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April Fools Day
Every year on April 1 reporters test our wits by mixing in a few joke stories with the real ones. But then there are also the stories that are real, but sound like jokes. These stories challenge us to keep our skepticism under control. This year, the biggest example of that was Google's Gmail announcement that had many people swearing it must be a joke. Then we also had an article released by the British National Archives describing a bizarre WWII plan to place chickens inside of nuclear bombs (to keep the bombs warm). Apparently true. Finally, there's this story about Canadian plans to annex a group of Caribbean islands, thereby transforming Canada into an expansionist, imperialist power. This reminded me of the Canadian World Domination site, which is now unfortunately defunct.
Categories: April Fools Day, Journalism
Posted by Alex on Fri Apr 02, 2004
Comments (3)
Apple Announces iPod V Portable Video Player from iPodLounge (would have been cool if true).
The iShave: An attachment to turn your iPod into an electric razor. (iPod jokes seem popular this year).
DeadJournal: The alternative to LiveJournal.
Bob Carroll, creator of the Skeptic's Dictionary, announces he's seen the light and abandoned skepticism.
L-plates for yum cha carts (But what's a yum cha cart?)
Kids Fly Free on RyanAir (for as long as they can hold on)
Theatre-goers weighed before buying tickets (from stuff.co.nz)
Japanese government hands out lottery tickets in lieu of pension payments
Sony Ericsson left-handed cellphone
God holds press conference at Galapagos Islands: denies evolution
Day Lost to Stronger Trade Winds (from Nature.com)
There's a whole bunch more listed over at urgo.org, but most of the remaining are a bit lame... along the lines of 'site hacked by teenagers' or 'site sold to microsoft'. There's also a list over at waxy.org.
Categories: April Fools Day
Posted by Alex on Thu Apr 01, 2004
Comments (4)
image The major Christian denominations have jointly agreed to make Oprah Winfrey the fourth member of the Holy Trinity, thereby broadening its appeal and making it less gender-biased. "Along with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the popular talk show host will be recognized as one person in the sacred and indivisible unity of the Godhead--or Quadhead, as the updated Trinity will now be called."
Categories: April Fools Day, Celebrities, Religion
Posted by Alex on Thu Apr 01, 2004
Comments (2)
In an update of the Instant Color TV prank from 1962, Sweden's largest newspaper, Dagens Nyheter, is reporting that mobile phone users can watch movies on their phone screens, simply by pointing the phones at a tv and punching in the appropriate access code.
Categories: April Fools Day, Technology
Posted by Alex on Thu Apr 01, 2004
Comments (0)
The Motley Fool reports a mishap at the New York Stock Exchange today. Russ Cooper, CEO of Farmland Enterprise Associates, misread the instructions and thought the invitation to ring the opening bell at the exchange asked him instead to emit the opening belch. He performed as he thought he was required.
Categories: April Fools Day, Business/Finance
Posted by Alex on Thu Apr 01, 2004
Comments (0)
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.
Categories: April Fools Day, Exploration/Travel
Posted by Alex on Thu Apr 01, 2004
Comments (9)
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.
Categories: April Fools Day, Food
Posted by Alex on Thu Apr 01, 2004
Comments (2)
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.
Categories: April Fools Day, Technology
Posted by Alex on Thu Apr 01, 2004
Comments (1)
image 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."
Categories: April Fools Day
Posted by Alex on Thu Apr 01, 2004
Comments (2)
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.
Categories: April Fools Day, Email Hoaxes
Posted by Alex on Thu Apr 01, 2004
Comments (11)
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.
Categories: Animals, April Fools Day
Posted by Alex on Thu Apr 01, 2004
Comments (2)
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."
Categories: April Fools Day, Email Hoaxes
Posted by Alex on Tue Mar 30, 2004
Comments (0)
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