Facebook to tag pseudoscience and photoshopped selfies

mason jar pseudoscience

Pictured above: pseudoscience – the silent killer.

It was just a normal Tuesday evening when Nick Wit was tragically fooled by a pseudo-science article a friend had posted on his Facebook wall. Over the next 3 days, Nick ingested 57 jarfuls of “nutrient rich” mason-jar-cakes, believing them to be libido-mood-buffness enhancers. Nick died.

The inevitable lawsuit that followed might change the way people live their lives – by removing their need to think.

Simon Nose is the new President of Truth and True Thoughts at Facebook. He understands the new world in which we find ourselves. “The newsfeed is the new front page of the newspaper. Clickbait are the new headlines. If we don’t act now, pseudoscience will become the next periodic table. Avatars will become our faces. Who nose [sic] what will happen after that!”

Every day exactly 1 trillion photos are posted to Facebook. 68% of those are photoshopped selfies. “If we don’t stop people from posting edited photos of themselves, how will we ever have the freedom to discern the truth?”

liar selfie

Heavily photoshopped and filtered selfies, see above, will soon be accompanied by alert tags.

Much like other alert tags, the new ThoughtBot software will insert a brightly coloured warning below or, in extreme cases, on top of fake posts.

Simon says they’re “already developing new software to identify exaggerations in Facebook statuses.” The software will automatically delete gratuitous exclamation marks, and remove obvious lies. For example, no one will be able to post variants of the phrases “I woke up like this,” “Worst day of my life,” or “I had a great time at that Tupperware party.”



 A long time coming

toronto sun logoFacebook has been laying the groundwork for alert tags for months. Last year they introduced a warning for “satirical news” – an inane trend when so called “comedians” exaggerate real issues in order to draw attention to societal lapses. You may have heard of a couple, The Onion, The Beaverton, or The Toronto Sun.

While a few extremist humor groups have protested against the satirical news disclaimer, Monty Horace says he loves the new Facebook. “I do not enjoy thinking for myself, and I think it’s safe to say that no one else does either,” he told us. “Do you know how many times I’ve told my friends about The University of Waterloo winning the least sexy award? Someone at a party told me it’s fake!”

You’re already signed up

The idea of letting a for-profit corporation decide what is and isn’t true might make some extremists feel a bit uncomfortable. But don’t worry, it will be easy. And you won’t even have to decide whether or not to use it.

“Like all Facebook updates, there is no opt-out feature with ThoughtBot,” says Simon. “We know everyone will grow accustomed to it. Just relax and let ThoughtBot do its thing. Everything will be okay.”

Everything will be okay.




City Council secret revealed: Mayor Vrbranovic only speaks in Eminem quotes


This is not Mayor Berry Vrbanovic. Photo by Mika-photography via Wikicommons.

A leaked memo between members of City Council and several council insiders revealed a shocking insight into the working life of Mayor Berry Vrbanovic. City Councillor for Ward 11, Torquil Innsegall revealed to the other members of council that, since he assumed office one year ago this month, Mayor Vrbanovic has only communicated in quotes by rap artist Eminem.

It took a teenager’s eye

Councillor Innesgall’s high school age daughter, Agnes Innesgall reportedly caught the pattern none of the middle-aged Councillors picked up on. “lol sooo obvi (sic)” said Agnes via a smirking Snapcatch selfie. In a follow up ‘Snap’ “lol who listens to eminem anyway (sic)” said Agnes, with immense duckface.

Reviewing the evidence

Waterloo Honk’s unpaid interns spent the last seventy-two hours digging through the piles of speeches, presentations, and Council Meeting minutes acquired by the Waterloo Honk’s information request. It would seem that Agnes’ assessment is correct. During his 2014 bid for Mayorship now Mayor Berry said to a crowd of supporters: “look, if you had one shot or one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted in a moment, would you capture it, or just let it slip?” He concluded that speech with his Mayorship slogan: “This world is mine for the taking, make me king!” taken from 8 Mile (2002). During a 2012 Finance Committee meeting, then Councillor for Ward 2 said “I don’t rap for dead presidents; I’d rather see the president dead. It’s never been said, but I set precedents,” (Encore, 2004).

Some quotes appear to be mish-mashes, or just small segments of lyrics. Recently, during the announcement that an Ikea is opening in Kitchener, his Mayorship said “Life is like a big obstacle, see daddy had a job, but his job was to keep the food on the table for you and mom. 20 job in the back! Cold brew?” Our interns were unable to source all the Eminem quotes in that statement. In fact while listening to early recordings of the Mayor it appears that some of his quotes are just completely nonsensical.

How did nobody notice?

