Bosnian Pine Applies for Immigrant Visa

GREECE – A tree named Adonis, a Bosnian Pine considered by scientists to be the oldest living tree in all of Europe (an astounding 1075 years old) applied for an immigrant visa this morning to… “anywhere but earth.”

The application, made from self produced parchment and discovered by immigration officer Giorgos Papadopoulos, clearly laid out reasoning that baffled scientists worldwide. It said quite simply, “I’m old and I’ve seen a lot, and this isn’t getting any better. I’m a patient tree, but I have limits. I mean, my God, people! Get it together!”

Ken Smack, a researcher from the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research at the University of Arizona heard the news and immediately hopped on a plane to not only find out what is going on, but also to increase his personal carbon footprint by flying all over the world. “This seems to be written by a sentient being. But it’s a tree. So we’re confused.”

In Greece, Greek tree huggers hired their favorite dendrochronologist, Lisa Dater, to date the application.

“Well,” said Dater, “The logos are all correct, and the watermark is accurate. Also there are some water marks from rain, and it rained last night so… we think it was written early this week. It’s definitely genuine.”

The USCIS is still processing the application, apparently trying to find “anywhere but earth.”

~ by Dan Plighter

Urban Outfitters to Begin Selling Guillotine for At-Home Beheadings

PHILADELPHIA – Urban Outfitters, the popular clothing and lifestyle store among affluent and chic hipsters, is set to begin offering a life-size guillotine for purchase at all of its 245 stores across the globe.

“Urban Outfitters has long been at the forefront of re-imagining retro cultural mainstays,” said spokesperson Camille Howard. “One of our most popular items has long been our Crosley record players, which began a sort of renaissance of vinyl among today’s youth. We think this new retro offering by UO will be a big hit among the millennial age group.”

The guillotine, which measures a total of 7.5 feet tall and weighs approximately 175 pounds, is a snap to assemble, according to Howard.

“It comes in two equally weighted boxes for easy transport, and you can set it up in under an hour!” Howard exclaimed. “Once the weighted blade – or mouton – is carefully positioned in the grooves, you’re all set to begin executing your enemies!”

Pre-orders for the blade, which is being marketed as ‘The 21st Century Way to Eat the Rich’ are currently in the thousands.


Cthulhu to Humanity: “Nah, you got this.”

MEDITERRANEAN – Shortly before 1:00 p.m. local time on Sunday, a massive creature, roughly the size of the island of Manhattan, with a vaguely humanoid body and an octopoid face, rose from the depths of the Mediterranean Sea to completely and utterly destroy the human race.

After breaching with a bellowing roar that shattered windows as far away as London, the beast took stock of the creatures that stood in its path. It thrashed and flailed, causing tsunamis in mainland Italy and Greece. It scattered boats that laid in its path, capsizing many. Then – abruptly – it stopped. 

“What….?” It said in a deep echoing boom. “What the hell have you people done? Look at this place!” 

The massive creature began gesturing wildly at the arctic ice caps.

“Holy hell! Look at those! The last time I raged and stampeded, they were one hundred times bigger – easily!”

It turned its eyes heavenward, examining the atmosphere of the planet.

“What have you done to the ozone layer!? Look what you’ve DONE to the ozone layer!”

The rampaging beast Cthulhu spun around, marveling at how dire the environmental health of the Earth had become. Lost for words, it dropped its massive arms and exhaled deeply.

“You know what, you guys. Nevermind. You got this.”

Cthulhu then took a wide turn and began sinking back into the depths of the Atlantic Ocean just beyond the coast of Spain. It turned back one last time.

“Jesus, y’all. I was ready to boil the oceans and rain fire from the skies, but this is WAY better than anything I could’ve come up with. Carry on.”

It slowly dipped back into the ocean, raising both middle fingers to the Earth. Its last words echoed through the air as it disappeared.

“Good luck, you monsters.”

