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It’s official: Watching late-night TV causes depression. At least that’s what scientists at Ohio State University discovered in a groundbreaking and incontrovertibly scientific study published recently. And how did they reach this conclusion? By exposing hamsters to dim light at night and observing that patterns of activity in their brains resembled those exhibited during depression.
Looks like Stephen Colbert’s been busted. “This show was designed to depress hamsters!” he admitted. “But you can’t turn it off because you’re stuck in a glass cage wallowing in your own filth!”
In other (actually depressing) news, the National Climatic Data Center recently released a report that this is the hottest summer on record. Droughts are sweeping through the Midwest, creating a scorched landscape loosely resembling the 1930s dust bowl. This new dust bowl is just like Grapes of Wrath - only less dry and easier to get through.
To get the scoop straight from corn country, Colbert chatted with Bruce Babcock, a professor of environmental economics at Iowa State University. Colbert asked how the droughts plaguing corn crops would affect him personally.
“You’ll see a lot less eggs, chicken, and dairy products,” Babcock said.
But what does corn have to do with eggs? As Babcock pointed out, almost all livestock subsist on corn diets. When the price of corn goes up, so do the prices of eggs, dairy and meat.
Babcock also predicted a standoff between ethanol plants and livestock producers over who’s got dibs on the dwindling corn crop.
In other news, North Korea just became 10 zillion times scarier. Recent reports have linked dictator Kim Jung-Un to the star of a Korean girl group, whose chart-topping hits include the infectious tunes “Excellent Horse-Like Lady.”
So what does this mean for America, who has long been the undisputed world powerhouse of celebrity couples? After losing TomKat, it looks like we’re on the fast track to relinquishing our position as a world superpower.
That’s why Colbert called on Katie Holmes to restore the nation’s dignity. “Break those two up, and form the superpower KimKat!” he ordered.
In the show’s final segment, Colbert sat down with journalist James Fallows to discuss another superpower on the rise: China. Fallow’s recent book, China Airborne, discusses the nation’s entrance into the airline industry.
Fallows described the recent emergence of Chinese airlines as a test of the nation’s economic sophistication. “They’re testing their role as a first-rate player,” he said.
He proceeded to describe his experience on a Chinese airline, which he said was “more pleasant” than flying in America. “The planes are all new. They have hot meals,” he said. “The flight attendants are recently hired, and there’s no problem hiring them for physical attractiveness.”
Colbert was indignant. “Is there any way we can stop the Chinese? And should we stop them?” he asked.
Fallows argues not. In his book, he posits that if the Chinese were to become successful in crafting their own airline industry, they would become “easier to deal with.” He stated, “The authoritarianism that’s allowed them to succeed in the last 30 years will not allow them to succeed in this.”
But Colbert had one last pressing question. “Do they have honey roast peanut technology?”
“No,” said Fallows, with a laugh.
“Then we’re still ahead.”