We contacted psycho-linguist Miguel Shavi to ask her about how no one noticed some of the Mayors more nonsensical quotes. “This seems to be sort of confabulation. The Berenstain vs. Berentstein Bear debate is an example of this. You may think you heard him say ‘Kitchener’ or ‘Prime Minster Elect Justin Trudeau’ but the truth is, you didn’t. Your brain inserted the missing pieces so where your ears were hearing one thing, your brain was understanding something totally different. For example,  when the Mayor was quoted on the 24th of August 2015 saying ‘We welcome the Waterloo Technology Corridor’ that was just your brain parsing what he actually said which was: I’d like to welcome you all to the you all to ‘The Eminem Show.'”

What does Berry have to say for himself?

Mayor Berry is currently at the Paris Climate Talks and is unavailable for comment, although this morning at 4am he did tweet a picture of Alberta Premier Rachel Notley with the caption: “Her palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy / There’s vomit on her sweater already, mom’s spaghetti.”

We want to hear from you. Did you notice the Mayor’s penchant for Eminem?


Kitchener Wins and Loses Prestigious Architectural Award

The Ontario Organization of Architects (OOA) recently visited Kitchener to present an award for outstanding architecture to the city of Kitchener.

“The award is presented annually to cities that demonstrate architectural imagination in the construction of their public buildings,” said Harold Trevors, a member of OOA and the delegate who came to Kitchener to present the award. “We felt that the geometrical futurist entrance way was a fantastic juxtaposition against the inspiration-less city hall. It really made a statement.”

Citizens examine and feel introspective about the new entrance way to city hall.

Citizens examine and feel introspective about the new entrance way to city hall.

Kitchener mayor, Berry Vrbanovic, was present at Carl Zehr Square for the award ceremony.

“I think the new entrance way speaks a lot about the unique cultural heritage of the city, and the great people who make it what it is,” he announced to a crowd who had gathered there for the ceremony.

But the ceremony was cancelled when Trevors arrived, trophy in hand, only to discover that the new entrance way had mysteriously vanished.

“We carried the trophy all the way from Toronto — it’s really heavy and shiny — and then when we got to Kitchener the super cool structure wasn’t even there anymore.”

Mayor Vrbanovic tried to calm an increasingly disturbed crowd that had gathered at city hall for the ceremony but they erupted in outrage when Trevors announced that he was repealing the award, “because you can’t win an architectural award for invisible architecture.”

Waterloo Honk staff interviewed Trevors before he returned to Toronto. “It’s really unfortunate,” he commented, “especially given this city’s history of very poor decisions regarding the construction and destruction of its city halls. You know what I think? I think that Kitchener does need a team of architectural heroes, reborn in the gentrified remnants of its downtown heritage.” 

Vrbanovic was equally downtrodden. “That trophy was so big. Man, I wish we could find the entrance way. They didn’t even know that it even had its own pyrotechnics. Way cool.”

September School Opening in Question, but Not Why You Think

Waterloo Region Schools may not be opening on September 8th as planned, but the reason is surprising, and a little odd. It’s not because of potential teacher’s union action, or because of the eternal construction. No. It’s because too many students may still be grieving One Direction’s ‘hiatus.’

Psychologists recommend keeping broken-hearted children home


Stephen Harper was visibly devastated at the news of One Direction’s 2016 hiatus. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

The Waterloo Honk spoke with musicologist, psychologist, and boybandologist Dr. Jackson Osmonds of The University of Waterloo’s new Celebrity Faculty. “When boy bands break up, or ‘go on hiatus,’ it can have a very damaging effect on the tiny underdeveloped brains of youngsters. Their lives, their very world view, is crumbling around them. People often think of things like graduation, marriage, etcetera as being significant life events. Our research is showing that when the de jure boy band dissolves it’s a damaging developmental event. We should definitely coddle these heart-broken children. Show them pictures of soft, cuddly, non-threatening looking people or things. Perhaps wombats wearing those little ballerina skirts. Or some beautiful per-pubescent youth holding a hedgehog.”

When Osmonds was asked what he thought the impact the heart-break would have on the pre-teens as school begins he said: “school is the last place they should be at this time. Right now thinking will be very difficult for any pre-teen undergoing boy band induced heart-break. Thinking critically would be very painful for their splodgy, hormone-addled little cerebrums. Writing, for example, would be difficult, not just because the incessant sobbing makes it hard to see, but also because most standard issue inks begin to run when exposed to tears.”

Dr. Osmonds and his research group are meeting with the Region School Board tomorrow to give expect advice regarding school closures.

Stephen Harper commits Canada to joint task force

As soon as the band confirmed their one year hiatus Prime Minster Stephen Harper took a break from campaigning somewhere outside Lindsay, Ontario to announced that Canadian specialists were joining an international task force to aid grieving pre-teens with the end of their collective crush.

