University administrator demands new email emphasis tool

Edinburgh.  A University administrator has demanded a new tool with which to emphasize parts of e-mails, having exhausted traditional methods such as bold, italics, red text and flashing text.

“The simple fact is that people ignore my emails” said Ima Jobsworth, a senior administrator at the University of Berwick.  “In the early days I used bold and italics to emphasize parts of the text, and people paid attention” he contnued.  “But then they figured out that the bold and italicised sections were just as irrelevant to them as the rest of the email, perhaps even more so”.

Ima continued: “I started using red fonts, and then yellow.  Then I discovered how to highlight the background.  Then I realised you could make text flash by using certain HTML tags.  I used them all.  Nothing worked.  My utterly irrelevant emails remained unread, or even worse, deleted.

Email fatigue within the academia is a serious problem, with many researchers receiving upwards of 500 emails per day.  Despite this, the University Administrators Union has promised to increase pointless emails by 10% each year.

“What we need are new tools” continued Ima.  “We need to think outside of the box.  I have put forward a proposal to integrate a loud klaxon noise into emails, I think about 65 decibels should do it.  If researchers don’t read my emails, the klaxon would sound for 10 minutes.  Maybe we could get a spray that would show up under UV light too.  That might work”

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Scientist accidentally publishes bitter, drunken, half-formed, barely coherent blog post

TEXAS, USA.  Late last month, Steve McKnight president of ASBMB, over-privileged white man, conqueror of peoples, scaler of mountains and an inspiration to everyone, received an e-mail; an e-mail we can all sympathise with.  Some people, some unworthy mortals, had reviewed his NIH grant and deemed it unfundable.  Steve was angry.  This kind of thing shouldn’t happen to scientific superstars such as he!

As many of us normal, average people might have done, Steve went out to drown his sorrows.  One whisky followed another, until after 50 shots (yes, 50, for as you know Steve is no mortal man), Steve was drunk, and he stumbled home.  On entering his house, he walked athletically and elegantly (for alcohol does not affect Steve’s other-worldly muscle control) down the hall and passed the door to his open study.  Glancing in, he noticed his open laptop… a flame of an idea in his quite brilliant mind, Steven sat down and got to work.

Unfortunately, even God-like intelligences are adversely affected by whisky, and the bitter piece that Steve wrote, angry at his grant rejection, was a barely coherent, offensive piece of utter shit, raging with half-formed ideas about how modern scientists were no better than “riff raff”, and how things were much better before the war.

“Sweet Lord, I only went and hit ‘publish’ instead of ‘delete'” Steve laments during our interview.  “I mean, sure – I do think I am at least 50% better then everyone else on the planet, and I do think that most people are fucking stupid, but, you know, you never want that kind of stuff to get out there, do you?  No-one is supposed to read it!” he carried on.

We left Steve alone, his mighty, incredible, brain-filled head in his hands.  We’re sure such an amazing, extraordinary, inspirational man will bounce back.

(for a bio of Steve, we recommend you read this)

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Thermo anounce P2 chip available tomorrow, P3 available the day after

BREAKING NEWS: ThermoFisher who own Life Technologies who own Ion Torrent have announced that the fabled P2 chip for their sequencing technology will be available “tomorrow” and that the P3 chip will be available “the day after”.

When asked if that means the P2 chip will be available in 24 hours time, our source said “No, you don’t understand.  The P2 chip will be available tomorrow.  Ask us again in 24 hours time, and the answer will be the same – the P2 chip will be available tomorrow.  Same with the P3.  It will arrive exatcly 1 day after the P2 chip – the day after tomorrow”

In other news, the company announced that their HiQ chemistry consisted of billions of nanobots that have systematically removed all indels from every life form on Earth, which means that it no longer matters that the PGM and proton cannot detect them reliably

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Miracle Ebola drug to be withheld until companies figure out how to make money from it

Liberia.  Miracle drug ZMapp, which is said to have saved the lives of two American aid works infected with Ebola, is to be withheld from further trials until pharmaceutical companies figure out how to make money from it, The ScienceWeb has learned.

