Now that April Fool's Day is over with, I've had some time to reflect on the many hysterical pranks I saw this year on the blogs and websites I visit. And that got me thinking about the many April Fool's Day pranks and hoaxes from this year and from years past.
Personally, I love April Fool's Day. Just thinking about it conjures up so many weird and wonderful memories. Like the time my mom caught my dad sleeping with another woman...and he tried getting out of it by claiming it was just an April Fool's prank. Wow, what guts! OK, so my dad really didn't get caught sleeping with another woman. It was my mom. Har har, just kidding. :P
This year offered up some very good hoaxes as well. As they do every year, Google executed some unusual and well-planned pranks. For starters, they offered a fictitious free broadband service called Google TiSP. Google's TiSP ("T" is for toilet) would make use of your toilet and sewer lines to give you a free Internet connection with three different speeds: Trickle (8 Mbps), The #2 (16 Mbps) and Royal Flush (32 Mbps). Funny stuff.
By the way, thanks and credit go to Derrich for the Google TiSP find. I came across it on his blog, which in my opinion is pretty lame and sucky...but only on Opposite Day! On regular days it's rather cool. I suggest you drop by and see what he's up to these days.
Google Gmail Paper...
Back to Google. They also announced their implementation of Gmail Paper, which offered all Google Gmail users the option to add their emails to a "Paper Archive," which Google would print on "96% post-consumer organic soybean sputum" and mail to them via snail mail.
In another good prank, Matt Cutts, who is a member of Google's quality group and specializes in search engine optimization (SEO) issues, claimed that his blog (Gadgets, Google, and SEO) had been hacked by the Dark SEO Team. Below is a screenshot of the prank.
And as any good prankster knows to do, Matt Cutts prepared ahead of time by leaving this post on his blog the night before April Fool's Day...
"My site has been acting a little slow and weird today. I checked my logs, and I’m seeing a lot of GET requests causing strange errors. Most of the requests have escaped Unicode characters, but they don’t appear valid. Sorry that the site is kinda slow; I’m going to be away from the computer until around late Monday, so I don’t have time to check it now, but I’ll try to track it down when I get back."
Great April Fool's Pranks...
Here's a quick list (in chronological order) of some of the best April Fool's Day pranks of all time. It's truly amazing what things people will fall for. Almost mind-boggling.
Swiss Spaghetti Harvest - After 50 years, the Swiss spaghetti harvest prank still ranks at the top. In 1957 the BBC news program Panorama announced that due to a very mild winter and the virtual elimination of the spaghetti weevil, Swiss farmers were enjoying a great spaghetti crop. The announcement was accompanied by footage of people picking spaghetti from spaghetti trees. Thousands of viewers were fooled and called in wanting to know how they could grow their own spaghetti. Classic...or should I say Classico. :P
Smell-O-Vision - In 1965, the BBC pulled another prank and conducted a trial of a new technology allowing the transmission of odor over the airwaves. Countless television viewers contacted the BBC to report the trial's success. The hoax was repeated again in 2005 by the Seven Network in Australia. And this year the BBC did it all over again on their website, announcing their new Sniff-screen Technology.
Defying Gravity - In 1976, the British astronomer Sir Patrick Moore told listeners of BBC Radio 2 that a unique alignment of two planets would cause an upward gravitational pull that would make people lighter at 9:47 a.m. that day. He invited the radio audience to jump into the air and experience a "strange floating sensation." Dozens of listeners phoned in to say they had felt it. Ha, quite an uplifting experience!
Most Pathetic April Fool's Prank
2007 - And the award goes to...Slashfood! They reported that Rachel Ray had been elected president of the United States. I'm not even gonna to link to it since I think it's so lame.