Zen Buddhists eat traditional Japanese donuts during meditation

EIHEIJI, JAPAN—Zen Buddhist Dōgen Zenji, 38, revealed an esoteric trick to successful meditation known as dōnatsu no michi, the practice of masticating a piece of donut until one becomes united with the cosmos.

The history of the donut is disputed. Some historians claim that it was invented by Dutch settlers in North America, while other scholars contend that it was first made in 1847 by a 16-year-old American named Hanson Gregory. Still, other experts argue that it was first made by a baroness named Elizabeth Dimsdale, who credited a local cook known only as Mrs. Fordham. Dōgen, however, disagrees. “Pace Western historians, the modern donut evolved from a Japanese delicacy known as dōnatsu, which can be properly made only by a small enclave of monks who reside primarily in the Fukui Prefecture,” he said.

To prove his point, Dōgen elegantly retrieved a small batch of dōnatsu from his black shoulder bag before silently walking into the zendo, or Zen hall, to meditate. Upon sitting down, he lifted the dōnatsu to his mouth and simultaneously chewed and chanted, while bread crumbs from the dōnatsu fell onto his rakusu, a traditional Japanese zen garment worn around the neck.

“It is lamentable how the West keeps on robbing Japan and its culture,” said Dōgen. “First, they take away our traditional Toyota vehicles and get rich selling American cars, and then they take away our food and turn it into an unhealthy junk food. Have they no shame?”

When asked how an inexperienced Westerner might learn to meditate, Dōgen replied with consummate simplicity: “Eat.”

Fourth graders stun scholars with incisive Rothko analyses

COLUMBUS, OH—A group of home-schooled fourth graders have established a new interdisciplinary peer-reviewed journal entitled Midwest Journal of the Metaphysics of Art, stunning  professors and graduate students from disciplines ranging from the arts to biomedical engineering. “The problem with postmodern art is that much of it, while visually pleasing, is based on little to no understanding of basic propositional logic, let alone the rigorous philosophical methods that metaphysicians of art must employ,” said 10-year-old Tom Bruise, who received an honorary doctoral degree from The Ohio State University in 2004.

At a Rothko convention in Dayton, 10-year-old postmodernist Dustin Huffman disagreed, citing bits and pieces of Derrida and Buddhist philosophy. “A veritable comprehension of the dualism that is both inherent and negatively response-dependent within the realm of tauroscatological sufficiency cannot be attained by means of any conventional logical stratagem,” he quipped.

What followed Huffman’s incisive comment was a spirited intellectual debate among the top scholars in the field, with some even drawing abstruse evidence from chaos theory to bolster their points.

Under the supervision of their parents, the fourth graders continue to break new ground. Scores of scholars from across the nation will attend the fourth graders’ next Rothko convention in April.

Be careful what you listen to: ‘Canon in D’ causes cancer

BALTIMORE—A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that people who listen to bad music are three times as likely as people with good musical tastes to develop certain types of cancer. Though bad music is overwhelmingly found in K-pop, Canto-pop, Mando-pop, and anything in the USA Singles Top 40, several pieces of classical music are also proven to be highly carcinogenic, scientists warn.

The popular “Canon in D” by Johann Pachelbel, long recognized by established musicians as an objectively bad piece of music, is a case in point. “Even amateur musicians know that ‘Canon in D’ is an uninspired collection of melodic clichés,” said Dustin Huffman, a third grader at the American School in Taichung. “As soon as I hear my peers play that piece for the tenth, hundredth, thousandth, billionth goddamn time, I know that it’s time to GTFO,” said Dustin.

“‘Canon in D’ contains an uninspired harmonic progression full of triads,” said Dustin’s music teacher, Michael Wiles. “It does not even contain altered dominant chords, let alone seventh chords,” he said angrily, adding that “pretty much every student I’ve had in the past ten years doesn’t know what an altered dominant chord is, and that’s just sad, because they might get cancer and die before they can appreciate the beauty of Bach.”

At the American School in Taichung, biology teacher Lily Hsu cautioned students to know what they’re listening to. “The relationship between music and science is, for want of a better term, sacred,” she said. “Every intellectually responsible human being who does not want to die early from scientific ignorance should know the musical theoretical underpinnings of every song they listen to, and how all of that can cause malignant brain tumors.”

