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April Fool’s Day Roundup, 2006
Status: April FooleryHappy April Fools, everyone! Sorry about the light posting recently, but the past few days I've been doing almost back-to-back radio interviews to promote Hippo Eats Dwarf. (I've got a few more radio interviews today, then I'm doing a book signing at the Borders in downtown San Diego.) You may also have noticed that the site is loading slowly. That's the April Fool's Day effect, which happens every year. Traffic to the site spikes, causing the server to grind to a halt. There's nothing I can do about it. I'm lucky the site is loading at all.
Whenever I have a chance during the day (which may not be often), I'm going to try to list some of this years April Fool's Day hoaxes here. I should note that for the past few years Jason Pearsall of urgo.org has been keeping a great list of April Fools internet hoaxes, and he's doing it again this year, so definitely check that out. Hopefully I can supplement what he has by noting some of the offline hoaxes from newspapers and advertisers.
[Note: if anyone in the UK could scan some of the April Fools-related pictures appearing in the UK papers and email them to me, I'd love to see them.]
♠ Google Romance. "Search for love in all (or at least a statistically significant majority of) the right places with Soulmate Search, our eerily effective psychographic matchmaking software." And "Endure, via our Contextual Dating option, thematically appropriate multimedia advertising throughout the entirety of your free date."
♠The Hair Color Diet: "The Hair Color Diet tells you how to eat right for your hair type."
♠The Fat Tax (An Esquire article, with an accompanying website).
♠ Jackass Penguin: The Sun ran a photo of a penguin wandering along the banks of the Thames. "It is believed to be the first time a penguin has been spotted in the Thames -- and comes weeks after tragic Wally the Whale got stranded... Experts said the penguin, normally seen at the South Pole, may have been released into UK waters by fishermen who accidentally snared him... Marine biologist Lil Faroop said: 'It looks like a Jackass. They feed on sprats and fly through the water at five miles (eight kilometres) per hour. They have a donkey-like bray.'"
♠ Biscuit Highway: The Daily Express claimed that biscuits were being mixed into tarmac to help make roads safer. "Scientists yesterday revealed that broken biscuits are in fact the perfect material to help resurface roads... Years of experimental research revealed that crushed-up ginger nuts are the best biscuit for a road's sub-base, as they are more porous and allow water to drain away."
♠ Royal Family Tree: The Daily Mirror claimed that an oak tree bearing the likeness of Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip and Prince Charles had been found by "Lionel Day" as his dog chased a squirrel. "The exact location of the tree in the New Forest, Hampshire, is being kept secret because of fears it could attract druids."
♠ Red Door for 10 Downing Street: The Daily Mail reported that Tony Blair, in a "literally incredible break with decades of tradition," had decided to paint the door of 10 Downing Street red. ""After 270 years, Blair paints No 10 front door socialist red."
♠ Coldplay singer becomes conservative: The Guardian reported that Coldplay singer, Chris Martin, known for his liberal views, had decided to throw his support behind Conservative David Cameron.
♠ Chip and Sing Cards. The Times reported that "Britain's banks are developing a system of credit card security that uses the voice's tonal range. Rather than needing to recall a PIN, you will need to remember a line of a song... Optical scans are too fallible, and standard voice recognition too easy to mimic electronically. But no two people sing the same way. Tills and cash dispensers are to have microphones."