The Lirpa Loof. (1984)
The BBC Show That's Life aired a segment about an animal called the Lirpa Loof, a hairy biped from the eastern Himalayas, that had just arrived at the London Zoo.
Naturalist David Bellamy talked about how excited he was to finally see this animal, which he had read about as a child. The creature was also a natural mimic, imitating whatever it saw a person doing. This delighted crowds at the zoo. Unfortunately, the total number of Lirpa Loofs in the world was "small and diminishing."
The scientific name of the Lirpa Loof was Eccevita mimicus. "Eccevita" is Latin for "That's Life."
Grandstand’s Newsroom Brawl. (1989)
On the BBC Sports show Grandstand, as presenter Desmond Lynam talked about upcoming events to be covered a fight broke out behind him in the newsroom. As the fight escalated, Lynam continued to calmly discuss the news, assuring the audience that, "We'll continue to do our best to cover sport in the way that you like, backed up by our highly professional team." Later in the show, Lyman noted that viewers may have seen "a bit of an altercation" behind him and apologized for this. But then he proceeded to show an instant replay of the fight.
After the replay the newsroom brawlers were shown standing together, holding a sign that read "April Fool."
HandSolo Mobile. (2008)
Qualcomm debuted wireless cellphone technology that was truly "in your hand" because it was implanted directly into your hand. Simply put your thumb to your ear and talk into your pinkie.
The technology included features such as "high-five" call transfer, hand vibrate alert, portable music player with embedded thumb-speakers, and an alarm clock with adjustable wake-up intensities from slight finger prodding to intense face slapping
Energy From Starlight. (2008)
Norwegian energy company Statkraft released a video announcing they had developed a way to generate power from starlight:
"Our planet needs more energy pure energy. And thanks to pioneering Norwegian technology we may be able to provide it. The energy source of the future is starpower...
When stars explode, gamma rays with vast amounts of energy are hurled out into space. Now game capturers will be placed in orbit around the earth to capture this energy. This pioneering breakthrough has been developed by researchers and engineers from Statkraft."More…
Flying Penguins. (2008)
The BBC announced that camera crews filming near the Antarctic for its natural history series Miracles of Evolution had captured footage of Adélie penguins taking to the air. It offered a video clip of these flying penguins, which became one of the most viewed videos on the internet.
Presenter Terry Jones explained that, instead of huddling together to endure the Antarctic winter, these penguins took to the air and flew thousands of miles to the rainforests of South America where they "spend the winter basking in the tropical sun." A follow-up video explained how the BBC created the special effects of the flying penguins.
Association of Swiss Mountain Cleaners. (2009)
The Swiss Tourism Board announced it was seeking volunteers to join the Association of Mountain Cleaners. It claimed, "The Association of Mountain Cleaners... makes sure that our holiday guests can always enjoy perfect mountains. Using brooms, brushes, water and muscle power, they clean the rocks of any bird droppings." Visitors to myswitzerland.com were invited to take a Mountain cleaner aptitude test and submit their name for a chance to win a week's holiday in Switzerland.
Free Range Turtle Wax. (2009)
Turtle Wax announced that in order to improve its product it had decided to remove all its turtles from battery farms and allow them to go free range:
"The turtle shell extract is the unique ingredient that makes Turtle Wax products last longer and provide improved shine and protection. Increased exposure to the outside elements is proven to enhance the rigidity of the carapace (upper shell) and ultimately, the hardening of the shell improves the overall performance of the wax.
For that reason (and obviously to ensure our turtles enjoy their lives more) we've gone free range and moved all of our turtles from battery farms into outdoor pens."More…
Qualcomm Wolf Pigeon. (2009)
Qualcomm unveiled a plan to expand wireless coverage by implanting tiny base-stations into wolf-pigeon hybrids that would fly around, but also be self-defensible, form packs when needed, and go out as "lone wolves" to areas without coverage, thereby creating a strong network.
Unfortunately, the wolf-pigeons tended to overpopulate and cause havoc amongst the human population. This created a need for Shark Falcons, to keep the wolf-pigeons under control. Qualcomm engineers also anticipated a need for Crocodeagles to manage the Shark Falcons. Crocodeagles would be four times bigger than Shark Falcons, "so they're always going to win."
Butterfly Attacks. (2010)
In the wake of several videos appearing online showing people being savagely attacked by butterflies, Qualcomm convened a press conference to explain that the victims had recently stolen prototypes of its Mirasol displays which used technology that mimicked the reflection of light off of butterfly wings. The displays apparently triggered aggression among wild butterflies.
However, a Qualcomm representative stressed that the current displays were completely safe.
Prescription Windscreens. (2010)
The UK company Auto Windscreens launched what they claimed was the "first prescription windscreen."
"Researching the curvature of corrective spectacles for myopia (short sightedness) led Auto Windscreens to successfully develop a windscreen which can be curved to match an individual's ophthalmic prescription. The resulting prescription windscreen will ensure that UK drivers will never have to be frustrated with finding their glasses or, more importantly, risk driving illegally without them."More…
DIY CrunchPad Kit. (2010)
Technology news website TechCrunch released a video detailing its new "DIY CrunchPad Kit" that allowed people to convert any laptop screen into a touchscreen device. The process involved removing the screen from the laptop, placing a (highly toxic) nanobot-driven "F.U.J.J." film over the screen, adding a new CPU, power unit, and 4G module, and finally "special radioactive shield casing." The price was only $49.99.
