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Cosmic Chronicle
News you won't find anywhere else Vol 1, Issue 4 -- 07.15.2008
Gardasil report called 'work of genius'
 Merck & Co. wins Nebula Award
By Dr. Frank N. Stein
Medical correspondent
WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. -- Merck & Co.'s blockbuster report on the so-called cervical cancer vaccine Gardasil  has won the prestigious Nebula Award for science fiction writing!
Merck's Gardasil vaccine
In praise, panelists from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America noted an “effective use of magical realism" in the way the pharrmaceutical giant analyzed the drug's clinical trials. They also lauded a “surprising plot twist at the end,” where Gardasil is declared safe and effective despite side effects including  seizures, nausea, fainting, difficulty swallowing, fever, chills, hives, boils, lice, swarms of locusts, fiery hail from heaven and the death of  first-born daughters.
    “The fantasy created by Merck is so realistic, state legislatures across the nation have begun debating whether to mandate the vaccine for girls as young as nine years old,” says Nebula Award panelist Archibald McLandish. “I haven’t seen such blind devotion since L. Ron Hubbard came up with Scientology.”
Merck's report  was so convincing that approval sailed through the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in near record time – even though the vaccine neither prevents nor cures all types of cervical cancer, its long-term effects remain unknown and -- these are real numbers, folks -- the study of 20,541 women included a scant 1,121 girls under the age of 16, the primary target-group of Merck’s ongoing marketing campaign.

“It’s really a work of genius,” gushes FDA commissioner Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach about the report. “Research on the younger subjects was only followed up for 18 months -- and yet Merck has everyone rushing to inoculate their daughters.”
Girls as young as nine are  recommended for inoculation

    Wall Street analyst Rosie Days notes that the report writers have provided a much needed financial boost to the company. Merck has been reeling since its 2004 recall of Vioxx, the arthritis pain medication that permanently relieved the symptoms of some patients by causing fatal heart attacks and strokes.
    “With Vioxx lawsuits coming out their ying-yang, Merck desperately needed a cash cow -- and Gardasil, at $360 a pop for its series of three shots, will have them mooing all the way to the bank,” predicts Days. “Even though less than 4,000 American women out of 150 million die from cervical cancer annually, Merck expects to rake in about $3 billion a year from the vaccine.
    “The Nebula Award is fitting because those numbers are out of this worldl!”

Rocky vs. Predator
 Beloved boxer killed in ring
By Jacques Strapp
Sports correspondent
PHILADELPHIA, PA. -- Prizefighting screen legend Rocky Balboa tragically met his match when he took on Predator in a pay-per-view bout Tuesday night -- and paid for it with his life.
    Predator (17-0, 17 KOs) ripped the former world heavyweight champion’s head from his body just 1.2 seconds into the bout, and Balboa crumpled to the canvas. 
Rocky Balboa comes out for
his tragic, final round
 Amazingly, the gutsy 62-year-old fighter’s arms instinctively clawed for the ringside ropes and tried to pull the headless body to its feet as the Italian Stallion’s hometown crowd stood in shocked silence. But after a few swipes at the ropes, Balboa’s blood- spurting body collapsed, twitched twice and stayed down for the count.
Meanwhile, Predator scooped up Balboa’s head and disappeared. The alien species is known for keeping the skulls of its victims as trophies.

    "I warned Rocky not to mess with no alien species, but he just wouldn’t listen,” said his teary-eyed trainer Duke Evers after the fight. “He always did have more heart than brains – especially now.”

    Balboa shot to fame in 1976 when he went the distance with then world champ Apollo Creed in the Oscar-winning film Rocky. In a rematch, he won the title and pounded his way through several sequels, most notably fighting mohawked maniac Clubber Lang, Soviet behemoth Ivan Drago and, most recently, Mason “The Line” Dixon. His final record was 57-54-1, with most of his losses coming early in his storied career.

Balboa is survived by his son Robert, 31. His wife Adriane died in 2002 of cancer.

    “Rocky was an icon that transcended the boxing world,” proclaims MGM studio honcho Harry Sloan, whose company distributed Balboa’s last film. “He also took in $790 million at the box office overall -- and that’s not including video and DVD sales and merchandising.
“Believe me, everyone in the entertainment industry will miss him sorely.”   
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