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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: April Fools Day
Swedish Translator Needed — Does anyone reading this happen to speak Swedish? I'm looking for someone who could help me translate some material relating to SVT's famous "instant color TV" april fool's day hoax that took place in 1962. SVT has a page with a paragraph discussing the hoax. And the same page links to a video of the hoax itself. I'm hoping to be able to come up with an English transcript of the hoax. Anyone willing to help me out with this, I'd be happy to send them a free signed copy of my latest…
Posted: Sat Mar 01, 2008.   Comments (16)

Banning Patio Heaters — Last year the Daily Mail ran an April Fool's Day article in which it claimed that Brits would have to pay a "carbon offset" tax if they wanted to barbecue in their backyards: IT IS one of the timeless rituals of the new globally-warmed great British summer: firing up the barbecue and slinging on a steak. But people who choose to burn charcoal may have to think twice as councils now have swingeing new powers to force homeowners to buy 'carbon offsets' before they light up or face a…
Posted: Fri Feb 01, 2008.   Comments (15)

Big Ben Goes Digital (Again) — Status: Prank Recently Big Ben's chimes have been silenced as repairs are made to it. Apparently this has inspired policemen at Westminster to revive the BBC's 1980 April Fool's Day joke. The BBC Reports: Policemen at the Palace of Westminster are notorious for their mischievous sense of humour when it comes to dealing with tourists. For example, they once nominated a camera-shy constable as the "official" PC to be photographed by visitors eager to be snapped with a British bobby. But…
Posted: Wed Jul 05, 2006.   Comments (6)

Donut Maker Sponsors High School — Status: April Fool Prank Students at Hugh McRoberts School in Richmond, British Columbia were stunned when they learned that donut-maker Tim Hortons was going to become an official sponsor of their school. As a result the nickname for the school's team would change from the "Strikers" to the "Dunkers". Also: The school’s Snack Shack had been sold, students were told in a survey that asked which doughnuts they preferred for the new shack’s menu. What’s more, the school was to undergo a…
Posted: Wed Apr 12, 2006.   Comments (11)


Plane Delays Landing for Tea Break — Status: True Imagine getting delayed because of this: STUNNED holiday-makers flying back to Britain from Tenerife said they were told by the captain they could not land because an air traffic controller was on a tea break. Because this occurred on April 1st, the passengers initially thought the captain was joking when he announced the reason for the delay over the intercom, but it turned out he wasn't. So the plane had to circle for almost half an hour until the guy came back to…
Posted: Wed Apr 05, 2006.   Comments (13)

Bank Withdrawal Prank — Status: Prank that backfired The Brainerd Dispatch (requires registration) reports on an April Fool's Day prank that went slightly wrong, ending up with the prankster, a 57-year-old woman, getting charged with disorderly conduct: About 10:15 a.m. Saturday, the woman stopped at Wells Fargo Bank at 424 W. Washington St. in Brainerd to make a legitimate withdrawal from an account. When she was finished, she handed the teller a note that read, "I'm here to take money," said Brainerd Police…
Posted: Wed Apr 05, 2006.   Comments (7)

Attack of the Mario Power-Up Cubes — Status: Misinterpreted April Fool's Day Prank This story offers a sad commentary on the state of affairs in America. Five teenage girls living in Ravenna, Ohio got into the spirit of April 1st by decorating a few public places in their town with brightly colored boxes designed to look like the power-up cubes in the Super Mario Bros. game (the ones you jump up to hit and get extra energy). They got the idea from qwantz.com. Local residents who didn't recognize what the boxes were…
Posted: Wed Apr 05, 2006.   Comments (15)

Did UKTV Do Their Own Research? — Maybe I'm just being paranoid, but it sure seems like all the items in UKTV's list of 20 Great April Fools, which Jon Holmes presented on air on April 1st over in Britain, were lifted almost verbatim from my list of the Top 100 April Fools ever. Not to complain (actually to complain bitterly), but it took me a long time to create that list... a lot of tedious searching through decades of old newspaper archives to find all the April Fool's Day classics that had been, for the most part,…
Posted: Tue Apr 04, 2006.   Comments (28)

April Fool’s Day Roundup, 2006 — Status: April Foolery Happy 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…
Posted: Sat Apr 01, 2006.   Comments (17)

CNet April Fools Article — Status: Journalistic errors CNet has an article about April Fool's Day hoaxes on the internet. It has some interesting info in it, but surprisingly it makes two rather large errors. First of all, it describes the Microsoft iLoo (an internet-enabled portable toilet) from 2003 as an April Fool's Day hoax. Microsoft announced the iLoo on April 30, making it a real stretch to describe it as an April Fool's Day hoax. But more importantly, although Microsoft did initially say the iLoo was a…
Posted: Sat Apr 01, 2006.   Comments (0)