Helium-Lightened Planes. (2011)
WestJet announced a "new state-of-the-art money saving feature" aboard its flights. It was introducing "air mixed with helium in the ventilation system to lighten the weight of the aircraft."
Helium is approximately 85 per cent lighter than nitrogen, which accounts for 80 per cent of the air we breathe. With a maximum takeoff weight of more than 150,000 pounds, adding helium to the air mix will provide fuel savings of approximately three to four per cent on board WestJet’s Boeing Next-Generation 737s. This will, in turn, allow WestJet to pass the savings on to its guests.More…
Land Rover’s Self-Levelling Tax Disc Holder. (2011)
Land Rover noted that new legislation required that a vehicle's tax disc "must be displayed within parameters that do not exceed 10 degrees". This legislation had been introduced because of Traffic Enforcement officers who were suffering from Repetitive Neck Strain (RNS) from looking at sharply angled tax discs all day.
In order to make sure all Land Rover owners complied with the law, Land Rover had developed a "self-levelling tax disc holder" that always kept the tax disc at the legally required angle. The holder employed "Contra-Motion technology" to achieve this.
The YouTube Collection. (2012)
YouTube debuted their latest innovation. Every video ever uploaded to YouTube, made available on DVDs. Upon ordering, the DVDs would be shipped to your home in 175 YouTube trucks, arriving in shrink-wrapped crates on pallets. A new truck would then arrive every week, with all the latest videos.
Owners of the DVD collection would be able to experience YouTube while completely offline, but they wouldn't lose interactivity. By filling out a comment form and placing it in a stamped, self-addressed envelope, they could send feedback directly to the creator of any particular video.
Peugeot Mood Paint. (2012)
Peugeot announced that the Peugeot RCZ would be the first car to come with "mood paint." This paint consisted of a "specially developed psychochromatic coating" that altered its molecular structure to emit light at varying wavelenghts — "literally changing the color of the car to reflect how you're feeling."
And ThinkGeek assured Hungry Hippo purists that the iPad version was "Fully endorsed by the International Hungry Hungry Hippo Association (IHHHA)."
Gmail Tap. (2012)
Gmail introduced "Gmail Tap". This app replaced the QWERTY keyboard on mobile phones with two keys, a dot and a dash, allowing users to communicate using morse code. This not only simplified the act of typing on a phone, but also allowed it to be done without looking at the screen, making it "ideal for situations where you need to discreetly send emails, such as when you're on a date or in a meeting with your boss."
Google Maps 8-bit. (2012)
Recognizing the continuing popularity of retro gaming systems, Google Maps announced that it would soon be offering a version of Google Maps for the Nintendo Entertainment System, featuring low-res, 8-bit maps and "a timeless soundtrack". It would be the first time an NES cartridge had been sold in 18 years. Though until the cartridges were available in stores, the public was invited to experience a trial version of the 8-bit maps online.
In case of technical difficulties, users were directed to "blow on the cartridge to fix bugs."
Sony Ultra-Small Ultrabook. (2012)
Sony debuted the VAIO® Q Ultrabook, boasting 8GB of RAM, HD 1080p resolution, and full 3-D graphic support. It could also fit in your pocket because it was the size of a quarter. Sony promised that it was the "lightest, most portable ultrabook ever," offering "portability without compromise."
"Watch the future of mobile computing unfold before your eyes," the company said, "and soon, in the palm of your hand."
Teleportation Machine. (2013)
The University of Michigan College of Engineering released a video revealing that their researchers had created a teleportation machine. Materials Science Prof. Xavier Vlad demonstrated how he could teleport a small key from one end of the machine to the other. He further explained that the process was discovered by accident — just like the discovery of Post-It notes.
The HondaHAIR. (2013)
Honda introduced the HondaHAIR™, the world's first in-vehicle haircutting accessory, promised to be a feature in the 2014 Honda Odyssey. Honda elaborated:
"Our philosophy is to imagine mobility in areas once thought immobile... Getting a trim is typically thought of as a location-based activity that requires a special trip to your hairstylist or barber, but that's where the HondaHAIR comes in. It's simple, efficient, and it's an enjoyable way to cut hair on the go. Using the HondaVAC in the 2014 Odyssey simply attach the hair-cutting tool to the nozzle, then let the powerful suction of the HondaVAC take over."More…
The Chi Wallet. (2013)
CrowdSupply.com, an online "store and crowdfunding platform," debuted the Chi Wallet, available in models ranging in price from $29 to $250.
"We introduce to you today the Chi Wallet. Chi is transformative, inspiring, and yet disruptive. Born from natural rubber trees, lovingly caressed, sustainably harvested... It's the last wallet you'll ever buy."
The Chi Wallet looked a great deal like a rubber band.
YouTube Closes to Pick Winner. (2013)
YouTube revealed that it was actually a massive competition — a competition that would end at midnight with the closing of the site, allowing the judges to spend the next ten years reviewing every video uploaded and declare a winner.
"Tonight at midnight YouTube.com will no longer be accepting entries. After eight amazing years it is finally time to review everything that has been uploaded to our site and begin the process of selecting a winner. We started youtube in 2005 as a contest with the simple goal to find the best video in the world. We had no idea we'd get such a great response. You've uploaded over 70 hours of footage every minute and we've been blown away by the variety, imagination, and anything-goes spirit that's driven the competition."More…