Celera Issues Recall of ‘Diet’ Gene

May 3, 2045
ROCKVILLE, MD–Celera Genomics Group, on behalf of Cosmetabolics, a joint venture formed by Celera and Bayer AG, today issued statements confirming that the company will recall model years 2044 and 2045 of its popular ProPhage gene. “Reports of an unusual number of so-called ‘rollover’ mishaps among our ProPhage customers prompted the recall action,” noted Celera press materials released at the time of the recall notice. “Though the vast majority of our ProPhage customers are not at risk, we take the safety of our customers very seriously and are recalling specified models pending further safety testing.”

ProPhage is among the most popular of the over-the-counter “diet gene” therapies and is available in 52 countries around the world. Using a combination of viral and non-viral mechanisms, ProPhage adjusts the body’s metabolic processes in order to decrease fat storage and promote cosmetically targeted muscle growth.

An increasing number of ProPhage users have reported “rollover” accidents popularly attributed to the impact of ProPhage on the body’s center of gravity. Some users of the 2044 and ’45 models complain of a “top-weighting” or “lopsided” distribution of muscle tissue, resulting in a tendency to fall, or tip over, while cornering during running, jogging, trotting, and aerobic fast-walking.

“I had heard that my balance might be affected by [ProPhage],” reports Hank Kiln, a user of the 2044 model, “but what really happened was that my shoulders and neck got all built out, and I lost weight in my hips and thighs, my problem areas. My love handles too. But I kept losing my balance. I would be out at the track, doing my laps, coming around the turn and, all of the sudden, WHAP! I’d tip over.”

“While we have heard the rumors, we have not, ourselves, received any real complaints,” notes Celera spokeswoman Indra Croope. “Every year our new model of ProPhage, by design, targets a different cosmetic objective. Every model year is also thoroughly tested. We are recalling ’44 and ’45 just to be safe.”

The recall is not the only recent public relations problem Celera has faced over ProPhage. A December class-action suit filed by former ProPhage users alleges that Celera engages in unethical credit and repossession practices. Among allegations in the suit were claims that Celera’s financing department provided inadequate notice of customer default, and that its repossession procedures violated customers’ privacy.

“How do you repo a gene?” demands Milton Mannman, the DC attorney who filed the suit. “I’ll tell you what they do. If you’re still getting the treatment, they slip you a ‘repo’ therapy in the place of what you think you’re getting. If you’re all set with the ProPhage genes, they send a sneaky repo guy to spike your food with a reversing treatment.”

“The suit was properly dismissed,” responds Celera’s Croope. “The Court recognized that genetic products like ProPhage require different standards. Most people can’t afford to pay for a ProPhage license in cash, so we offer financing arrangements just to make our therapies as widely attainable as possible. That’s an important public good. But, we can only do that if we have recourse when people don’t meet their obligations.”

The recall of ProPhage 2044 and ’45 provides authenticated users with a replacement treatment in the form of a limited re-issue of the popular 2039 model. Notices have been forwarded to all known customers. If you are a ProPhage user within the scope of the recall, contact your dispensing agent for further information.

Ted Turner Vanishes in Quantum Superposition Accident

Nov. 13, 2041
ATLANTA–In what AOL Interactive researchers are calling a “freak accident,” AOL VP Emeritus and Turner Classic Montana governor Ted Turner vanished late yesterday while touring the company’s special research facilities. “It was like nothing I’ve ever seen,” exclaimed Chris Burutu, a witness and AOL technician. “Mr. Turner had sort of broken off from the group and was just sort of looking at some equipment and then, zip, he was gone. Just disappeared, into thin air. I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it myself.”

At the time of his disappearance, Turner was being briefed on research developments at AOL that enable the company to “Interactivize” classic movies from its vast film library. “Imagine ‘Gone with the Wind’ if the South had won the war,” explained Turner himself at a gala launch event last week. “I know I do. What if Bogie and Bergman stayed together in the end? Or, what if those ferrets in ‘Beastmaster’ were frogs, or snakes? Our new interactive technology is going to let people answer those questions. The movies will adapt to your input. They’ll be what you want them to be.”