Is April Fools Day Dying Out? — Status: Commentary Jeff Daniel, in a recent column in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, wonders if anyone celebrates April Fool's Day anymore. He writes: For all practical purposes, the official day of practical joking appears to be as flat as a deflated whoopee cushion if reports from Sacramento, Calif., and Columbus, Ohio, are to be believed. Last April 1, newspapers in those cities ran stories investigating the tradition's demise. In one of the pieces, a reporter's random polling found…
Posted: Tue Mar 28, 2006.   Comments (10)

Top Ten Office Pranks — Status: April Fool Pranks CareerBuilder.com has issued a press release listing what they have determined to be the top ten office pranks, based on a survey of 2500 office workers. Here they are: 1. Change the caller ID on a co-worker's phone to read Mr. Kitten every time he calls someone. 2. Place random objects from people's desks in the vending machine. 3. Place a live goldfish in an IV bag in a clinic. 4. Sneak onto someone else's computer and send out an "I love you" email to…
Posted: Tue Mar 28, 2006.   Comments (31)

The Fat Tax — Status: Hoax An article in the current issue of Esquire describes the tax-reform campaign of a sixty-six-year-old recluse named Irwin Leba. His idea is to enact a fat tax. The idea is pretty simple. Charge overweight people higher taxes. That way you raise more tax revenue and encourage people to be healthier, at the same time. Here's exactly how it would work: sometime between January 1 and April 15, every American will have to visit a government-sponsored weigh station and step on a…
Posted: Mon Mar 27, 2006.   Comments (35)

21st Annual April Fools’ Day Parade — Status: Annual tradition Joey Skaggs has once again announced details of New York City's Annual April Fools Day Parade. Here's the full press release. Details include: This year's floats will include a Fundamentalist Noah's Ark float featuring two of all of earth's creatures, including dinosaurs; a Hurricane Katrina Victim's float where for $1 a throw you can attempt to dunk Michael Brown in a vat of toxic sludge packed with snakes, rats and a big crocodile; a Last Chance Cruise Ship…
Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2006.   Comments (4)

No Pretty In Pink Sequel — There's a rumor going around that a sequel to the '80s movie Pretty In Pink will come out next year, starring all the original cast: Molly Ringwald, John Cryer, and Andrew McCarthy. It will supposedly revisit the characters from the original movie twenty years later, to find out where they are now. I know the rumor must have spread pretty far because I heard it from my wife last week, and she thinks she heard it on the radio, or somewhere like that. However, the rumor is just a hoax.…
Posted: Sun Apr 17, 2005.   Comments (15)

Migrant Mother Sheds Her Wrinkles — I'm still coming across April Fool's Day hoaxes from this year. This one ran in Popular Photography Magazine. The editors of the magazine took a series of classic photographs by masters such as Dorothea Lange and Walker Evans, and then asked (supposedly in all seriousness) 'Can these photos be saved?' They then proceeded to photoshop the images to make them more like what you'd find in modern fashion or entertainment magazines (smoothing out wrinkles, etc.). In the process they…
Posted: Thu Apr 07, 2005.   Comments (16)

More 2005 April Fools — Here are a few more April Fools that I missed on Friday:What April Fools prank should you play? (This is actually a quiz, not a hoax. It told me that based on my personality type I should play the stink bomb prank).The MINI Always Open Contract: a detail in the contract requires owners of the MINI Cabrio to always keep the top down, no matter what the weather conditions are. MINI Pullman Edition: MINI also announced the release of a special new model "adapted to ride on all domestic…
Posted: Tue Apr 05, 2005.   Comments (28)

Google April Fools — It's an entire search engine devoted entirely to April Fools. Put in a word and it pulls up every page related to April Fool's Day that contains that word. The Museum of Hoaxes seemed to figure prominently in the results for the few words that I picked at random, which I thought was cool. For a second I thought this was something that Google itself had created, but then I noticed the small disclaimer at the bottom: "This parody by Philipp Lenssen is unrelated to the real Google".
Posted: Mon Apr 04, 2005.   Comments (2)

April Fools 2005 — I'll try to post about April Fools Jokes here as I find out about them. Already I've found a few: Residents of Melbourne arrive at the beach to help save 'needle-nose dolphins' washed ashore, only to learn needle-nose dolphins are syringes.A Taiwanese university student posted a fake story alleging that China had launched a 'decapitation strike' against Taiwan. Taiwanese authorities don't find it funny.UnderGoos: Google underwear search engine (Google parody)Bare Bones Software…
Posted: Fri Apr 01, 2005.   Comments (49)

Guardian’s April Fool’s Day Quiz — The Guardian has an April Fool's Day quiz that lets you test your skills at separating real news stories from April Fool's Day jokes. I got 9 out of 9, so I did very well. However, I also spotted a mistake in their test. Question Five asks: Telescopes belonging to the Chicago Times discovered a penal colony on the moon in 1876 (True or April Fool). The correct answer, according to the test, is that it's an April Fool. That's not totally accurate. The story was a hoax, but it wasn't an…
Posted: Thu Mar 31, 2005.   Comments (7)

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