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April 2005
It's an entire search engine devoted entirely to April Fools. Put in a word and it pulls up every page related to April Fool's Day that contains that word. The Museum of Hoaxes seemed to figure prominently in the results for the few words that I picked at random, which I thought was cool. For a second I thought this was something that Google itself had created, but then I noticed the small disclaimer at the bottom: "This parody by Philipp Lenssen is unrelated to the real Google".
Categories: April Fools Day
Posted by Alex on Mon Apr 04, 2005
Comments (2)
A few of you have noticed the strange ad that is now running on my site (in the left-hand column) for a company called 'Last Resort Retrieval' that claims to specialize in recovering stolen art. Yes it is a hoax site, or rather it's part of a marketing campaign for a product other than a company that recovers stolen art. But that's about all I can say about it, because I'm supposed to keep the secret (since they're paying me to put the ad there).

The thing is, I really don't think it would be easy to guess what product they're marketing, though I think the ads are going to develop over time and offer more clues. If you go to the site and click on the 'login' screen, you'll discover it's possible to login without a username or password.

p.s. I don't get any extra money if you click on the ad. They pay a flat fee to put the ad there. I just thought it was worth pointing out the strangeness of a hoax ad running on a site about hoaxes.
Categories: Advertising
Posted by Alex on Sun Apr 03, 2005
Comments (12)
I'll try to post about April Fools Jokes here as I find out about them. Already I've found a few:
  • Residents of Melbourne arrive at the beach to help save 'needle-nose dolphins' washed ashore, only to learn needle-nose dolphins are syringes.
  • A Taiwanese university student posted a fake story alleging that China had launched a 'decapitation strike' against Taiwan. Taiwanese authorities don't find it funny.
  • UnderGoos: Google underwear search engine (Google parody)
  • Bare Bones Software announces new software that will record critical user data onto a "durable backup medium": punchout cards.
  • UN votes to shut down the internet: the rapid and uncontrolled flow of information was destabilizing the governments of many of the member states... The Nigerian representative stormed out after the vote saying that the shutdown would destroy his country's largest source of income.
  • THIS IS REAL: Miss Wheelchair Wisconsin stripped of her crown because she can stand.
  • THIS IS REAL: BBC tries to interview Bob Marley; doesn't realize he's been dead for 24 years.
  • The Sun reports that a 650-year-old law has allowed gypsies to set up camp on the lawn at Windsor Castle.
  • The Sun also reports that "Barmy Brussels bureaucrats want to BAN April Fools' Day -- because it is too dangerous".
  • The Independent reports that Jamie Oliver (the Naked Chef guy) is going to run as a Tory candidate in the UK's next election.
  • The Mirror announced that sheep are going to be used to mow the lawn at Wembley Stadium: "the natural fertiliser of their droppings has reduced the need for chemicals meaning less allergic reaction on players"
  • The Daily Mail has published pictures of Prince Charles visiting a lingerie shop to pick out things for Camilla: "he is caught pondering over a matching camisole and apparently seeking advice from his young son Prince Harry on the delicate question of how one should invite one's wife to turn one on".
  • Giant Penguin: Tokyo Zoo announces the discovery of a new giant penguin.
  • Left-Handed Golf Ball: The Birmingham Post reports that "Sports manufacturer Dunlop has announced its plans to mass produce a revolutionary new golf ball, designed specifically for left-handed players"
  • The Melbourne Herald Sun reports that Virgin Australia has announced the debut of scratch 'n sniff barbecue-scented credit cards: "Virgin says the scratch 'n sniff card will be a hit with homesick Aussies travelling overseas."
  • SpaceDaily reports that "Bush Cancels Space Shuttle Program": "US President George W Bush declared today that he had signed a rare presidential decree canceling any further expenditure of Federal funds on the US Space Shuttle program." (thanks to Gabe for spotting this)
  • Network Working Group calls for Morality to be considered in the design of internet protocols: It has often been the case that morality has not been given proper consideration in the design and specification of protocols produced within the Routing Area. This has led to a decline in the moral values within the Internet.
  • Texas Enacts Leviticus as State Law
  • Uninvent The Wheel: BMW has an ad in today's Guardian, describing a new car they've developed that has no steering wheel. It's to make it easier for the British when they have to change the side of the road they drive on. Includes mention of a Dr. Bitt Fishi.
  • Google Gulp: Google debuts a new 'smart drink', "a DNA scanner embedded in the lip of your bottle reading all 3 gigabytes of your base pair genetic data in a fraction of a second"
  • See a graphic of a new Firefox extension
  • April edition of the UK magazine Scootering (for Vespa and Lambretta enthusiasts) includes an article about a guy who lives near a former Lambretta factory. If you ship him your scooter's tires, he'll fill them with "Genuine Innocenti Lambretta Air". (Hmm. Could be real?)
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day: Water Found on Mars
  • Encyclopedia Britannica announces a semi-hostile takeover of Wikipedia
  • From the Register: Apple founder Jobs joins IKEA
  • Also from the Register: Bush twins to join Air Force tech unit in Iraq
  • Slashdot joke: Stand outside and wave at 10 am to have your picture taken by the new Google satellite
  • Opera SoundWave: Opera announces new technology that will allow "users to communicate in real- time without the use of computers or mobile phones"
  • From Nature.com: Apollo bacteria spur lunar erosion
  • ThinkGeek announces new products including a desktop USB fondue set, and the SkyTag - Green Laser Aircraft Tracker
  • Creationists Win: Scientific American announces that it's giving up the Evolution vs. Creationism debate. The Creationists have won. (reported on SlashDot)
  • Bad April Fool: A Croatian news service announces that Croatia will be banned from participating in the World Cup Finals unless the country hands over fugitive general Ante Gotovina. The announcement sparks massive street protests. The news service then admits it was joking.
  • Bad April Fool: Man posts signs warning of mercury spill. Sets off hazmat scare, shutting down more than 10 businesses. Says it was an April Fool's prank.
Categories: April Fools Day
Posted by Alex on Fri Apr 01, 2005
Comments (49)
Here's a strange story. I'm not sure whether or not it's a joke. Supposedly the Dutch village of Wageningen commissioned the construction of a war memorial shaped like "a giant copper obelisk that rises and falls depending on the level of sunlight, and spurts flames out of the top during important festivals." Only after they built it did they realize it looked exactly like a giant penis and hastily decided to scrap it. There are two reasons I'm skeptical about this. First, the source is listed as Ananova. Second, there already is a National Liberation Monument war memorial in Wageningen that's been there since the 1950s.
Categories: History, Places, Sex/Romance
Posted by Alex on Fri Apr 01, 2005
Comments (22)
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