April Fool's Day Content
April Fool's Day Content
April Fool Categories
April Fool: Recurring Pranks
April Fool: Regions
April Fool: Perpetrators
April Fool's Day Archive, Contents:
|Before 1900:||Origin of April Fool's Day | 1700-1799 | 1800-1899|
|Early 1900s:||1900 | 1901 | 1915 | 1919 | 1920 | 1923 | 1925|
|1930s & 40s:||1933 | 1934 | 1936 | 1937 | 1938 | 1940 | 1949|
|1950s & 60s:||1950 | 1957 | 1959 | 1960 | 1962 | 1965 | 1969|
|1970s:||1970 | 1971 | 1972 | 1973 | 1974 | 1975 | 1976 | 1977 | 1978 | 1979|
|1980s:||1980 | 1981 | 1982 | 1983 | 1984 | 1985 | 1986 | 1987 | 1988 | 1989|
|1990s:||1990 | 1991 | 1992 | 1993 | 1994 | 1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999|
|2000s:||2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009|
|2010s:||2010 | 2011|
American April Fool's Day Hoaxes
American April Fool's Day Hoaxes
Skeptic Converts (2004)Bob Carroll, creator of the online Skeptic's Dictionary, announced that he was abandoning skepticism and embracing a Christian belief in divine design. He attributed his conversion to an epiphany that occurred after doing yardwork:
"I came in afterward and noticed that there were several weeds stuck to my socks and shoes. It was like a hammer to the head. I started to see the patterns. There was clearly a design here. The weeds excreted a sticky substance that allowed them to cling to my clothes. When I moved around I carried their seeds with me and had unwittingly deposited them throughout my yard. Soon, my yard would be crawling with weeds and I would have been partially to blame. But I wasn't concerned about the yard. I had a bigger problem. I had seen that randomness could not account for the weeds' behavior. Yes, behavior. What else could it be? The weeds clearly know what they are doing. They didn't just accidentally cling to me. There is no way this was just matter randomly and meaninglessly behaving in a way that looked like design. This was truly design at work."
Google Copernicus Center (2004)
Google announced that they were accepting applications for positions at Copernicus Center, their new "lunar hosting and research center." Applicants, Google noted, must be "capable of surviving with limited access to such modern conveniences as soy low-fat lattes, The Sopranos and a steady supply of oxygen." Google went on to say that the facility, set to open in Spring 2007, would house 35 engineers, 27,000 low cost Web servers, two massage therapists and a sushi chef.
Belief.net announced that all the major Christian denominations had jointly agreed to make Oprah Winfrey the fourth member of the Holy Trinity, thereby broadening its appeal and making it less gender-biased: "Along with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the popular talk show host will be recognized as one person in the sacred and indivisible unity of the Godhead—or Quadhead, as the updated Trinity will now be called."
In response to the news, Oprah's production company issued a statement: "This just confirms what millions of Americans already know: that Oprah is a goddess—and one completely compatible with Christian faith." However, the Russian Orthodox Church had not supported the deification of Oprah, noting that "the current structure leaves no room for the possible addition of Dr. Phil."
Portable Zip Codes (2004)National Public Radio's All Things Considered reported that the U.S. Post Office was introducing a new portable zip codes program that would allow individuals to take their zip code with them when they moved. The program was inspired by the recent FCC ruling that allowed people to retain the same phone number wherever they moved or whatever service they switched to. Opponents of the portable zip code program pointed out that zip codes "serve a clear, unambiguous purpose: They tell the postal worker on his or her rounds where you live." But its proponents argued that "A modern, mobile society… can no longer afford to remain grounded in locale-specific zip codes… a zip code is a badge of honor, an emblem symbolizing a citizen's place in the demographic, rather than geographic, landscape."
George Foreman USB iGrill (2003)
Thinkgeek.com introduced the George Foreman USB iGrill, the "low-fat, high-bandwidth solution to your networked cooking needs":
Shellac, Sound of the Future (2003)
National Public Radio's All Things Considered ran a segment about the efforts by preservationists to transfer audio recordings to a durable medium that would last far into the future. The medium they had decided upon: shellac (what Edison used when he first invented recording technology back in the nineteenth century). Rick Karr reported:
And so works such as Vanilla Ice's debut CD were being painstakingly transferred onto shellac. The report concluded: "If funding levels can be maintained, experts estimate the archiving project can catch up with recordings made before 2003 by April 1, 2089."
