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Category: April Fools Day
How to make cotton cakes
Posted by The Curator on Fri Mar 29, 2013
Back in the 19th century, food pranks were very popular on April Fool's Day. And one of the most popular forms of trick food was the "cotton cake." Instructions for how to make this delicacy were reported by Jane Eddington in the Chicago Daily Tribune on Apr 1, 1929: One of the older American cooking jokes of the days was the cotton cakes. I heard a woman tell how to do this in an up to date way, imitating what her great grandmother did who made cotton cakes and sent them around to her neighbors on April Fool's day. This woman has had fame as a cook, and this is what she…
Categories: April Fools Day, Food Comments (0)
Museum Mail: April Fool Prank
Posted by The Curator on Fri Mar 29, 2013
Thanks to Joy for sharing this: After college, I took a job as a legal secretary at a law firm in Atlanta, GA. At the time, we all used Selectric III typewriters (PCs weren't around, and WANGs had just come on the market). We had a very nice, intelligent associate who had started about a month or so before April 1st, and although he was extremely smart at law, he was also a little too trusting and pretty naive. I clued the attorney I worked for into my plan, gave him some lines, and asked him to please call the associate and ask him to come to his office to receive a research assignment. The firm…
Categories: April Fools Day Comments (1)
A Few More Of This Year’s April Fools
Posted by The Curator on Thu Apr 05, 2012
Unicorn Cookbook The British Library's Medieval and Earlier Manuscripts Blog announced the discovery of a long-lost medieval cookbook that included recipes for unicorns: "Taketh one unicorne," marinade it in cloves and garlic, and roast it on a griddle. Bacon-Scented Cat Litter Fresh Step announced the introduction of Organic Bacon-scented cat litter: "The power of activated carbon meets the scrumptious scent of freshly cooked bacon." Mars Attacks: The Musical Topps and IDW Publishing announced on Facebook that they were producing a broadway musical based on Mars Attacks, to be titled Mars Attacks: 21st Century Slaughter. It was going to be, "a…
Categories: April Fools Day Comments (1)
PetaPixel’s April Fool’s Day Image Roundup
Posted by The Curator on Wed Apr 04, 2012
PetaPixel has a nice roundup of images from April Fool's Day 2012, including this one of an ad by Hipstamatic (an iPhone app) for contact lenses that will give everything you look at the warm glow of a vintage photo. (Thanks, Bob!) INTRODUCING: Hipstamatic Contact Lenses. See the world through the shadows of John S, the sexy glow of Lucifer, the dreamy haze of Loftus--and many, many more. Inspired by the beautiful effects of our HipstaPaks, these babies will rock your world. Pop them in to make every moment extraordinary.
Categories: April Fools Day Comments (0)
The Annual Overland Whale Migration
Posted by The Curator on Tue Apr 03, 2012
I received an email from Peter Barss recounting a 1985 April Fool's Day hoax he was involved in. It's a great story, so I'll let him tell it in his own words: In 1985 the Bridgewater Bulletin had an April Fool's front page. Turn over the bogus page and there was the true front page with the day's news. One reporter created an image of a twelve foot starfish climbing out of the sea and up the side of a fisherman's building. Another wrote a story about an international airport that would be constructed just outside Bridgewater (Nova Scotia). That story made it to the provincial legislature where the Minister of Transportation stood and demanded why…
Happy April Fool’s Day, 2012!
Posted by The Curator on Sun Apr 01, 2012
Here's a few of this year's April Fool's jokes that I've come across so far: Gmail Tap: Google brings back morse code for mobile computing: youtube. Google Maps 8-Bit: A low-res version for NES. youtube Virgin Volcanic: Richard Branson announces plans to travel to the center of the earth. virginvolcanic.com Water Runways: South African airline Kulula announces the introduction of new water runways. travelwires.com Triple-Decker Buses: New Zealand's 3 News ran a story about a company introducing new high-rise buses. 3news.co.nz Grabaseat Straight Up Fare: a "standing-in-the-aisles" fare for cheap air travel. promos.airnz.co.nz
Categories: April Fools Day Comments (7)
Creepy April Fool Masks
Posted by The Curator on Wed Mar 21, 2012
I came across these creepy April Fool masks from 1930 on eBay. Or rather, it's an auction for an article from 1930 about April Fool masks. I've never heard of mask-wearing being part of April Fool's tradition in any country. But I'm sure it would freak people out if you showed up somewhere, such as work, wearing one of these things. Especially that pig mask.
