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April Fools Day
April Fools Day
The new Atlantic Tunnel will open in September 2009. It's being built by the Atlantic Tunnel Corporation (who else?). Check out their website to learn all about this amazing feat of engineering. You can even enter a competition to win a trip on the first train through the tunnel. There's a rumor that the London ad agency TBWAGGT is also somehow involved in this.
The folks at ThinkGeek have zeroed in on why people get fat: because they eat too much. Scientifically speaking it's called the ETM (eat too much) Syndrome. Their solution: the Gastron(tm) Remote Controlled Hunger Eliminator. "you can easily control your exact hunger level at any time. Simply swallow the tiny non-digestible Gastron base station and use the remote to adjust your personal hunger level. The base station inflates to fill your stomach, giving you that satisfied full feeling with zero calories." Hmmm. Kind of reminds me of FatSox, from a few years ago... the socks that would suck the fat out of you as you walked around during the day.
BMW has announced a cutting-edge innovation for commuters that allows them to prepare dinner, while driving home in the car. It's called SHEF, which stands for Satellite Hypersensitive Electromagnetic Foodration. Basically all your oven controls are built into the dashboard of your car, and they communicate wirelessly with your actual oven back in your home. You can monitor the progress of your meal via a built-in oven-cam.
Google has announced that they're now hiring for their new 'lunar hosting and research center': Copernicus Center. Applicants 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 has announced a new email service called Gmail, that will give each user one gigabyte of free storage. Strangely, the press release is dated April 1, leading many to speculate that it's an April Fool's Day joke. Maybe it is, but if so it would seem a very odd one. Usually April Fool's Day jokes involve a certain minimum level of wit, and you should feel foolish for believing them once you find out they're a joke. But if someone were to tell me that Gmail is a joke, I wouldn't feel foolish. I'd just feel like Google had lied. There is some goofy language in the press release, but otherwise it just doesn't seem over-the-top enough to be a joke. But time will tell.
I just heard about this early April Fool's Day fumble on the part of the BBC. As the Times of London reports: "Declan Curry, the intrepid television hack, broke the embargo on a fascinating British Waterways study that revealed that ducks living on canals weigh, on average, about a pound more than those living on rivers. The slow-moving canal water, so the story went, provides less opportunity for the ducks to swim and as a result they piled on the pounds. Mr Curry and the BBC should have taken note of the embargo date. April 1. The name of the academic quoted, Olaf Priol, is an anagram of April Fool." Unfortunately I can't find a link for this.
Makers of network security software are warning that there may be an increase in spam leading up to April Fool's Day. "Spammers are expected to use subject lines such as "great joke," "free jokes," "prank," or "April fools" to entice users into opening attachments that carry viruses or objectionable content, potentially putting company networks at risk."
Survey finds that two-in-ten workers participate in April Fool's Day at the office. The best part of the article are the examples of office pranks it lists: moving someone's office to the front lobby, telling colleagues they can leave early, super-glueing drawers shut, etc. One of the best office pranks that I've heard about occurred at a small company and was played on the human resources manager. One after another every employee went into her office and told her that they were quitting. Not realizing it was April 1st, the poor lady was in a state of panic by the end of the morning.
Family Fun magazine has quite a few suggestions for April Fool's Day pranks over at its site. I especially like their list of food pranks, such as preparing ice-cream potatoes (shown to the right). That's not potatoes with gravy. It's ice cream with butterscotch sauce. Also check out their recipe for creating green beans out of Jolly Rancher Fruit Chews.
Because April Fool's Day is fast approaching, I revamped my list of the top 100 April Fool's Day hoaxes of all time. I juggled around the top ten a bit to better reflect the popular favorites. Most significantly, I added Sweden's 1962 classic 'Instant Color TV' hoax into the list, placing it at number three. Plus, by using pMachine I added the capability for readers to add comments to any one of the April Fools.
In 2002 the upscale British department store Harrods issued a press release on April 1 announcing plans to 'float' the company. At first it indicated that this would involve a "first-come, first-served share option". Later it revised this to indicate that it was not planning to float shares on the stock exchange. Instead, it was planning to create a floating version of the store on the river Thames. It was just an April Fool's Day joke, but the Wall Street Journal fell for it. In retaliation, four days later the WSJ ran a story asking whether Harrods was the British Enron and suggesting that "investors would be wise to question its every disclosure." Now Harrods is suing the WSJ in order to stop this story from being included in the WSJ's online archives. The Guardian covers the story.
April Fool's Day Office Prank. "Priceless."