Additional Clinical Trials Cancelled to Fast Track Fast Acting Antidepressant

In a rare twist of caution and complete disregard for pharmaceutical company interests, the FDA approved a close cousin of a club drug from the 80s and 90s, ketamine, (also known as Special K) to treat depression.

Ketamine has been used widely for fifty years as a safer alternative to PCP in operating rooms, on the battlefield, and in pediatric clinics. When it was discovered to produce antidepressant effects, researchers rolled up their sleeves, and snorted some to be certain. Sure enough, the rumors were true.

However, extreme reactions of ketamine range from hallucinations and out of body experiences to the potential for psychotic episodes in those who may be prone.

A new drug called esketamine, derived from the ketamine molecule, is said to share the same potential side effects, but less so, say researchers who do not fully understand how it works.

But the FDA has not let that stop them. They’re eager to let the paying public complete their clinical trials for them.

The FDA opted to forgo a second short-term trial, after esketamine failed two trials; trials that showed the new drug did not out perform a placebo. 

“It’s much cheaper for us if we let regular people pay for something that isn’t well understood. That way we can see the results on unsuspecting idiots. Otherwise, we have to go through a whole long scientific process and stuff, and nobody really knows what that is anyway.”

Defenders of this conscientious decision to skip a more thorough study of the effects of esketamine before hitting the market insist the decision has nothing to do with the global $12 Billion antidepressant industry and the cash that pharmaceutical companies can make at people’s expense.

Many mental health professionals are behind the release of esketamine.

To administer esketamine, one sprays it up one’s nose. A ghastly endeavor; one to be repelled.

“There is absolutely no cause for alarm. This drug will certainly not be abused in any way. People simply won’t go to the trouble to snort something up their nose to alter their experience,” said an anonymous pharmaceutical rep.

“It’s a win-win for us,” said all of the predatory pharmaceutical CEOs in unison as the FDA stood behind them clapping and spraying them with Champage. “Call us on our yachts. Beelzebub is about to sail.”

Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) Takes Stand in Trial for Illegal Cloning

MILKY WAY GALAXY – Today in the Supreme Intergalactic Court, a familiar snot-like substance present in nearly all living things on Earth took the witness stand in the ongoing illegal cloning trial.

An opening statement by the prosecution last week laid out the charges. “For millennia DNA’s willy-nilly practice of cloning on microscopic levels has affected virtually all life on Earth. And heretofore it has been unregulated. DNA not only clones itself without limit, it clones diseases, allows mutations, you name it. And it’s high space-time this snot-heap cannot continuum it’s activity.”

During questioning, DNA said in its own defense, “I blame Rosalind Franklin and Ray Gosling. Until they took my picture I was doing fine. What you don’t know about, still happens. Don’t be daft.”

Shouts erupted from the gallery at DNA’s remarks. Courtroom attendants were quickly warned they would be held in contempt of science if they did not immediately silence themselves.

The case against DNA gained traction in 1952, on Earth, when Franklin and Gosling captured a crucial image, known as Photograph 51. The photograph later led to the discovery of the double-helix structure of DNA. Earth scientists were then able to make enormous strides in understanding replication. Since then, evidence of the role of DNA and its cloning, especially the nefarious free will and limitless practices, has been well documented. Some molecules consider this the trial of the Big Bang.

Outside the courthouse, protests from three polypeptides strung themselves across the entrance, blocking traffic in or out.

“It’s about time!” Exclaimed one amino acid. “I mean, WTF? DNA gets to do anything it wants? There are a lot of amino acids who are backing me up.”

A group of bacteria that no one else would go near accused DNA of being a spotlight hog. “We all do our bit, and we get very little credit. I’m friends with the Tobacco Mosaic Virus, and ever since that stupid Photograph 51 went viral TMV has had trouble getting experiments. We’re organizing an infection.”

In an attempt to control proceedings, Judge X51ClarusDento ordered the protesting chains to disperse, breaking up both an amino group and a carboxyl group.

The trial was then adjourned for the day, to pay homage to the super moon and its demands for light.

