ryan drafted with senator Patty Murray last year, makes a budget proposal this year unnecessary. More likely, Ryan's new budget is a campaigning tool that the GOP will use to rally their voter base in preparation for the midterm elections this November.
Source: NPR

Saturday, March 22, 2014

RHS Addiction Task Force Going After 2048

The Rockettopia High School administration announced today that they would be forming a task force to go after the highly addictive game 2048. Since it was published less than a month ago, 2048 has achieved a large following among everyone on the internet. The decision to go after 2048 came after a new study by the RHS Studying-Things Club found that 'playing 2048' is now the number one use of school computers, beating out the previous front-runners, 'watching porn' and 'using them as bongs'. "This logic-skill-building game 2048 has been wasting vital time that students could be using to do something productive like write an essay over-analyzing The Bean Trees.", the Principal told News from Rockettopia. "It must be stopped."
We here at News from Rockettopia are glad to see the administration switching its focus from marijuana to something actually addictive. Now, must... play... 2048. I'm sure I can spare just one more night's sleep!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

School Musical Message: Repression is For Your Own Good

The Rockettopia High School production of Urinetown last weekend was stunningly successful. The performance was carried by amazing actors, skilled set design, a hardworking crew, and the overarching message that repression is for your own good.
For those not familiar with the musical, Urinetown is the story of a town in which all toilets are controlled by the Urine Good Company (UGC) and charge admission fees. Those who cannot pay the fees are executed. Eventually, a popular revolt deposes the dictatorial leaders of the UGC and make toilets free. And then they all die when the water runs out. Because what were they supposed to do, build outhouses or composting toilets or something?
 The underlying theme that the musical is intended to convey, according to the director, is that "However bad the authority's treatment of you may seem, however arbitrary and oppressive their rules, they're looking out for your own good and you should just go along with it." The obvious application of this message in everyday life is in marijuana. "We crack down on anyone who we catch with marijuana," the RHS principal told News from Rockettopia, "and we don't give a good reason why except that it's for some reason illegal and you should just do what we tell you. Our production of Urinetown was intended to drive home the message that these kinds of rules are for your own good, that you can't be expected to understand what they're for, that it's right to deal harshly with those who disobey or question, and that if you don't do as we say, bad things will happen."