Categories: April Fools Day Comments (1)
In my article about the origin of April Fool's Day, which I wrote a few years ago, I noted that the first explicit reference to April 1st being a day for pranks can be found in a poem written in late-medieval Dutch (around 1561) by Eduard De Dene. The title of the poem is "Refereyn vp verzendekens dach / Twelck den eersten April te zyne plach." Marco Langbroek kindly translated this for me as: "Refrain on errand-day / which is the first of April." But it recently occurred to me that although I knew about the poem, and had the title translated, I had never seen the full text of the poem itself. And in fact,…
The April Fool’s Day Jinx
Posted by The Curator on Tue Mar 06, 2012
A few times when I've done interviews about April Fool's Day, I've been asked whether the tradition of foolery on April 1st is dying out because, despite the day's popularity online, most people don't celebrate it. My answer is that April Fool's Day has always been ignored by the majority of the population, but the influence of the celebration can be seen in what people don't do on April 1. Even people who have never played a prank in their entire life, will nevertheless acknowledge the tradition by not scheduling important events, such as weddings, on the day. Also many businesses avoid making major announcements on April 1. A case in point…
Categories: April Fools Day Comments (3)
Stimulus To Allow Critical Hair Expenses Act
Posted by The Curator on Mon Mar 05, 2012
On April 1st of this year, hundreds of thousands of men with mustaches are going to gather in Washington, DC to demand tax equity for Mustached Americans. They're hoping to persuade Congress to adopt the Stimulus To Allow Critical Hair Expenses Act, or STACHE Act. The act would allow Mustached Americans to claim tax deductions for expenses such as: Mustache and beard trimming instruments, mustache wax and weightless conditioning agents, Facial hair coloring products (for men and women over 43 years of age), bacon, mustache combs and mirrors, DVD collections of "Magnum P.I." and "Smokey & The Bandit," mustache insurance (now required by state law in Alabama, Oregon, Maine, and New Mexico, and Puerto Rico),…
Happy April Fool’s Day, 2010!
Posted by The Curator on Thu Apr 01, 2010
Happy April Fools! I've been busy working on my book, but April 1st has managed to pull me back to the site. Last year I posted a brief rant about the origin of April Fool's Day, explaining how every year reporters write articles claiming that the most likely origin of the holiday is the Gregorian calendar reform of the late 16th century. This explanation gets trotted out every year, even though there's just no way it's true. Last year I noted: I realize it's probably overly optimistic to expect reporters to do much fact checking when…
Categories: April Fools Day Comments (19)
Severed Arm Prank
Posted by The Curator on Mon May 11, 2009
A strange April Fool's Day prank: A Ministry of Fisheries worker on a trawler in subantarctic waters radioed his superior to tell him that a human arm had been found in the water. Specifically, his message said: "Me again. We had a rather gruesome catch in tonight's shot. The remains of a human arm. It has been taken off below the elbow and it is not a clean cut. Yuk. It hasn't been in the water for very long, and I was wondering if any of the Russian boats has had an accident. The captain has been on the radio to the Korean…
Categories: April Fools Day Comments (2)
Swiss Spaghetti Harvest Skeptic
Posted by The Curator on Fri Apr 17, 2009
If there's one thing I've learned from running a website it's that you can't please everyone. And apparently my selection of the Swiss Spaghetti Harvest as the #1 April Fool's Day Hoax of All Time hasn't pleased Mike Jones, staff writer for the Gaylord Herald Times. I recently stumbled upon this comment he made in his column: All-time hoax, not! One thing we like here at the old “5 Nuggets of Knowledge” is “best of and top 10” lists. We recently came across “The Top 100 April Fool’s Day Hoaxes of All Time.”…
Categories: April Fools Day Comments (24)
The Dark Side of April Fool’s Day
Posted by The Curator on Wed Apr 08, 2009
For some, April Fool's Day means innocent fun. For others it appears to be an invitation to explore the dark corners of their twisted psyches. That's the only reason I can think of to explain why every April 1st stories like this one, featuring a woman who "pranked" her brother-in-law by calling him and telling him that her 1-year-old child wasn't breathing, appear in the news.
The New Number One April Fool’s Day Prank
Posted by The Curator on Wed Apr 08, 2009
According to the Chicago Tribune, 18,786,325 people viewed Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" video on YouTube on April 1st. That indicates the number of victims that were RickRolled by pranksters on April Fool's Day. Which means that in only two years, rickrolling has risen from nothing to become the most popular April Fool's Day prank, eclipsing even the classic "trick a victim into phoning the zoo" prank. [Chicago Tribune]
Categories: April Fools Day Comments (0)
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