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(Cork) Gaelic mariner and self-proclaimed discoverer of America, Finbar the Sailor, remains lodged in the belly of a large blue whale according to sources here. The infamous old salt has been in that capacity since before Christmas. Although communication has been all but nonexistent since that time, scientists studying the phenomenon feel that Finbar is still alive due to atypical, sporadic acts on the part of the marine mammal.

Finbar remains in the belly of a whale like this one as of this afternoon.

“We don’t think the whale meant to eat Finbar,” said Dr. Efram Pennywhistle, a British marine biologist assigned to the case. “It was just a case of being at the wrong place at the right time and looking like lunch on-the-swim. The whale would probably have preferred fish and chips to that gasbag Mick,” the Englishman offered.

The Republic of Ireland has pledged to call in an assortment of experts including Jacques Cousteau, to aid in Finbar’s rescue. Already a convoy of French battleships is anchored of the coast in apprehension of Finbar’s release. They plan to dump gallons of cheap, green champagne overboard in the hopes that the host animal might consume the stuff and burp, thus expediting an uneventful release of the seaman.

Friends say that the Irish sailor will be disgorged whenever he, or the whale, gets around to it. Critics say his predicament is of his own doing.

“He’s always been fascinated by the Biblical account of Jonah and the Whale and now he’s got a ring-side seat for all the action. It’s just one more of his cheap publicity stunts,” said Mona Kelp, of Save the Whales. “I, for one, say leave him in there!”         -Gloria de Quirk

Salvaging Comun 13—Medellin, Colombia

The price tag on hope

Back in the early part of this new century, Comun 13 was still the most dangerous neighborhood in a notorious city called Medellin. Things have changed.

Comun 13, along with most of Medellin, has put on a new face with bright eyes and an ongoing conversation about a brighter future up the hill in Barrio San Javier.

Pop culture is alive and well in San Javier. Street art and music have rescued the neighborhood

Hope begets pride and pride begets quality of life.

No one here will tell you that the job is completed. There is still danger about. There is still poverty. But now there is real community and a drastic cut in the social ills that plagued this once steep, crime-ridden hill crammed with brick houses and winding stairways.

Art, along with Hip-Hop, saved the city. It gave people an outlet to express themselves. We’re not talking some strung-out bozo with a can of spray paint.  We’re talking about exploding talent gracing these once dodgy walls and perilous walkways, once home to guerrillas, drug cartels and paramilitary killers. All the gangs aren’t gone. All the hoodlums aren’t gone but at least now people aren’t afraid to come out of their houses at night.

Stairways that once led to danger now lead to a cold beer and vibrant commerce

It all started by building well-stocked libraries with workshops and internet access right there in the long ignored slums. Then came the roofed escalators (part of the Metro that carries millions of people per day) which allowed easier access to other parts of town and encouraged general assimilation and employment all over Medellin.

Street art abounds in Comun 13

Then came the tourists who now flock to this quirky, spectacular area creating an burgeoning economy within the reinvigorated community. Bars, coffee houses and restaurants (quaint epicenters for idle hours) are popping up daily. Knowledgeable residents charm the visitors and delve into the dark history that, until recently, dominated the scene here. Soccer fields and basketball courts beckon in what was vacant space. Houses are again being painted. Streets are cleaned. People are moving back.

This miracle on a hill west of Medellin was not cheap but it appears to have been a stroke of genius. Cities in the US would do well to take note, even though they are under the thumb of a nation that spends billions on bombs and little on brains. Some of the more progressive locales already understand that a better life is something we all deserve and that without community there is nothing.

Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness has found an anomalous champion in what was once a ghetto of despondency.

– Kevin Haley

Horseshoe to open bureau on Mars

(Hellas Basin) The San Juan Horseshoe has announced that it will merge existing journalistic efforts, synchronizing control of most media west and south of Noachis Terra the scene of recent unrest on the Red Planet. The news bureau will be responsible for daily news, peppered with a few feature pieces relating to the burgeoning populations of Lunea Planum.

Thanks to the efforts of Pathfinder and Viking I the popular website will be available to anyone with Internet access. It is seen as a diplomatic gesture aimed at combating the influence of Russia and China who have stationed a skeleton crew of reporters on Venus and Saturn respectively.

Although no decision has been reached on the editor position most polled say it will be Roo Glant, a Japanese-Martian, a stickler on political analysis with extensive experience covering and interpreting galactic policy.

The bureau will include news, weather and sports as part of the daily while the impressive retinue of scribes is sure to dazzle readers all the way to Pluto.

“It’s a grand day for press freedoms,” said one reporter. “From up here it’s easy to see what’s going on down on our mother planet. Let’s hope we’ve learned not to make the same mistakes up here.”

The page is accessible through

Great Moments in Crested Butte Dog Court

Prosecutor: And we can prove that on the night of June 4,1987 that this transient mongrel, Spot, did willfully mess on Elk Avenue right in front of a group of tourists who were reportedly carrying as much as $1000 on their persons.