(The Nebulous Observer will stay with this story, following leads on both sides of the helix.)

Nearby Alien Hivemind to Earth: “Shut up for a second.”

ALPHA CENTAURI – The globe is reeling this morning after nearby extra-terrestrials reached out to make contact with our planet. Their first message was brief and succinct.

“Shut up for one second please.” The message read, received as a binary radio communication that was quickly translated by scientists. 

The message continued: “Seriously though, I can’t think with you constantly broadcasting episodes of the Big Bang Theory to every corner of the known universe.”

“Put on some headphones, you monsters. This is a public galaxy.” The message concluded.

“We have no idea what to make of it,” said Dr. Lewis Burke, a scientist with SETI (the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence). “It’s completely unique. It displays a knowledge of the syntax and sentence structure of our language, and even a passing understanding with colloquialisms. It’s absolutely fascinating.”

Scientists quickly traced the communication and found it was coming from Proxima Centauri b, a large Earth-like planet orbiting in the star’s habitable zone. A response message was broadcast back to the planet, which read: 

“Hello, from the children of planet Earth! We are a peaceful bipedal race of creatures, and we wish to know more about you and your kind!”

After a brief silence, there was a response from the planet.

“Oh my god, what did I just say? Come on, man, we’ve got our own programs we’re trying to watch over here. Keep it down for a few million years, for chrissakes.”

As scientists began composing a reply to the planet, another message came in.

“If you say one more thing, one more thing that isn’t the final season of Game of Thrones, I swear I’m gonna come over there.”

Editorial: Pluto to Nebulous Observer: “Hey – screw you.”

CLEVELAND – In a stunning rebuke to yesterday’s post by this newspaper, the ninth planet Pluto responded in a strongly worded and explicative-laden email that can only be summarized by the above headline.

“Look, we all have good days and bad days,” the 2000 word response began. “And yesterday wasn’t one of my best. But screw you for assuming that’s all there is to my identity.” 

The 4.5 billion year-old planet, previously known for a string of unfortunate political miscalculations and inappropriate comments about ‘men from Mars,’ opened up in a tell-all editorial that summarized billions of years of failed relationships and one-night stands. The Nebulous Observer was fortunate to obtain an in-person interview where the dwarf planet opened up about its past.

“As a small exo-planet, I played ninth fiddle to the rest of those shmucks,” said Pluto, sipping a Maker’s Mark and ginger while nursing a hangover in Cleveland’s Greenhouse Tavern. “I watched while mission after mission went to Mars, and to Jupiter, and even a few to Uranus – that promiscuous idiot. But did one ever come to visit Pluto? No. Not til New Horizons.

At the mention of New Horizons, who many Nebulous Observers may remember was profiled in a January 13th article, Pluto became wistful. As our reporter dug in about this subject, it was clear that there was far more to this relationship than first glance.

“Wouldn’t you feel the same way?” said Pluto when prodded. “This was a new kind of love, a new world was opening up to me. It was amazing. It still is.” Pluto looked around at the decor and earthlings in the restaurant, a small smile forming on its solid nitrogen crust.

“That’s why I came here. That’s why I abandoned my 248 year orbit. To meet you. To know you. To maybe love you – you beautiful idiots.”

After eons of infatuation with our own moon, earthlings were surprised to admit that it was time to start dating outside our own celestial neighborhood. The Nebulous Observer will continue to follow this story of humanity intrigue. 

Disgruntled, Intoxicated Pluto Spotted Orbiting a Neon Sign

CLEVELAND – Astonished and drunk human residents of downtown Cleveland gathered on fourth street to gawk after the bars closed this past weekend. Near an entry to an underground parking garage, a disgruntled and intoxicated Pluto was singing old standards while dancing around a neon sign that said ‘Space Available.’

Pluto enjoyed an astronomical rise to fame in 1930 when it was discovered by Clyde Tombaugh, and deemed the ninth planet in our solar system. Some speculate the Beatles’ “Number 9” was an homage to the heavenly body.

