Vol. 4, Issue 6, July 11, 2006
Flat Earth Society Launches Mapquest Rival
The International Flat Earth Society has announced the launch of a website which will "sweep away" the current mapping leaders of the web, including Mapquest and Google Maps, and restore a measure of truth to the web "whether it wants it or not".
"Scientists are nothing but a bunch of witch doctors and sorcerers," said the press release. "Today's so-called Dot Com companies are of the same ilk. Does anyone dare deny it? Yes, Priceline, I'm talking to you!"
The International Flat Earth Society is a small religious group which holds that humans live on a disc, with the North Pole at its center and a 150-foot high wall of ice at the outer edge; according to this model, the sun and moon are each a mere 32 miles in diameter.
The new website, theonetruemapoftheworldwhichisirrefutablyflat.com, using what the website calls "Zetetic astronomical measurements" offers directions between any two addresses input by the user. For a small fee, users can also get the "shortest directions" to the moon, which (according to the Flat Earth site) can be reached via a certain exit off I-70.
"It's about time the web saw a serious new map competitor," said Frank Perrault, an analyst at the Fieldstone Foundation. "Everyone has a horror story about Mapquest diverting them through a foreign country en route to the corner drugstore. And with the Flat Earth site, there's no risk of any unpatriotic security risks like with those Google Map photos of the White House."
There is also no risk of finding one's destination, apparently, since no matter what starting and ending points are entered into the Flat Earth map site, the results are always the same: a 128k jpeg resembling the map on the United Nations flag, with a message that reads "Are you sure thatis (sic) where God wants youu (sic) to Go? REDEEM YOUR SELF AND STAY HOME if you are not Sure!" A single, meandering red arrow runs from somewhere in Central America to a location that is almost, but not exactly, in Montreal.
"Well, there's something refreshing in the simplicity of this site," said Marcus Blank, a geography teacher at West Central High School. "And you must remember that even a broken clock is accurate twice a day. More accurate, actually, than any working clock during those instants. Maybe I want to go to Montreal after all, you know?"
While observers initially believed that the Flat Earth website would earn little more than a footnote as one of many oddities on the web, it has generated a surprising amount of discussion among members of Congress, lending unexpected momentum to the previously bogged-down discussions on global warming.
"Sweet mother of Jesus," said one Congressman. "That wall of ice at the edge melts and we're really gonna have some problems. Maybe we better do something about emissions after all."