Kent Brantly and Nancy Writbol, rich Americans, received ZMapp after contracting Ebola during an aid mission.  Both survived.  However, 1000s of Africans are currently infected with the deadly virus, and many are asking whether ZMapp will be made available to them.

“The problem is that we’re not in the business of saving lives, per se” our source said.  “We’re in the business of making money.  See, Kent and Nancy, they’re the kind of patients we like, they have health insurance and they’ll pay us thousands of dollars in fees to treat them.  Africans, on the other hand… not so much.  They tend not to have any money, so we don’t really want to save them” he continued.



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Genome to become 110% functional

CAMBRIDGE, UK.  In a revealing interview today, the human genome has revealed that it is going to start to make more of an effort and become 110% functional.  The ScienceWeb exclusively prints excerpts from the interview below:

[Genome walks in, shabbily dressed, cigarette in hand]

Genome: [sighs] it’s just the right time, you know what I mean?  It’s time to buck up my ideas.  80% functional just isn’t good enough.  Not.  Good.  Enough.  I kept getting shit from all of the other body parts – kidney, liver, pancreas – saying “Hey, we’re giving 100% here!  Buck it up!”.  So I’m like – “Fuck you!  Look at heart, look at lungs – they’re just at resting state most of the time, 50% at best”.  “Yeah”, they all say, “but when our guy has to run, they shoot up – they give, like, 150, 160% effort so it all averages out at 100%.  You’re the outsider.  Step up!”.

[Genome runs a hand through straggly, unkempt hair;  a few retroviruses are shed like dandruff onto the shoulders Genome's jacket;  Genome takes a long draw on the cigarette]

Genome: Then, I think I have them.  I got ‘em.  “Hey, liver!  Hey Pancreas!” I say.  “What about brain?!  Ha!  Fucking brain!  Brain’s up there giving 10%!”.  I’m so happy I dance a jig!  Sure, 80% ain’t great, but it’s a lot better than brain!  So I’m dancing and singing, and they’re just looking at me, stony-faced, so I’m like “What?” and they say “It’s a fucking myth, genome – we don’t use 10% of our brains, we use 100%”.  I’m crestfallen.  I just fall to my knees.  I know it’s up.  The game is up.  80% just ain’t good enough any more.

[Genome sits with head between hands, eventually looking up, a glimmer of defiance in the eyes]

Genome: So it’s all going to change.  80% functional?  Fuck that.  100% functional?  Fuck that too.  I’m gonna beat those idiots, I’m gonna hit 110% functional.  Fuck ‘em all!  Fuck junk DNA, fuck ancient retroviruses, fuck pseudogenes – start working or get out!  Come on!  It’s 110% functional for me or I’m gonna get out of the business all together! All or nothing!

[The interview obviously over, Genome gets up from the chair, and leaves the room]

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Dan Graur considers career in science

HOUSTON, USA.  Blogger and professional troll Dan Graur is considering a career in scientific research, The ScienceWeb has learned.

Judge Graur became famous in 2013 for his paper claiming to have discovered the genetic basis for television encoded within the human genome.  Despite (or perhaps because of) his wild claims, Graur received wide-spread criticism for his use of the phrase “Television Sets”, a term last used in the 1950s.

Graur is perhaps best known for his blog where he trolls scientists, waiting for them to appear so that he can inject venom to slow their hearts, prior to wrapping them in a silk coccoon and eating them at his leisure.

Bored with trolling, The ScienceWeb has learned that Graur is considering a career in academic science, most often the target of his anger.  “They make so many mistakes” said Graur “so this shit should be easy for an intellectual diplodocus such as I” he continued.


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UK to lead the world in press releases, says David Cameron (again)

BREAKING.  The British Prime Minister David Cameron has announced the “100,000 press releases project”, which will place the UK at the forefront of global press release research.

The project will aim to release 100,000 press releases, all of which will say essentially the same thing, over the next 4 years.

More to follow.

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