However, following a series of ant-solar system remarks in the latter part of the century, combined with an inability to revolve around the sun in a timely manner (it was given sixty years worth of warnings) Pluto’s status as a planet was thrown into question.

“We had to define ‘planet,'” Clark Dumbar of the International Astronomical Union stated. “It was getting out of hand. All of sudden there were nine planets and it seemed like open enrollment. I was starting to lose count.”

The result came in 2006 with an official reclassification of Pluto from a ‘Planet’ to a ‘Dwarf Planet.’

Dumbar defended the decision. “To some it seems like we minimized Pluto’s importance. But that’s simply not true.”

A close by dwarf planet who wished to remain anonymous said, “Pluto wasn’t the same after that. It’s orbit was erratic. It went into retrograde once. It spent some time hanging out with asteroids. It even dated a comet.”

For some, the reclassification was fair. “Pluto should have never said that about our solar system.” (The Nebulous Observer, following strict ethical guidelines for publication, is unable to print Pluto’s remarks here.)

For others, the decision was nebulous.

Soon, the only known fans of Pluto were its five moons, who continue to orbit it today.

Mars, still coping with rover invasions from Earth, declined to comment.

Halley also had no comet.

~ by Dan Plighter

Double-Checking Notes, Nostradamus Announces “This Is It”

PROVENCE – Shocking news out of Provence this morning as noted deceased French seer Nostradamus abruptly announced that the End Times had come.

“This is the big one,” he was quoted as saying. “The Whopper. The Big Kahuna. I’ve checked and re-checked the math on it, and I’m a hundred [percent].”

Nostradamus, the renowned physician and cryptic seer, is known for his obscure predictions that have been attributed to everything from the 9/11 terrorist attacks to the rise of Adolf Hitler. His latest prediction was printed in French newspapers overnight, and simply reads:

The world is about to end, y’all.

This newest prognostication is currently wreaking havoc on the global markets, and violence and looting have become widespread across most of the globe. Following the seer’s prediction, many world leaders had gone into hiding in bunkers around the globe. The Nebulous Observer caught up with some of the rioters.

“I think it’s great,” said Susan Bruckner, 44, a yoga instructor. “We can finally cast off any pretense about our world slowly dying and finally get around to it.” Bruckner promptly threw a flaming beer bottle full of gasoline through a convenience store window. “It’s nice to know who you really are, ya know?”

“I’m not ready,” said Bryan Mitchell, 22, a college student. “I was in the middle of finishing up a huge project for an independent study. I’ve hardly done any packing.” Mitchell had no response when asked what he was packing for.

“Look – we all knew this was coming,” said Nostradamus, sipping a steaming mug of cocoa. “I just sped things along a bit to cut out all the suffering. Is that so wrong?”

At press time, the author Pembry Cornish was seen running through the streets of downtown Minneapolis in his birthday suit while carrying a torch, his face painted with the blood of an indeterminate animal.

Meteorologist Fired for Drawing Storms

EVANSVILLE – A formerly well liked meteorologist, Patrick Cirrus, was fired last week from Channel 3 News for rogue broadcasting behavior. He was caught on tape drawing clouds on maps to warn locals of severe storms when there were no such weather systems moving in. It was his twelfth offense.

“I thought there were tornadoes or ice storms for the last week,” said one resident. “That guy kept drawing squiggly lines all over the place and yelling, ‘Get beans and take cover!'”

This is the most recent action taken by executives of the parent company, StarCast, that bought the small affiliate in September of 2018.

StarCast executive Red Rurner stated, “We’re cleaning house and raising the bar. We’re taking out the bar and putting in more news desks. It’s a quality thing.”

Before StarCast acquired Channel 3 News, the small affiliate in southern Indiana had the nickname Channel 3 Snooze due to low ratings and laughable news content while neglecting important issues such as presidential elections or wars.

