Thursday, April 1, 2010
April Fool's Day...!
Once again, the day for jokes and pranks is here!
I'll admit that in my younger days, I pulled a few good ones myself...usually with my running buddy, Biff! But ours were nothing in comparison to some of the major, imaginative pranks pulled over the years!
I thought you might like to read about some of these...just in case you haven't heard them before!
* Alabama Changes the Value of Pi:
The April 1998 newsletter of New Mexicans for Science and Reason contained an article written by physicist Mark Boslough claiming that the Alabama Legislature had voted to change the value of the mathematical constant pi. This claim originally appeared as a news story in the 1961 science fiction novel Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein, however.
* Spaghetti trees:
The BBC television programme Panorama ran a famous hoax in 1957, showing Italians harvesting spaghetti from trees. They had claimed that the despised pest, the spaghetti weevil, had been eradicated. A large number of people contacted the BBC wanting to know how to cultivate their own spaghetti trees. It was, in fact, filmed in St Albans.
* Left Handed Whoppers:
In 1998, Burger King ran an ad in USA Today, saying that people could get a Whopper for left-handed people whose condiments were designed to drip out of the right side. Not only did customers order the new burgers, but some specifically requested the "old", right-handed burger.
* Taco Liberty Bell:
In 1996, Taco Bell took out a full-page advertisement in The New York Times announcing that they had purchased the Liberty Bell to "reduce the country's debt" and renamed it the "Taco Liberty Bell." When asked about the sale, White House press secretary Mike McCurry replied tongue-in-cheek that the Lincoln Memorial had also been sold and would henceforth be known as the Lincoln Mercury Memorial.
Wikipedia's Main Page on April 1, 2007.
The featured article write-up purposely confuses U.S. President George Washington with an inventor of the same name.
* San Serriffe:
The Guardian printed a supplement in 1977 praising this fictional resort, its two main islands (Upper Caisse and Lower Caisse), its capital (Bodoni), and its leader (General Pica). Intrigued readers were later disappointed to learn that San Serriffe (Sans serif) did not exist except as references to typeface terminology. (This comes from a Jorge Luis Borges story.)
* DT Day:
In 2008 fliers were handed on Brigham Young University campus, saying that the last in a series of dorm buildings being torn down was scheduled to be imploded on April 1. Hundreds of people eagerly turned up to see the implosion, but to their consternation it never happened. The culprits of this prank remain unknown.
* Decimal time:
Repeated several times in various countries, this hoax involves claiming that the time system will be changed to one in which units of time are based on powers of 10.
In 1965, the BBC purported to conduct a trial of a new technology allowing the transmission of odor over the airwaves to all viewers. Many viewers reportedly contacted the BBC to report the trial's success. In 2007, the BBC website repeated an online version of the hoax.
* Tower of Pisa:
The Dutch television news reported in the 1950s that the Tower of Pisa had fallen over. Many shocked people contacted the station.
* Write Only Memory:
Signetics advertised Write Only Memory IC databooks in 1972 through the late 1970s.
* The Canadian news site bourque.org announced in 2002 that Finance Minister Paul Martin had resigned "in order to breed prize Charolais cattle and handsome Fawn Runner ducks."
You have to admit that this makes most of the pranks pulled by the average person seem rather tame! I think a very loud "well done" is in order for the folks that pulled these gems, don't you?
Now, my friends, let's get some fresh coffee and sit at the kitchen table...no pranks this morning. I promise!