In addition to having deleterious neurological effects, bad music like “Canon in D” also causes short-term increases in blood pressure, cholesterol, and dihydrotesterone (DHT), an endogenous androgen sex steroid and hormone responsible for baldness. Over time, listeners are at an increased risk of testicular cancer and leukemia.

A group of scientists at Johns Hopkins have already begun to search for the link between bad music and cancer, and the results are promising. In a double-blind study consisting of 224 healthy participants, more than half of those who developed one form of cancer had a habit of listening to noise pollutants. “There is a reason ‘The Maiden’s Prayer’ is known as the ‘Garbage Truck Song’ in Taiwan,” says Centennial Professor of Neuroscience Gale Somerset. “Such music embarrassments are known to contain certain sound waves conducive to noise pollution, and thus pollution of the brain and the human body.”

Scientists and musicians urge listeners to listen to jazz, blues, and soul instead, and legislators in multiple states have already begun to push for bills that may outlaw Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, and other so-called artists.

Parents protest: ‘Our children are too polite’

NASHVILLE—More than 300 parents gathered outside the University School of Nashville on Friday, protesting against the school’s tendency to train students to become too polite. Wielding a giant protest sign, parent Clarisse Gomez said, “Our children become progressively polite, and this leads to a wide variety of problems. They become mindless twats who don’t appreciate the finer things in life, like music, art, literature, cinematography, and George Carlin.”

School officials later made a short, albeit public, apology on the school’s front steps, stating that “we are sorry that we have not done more to prevent your child from becoming another brick in the oppressive wall of thoughtless euphemisms.”

Dissatisfied, parents loudly complained that their children are no longer able to appreciate the cultural significance of “impolite” or “inappropriate” music such as the rap group N.W.A.’s hit “Fuck the Police,” or to understand pieces of timeless literature. “My child accused me of being a potty mouth when she caught me reading Of Mice and Men,” said parent Joy S. Buck. “‘Oh, shoot, Mom. you shouldn’t read Steinbeck,’ she said to me. He says the ‘F’ word.”

Autistic woman with debilitating brain disorder teaches entire school the essentials of public speaking

TAICHUNG, TAIWAN—All 190 students enrolled in an international school in Taiwan attended a course taught by 60-year-old Egyptian Aazeen Nagra, who, in spite of her diagnosis with severe autism, taught the student body how to communicate verbally and effectively.

In addition to being autistic, Ms. Nagra suffers from expressive aphasia, a disorder that results from abnormalities in the Broca’s area, a part of the brain that controls speech.

Ms. Nagra flew from Egypt to Taiwan in 2002 to learn Mandarin, shocking the scientific community just four years later when she became fluent in Mandarin. She became an international phenomenon when, in 2015, she delivered a TED talk in Marrakesh, Morocco, in three languages: English, Arabic, and Mandarin.

At the international school, Ms. Nagra urged students to be both “confident and eloquent” in the face of adversity. She proclaimed at the end of her speech: “In this vicious world, in the face of all our travails,  the most lethal weapon we have at our disposal is language. The written word is your sword. The spoken word is your nuclear bomb. So stand up. Be confident and eloquent. Stop being a pussy and grow some cojones and use the voice your mother and God gave you. For God’s sake, what’s wrong with you? Yes. You right there. I’m talking to you, you pansy.”

Upon hearing these words, students gave Ms. Nagra a standing ovation, had a fruitful and lively Q and A session with her, and left at the end of the event in high spirits and with the conviction that they will, one day, become accomplished orators.

Aryan Brotherhood hosts MUN conference in Taiwan

GAFFNEY, SC—The Aryan Brotherhood has been moving to Taiwan in recent years in their attempt to become an internationally recognized nonprofit organization. In an unexpected turn of events, the leadership of the prison gang announced that it will host a Model United Nations (MUN) conference in Taiwan in order to reaffirm an image of legitimacy they have long struggled to maintain.

Although the organization has not publicly announced the venue of the conference, sources confirm that it will be held somewhere in the Central Mountain Range, where the ethnic and cultural diversity of Taiwanese indigenous tribes may help foster a climate of tolerance, acceptance, and other values conducive to international diplomacy.

