Pitt Foreign Language Departments to Require Course in Nodding, Smiling

Pitt’s foreign language departments announced Thursday that a course in nodding and smiling will now be required for foreign language majors and minors, citing the time-tried technique as essential for communication with foreigners.

“Be it your poor knowledge of the language the other person is speaking or their poor understanding of English that causes you to have no idea what they are saying, nodding and smiling is always the best conversation lubricant,” said Susan Homperson, a Pitt professor of Chinese. “As long as everybody does it, the foreigners will never learn from their mistakes and keep confidently spouting incomprehensible strings of sounds. As a bonus, you’ll never learn from yours.“ Homperson added that, depending on the other person’s tone, smiling may be replaced by making a thoughtful face and saying “yeah.”

At press time, committee of professors was discussing whether introductory-level foreign language courses should be replaced by a course on speaking English very slowly and loudly, with emphatic gestures.

Book Review: “The Novel,” the First All-SparkNotes Novel

Critics love it. English teachers are raving about it. Publishers are calling it the next big thing in literature. Readers of all stripes and intellects are engrossed by Zed Pernell’s “The Novel,” a novel written as a SparkNotes-type study guide.

Set in a symbolic setting, “The Novel” shows how the thoroughly analyzed major characters interact with minor ones to further the plot. Gripping plot summary is interspersed with lucidly explained important quotations, sometimes sans the quotations, and is followed by the spelled-out major themes and motifs.

Pernell said inspirations for the book came from the perennial agony, both in school and out, of trying to figure out what a particular novel is all about. “It makes no sense to read hundreds of pages of blah-blah-blah just to find out the plot, themes, symbols—you know, the only parts that matter,” Pernell said. “That’s all fiction boils down to, really, that’s what people read it for. So I decided to cut out the middle man and get straight to the point. That saves time for both me and the reader.”

It seems to have worked. Many Amazon.com reviewers said that aside from the shining wisdom and superb characterization in “The Novel,” it was its ultra-minimalist style that won them over.

“I can’t stand reading a novel that’s so complicated that I actually have to figure things out on my own and piece the important stuff together from the scraps buried here and there and god knows where. Like, c’mon, give me a break, I’m tired after a full-time job and I still want to feel smart!” wrote one reviewer.

Wrote another, “‘The Novel’ finally relieved my anxiety about not picking up all the intellectual things in a novel. I worry about that. I feel dumb when other people find many more symbols and messages in a novel than I do. Or when they interpret it in a more profound way and dig five layers deeper. Even if I liked the novel, I begin hating it. It makes me feel like a failure, ashamed of myself. But with this literary masterpiece, I can finally feel as smart and correct as any highbrow lit critic out there.”

Pernell said he is currently working with Columbia Pictures on a movie trailer adaptation of “The Novel.”

ISIS Wishes They Had Thought of Forced Rectal Feeding First

“We can’t just start forced rectal feeding our prisoners now. That wouldn’t be original,lamented Abu Mohammad al-Adnani of the illegitimate terrorist state/wannabe-dystopia ISIS. The news of the US Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the CIA’s controversial tactics conjured feelings of both admiration and jealousy among ISIS and its supporters. 

Forced rectal feeding works on so many levels. There’s the use of force, then the act of putting something in someone else’s body when they don’t want it there, and then ‘rectal’ just adds that little spark of genius,” said Shakir Wahiyib.

“Look, I hate those American pigs as much as any of us,” said aspiring caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi“As much as it pains me to say this, we may have more in common than we think. Perhaps it’s time to set our differences aside.” Baghdadi said he was willing to offer a position to Jose A. Rodriguez Jr., former head of the C.I.A.’s Counterterrorism Center. “He may be a filthy infidel. But at the end of the day talent is talent.”

Baghdadi hopes his men will stay positive, just because the Americans have one good idea doesn’t mean ISIS should start beating themselves up.  “The Americans have been at this for much longer than we have, so of course they’re going to be a little ahead of us,” he said. “We should use this as inspiration. How can we take this brilliant idea and put our own twist on it?”

“Forced rectal feeding while standing on a broken leg?” suggested one ISIS fighter.

“Forces rectal feeding plus sleep depravation?” said another.

“How about butt-waterboarding?” said a third.

But Baghdadi pointed out that these were just amalgams of already used American tactics. “Come on guys! Be original! I know you have it in you,” he said.

ISIS field commander, Abu Omar al-Shishani couldn’t disagree more. He didn’t think there was anything especially great about forced rectal feeding. “Some of my colleagues seem to think it’s some kind of genius avant-garde phenomenon. Really, all the Americans did was make force-feeding into some kind of butt joke,” he said rolling his eyes. “It’s like a torture tactic I would have come up with in 7th grade.” 

Local Cynic Convinced He’s Full of Crap

Oakland cynic Kwayk Tredson, renowned for his inability to see anything but filth and deceit behind other people’s actions and beliefs, told reporters Wednesday he is convinced that he himself is full of crap.

