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April Fool's Day, 1995
No-Hole Polo Mints. (1995) Polo Mints announced that "in accordance with EEC Council Regulation (EC) 631/95" they would no longer be producing mints with holes. This regulation required all "producers of tubular foodstuffs... to delete holes from their products." In the future, a "EURO-CONVERSION KIT" would be included with all tubes of Polo mints. These kits would contain twenty 7mm "Hole Fillers" to be placed in the Polo mint. A "detailed instruction leaflet" would also be included.
Euro Disney Lenin. (1995) The Irish Times reported that the Disney Corporation was negotiating with the Russian government to purchase the embalmed body of communist leader Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, which had been kept on display in Red Square since the leader's death. Disney wanted to move the body and the mausoleum to the new Euro Disney, where it would be given the "full Disney treatment." This would include displaying the body "under stroboscopic lights which will tone up the pallid face while excerpts from President Reagan's 'evil empire' speech will be played in quadrophonic sound." Lenin t-shirts would also be sold.
Hotheaded Naked Ice Borers. (1995) Discover magazine revealed the discovery by wildlife biologist Dr. Aprile Pazzo of a fascinating new species, the hotheaded naked ice borer, which she had encountered while studying penguins in Antarctica. They were about half a foot long, very light, and had a bony plate on their head that could become burning hot, allowing them to bore tunnels through the ice at high speeds, "much faster than a penguin can waddle." Packs of them would rapidly melt the ice beneath a penguin, causing it to sink into the slush, at which point they would surround the creature and consume it.
The Multicolor Gondolas of Venice. (1995) According to legend, after the Black Plague struck Venice in the sixteenth century, it was decreed that all gondolas used on the city's canals should be painted black, as a tribute to the victims. But on 1 April 1995, the newspaper Il Gazzettino Venezia revealed that the city council had decided that henceforward all the gondolas would be colored red, yellow, blue or green. The hulls of the boats would also be decorated with swirls and geometric shapes.The city council made this decision after conducting "thorough market research on the tastes of tourists and Venetians." Apparently people were tired of seeing "dismal" boats plying the canals of Venice, so the council had decided it was time to liven things up.
BMW Optiglass. (1995) BMW announced that certain models of their cars would be fitted with "Optiglass" — a new optical technology that eliminated the need for drivers to wear glasses:
"80,000 transparent threads of silicon are coated onto a Polyvinylbhytral layer (PVB in English) to conduct a charge throughout the focal area of the screen — in much the same way as demisting systems work.
By varying the temperature of the PVB with a simple flick of the dashboard-mounted switch, the refractive index of the glass changes, creating a lens to suit the requirements of all drivers."
Weeping Lenin. (1995)
Over the years numerous statues of the Virgin Mary have been known to miraculously start weeping, but on 1 April 1995, an Italian statue of Lenin in the town of Cavriago joined the club. A huge crowd gathered to witness the milky white tears rolling down the statue's metal cheeks. The crowd remained for hours until the tears were eventually revealed to be a prank.
Solar Complexus Americanus. (1995) The Glasgow Herald described the recent arrival in Britain of a new energy-saving miracle: heat-generating plants. These plants, known by the scientific name Solar complexus americanus, were imports from Venezuela. One plant alone, fed by nothing more than three pints of water a day, generated as much heat as a 2kw electric fire. A few of these horticultural wonders placed around a house could entirely eliminate the need for a central-heating system, and when submerged in water, the plants created a constant supply of hot water. The Scandinavian botanist responsible for discovering these hot-air producers was Professor Olaf Lipro.