Mark Cuban Fakes Fight (2003)
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, known for his frequent arguments with officials (for which he has suffered heavy fines), appeared to get into yet another screaming match with an official during the second quarter of the game against the New Orleans Hornets. He was seen arguing with a referee during a stoppage in play. Then he shoved the man and had to be restrained by one of the team's equipment managers. Only then was it revealed that the entire incident had been staged.
Twenty signs appeared in various locations throughout Sturgis, Michigan reading, "All your base are belong to us. You have no chance to survive make your time." The signs were a reference to a well-known quotation from a badly translated Japanese video game. The signs were put up by 7 young men, who intended them as an April Fools joke. Unfortunately, many residents didn't get the joke, thinking that the signs somehow referred to the war in Iraq. The police didn't understand them either. Police Chief Eugene Alli said the signs could be "a borderline terrorist threat depending on what someone interprets it to mean." The seven men were arrested.
Google revealed the secret at the heart of its search technology: PigeonRank. Clusters of pigeons had been trained to compute the relative values of web pages:
PigeonRank's success relies primarily on the superior trainability of the domestic pigeon (Columba livia) and its unique capacity to recognize objects regardless of spatial orientation… By collecting flocks of pigeons in dense clusters, Google is able to process search queries at speeds superior to traditional search engines, which typically rely on birds of prey, brooding hens or slow-moving waterfowl to do their relevance rankings. When a search query is submitted to Google, it is routed to a data coop where monitors flash result pages at blazing speeds. When a relevant result is observed by one of the pigeons in the cluster, it strikes a rubber-coated steel bar with its beak, which assigns the page a PigeonRank value of one. For each peck, the PigeonRank increases. Those pages receiving the most pecks, are returned at the top of the user's results page with the other results displayed in pecking order.
Greatest Cities Prank (2002)
Maxim magazine printed multiple covers for its April 2002 issue, simultaneously declaring thirteen different American cities (including Detroit, Philadelpia, New York, and Miami) to be the "Greatest City on Earth." Readers in each city received an appropriately targeted issue of the magazine. In addition to the cover, the issue also included two pages listing the benefits of the cover city and disparaging the other cities. For instance, Philadelphia readers were told about their collective toughness and the Ivy League "hotties" at the University of Pennsylvania. However, readers in other cities were told that Philadelphia was merely a "glorified . . . [bathroom] break between New York and Washington, populated by larded pretzel-munchers and 'half-wits' who dress up as the Founding Fathers." However, some of the New York cover issues were "accidentally" sent to Philadelphia, thus revealing the joke.
The Sea Hawk, describing it as a "high-tech swashbuckler about a mild-mannered news assistant who ransacks a New York newspaper office via remote control." Two Times staffers, Tim Sastrowardoyo and Marilyn McCauley, were listed as stars. Two days later the Times ran a correction, noting that the film "is actually an adaptation of Rafael Sabatini's 1915 novel about an English nobleman sold into slavery. It stars Milton Sills and Enid Bennett." It further explained:
Hooters Coming Soon (2001)In a field along route 66 near Glastonbury, Connecticut, a billboard appeared that read: "Coming Soon, Hooters." It bore the owl logo of the franchise, famous for its scantily clad waitresses, as well as a phone number. Local officials soon began receiving calls from residents worried that the down-home, family-friendly feel of the town was going to be ruined by the new franchise. The officials responded that, as far as they knew, Hooters had filed no application with the planning department. The next day the words "April Fools" appeared on the sign, which turned out to be the work of a local prankster, John Tuttle. From the Hartford Courant:
Tuttle, a town resident and vice president for the East Coast division of Hillshire Farm, said the joke was months in the making. In the fall, he asked a friend with a sign business to create the sign in hopes of "riling the town up." The town was riled. Tuttle received more than 120 messages over the weekend on his business phone, the number given on the sign. The calls ranged from waitresses looking for work to contractors wanting to build the restaurant to a prominent real estate agent who promised to use his connections to push the project forward.
Supreme Court Dress Code (2001)A special edition of the Denver Bar Association's newsletter, The Docket, described a new dress code adopted by the Colorado Supreme Court. Male attorneys would be required to wear blue blazers with a Colorado state seal displayed on the pocket, while female lawyers would have to wear plaid skirts. The Docket received five calls from lawyers concerned about this new dress code.
The NPR program All Things Considered revealed that a California-based company, LunarCorp, had developed a laser powerful enough to project images on to the surface of the moon. It planned to use this to beam advertisements onto the moon, turning the earth's satellite into a giant billboard.