Berkeley develops earthquake warning app, giving each California resident just enough time to illegibly scribble will onto napkin

Humor by Prateek Joshi
Jan. 27, 2020, 11:16 p.m.

Hailing this launch as an advancement for the safety and well-being of all Californians, UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ announced in a press conference Monday that the earthquake early warning app, which the University poured millions of dollars into developing, gives each state resident enough time to illegibly scribble their wills onto spare napkins.  

“Here in California, we must always be prepared for the next ‘Big One,’ and our team of highly accomplished researchers spent years to develop this state-of-the-art seismic detection system to give every single individual about 10 or 15 seconds to grab a nearby pen and messily jot down some bullet points on a Domino’s pizza napkin outlining the legal transfer of their wealth and property,” explained Christ, who said the very expensive cutting-edge technology is a much-needed upgrade from previous emergency warning alerts that were broadcast over the television and provided viewers with only a split-second heads up to contemplate the legacy they will leave behind for their family as the ground vigorously shook beneath their feet.  

“I hope this gives everyone the peace of mind knowing that they are guaranteed a spare moment, before the roof comes crashing down, to give their loved ones a chance to decipher their frantic handwriting on a torn paper towel pulled from the rubble to figure out who gets the antique collection of baseball cards and who gets the limited-edition set of “Star Wars” DVDs,” continued Christ, emphasizing that so much money was spent by hundreds of graduate students in order to write the lines of underlying code. “This monumental project is what sets Berkeley apart from other schools.” 

Christ ended the Q&A session by recommending that users set the app to provide lock-screen notifications, otherwise they might only have time to hastily sketch some ambiguously looking stick figures that identify their beneficiaries before the walls cave in.  

Editor’s Note: This article is purely satirical and fictitious. All attributions in this article are not genuine and this story should be read in the context of pure entertainment only. 

Contact Prateek Joshi at pjoshi2 ‘at’

Prateek, a former editor-in-chief of Brown University’s satirical newspaper (The Brown Noser), signed with the Stanford Daily’s satire section in free agency. He also had one glorious month-long stint contributing headlines to The Onion, none of which were published. Feel free to send him article suggestions and harsh criticism at pjoshi2 ‘at’ His favorite hobby is getting an M.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering (Class of 2021), focusing on sustainable energy systems. When he’s not satirizing, he’s fervently searching for whoever had the nerve to claim the “pjoshi1” email username.

Login or create an account