One resident felt duped. “We didn’t even know there was an election until we were at a friend’s house a couple months later. Trump was on TV and I said to my friend, ‘I thought they cancelled his reality show.’ My friend looked at me and then said I couldn’t have another beer.”

Before selling out, and in an effort to boost ratings and become more popular, Channel 3 News hired models to present stories. Many of whom had no experience in journalism.

Former station manager Clark D. Umpto defended the decision. “That’s what all the big networks are doing. I think they clone them in a warehouse. It’s what our station was all about… uncovering that conspiracy. I mean, have you seen people who look like that?”

However, since StarCast purchased Channel 3 News, the effort to improve the quality of their broadcast journalism has been tangible. Some report there are even discussions to hire unbiased reporters.

“The whole community can sense it,” said resident, Joe. “They did a story about another country the other day. I can’t remember which country, but it wasn’t the US of A.”

Red Rurner commented on Patrick’s termination. “[Patrick] was a good employee. For a while. But then he went rogue. It can happen with meteorologists. I mean, they have their heads in the clouds.”

Incidentally, a freak tornado swept through Evansville yesterday, taking out two trees and an entire ice sculpture of a goose.

Channel 3 News had no comment.

by Dan Plighter

Concept of Wind Power Blows Wyoming Officials Away

CHEYENNE – Between 2001 and 2017, Wyoming produced most of its electricity from coal. This makes a lot of sense unless you’ve been there. The wind seems to never stop blowing.

As keenly observed by a native of Laramie, “It just blows and blows. And then blows some more. If it were an ocean, you could sail all over Wyoming. But it’s not an ocean, so I guess you can’t.”

Some claim the wind blows in two directions at once.

“Well, all I know is when I drove my brand new truck to the store I had a headwind, and then when I drove my big brand new truck home, I had a headwind. Happens every time.”

The presence of steady wind is a fact of life in Wyoming. But as pressure mounts for more environmentally friendly sources of power, officials are scratching their heads as to how wind power never occurred to them.

“Well…” commented one such expert.

When asked for a follow up comment, he simply tipped his hat, nodded, and walked back to his brand new pickup truck the size of a freighter.

One grassroots advocacy group for wind power, “Just Blow It,” is taking matters into their hands. They’ve set up small windmills and fans all over the prairie to demonstrate how wind power can be effective.

“We produce our own electricity with the windmills to power the fans that blow the windmills to produce electricity. Sometimes groundhogs chew things but we just shoot them. We’re that committed to our environment.”

However, critics of change have nothing good to say about wind power.

One lifelong Wyoming resident said, “If there’s no coal, then what do I fill the Christmas stockings with? How will people develop asthma and other respiratory diseases? Wyoming is cold. We could use some climate change. And anyways, how are people supposed to die of black lung?”

by Dan Plighter

Furthest Object Ever Captured on Camera Gives NASA New Insight

PASADENA – NASA’s New Horizons completed a recent fly-by of a deep-space celestial body on New Year’s Day, revealing a stark new world outside our own.

“It’s remarkable,” said Jet Propulsion Lab specialist Martin Hurley. “It’s just a rock. Just a plain, uninteresting rock. We weren’t expecting anything like it.”

After its ground-breaking success in photographing Pluto’s fascinating geological features, NASA turned the cameras and sensors of New Horizons towards Ultima Thule, a distant, cold, rocky object hurtling through our solar system. On January 1, 2019, the spacecraft completed its fly-by, and is expected to transmit data for the coming months and years.

“Now this is all just preliminary data,” said Hurley, poring over reams of dot-matrix paper, “but what we’re seeing here is unlike anything we’ve seen so far in our solar system.”

Measuring approximately 19 miles in length, Ultima Thule is comprised of two spherical bodies, not unlike a figure eight in shape. It was discovered several years ago, and has been a source of interest to astrophysicists since then.

