Thursday, June 28, 2012
Facebook surprised Wall Street insiders today when it purchased the upstart app Instababy for an estimated $3 billion. Instababy was created in 2009 by James and Irene Parker as an app for Facebook that would allow them to create an imaginary baby to appease the demands of friends and family. According to their website, “Almost as soon as we were married our friends and family would hound us about having children. We weren’t ready to take that leap yet, but they kept asking. Finally, we said enough. We created Instababy and the questions stopped!”
Instababy has now delivered over 1 million babies to users and can be downloaded to any Android or iOS5 device. The Parkers have also expanded the app to give a complete child experience from birth to college graduation. By plugging in physical and psychological traits of the prospective parents, Instababy creates a customized virtual baby. Users can then schedule instant uploads to Facebook for special events such as “baby’s first birthday” and their “child’s dance recital”. Instababy will also share photographs and short stories about their “child’s” progress. The app can even insert your virtual baby into vacation photos. According to Instababy user Marjorie Philips, “It is awesome! You know all of those annoying stories your Facebook friends post about how amazing their kids are? Well, now I can do that too. Your daughter just won her science fair? Well guess what, mine just won a research grant with Stephen Hawking.” Some critics however, have questioned the longevity of such a website. Wouldn’t your family and friends eventually find out?
According to Irene Parker, they were surprised at the results. “More than 90% of our Facebook friends and family never found out. We discovered that very few people on Facebook ever see each other and even when they do, they often don’t bring their kids. It seems like the more connected we have become as a society, the less connected we actually are. Interestingly, once we had our ‘children’, people don’t seem nearly as inclined to ask us about them as they were before. The few who did discover the truth were initially disappointed but then they joined in the fun too. My mother-in-law even created an Instababy for herself.”
Though Instababy sounds like a hit, analysts wonder why Facebook would pay the hefty $3 billion price tag for the app. Comments from the recently married Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg suggests he believes that the app “is a good investment for Facebook and fits perfectly with what we are trying to accomplish.” In unrelated news, Zuckerberg and his new wife announced that they are expecting their first child.
The Top 10 Reasons People Love Instababy:
1. Create a photo timeline from birth to college graduation.
2. Schedule automated posts for Facebook in seconds.
3. Always have the smartest and cutest baby of any of your friends.
4. Leverage in hostage situations: “please sir, I have children”.
5. Instant Excuse: “Sorry I would’ve loved to help you move but little Ricky is sick.”
6. Receive gifts that you can return for stuff for you want (like a Jet Ski) and then create customized childlike thank you notes to family and friends.
7. No doctors, no medical bills and no delivery. Instababy is instant gratification!
8. Be able to watch kid’s movies like Brave without being embarrassed.
9. 20% off discount to Hire-An-Actor for the big events like graduations.
10. Save an estimated $200,000+ (the approximate cost of raising a child from birth through college)!
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Howdy Orbsonites! I just got back from a 3-week trek through the jungles of Florida, South Carolina and Michigan and boy did I dig up some interesting stories. Check out my latest. Is it satire? Is it real? In a world where Bristol Palin has her own tv show recognizing reality can be tricky.
The Walking Red
The Walking Red plague is upon us and Florida Governor Rick Scott is covering it up. On May 26, 2012, Miami police were called to the scene of a horrific attack. While the Miami Police Department has refused to comment on the incident, eyewitness reports show that officers observed a naked man literally eating the face off of his homeless victim. After ignoring an officer’s order to stop, the attacker was shot with a police issue revolver. The bullet had no effect on the attacker and the officer had to fire at least a half of a dozen more shots before the foul feast was finally stopped. The incident has lead to nationwide speculation to the presence of zombies in Florida. After an exhaustive investigation into the story, it is now clear that the Miami Police and Florida Governor Rick Scott are engaging in a disturbing and potentially deadly cover-up. The Miami “zombie” attack was not perpetrated by a drug addicted felon or a creature from a horror movie. No, the truth is more terrifying- Florida Republicans are turning into zombies. The plague of “The Walking Red” is beginning to take hold in the conservative (red) states and officials are doing whatever they can to keep the truth from the public.
Differentiating between Republicans and zombies can be difficult. Both groups share many similar traits, most notably their vacant expressions and mindlessly following others without rational independent thought. In addition, both fail to grasp simple concepts that normal human beings grasp easily. Concepts such as open-mindedness, caring for their environment and helping the less fortunate are completely loss on both Republicans and zombies. The desire to attack those different from themselves is also a key attribute to both groups. Whether through verbal or violent attacks, Republicans often assail groups such as the LGBT community, “illegal” immigrants, the poor, the non-religious and pretty much anyone else who disagrees with them.
A team of scientists at the Center for Disease Control (CDC) say that The Walking Red plague is essentially a “psychological zombification” that has increased in frequency over the past decade. The condition develops as Republicans slowly devolve from rational, thinking human beings to mindless automatons. There is usually some trigger that activates the zombie-like state. “We have found that the majority of Walking Red victims were watching Fox News shortly before transcending into full zombie mode. They lose all sense of right and wrong and began blindly attacking those they opposed as Republicans.” That is likely why the “zombie” in Miami chose a homeless person to attack. He felt a primal urge to destroy anything that threatened their conservative mindset.
Luckily, there is a cure for The Walking Red plague. “By stabilizing the afflicted and opening their mind to various forms of knowledge, a person can fully recover from the zombified state.” However, efforts to assist the state of Florida have been met with silence. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, an aide to Republican Florida Governor Rick Scott stated, “The Governor doesn’t want anyone to know about the outbreak until after the November election. There have been thousands of these cases that we’ve covered up. The Republizombies will all vote for Republicans. If they’re cured, they may not. He won’t take that chance. It has already affected more than half of our office. I’m scared. I don’t want it to happen to me.”
Unfortunately, it appears as though The Walking Red plague may be spreading. “Zombie” attacks have already been reported in Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi. Liberals such as Jon Stewart and Rachel Maddow have been forced into hiding and comedian Bill Maher is currently missing and presumed eaten. The CDC is recommending that that unaffected Republicans cease watching Fox News immediately and start reading as many newspapers and books as possible. If you should encounter a member of The Walking Red, you should try to escape immediately. If escape is not possible, saying the following phrases has been known to ward off an attack: “I love Rush Limbaugh!” “Fox News is the only news I watch!” “I hate Obama, he should go back to whatever country he came from!” “Bristol Palin is a good role model for teenagers.” Of course, many would likely choose to have their faces eaten, rather than having to utter any of those words. Only one thing is certain, The Walking Red are among us.