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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Happy April Fool's Day

Free Orkut and My Space April Fool Graphics Glitters Has anyone told you they saw you on TV,  or told you they're pregnant with triplets, only to turn around and shout "April Fools" when you looked surprised? 

My husband pulled the first practical joke on a co-worker today. My niece shocked her husband with the second one.

He even believed her until he saw the huge smile on her face. 

Today is April 1st, April Fool's Day, or All Fool's Day as some people call it. 

Although April Fool's Day  is celebrated in many countries, it is not a national holiday. It IS, however, a well known day when people play practical jokes and  tricks on each other.

For hundreds of years, April Fool's Day has focused on individuals trying to trick each other. When I was a child, my parents once shouted "Fire" at 5 A.M in the morning.

After all six children had jumped out of bed, raced down the stairs and opened the front door to escape, they finally shouted "April Fool's."  We certainly had been fooled.

For the past few years, the increasing popularity of the media, particularly the Internet, has led to even larger hoaxes and jokes. Everyone - even large companies - wants to participate in the fun.

Today, the BBC was the first big organization to play a practical joke on the world when it announced on line that the world had ended and that we were all dead.

If you were able to read it, you obviously knew that it was a joke. But, isn't it nice to know that even broadcasters who constantly tell us how terrible things are in the world, have a sense of humour and can take a few minutes to make us laugh. 

Other companies also decided to join in the fun. Canada's West Jet Airline announced  its new "child free" cabins. Anyone travelling with children can now put place them in the Kargo Kid department, where they will travel along with your luggage. Here is the  video that shows potential customers how the system would work.

Of course, Google, which has a tradition of creating online pranks for the first April 1st, came through with several good hoaxes. For April 1, 2012  Google came up with the so-called 8-bit Google Maps designed to take you back to the days of Nintendo. In fact, the company brought out  a version of Google Maps that appears to have been generated by an old-school 8-bit gaming console, making every route you search for look like something out of the Legend of Zelda.

During the day Google came up with several other programs including the Really Advanced Search, Google Racing and several more. To find out more  go to the round up of Google April Fools' pranks

Elsewhere, AdBlock – the popular browser extension that keeps one's Web surfing experience free of irritating advertisements – announced that it's now expanding its services to block cat pictures as well.

But Kodak's took it one step further by announcing its latest creation, a machine that actually allows you to print a real-life kitten from the comfort of your home. 

Toshiba jumped on the bandwagon with its promotion of a new   Shapes Notepad .If you watch carefully, you will notice the world April Fools on the record the DJ plays towards the end of he video.

No April Fools Day post would be complete unless I mention the greatest hoax of them all: the Swiss Spaghetti Harvest  documentary.

According to the Museum of Hoaxes 100 Greatest April Fools' Hoaxes, on April 1, 1957 the British news show Panorama broadcast a three-minute segment about a bumper spaghetti harvest in southern Switzerland.

Now, we all know that spaghetti doesn't grow on trees, but don't forget this was 1957 and television was still quite new. People believed the story. Hundreds of people called the BBC wanting to know how they could grow their own spaghetti tree.

To this day the Panorama broadcast remains one of the most famous and popular April Fool's Day hoaxes of all time. It is also believed to be the first time the medium of television was used to stage an April Fool's Day hoax

See if you can answer the following questions: 

1.  Why is this going to be a bumper year in spaghetti production?
2.  What was the weather like that winter? 
3.  Why were the farmers worried?
4.  What countries grows spaghetti as an industry?
5.  Why are the spaghetti noodles all the same length? 
6.  What is done with the spaghetti after it is picked?
7.  What can happen to the spaghetti if there is a late frost?

If you want to know more about the history of April Fools Day, go to the History of April Fool's,  or watch the video Origins of April Fools' Day

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