The technology that makes Turner’s Interactivization possible relies on the peculiarities of quantum computation and storage. Rather than engage in the expensive and time-consuming process of digitally simulating alternative versions of classic films, AOL instead runs each film through a Quantum Computational Superposition Codec that places each of the film’s bits in a state of quantum indeterminacy known as superposition. The encoded film is then stored in granules maintained near absolute zero and embedded in a super-insulating platter. When the consumer pushes play, the player decodes the bits, resolving the indeterminacies in a manner consistent with the input and preferences of the consumer.

“This is nothing less than the everlasting gobstopper of movie entertainment,” Turner declared to the AOL Press Corps at the launch event. “You can watch the movie again and again, and it will always be different, will always fit your mood.”

Early reviews of the technology are less sanguine: “There’s some real potential with this technology, but, at this point, it’s only for early adopters” opines Consumer Reports hardware reviewer Ted Kaz. “Because of the computational demands, the players are a bit on the pricey side, and the variability in the movies is still fairly limited. To decrease the workload on the decoders, the majority of elements in the film are still fixed. You can’t, for example, cast Barbara Stanwyck in place of Vivien Leigh. Later generations of the technology will give consumers more flexibility and be more appealing from a price-performance perspective.”

Reports confirm that Turner disappeared while inspecting AOL facilities which run their new Superposition Codec, and conflicting eye-witness accounts suggest that Turner was looking at, and possibly poking, some sensitive equipment at the moment he vanished.

Theories concerning the cause of Turner’s disappearance abound. “I suspect that Turner somehow accidentally flipped himself, caused himself to enter a state of superposition which was resolved against his continued existence,” opines M.I.T. professor of quantum math Edna Hem. “Objects of Turner’s size don’t typically become indeterminate because of their interactions with the environment. However, there’s nothing in principle to prevent it. His proximity to their ‘Superposition Codec’ probably isn’t a coincidence. It certainly makes more sense than ‘spontaneous combustion.'”

Though County officials only consider Turner to be missing, reports are that plans for a memorial service have already begun, including a publicly broadcast wake, and a mile-long procession of Turner Classic Bison through the streets of Atlanta.

NYSE Officials Plan Animal Sacrifice on Exchange Floor

May 8, 2064
ELIZABETH, NJ–New York Stock Exchange officials today unveiled plans to sacrifice a “flawless, golden calf” on the Exchange’s new, high-fashion trading floor later in the month. “Our aim here at the NYSE is to do everything possible to protect our member firms and listing companies,” explains NYSE spokesperson Will Furggle, “including taking all measures recommended by cutting-edge science. Our theorists tell us that this sacrifice will have an enormous positive impact 10, 20, even 30 years out.”

NYSE researchers prescribed the sacrifice on the basis of an application of the precepts of chaos and complexity theories to the “ecology” of the Exchange. “The NYSE is a dynamic ecosystem,” notes NYSE Chaos Chief Miranda Reapes. “At its heart is a fairly ordered complex system, but at the periphery there are eddies, pools of chaos. These eddies interact, liminally, with the biotic systems they overlap. These interactions don’t mean anything in the short term, but the sensitivity of the system to initial conditions is such that, over time, modulating these interactions can have a significant impact. This sacrifice will be the proverbial butterfly flapping its wings in China.”

Reached in his drawing-room on the Exchange floor, long-time NYSE veteran and J.P. Morgan VP Alfonso Evening responded to news of the sacrifice: “I don’t hold much truck with those chaos people, but, the whole thing does make a kind of sense to me. The Floor is pretty much just ceremonial nowadays anyway. Used to be that we would actually exchange money and securities down here. Now I’m just constantly cinching up this damn BOSS corset and making the rounds with my calling cards.”