It is further noted that Spot has will fully attempted to sabotage the efforts of the Crested Butte and Mt. Crested Butte Chambers of Commerce and Governor Hickenlooper’s  “Dome of the Range” program…

Defense: Objection, your honor. Spot doesn’t even know Governor Hickenlooper. We have no malice here…

Spot: Woof:!

Judge: I find the defendant guilty on all counts and sentence him to two days in the pound and fifty hours of public service. Can you handle a shovel son?

Spot: Woof, Woof!


Cafe Luqman was named Best Coffee at a national symposium held in January at Popyan, Colombia. Posing with his favorite brew is Victor Gutierrez, owner of the coffee company. The coffee beans are grown at Pijao in Quindio and Victor operates a comfortable coffee house on the plaza. For more look at

Black Hole Waste Disposal Slated For New Jersey

Officials at Waste Supervision, Inc., have announced that they will locate the world’s first artificial black hole at an undisclosed location in New Jersey, and will monetize their investment by using it to dispose of trash, toxic waste, and other unwanted products of our industrial civilization. 

The move had been rumored for several months, as word leaked out that the company had developed the technology for producing artificial black holes, and that it would deploy the technology in accordance with the company’s traditional objectives. Waste Supervision is an American waste management, comprehensive waste, and environmental services company. Black holes are an astronomical phenomenon, involving gravitational collapse so intense that even light (and therefore unwanted trash) cannot escape from one. Heretofore, black holes have not been known to be any closer than distant parts of our galaxy. Locating one on earth would certainly be a first. 

Dr. Werner Holden, spokesman for Waste Supervision, confirmed that the black hole technology, which should put Waste Supervision far ahead of competitors, was largely the brainchild of a key employee, whom Dr. Holden declined to name. “For now, let’s just call him Mr. X,” he said. “Mr. X dropped out from a graduate physics program at one of our major universities when his experimental black hole technology was not accepted as a thesis topic. Mr. X had been a kind of physical science savant in his department, one who developed clever experiments on selected topics, with the goal of enhancing his own understanding and that of others. This made him popular with other students and with some faculty, particularly faculty who could then offload their teaching assignments onto Mr X. Eventually, Mr. X wanted to understand General Relativity better and, through his unique abilities, he hit on the black hole technology.” 

When a reporter asked why this breakthrough had not been sufficient for a thesis topic, Dr. Holden replied, “Well as I said, Mr. X was a bit of a savant. His qualifying exams at the university were not good, as his conceptual difficulty with, for example, 3-dimensional Green’s Functions and his poor comprehension of irreducible tensor operators hurt him badly in course work. This was because he could not devise his preferred practical learning tools for those required topics. However, he did do that for General Relativity, thus developing his now-famous artificial black hole. Moreover, he needed a little “infrastructure” to complete the proof of concept, and we could provide that. Well, the university’s loss is Waste Supervision’s gain, I would say. We’re proud of Mr. X, and may eventually release his name.” 

Another reporter asked if the US government wanted to classify the black hole technology and possibly weaponize it. Dr. Holden answered, “No we haven’t heard about that. The task of turning a black hole into a missile payload and launching it at an enemy seems to me to be far less feasible than just having it stay put in New Jersey, as our company prefers to do. But if other entities have creative ideas about using the technology, we could discuss licensing.”

When asked exactly where in New Jersey the black hole facility would be located, Dr. Holden said, “We have narrowed down the list, and each place has appeared in the punch line of a joke about New Jersey. I know, that’s not very specific but it’s all I have for now. Next question.” Reporters speculated that Secaucus, Hoboken, and Perth Amboy could well head the list.

Another questioner asked how this breakthrough in technology will affect the shadowy waste disposal practices of New Jersey contractors with links to organized crime. Dr. Holden said, “We checked into that and noted that organized crime minions find the waste disposal run into the swamp lands to be a low-status activity these days; they’re tired of sticking their dumbest kids with the job and would be only too happy to get rid of it. So we’re good to go.”

Dr. Holden was then asked about EPA and other government approvals for the black hole site. Wouldn’t that be difficult? “I really don’t expect a regulatory problem from this business-friendly administration in Washington,” Dr. Holden said. “I mean, black holes are not against the law in any way, and Congress is not in the mood to pass new laws and regulations against free enterprise.” When asked about the size of the keep-out zone around the black hole, and whether it would endanger the surrounding area, Dr. Holden said, “That’s all proprietary, but we’ve talked to many residents of the state and most of them said that they wouldn’t mind if certain parts of New Jersey fell into a black hole.”

A recently appointed EPA official in Washington, who wished to remain anonymous, seemed to confirm Dr. Holden’s anticipated government attitudes. “Jumping in and regulating a clean disposal technology like black holes sounds like something a Democrat administration would do,” he declared.

Dr. Holden called for one last question, which was: Where does the trash end up when it falls into a black hole? “That’s a great final question,” he said, “and you’ll have to ask an astronomer but I don’t think even they know. The good news is that we’re pretty sure all of it is first broken into elementary particles. At that point, it may go into another universe but then it will be another universe’s problem, not ours.”

copyright 2018 Tim Maloney