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April Fool's Day, 2007
The Derbyshire Fairy. (2007) Images of an 8-inch mummified creature resembling a fairy were posted on the website of the Lebanon Circle Magik Co. Accompanying text explained how the creature had been found by a man walking his dog along an old roman road in rural Derbyshire. Word of this discovery soon spread around the internet. Bloggers excitedly speculated about whether the find was evidence of the actual existence of fairies. The Lebanon Circle website received tens of thousands of visitors and hundreds of emails. But at the end of the day, Dan Baines, the owner of the site, confessed that the fairy was a hoax. He had used his skills as a magician’s prop-maker to create the creature. Baines later reported that, despite his confession, he continued to receive numerous emails from people who refused to accept the fairy wasn’t real. He later sold the fairy to an American collector for £280.
BMW Instant Messaging. (2007) BMW unveiled new technology that allowed drivers to communicate messages via their windscreens:
The system uses Reactive User Sound Electronic (RUSE) particles which are embedded in the windscreen. All the driver has to do is say what's on their mind and the RUSE particles react to their voice to translate their words into an instant message. It enables BMW drivers to communicate advice, warnings, helpful driving tips and salutations to other road users without even lifting a finger.
LivePoke. (2007) The social networking site Facebook posted a notice about a new feature called LivePoke allowing users to "dispatch a real live person to poke a friend of your choice." The offer was said to be good for only the first 100 pokers in each network. The joke was a reference to Facebook's "poke" feature, which causes a poke icon to appear on another user's home page.
Mayfair Mall To Use Face Recognition Technology. (2007) Wisconsin-based blogger Peter Hart posted a news article on the community news site WauwatosaNOW.com, claiming that the local Mayfair Mall planned to start using face recognition technology to scan for known criminals. The story fooled a reporter for WTMJ-TV who reported it as fact on the 4 pm news show.
The Sheep Albedo Hypothesis. (2007) RealClimate.org detailed the work of Dr. Ewe Noh-Watt of the New Zealand Institute of Veterinary Climatology, who had discovered that global warming was caused not by a buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, but rather by the decline of New Zealand's sheep population. The reasoning was that sheep are white, and therefore large numbers of sheep increased the planet's albedo (the amount of sunlight reflected back into space). As the sheep population declined, the ground absorbed more solar radiation, thus warming the planet: "It can be seen that the recent warming can be explained entirely by the decline in the New Zealand sheep population, without any need to bring in any mysterious so-called 'radiative forcing' from carbon dioxide, which doesn't affect the sunlight (hardly) anyway — unlike Sheep Albedo."
Ring-Tone Rage. (2007) National Public Radio's Weekend Edition Sunday reported that New York City Democratic councilman David Yassky had called for a ban on obnoxious ring tones. The councilman claimed that objectionable ring tones were costing the economy upwards of $1.2 billion and were the cause of numerous fights induced by "ring-tone rage." As of April 1, 2008, NPR reported, cell phone users would be restricted to four city-approved ring tones.
Tattoo Your Toddler. (2007) DJs from North Dakota's Y94 radio station created a website called tattooyourtoddler.com that claimed to represent "the first tattoo studio for kids, with the trendiest body-art designed specifically for youths ages 2 through 17!" Parents who wanted to tattoo their child were promised that "Our patented needle-free system only causes slight discomfort and ensures a vibrant tattoo, guaranteed not to fade for at least 10 years!" The FAQ section of the site included the question: "Is this legal?" To which the reply was: "This is still America, isn't it?" A similar April Fool's Day hoax had been perpetrated in 2003 by DJs at at Channel 933 KHTS-FM radio in San Diego who created a site called BabyInk.com, which claimed to be a tattoo parlor catering to infants and children.
Pick Your Own Cow. (2007) Motive magazine ran an article about a new program from Lamborghini allowing owners to pick specific cows with which to outfit their cars' leather interior.
Sweden to Phase out Å, Ä and Ö. (2007) 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 said, "We already have enough trouble with English-speakers who think the name of our town is amusing. If the Å becomes a regular A it will just make things worse. We might as well go the whole hog and include an R."
Toilet Internet Service Provider. (2007) Google announced a new technology called TiSP (Toilet Internet Service Provider) that would allow it to provide free in-home wireless broadband service. Users would connect to the internet via their bathroom's plumbing system. Installation involved dropping a weighted fiber-optic cable down the toilet and then activating the "patented GFlush™ system" which would send the cable "surfing through the plumbing system to one of the thousands of TiSP Access Nodes." Google promised that it would provide a higher-performance version of the service for businesses which would include "24-hour, on-site technical support in the event of backup problems, brownouts and data wipes."
Square Dartboard. (2007) The News of the World revealed that the sport of darts was about to be revolutionized by the introduction of a square dartboard at that year's Blue Square UK Open. The board was designed by Prof. Ali Dosaly, who commented, "Darts needed a new look."
Moon Flights. (2007) Irish discount airline Ryanair revealed that it would soon be offering flights to the moon.
The Loch Ness Crocodile. (2007) A news article, supposedly from a Scottish paper, circulated online, claiming that a crocodile had been sighted in Loch Ness:
"Several reports of a large unidentified creature seen wading along the Loch edge below the Lip'O'Flora viewpoint (the place where Flora MacDonald helped Rob Roy MacGregor escape the English redcoats) near the present day Clansman hotel have proven to be true. Much as some locals might wish it to be The Loch Ness Monster, it is believed to be a large Floridian crocodile (Crocodylus acutus). It is thought the reptile may be native to southern Florida and has simply drifted along the path of the Atlantic Gulf Stream before finding its new home in Scotland, or be yet another legacy from the British Pet Animals Act of 1951, which saw the release into the wild of many exotic animals by owners who did not have the facilities to be licensed as responsible 'pet' keepers or traders."