Others are more critical of the plans. “This is yet another example of the developed world appropriating without compensation the discoveries of traditional and indigenous peoples around the world,” points out Josephine Pow, Yale Law Professor and founding member of the Free Information League. “We saw it when the big genetics and drug companies stole knowledge of traditional medicines, reverse-engineered them, then turned around and exploited them on the basis of government-protected patents. This is the same story all over again. These “chaos” people have suddenly discovered the value of a number of traditional cultural practices. And then they exploit them with no thought of compensating the people whose knowledge they have stolen.”[p]
The NYSE plans call for the sacrifice to take place at noon on a Friday, and for each of the members of the exchange to imbibe a thimbleful of the calf’s blood. The calf itself, currently stabled on the visitors’ observation deck, is, as recommended by the experts, entirely gold in color, and without blemish. The calf was genetically manufactured by Perdue Meat Sciences to meet the Exchange’s specifications.

FeedBank Launches Inter-Temporal Intra-Personal Banking Portal

Oct. 21, 2157
GRAND CAYMAN–FeedBank, the banking subsidiary of research and financial services conglomerate Futurefeedforward, announced today the availability of Chronocents, the first internet banking portal dedicated to facilitating transactions between customers’ present-day and future-side accounts. “We’re proud to be pioneering this market space,” declares FeedBank VP of Operations Nancy Beely. “For the first time consumers will be able to transfer funds from future deposits to their present-side accounts, and vice-versa.”

Inter-Temporal Intra-Personal banking–“IT/IP” as it’s known in the trade–has been hailed by proponents as a re-invigorating paradigm-shift for the staid banking industry, and dismissed by critics as, in the words of Fed Chairwoman Rebecca Deeferper, a “dangerous joke” and “quite possibly fraudulent.”

IT/IP exploits “temporal networking,” a proprietary data communications technology developed by FeedBank’s parent company. Temporal networks permit the transmission of data between the future and the present by means of “retrograde quantum effects.” In the case of IT/IP, this data includes financial transactions between present-day accountholders and their future accounts.[p]
“For us, the trick was in figuring out how to handle Intra-Personal fund movements,” explains FeedBank’s Beely. “We’ve been working successfully with temporal technologies since our founding, but consumer Intra-Personal transactions proved more complex than we initially thought.”

To enable IT/IP, FeedBank defines for each customer a Personal Monetary Marketplace, or PMM. Each “temporal instantiation” of the customer acts as a buyer or seller in the market, and the dynamics of a customer’s PMM defines, over time, a Personal Exchange Rate. Beely explains: “In order to achieve market-style efficiencies, we set up a market in which a customer at any given point in time bids on funds. In essence, customers sell their own money to themselves, but with the added benefit that the customer gets the optimal amount of capital when they need it most. It works just like international currency markets, but here all of the market players are you at different points in time.”

Regulatory and industry officials have shown little inclination to respond to the challenges IT/IP is sure to make to the banking establishment. “Most of them are very old-school,” notes Jupiter analyst Marcus Gee. “They just don’t get the scope of the revolution. Temporal borders don’t matter anymore, and the financial world has got to re-invent itself. FeedBank is part of that process. We’re maintaining a ‘super duper buy’ rating.”

When reached for comment, International Generally Accepted Accounting Principles Czar Terry Fishfish remarked that the accounting body had “no comment on what [FeedBank] is doing other than to warn consumers not to get involved in financial schemes that lack sufficient public oversight.” U.S. IRS spokesman Finny Marinoffal was less circumspect: “There’s a reason they’re so offshore,” he pointed out on a recent conference call. “They don’t want to make it easy for us to figure out the tax implications of their schemes. Taxpayers proceed at their own risk, at least as far as my office is concerned.”

“We have made every effort to assist GAAP and relevant tax officials in defining appropriate policy concerning our products,” explains FeedBank’s Beely. “They were utterly unreceptive to our innovations and left us with no choice but to go offshore. The launch of Chronocents should be a wakeup call for them, a shot across the bow of the establishment. Regulators have got to adapt, or go the way of the dinosaur.”