Computer Programmer Blamed in Wake of California's Unexpected 4/20 Bake

Funny story written by The San Francisco Onion

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

image for Computer Programmer Blamed in Wake of California's Unexpected 4/20 Bake
Clothes came off as temperatures rose well into the 90's and 100's across most of California.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - With Earth Day just around the corner, many California residents aren't just hugging trees - they're getting under them for some shade. In the wake of Sunday's unexpected bake, San Francisco and Los Angeles both set record highs with 93 and 100 degree readings respectively for this Monday afternoon, 4/20.

As a third day of unseasonable heat approaches, popular Bay Area web-based search engine Googol has found itself overwhelmed with calls from Californians irritated by the gross inaccuracy and monumental last-minute revisions of weather forecasts on their Googul home pages over the last three days.

An investigation into the matter by officials at Googol has revealed that Beigh Bridges, a computer programmer from San Jose, is to blame for the unexpected arrival of the heat wave and has been suspended indefinitely.

"It's most unfortunate that we at Googol were forced to discipline Mr. Bridges in such a way, and we regret any inconvenience this has caused our users," says Al Ketrass, shop foreman of the company's search engine Repair and Maintenance department. "But this is not the first time we've had this exact same problem with him." He noted that the programmer has failed to account for known variables, such as increased carbon dioxide and methane levels, in his climate models on several previous occasions.

Bridges is not taking his suspension lying down. He has decided to sue the Internet search engine provider for wrongful disciplinary action, retaining the services of high-profile San Francisco law firm Gould & Gates.

"My client, as I understand, is responsible for producing weather forecasts," said attorney A.U. Gould in a pre-trial hearing. "Those forecasts are based on specific parameters programmed into the computer models. However, once defined, those parameters tend to be fixed, so as carbon dioxide levels continue to rise, there's extra warmth not accounted for in the climate models." He emphasized that Mr. Bridges is in no way responsible for the emissions of billions of people, or the unintended effects of these emissions on the climate.

Googol sees it differently. They say it's up to Bridges to keep his computer models up to date. As carbon dioxide emissions have continued to rise, so have the number of dramatic, unexpected shifts in air masses as extra insulation allows some areas of the Earth's surface to soak up more of the Sun's energy. They argue it's up to him to adjust his models accordingly.

"If you know it's happening, account for it!" said one particularly unsympathetic Googol executive. "Plug in a... Oh, I don't know. A looped variable or something! You know? That way, when the first heat waves start to roll in unannounced, way ahead of schedule, at least we'll be expecting it!"

The funny story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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