Swedish April Fool's Day Hoaxes
Instant Color TV.
Sveriges Television, Sweden's National TV broadcaster, revealed that it had developed new technology that allowed people to see color pictures on their black-and-white sets. The station's technical expert, Kjell Stensson, explained that the technology took advantage of the prismatic nature of light and the phenomenon of "double slit interference." To see color images, all a viewer had to do was pull a nylon stocking over the tv screen.
After Stensson demonstrated the process, thousands of viewers at home obediently imitated him. Actual color broadcasts only commenced in Sweden on April 1, 1970.
Water to be shut off.
Printed leaflets were distributed throughout Stockholm informing people that the water company was soon going to cut off the water. Housewives were urged to fill the bathtub and whatever containers they had with water while "certain adjustments" were made to the water system. The water company, after receiving hundreds of calls, eventually issued an official denial, blaming the leaflets on an unknown prankster. [Appleton Post-Crescent, Apr 1, 1965.]
Shake Your Mobile.
In an update of the Instant Color TV prank from 1962, Sweden's largest newspaper, Dagens Nyheter, reported that Hubert Hochsztapler, a researcher at Sweden's top engineering school, had made a surprising discovery: "if you shake your GSM, or second-generation, phone hard enough, you can access the new high-tech third-generation (3G) frequency which is only supposed to be available to 3G phones." This would allow users of older-model mobile phones to watch movies on their phones simply by shaking them.
Sweden to Phase out Å, Ä and Ö.
Sweden's English-language paper, The Local, reported that in the interests of globalization and technological competitiveness Sweden's government was considering banning "complex letters" such as Å, Ä and Ö. Å would be replaced by AA, Ä by AE and Ö by OE. The Centre Party's Åsa Bäckström was quoted as saying, "Language is constantly changing and we must be prepared to meet the linguistic challenges of the modern world. Communication barriers are a hindrance to competitiveness, so we should do whatever we can - within reason - to eliminate them." However, the move was resisted by many, including the town council of Båstad, whose spokesman
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