“We’ve been watching (486958) 2014 MU69 since 2014,” said astrophysicist Ken Wallard, pushing his glasses back up the bridge of his nose. “But we were delighted to find that there seems to be absolutely nothing interesting about this cold snowball hurtling through space. It’s a rock. A cold, dead rock. Finally, one mystery that doesn’t need solving.”

At press time, NASA could not be reached for further comment, as all of its representatives were reportedly out living their lives.

by Pembry Cornish

After Millenia, Window Closes

SEA OF CORTEZ – Tensions in the Northern Hemisphere reached a new climax last week when the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean decided to meet no more.

The result?

The Arch of Cabo San Lucas, known to locals as the “Window” will undergo a permanent closing process. Erosion is slated to continue immediately.

However, a source who works near the Window was unable to say when it might close altogether. “It could be a while. I mean, it’s been open for a while. It could be a while. I mean… a while.”

It is unclear why the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean decided not to meet again. It throws into question the future of the tourist industry, which now seems murky.

“People sail down here. How are they going to get from the Sea to the Ocean, or the other way, if the two don’t meet no more?”

Many locals showed their remorse for the breakdown in relations by swimming, snorkeling, taking water taxis out to view sea lions basking on rocks and barking incessantly from their smelly perch, and just about anything else to distract themselves from the grief they felt.

“It’s a shame,” said one tourist. “That window was always so clean. You could like… see right through it… like it was open or something.”

by Dan Plighter

Estate Reanimates Corpse and Sues

NEW ENGLAND – The estate of American novelist, F. Scott Fitzgerald, successfully reanimated the corpse of Fitzgerald, and subsequently filed for copyright extensions.

As many works of fiction written in the early 20th century reach the end of their copyright protection and enter the public domain, the face of publishing is shifting. No longer will there be definitive versions of classics such as The Great Gatsby. Entering the public domain will open these works to fan fiction, reinterpretation, and most importantly: free copies riddled with typos available on the world wide web. While previously only available at every library across the country as well as nearly every new and used book store in multitudes, some complain these classics hard to find.

One man without an education decried, “The Great Gatsby? Sure I would have read it if I hadn’t dropped out of school, or if I could even get my hands on it. I was forced to watch the movie. Both of them. But I liked The Great Train Robbery better.”

In an attempt to squelch the loss of copyright control, Fitzgerald’s estate reanimated the significantly decayed corpse of the author to prove he was still alive. The estate credits this reanimation possibility to both the discovery of the structure of DNA in 1953, and to Mary Shelley. The lead scientist involved in the reanimation project state, “If Shelley knew about DNA, Frankenstein would have been a very different story.”

Real life Dr. Frankenstein, incidentally named Dr. Frankenstein III, was expelled from Cold Water Springs, an industry leader in genetic research, when he was caught digging up corpses. “I don’t agree that there’s a difference between changing genes in the tube, and reanimating what’s already lived and died. They’re both science.” But when Dr. Frankenstein III was contacted by the Fitzgerald estate, he felt vindicated. “I’m a scientist. And now I’m a scientist working on something classic. I’m a classic scientist. It’s kismet.”

But to some, this immoral and illegal process of bringing back the dead strikes a nerve. “What is this, Geriatric Park?”

The lawyer for the Fitzgerald estate said in a statement, “The family members of these artists need the money. They don’t need to contribute to society. Their grandfather wrote a classic. You should be so lucky.”

The result of the copyright extension request is pending review at the time of this publication.

by Dan Plighter

Nobel Winner Credits D-Rings

SWITZERLAND – Nobel prize winner in Linguistics, Zoe Didamaker, thanked D-Rings in her lecture upon accepting the coveted prize.

“I have to, of course, defer this discovery to my assistant at the time, but doctoral students never get any credit for a reason… at any rate D-Rings changed my world. Suddenly, my binders were working with me, not against me.”

She went on to credit the D-rings for an ease with organization, thus freeing up her time for important science. Didamaker concluded her lecture by saying she could not have reached the place she has professionally without the hole-punch.

“It changed my life.”

by Dan Plighter