“Canadians did not invent the threat of boy band heart-break, and we certainly did not invite it. We, as Canadians, are proud to give our values, families, and strength with the world. In fact, among the nations of the world, we have been one of the biggest providers of heart-break relief assistance.”

The PM finished his speech by pumping his fist in the air and yelling “Canada Strong!” while trying to get the gathered reporters to join him.

“As the king of Stephen Harper’s Canada, I’m putting out an open call to Justin Bieber. Justin, it’s time to do your due diligence to Stephen Harper’s Canada. Work the magic of your beautiful boy band hair, and promise to visit each and every heart-broken tween. Please Justin. Stephen Harper’s Canada needs you now more than ever, for the first time.”

The Waterloo Honk wants to know: would you send your pre-teen to school if they are 1D heart-broken?

$500K in Damages After UW Engineering Student’s Ego Inflates, Explodes

Yesterday afternoon the ego of a 1st year electrical engineering student inflated to the point of explosion, causing $500K in damages to the Douglas Wright building at University of Waterloo.

No one was physically harmed in the explosion.

Tyler Wright’s Last Words

Engineers use gears to make stuff sometimes. Photo by Diacritica (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons

Engineers use gears to make stuff sometimes. Photo by Diacritica (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons

His last words before exploding? “You’ll see! I’ll get a job right after graduating and I’ll make 10 times as much as you,” he shrieked to his Chemistry professor, unprovoked.

“As soon as he mentioned how much money he would make after graduation, I knew his ego was about to explode,” says hero Dr. Robert Wing. “I’ve seen explosions like this before, at least a  couple times every semester. He was exhibiting all the warning signs.”

The 45 year-old professor was alarmed when his student started yelling in the middle of his lecture on Bioinorganics.

“I’d never seen him before.” In fact, records show that he regularly skipped class to binge-watch Entourage.

Damage Sustained to the Arts

The majority of the damage was contained to a priceless work of abstract art in which Tyler Wright punched a hole. He screamed, “a five year old could have made this,” and blew a loud raspberry at it before fleeing the scene.

Engineer Ego Epidemic

“The ego explosion is inevitable, when you think of the contributing compounds. These kids are told that if they want to be successful in life, all they have to do is take engineering courses. They believe that all of them will get high-paying, low-stress jobs immediately upon graduating – even in what is now a completely oversaturated job market. Add in their young age and general air of entitlement? Hell, I wish there was an engineering job out there for me,” says The Chemistry Professor.

Tyler Wright was unharmed in the explosion but was unavailable for comment. However one of our staff members saw him rage-dropping tomatoes at the grocery store this morning.

Do you know an Engineering student in danger?

If an engineering student exhibits any 3 of the following signs, he or she may be in danger of an ego explosion:

  • Refers to self as “an engineer” before graduation
  • Only hangs out with other engineers, or Arts students “if they’re hot”
  • Constantly complaining about having to study while making fun of other faculties for never studying
  • Misogyny
  • Feels no concern for future, in spite of engineer job drought
  • Tells his friends that his 1st co-op made him “feel really important”
  • Knows ring size by heart
  • Refers to every elective as a bird course
  • Doesn’t believe in “The Wage Gap”
  • Doesn’t believe in “grammar”
  • Draws genitalia anywhere and everywhere
  • Incessant diarrhea

Remember, not all engineers have experienced these symptoms. Some are brilliant shining stars of humility and well-researched job prospects. But if you see someone in danger of explosion, do not approach them. Make sure the student has a clear escape route, then back away slowly and speak in commanding tones. Do not run, as this may trigger an egotistical response in the student. Do not climb trees as engineering students are expert tree climbers.

Stay safe out there kids.

KW Comment Section Officially Worst Place For Women in Canada

Dozens of Kitchener-Waterloo women have been going about their daily lives, without realizing the horrors that surround them.

The Canadian Institute for Comment Sections released a study revealing that 95% of comments on Kitchener-Waterloo local news Facebook pages are offensive to women. They also revealed that comments made by women on local news sites received 70% less support than comments made by men, and that women whose profile picture included either a newborn baby or a book received even less support.

Worst City in Canada To Be a Women on Facebook

President of CICS, Kira Gawk, explained the motivation behind the study. “We’ve been monitoring Canadian comment sections since before the internet was born – sharpie scribbles on bathroom stalls, community bulletin boards, people talking on the bus – it’s only in the last month that we really starting digging into Facebook comments.”

CICS was inspired by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, who recently appointed Kitchener-Waterloo as the worst city in Canada to be a woman. Their study was based on economic security, reports of domestic violence, and stress levels. Kira Gawk’s study, on the other hand, was based on what she calls “a powerful online currency:” Facebook likes.

…But a Woman Conducted the Study

Many have questioned the validity of the study – how can we trust the word of Kira Gawk, a self-proclaimed woman?