The conference will consist completely of Caucasian Protestants, who the Brotherhood claim are in the best position to spread peace and love. “We at the Aryan Brotherhood believe that the best way to contribute to world peace is to find open minded individuals who can respect our hegemony,” said Marcus Washington, one of only five hundred members of the powerful prison gang. “Only when people have accepted our hegemony can we call what we are doing a collaborative endeavor. Only when people are unquestioningly and reliably subservient to the Brotherhood can we begin to spread the word of God.”

Taipei has remained silent on the matter despite growing international pressure on both the prison gang and the island nation to elaborate on the situation.

Study shows 93 percent of international school students have idiopathic hallucinations

URBANA-CHAMPAIGN, IL—A study done at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (UIUC) shows that 93 percent of international school students experience hallucinations. The source of these hallucinations has not been determined, but researchers are beginning to suspect that genetics may play a role.

“From unpublished research done at various universities in the Midwest, it seems that those who are genetically predisposed to delusions of grandeur and an inflated ego tend to give birth to children who experience these as-of-yet unexplained hallucinations,” said Kirk Sanders, Centennial Professor of Neuroscience at UIUC. “International school students who suffer from [hallucinations] sometimes imagine things that aren’t there. They might, for example, hear the nonexistent verbal adulation of peers when they exit their parents’ cars, or see a new Porsche Carrera GT in their garage when they in reality only have a decade-old Boxster.”

Since 2013, more than a thousand international school students from Asia and the Middle East have been hospitalized for experiencing strong hallucinations and sometimes even psychosis. The number of international school students hospitalized for these reasons have increased since then, and experts are beginning to raise awareness of a potential pandemic. “We do not know the exact cause of this pathology as of yet,” said psychologist Richard Fujimori of Rice University. “What we do know is that, though causation cannot be established yet, there is a striking correlation between being an international school student and a patient of this hallucinatory disorder.”

Some experts, however, disagree. In a PTA meeting at the American School in Taichung, Math teacher Butch Torres said, much to the chagrin of concerned parents, that students who claim to hallucinate are “little liars with their pants on fire and covered in fecal matter.” When parents asked him to elaborate, Torres repeatedly stressed the importance of physical punishment. “Spank them until they beg for their mommas, and then spank them some more, and then, well shit, spank them some more, and they’ll be fine, there won’t be any pandemic and the parents can have their culpa mea” explained Torres.

Third grader locks himself in Skinner box in failed attempt to achieve enlightenment

TAICHUNG, TAIWAN—While teachers convened in preparation for a PTA meeting, American School in Taichung (AST) 8-year-old student Dustin Huffman sought nirvana in the science lab, to which he gained unauthorized access using a crowbar he had stolen from the general affairs office.

Designed in accordance to the reward-and-punishment system made famous by the eponymous behavioral psychologist B.F. Skinner, the 6 x 6 foot box contains an intricate system of buttons and levers which the human or non-human animal within must learn to manipulate.

Upon entering the container, Dustin suppressed every urge to work for a treat so that he could live the life of an ascetic. At 3 p.m., when Dustin was at the brink of achieving nirvana, AST veteran Lily Hsu walked into the room to pick up a a biology textbook, scaring the boy home.

City government contributes 2 billion dollars to high school field trip fundraiser to combat teenage depression

TAICHUNG, TAIWAN—In an effort to combat teenage depression, the city government of Taichung has promised to contribute more than two billion dollars to a high school field trip fundraiser at the American School in Taichung (AST).
The government’s largesse comes after months of heated debate among government officials on the most effective methods to battle teenage depression. “Our children come home crestfallen every day because they don’t go on field trips. Yesterday, my youngest daughter came home from school with tears in her eyes because she could not go to the Froggy Jump machine at the Janfushan Amusement Park,” said Yu Tu Chep, an accountant and father of four.
The health consequences of field trip deprivation may be dire. Every year, 2.5 million Taiwanese children suffer from Field Trip Deficiency Syndrome, or FTDS, a serious mental disorder characterized by major depression and chronic diarrhea. “There is no known cure for FTDS,” stated Doctor Hu Sou Sik of the University of Hong Kong. “I am happy to see that the billions of dollars given to AST will be put to good use.