“I thought about it the other day and realized what a pathetic maggot of a human being I am,” Tredson said. “I’m trying to justify my own depravity by thinking that everybody else is as immoral and selfish as me. Everything I say about others is just a desperate attempt to hide my insecurities. I think I’m so good at penetrating deep in the the psyche of others to expose their true motives but in reality I’m just a sack of shit, a blathering fake.”

At press time, Tredson was overcome by doubt as to whether he should trust the opinion of someone as shallow and cynical as himself.

In Nine Generations Humanity Will Be too Stupid to Do Anything, Study Predicts

At a bingo session last Sunday, a team of elderly researchers announced their findings that the way things are looking, in nine generations humanity will finally become too goddamn stupid to perform even basic daily functions such as dressing, eating, tying their shoes, and blinking.

“We’ve all had hunches that this would happen eventually, and now we know when,” said researcher Gary Austintexas. He recalled how while his idiot children could be written off as an accident, his grandchildren’s flagrant stupidity clearly indicated of a trend. “I thought maybe it’s just my family, but after talking to the fellas and doing some preliminary research, I found out that this is a universal human phenomenon,” he said.

The research team used a computer model that extrapolated future generations’ average intelligence based on people’s estimates of how much dumber their children are than themselves.

“Take the same fraction of an apple each day and soon you’ll be left with the core,” explained researcher Patricia Hemfield. “Our model predicts that mankind will cross the threshold of helpless stupidity in about nine generations and any other species with half a goddamn brain will take over.”

The next issue on the research team’s agenda is whether humanity’s declining morals and increasing insolence will cross the fatal threshold before intelligence does.

Official List of Living Celebrities and Dead Dogs

As you may or may not know, death is inevitable, even for celebrities. But fear not! There are also those who are living! The Pittiful News has compiled an official list of all celebrities who are dead, alive, and of unknown status.

  • Lauryn Hill
  • Raven Symone
  • Taylor Swift
  • Paul McCartney
  • Cuba Gooding Jr.
  • Omar Gooding
  • Beyoncé’s mom Tina

  • Beyoncé

  • Bon Jovi
  • All the Baldwin Brothers
  • Jerry Springer
  • Bob Barker
  • Huey Lewis
  • Amelia Earhart
  • Aerosmith
  • The Sheens
  • Emilio Estevez
  • Mark Hamill
  • David Schwimmer
  • Laurence Fishburne
  • Carrie Underwood

  • Dick Clark
  • Leon Trotsky
  • Lisa “Left-eye” Lopes
  • Robin Williams
  • Beethoven
  • Anna Nicole Smith
  • River Phoenix
  • Sitting Bull
  • William McKinley
  • Geronimo
  • Charlton Heston
  • Lenin
  • Careers of other Destiny’s Child Members
  • Amelia Earhart


  • Cuba Gooding Sr.
  • Korn
  • Korn’s Bluegrass Cover Band “Corn”
  • Kermit the Frog
  • Amelia Earhart
  • Kim Jung Il
  • Airbud(s)
  • Maximilien Robespierre
  • Cy Young
  • Fats Waller
  • Al Roker

Dead Dogs

  • Shiloh
  • Marley
  • Skip
  • Samantha, I am Legend dog
  • Fox & Hound
  • Hundreds of dalmatians
  • Beethoven
  • Dog from “Up”
  • Old Yeller

Nationwide Poll Disproves Modern Physics

A nationwide Gallup Poll published this week found that modern physics is wrong. The poll consisted of just one question: “Is modern physics wrong?” Of the 5 million respondents, 97 percent said yes.

“I mean, come on now,” said Michael Glongling, a guy. “I can’t recall ever seeing something behave as both a particle and a wave. And if E equals mc-squared, then why can’t I just turn some of the junk in my car into energy and heat it up a bit? Both common sense and everyday experience clearly tell us that modern physics is wrong, and I’m still baffled at how this elaborate pseudoscientific scam has stuck around for so long.”

The firm evidence that it had been deluding itself for about a century has plunged the American Physical Society into existential crisis. The APS temporarily shut down all of its research until further polls determine which projects are worthwhile and not completely bonkers.

“It’s just…um…ugh, wow…gee…” muttered APS President Malcolm Beasley, visibly distraught in the fetal position under his desk. “Conscientious, hardworking citizens are outnumbering us 97 to 3 here, so they gotta be right…but…how, how did we allow the scientific method to fail us so badly? What else are wrong about…is the earth flat…we need more polls…more…polls…”

A lobby group Citizens Against Nonsense announced on its website that it will see to it that modern physics is abolished as “batshit crazy and simply incorrect.” It pointed out that since taxpayers are financing the obscure multimillion-dollar research, they ought to have a say in what’s right and what’s wrong. “And although we all have our biases, the poll’s objective result goes beyond them,” the announcement said.

At press time, the CIA was conducting an opinion poll to help it locate terrorist hideouts in the Middle East.