“I knew people would be hesitant to accept the results of a biased, gendered, human being. So I holed up in my office and spent a week creating Kobold – a non-gendered computer program who does all the analytical dirty work.”

Kobold primarily analyzes comments on local news Facebook pages, considering the reported gender of the posters, occurrences of offensive language, content of profile picture, feminimity of name, and ranks support based on number of likes per comment.  It scours the internet every morning and reports back with ranked list of Canadian cities. According to the official report, Kitchener-Waterloo consistently ranks as the worst.

What’s next for Kira? “This project has become much bigger than just for CICS. I’m working on a new program that will tackle the complicated issue of negativity towards those who do not identify with a gender on Facebook. I’m really hoping that these studies will cause a decrease in senseless aggressive language and hateful attitudes.”

KW Facebook Commenters Do Not Agree

We took to the net and collected a few of the comments in response to Kira Gawk’s study.

“no offense but Ive never met a girl who could make a highly functional program like that.. its not prejudice its just a fact,” says Joshua Tyler, who later added that he’s a hiring manager in the tech industry and has interviewed too many “girls who didn’t look like they would know how to turn a computer on, let alone send an email.”

“see this is proof theres no such thing as a wage gap dumb broads like her just chose failing careers LOL,” comments a Facebook user by the name of Tennis Racket.

“Typical chick, naming a computer program,” says Maluuba Siri.

“I bet this Kira chick is one of those girls who thinks she’s allowed to walks around topless HAhaha no self-respect probably so dumb” contributes Tennis Racket again.

What do you think of Kira Gawk’s study? Let us know in the comments.

LRT Construction to Continue Indefinitely

Grandlinq contractors and region officials gathered at Kitchener City Hall Friday to celebrate a momentous announcement for the region’s LRT system…and commuters. Plans were unveiled to keep the region in a permanent state of LRT construction.

“This new, extended project will put Kitchener-Waterloo on the map,” explained Grandlinq spokesperson Robert T. Builder, as he gestured to a Map of Southern Ontario Cities People Have Heard Of.  “We intend to build the tallest-ever LRT in the world

Never-Ending Construction

This announcement has been expected ever since Waterloo’s Caroline Street was officially declared “under construction forever.” The celebrations featured an LRT-shaped cake and legendary Debrodnik’s donuts.

Fake News Waterloo LRT Construction

Approximately 2,591 construction vehicles have found a permanent new home in KW. Photo by George Socka from Toronto, Canada (Building demolition machine Komatsu 450 CLAWS) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

“Personally, I’m quite excited to hear the news”, said area resident Summer Straphanger.  “It will keep my daily commute fresh and exciting.  I really like how I never know what detours, road closures or short-turns to expect next.”

Straphanger lives in Waterloo, and takes the bus daily to and from her workplace in downtown Kitchener.

“The other day I was sitting on the iXpress hoping to get to Uptown Square in Waterloo.  Then, all of a sudden, whoops!  The bus makes a left on Erb street.  I was so surprised I took the bus all the way to Cambridge.  It was such an adventure!”

Chain Businesses Will Be Fine

University of Waterloo student Diana Porter was also present. Porter is the head of a team of researchers from the School of Planning working with the region to study whether Kitchener’s downtown core will continue to see rising rent prices for commercial spaces, despite the ongoing construction.

“It’s really a strange phenomenon we’ve seen already, with rent for commercial spaces increasing even during LRT construction, and even before the population density required to support potential businesses for these spaces is present,” Porter said, referring to the increased density expected to be brought by the new condo towers and other planned developments near the downtown core.

“We’re not sure what to expect now, given plans for an indefinite state of construction.   Perhaps rent prices will continue to increase indefinitely as well.”

Builder, who expects closing local businesses will make way for brand-name chain stores, thinks it will make Kitchener a more welcoming place for visitors from Toronto and elsewhere.

“If I live in a suburb, and I drive to a box mall to do my shopping, I’d like that I can go all the way to downtown Kitchener and buy the exact same stuff from the exact same stores out there.”  Builder says.

“We can replace all the local business with signs indicating where they used to be.”

Additional LRT Attractions: Roller Coasters?

With the new LRT construction plans, rail lines will eventually be installed in every road in the region, with some routes even featuring multiple sets of rails.

The largest and most expensive development is a planned six million square-foot GRT-themed theme park at the Conestoga Mall end of the line.  Transit users will be allowed entry to the park with the presentation of valid proof of ticket payment.

The park will come complete with a 94 meter high “RolLRT-coaster”, and a “House of Wave Hand Here Doors”, full of the automatic rear doors of GRT bus fame, some of which open, and some of which never do.

“We have had people ask us if this is really something we can do,” said Builder to the gathered audience, many holding balloon animals riding balloon trains.

“Well, as Grandlinq spokesperson, its my job to tell them, yes.  Yes we can.”