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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 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."
Categories: April Fools Day
Posted by Alex on Sat Apr 01, 2006
Comments (17)
More from the Hoax Museum Archives:
Happy April Fool's Day, Alex! We all just LOVE your website and we look forward to catching up on all of the newset dumb-assed things people do everyday! Keep it up! I have Museum Of Hoaxes (the book with the pic of the Jackalope on the front) and I finally got Hippo Eats Dwarf, after preordering and waiting forever. Hey, man, you're pretty popular! And that is as it should be. By the way, my family and I are moving to Douglas, WY, where they claim to be the Home of the Jackalope! I can't wait to see what kind of Jackalope-worshiping people I'll meet there! No offense to them, of course, I'm excited to be making the move. They are a very kid-friendly town and that'll be great for our kids. Nice people there, gonna be a great future. Anyway, we luv ya! Keep it up! Thanks!
Posted by Nicki  in  Riverside, CA  on  Sat Apr 01, 2006  at  01:13 PM
Am I the only one who thinks AFD was pathetic this year?
Posted by Dracul  on  Sat Apr 01, 2006  at  08:37 PM
Okay, next year I'm putting up my own april fool's hoax website. I'll start work on it right now ...
Posted by Dracul  on  Sat Apr 01, 2006  at  08:38 PM
AFD was pretty pathetic this year

Best joke I found was a website had replaced it's home page with a series of links to various 'silly sites and porn sites' in ther style of - this domain is currently up for sale - sort of thing, each link led to the real site.
If I hadn't known it was AFD I'd probably have been fooled.

I though AZ was the home of the Jackalope smile
Posted by Sharruma  in  capable of finishing a coherent  on  Sat Apr 01, 2006  at  08:43 PM
Sharruma, you're confusing the common or northern jackalope with the Great Sonoran jackalope of southern Arizona. It's a rare subspecies.
Posted by Big Gary in Uncertain, Texas  in  Dallas, Texas  on  Sat Apr 01, 2006  at  10:15 PM
On a much geekier note, Blizzard announced the much anticipated new player race for their upcoming expansion pack to be the wisp. A ball of light that floats around not doing much at all.
Posted by Charybdis  in  Hell  on  Sun Apr 02, 2006  at  03:06 AM
Dammit, I spent hours looking for that tree!
Posted by A Druid  on  Sun Apr 02, 2006  at  03:17 AM
You never know with Google. When they launched Gmail, everybody thought it was an April Fools joke as well...
Posted by LaMa  in  Europe  on  Sun Apr 02, 2006  at  06:46 AM
The economist has resurected the work of dr Paolo Fril and his biotech company GeneDupe again this year, with a sequel to his RealGold fish.
http://www.economist.com/science/displayStory.cfm?story_id=6740040
Posted by Daniel  in  England  on  Sun Apr 02, 2006  at  08:38 AM
I thought gamefaqs.com played a good joke. When you went to their site they had a big announcement that the site had been taken down because game makers were threatening to sue, since gamefaqs.com promotes cheating.
Posted by Sakano  in  Ohio  on  Sun Apr 02, 2006  at  12:14 PM
I saw loads more AFD jokes than this. The Daily Mail alone had two more, the one about the apple with barcode grown into its skin and the mercedes car that detects a slow speed camera
Posted by Alun  on  Sun Apr 02, 2006  at  02:52 PM
For those who thought April Fool's Day was pathetic: did you do anything foolish yourself? If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem. Or the precipitate.
Posted by cvirtue  on  Sun Apr 02, 2006  at  06:01 PM
TeeVee's annual AFD prank is a fake TeeVeePedia that users can edit (http://teeveepedia.teevee.org/index.php/Main_Page). And the Consumerist featured zombies (http://www.consumerist.com/).
Posted by Dusty  on  Mon Apr 03, 2006  at  10:22 AM
LaMa says:
"... When they launched Gmail, everybody thought it was an April Fools joke as well."

You mean it's not?!?
Posted by Big Gary in Old Dime Box, Texas  in  Dallas, Texas, USA  on  Mon Apr 03, 2006  at  01:54 PM
Sadly, this year I was struck low by a rather nasty stomach bug, or else my friend's car would have been covered in paper mache. Yes, there *would* have been photos. *sigh* Hijinks are difficult when one can barely lug one's self out of bed.
Posted by Robin Bobcat  in  Californian Wierdo  on  Tue Apr 04, 2006  at  01:10 AM
I'm sure the guardian's report on the HBLF - Historic Buildings Liberation Front - was a joke, but can't find evidence either way. Can anyone shed light on this?
Posted by Danny  on  Tue Apr 04, 2006  at  08:40 AM
Topic Happy Birthday, Robert!

By Sunil Shibad
Sat, 1 Apr 06
Posted to:

* Creative World: Creative World

Many may not know but is is our founder Robert Loch's birthday today.
Have a great day!

Sunil

***********

By Robert Loch
Sun, 2 Apr 06 April fools day should be my birthday but tragically it isn't.

***********

By Sunil Shibad
Sun, 2 Apr 06 Dear Robert,

It was an All Fool's Day prank.
However, you did not play along and rejected it on all forums led by you.
Really disappointing.

Sunil

***********

By Sunil Shibad
Sun, 2 Apr 06 PS: And to show my displeasure at people who don't have a sense of humour, I have signed off the clubs led by you.

***********

By Robert Loch
Mon, 3 Apr 06 The reason I rejected it is because I was getting bored of people wishing me happy birthday. Also by the time I got to reviewing them it wasn't april 1st anymore.

Good gag but it actually became irrating to me.

***********

By Sunil Shibad
Mon, 3 Apr 06 Dear Robert,

I thought the British had a great sense of humour.
I was wrong. I apologise.
However I find it odd that you head the Creative forum when one of the traits of a creative person is the ability to take a joke.

Sunil

***********

By Julia Eilon
Mon, 3 Apr 06
Hi Sunil,

Yes we brits still have a sense of humour (as strange as it may be). However, by not pointing it out at the end of the day, the only one who gets the enjoy the joke is surely just you? By sharing the reality of the prank, Robert has allowed everybody to share the joke and have a laugh wink.

Plus of course there is the serious side of misleading the public as to Robert's birthday, as no-one might come to his real birthday party wink

***********

By Sunil Shibad
Mon, 3 Apr 06 Dear Julia,

Have been raised on a steady diet of the delightful PG Wodehouse, all I can say is that the Brits have lost it.
Also I am sure everyone on here knew it was a prank.

"Good gag but it actually became irrating to me."

Need I say more?

Sunil


PS: The Brits also lost today's cricket match against India grin
Read rest at:
http://newnimproved.blogspot.com/2006/04/indians-and-dogs-not-allowed-on-forums.html
Posted by Sunil  in  Mumbai, India  on  Sat Apr 08, 2006  at  09:16 AM
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