- Ryan Gripp
Today is the famous April Fool’s, the day where things aren’t what they seem. Whatever you hear, see, or do could be a part of an April Fools. Instead of pulling an April Fool’s joke on everyone (which we would love to do) we complied a list of the top 6 April Fool’s Jokes of all time (at least in my opinion). Which are yours?
6. The Great Comic Strip Switcheroonie 1997: Comic strip fans opened their papers on April 1, 1997 and discovered their favorite strips looked different. Not only that, but in many cases characters from other strips popped up out of place. The reason for the chaos was the Great Comics Switcheroonie. Forty-six comic-strip artists conspired to pen each other’s strips for the day. For instance, Scott Adams of Dilbert took over Family Circus by Bil Keane, where he added a touch of corporate cynicism to the family-themed strip by having the mother tell her kid to “work cuter, not harder.” Jim Davis of Garfield took over Blondie, which allowed him to show his famous overweight cat eating one of Dagwood’s sandwiches. The stunt was masterminded by Rick Kirkman and Jerry Scott, creators of the Baby Blues comic strip. When asked why he participated, Scott Adams noted, “You don’t get that many chances to tunnel under the fence.”
5. British Weather Machine 1981: The Guardian reported that scientists at Britain’s research labs in Pershore had “developed a machine to control the weather.” The article, titled “Britain Rules the Skies,” explained that “Britain will gain the immediate benefit of long summers, with rainfall only at night, and the Continent will have whatever Pershore decides to send it.” Readers were also assured that Pershore scientists would make sure that it snowed every Christmas in Britain. Accompanying the article was a picture of a scruffy-looking scientists surrounded by scientific equipment. The picture was captioned, “Dr. Chisholm-Downright expresses quiet satisfaction as a computer printout announced sunshine in Pershore and a forthcoming blizzard over Marseilles.”
4. Portable Zip Codes 2004: National Public Radio’s All Things Considered announced that the post office had begun a new ‘portable zip codes’ program. This program, inspired by an FCC ruling that allowed phone users to take their phone number with them when they moved, would allow people to also take their zip code with them when they moved, no matter where they moved to. It was hoped that with this new program zip codes would come to symbolize “a citizen’s place in the demographic, rather than geographic, landscape.” Assistant Postmaster General Lester Crandall was quoted as saying, “Every year millions of Americans are on the go: People who must relocate for work or other reasons. Those people may have been quite attached to their original homes or an adopted town or city of residence. For them this innovative measure will serve as an umbilical cord to the place they love best.”
3. Eiffel Tower Moves: The Parisien stunned French citizens in 1986 when it reported that an agreement had been signed to dismantle the Eiffle Tower. The international symbol of French culture would then be reconstructed in the new Euro Disney theme park going up east of Paris. In the space where the Tower used to stand, a 35,000 seat stadium would be built for use during the 1992 Olympic Games.”
2. Google’s Gulp: In 2005 announced one of their newest products Gulp. According to the company, this beverage would optimize one’s use of the Google search engine by increasing the drinker’s intelligence. It was claimed this boost was achieved through real-time analysis of the user’s DNA and carefully tailored adjustments to neurotransmitters in the brain. The drink was said to come in “4 great flavors”: Glutamate Grape (glutamic acid), Sugar-Free Radical (free radicals), Beta Carroty (beta carotene), and Sero-Tonic Water (serotonin).”
1. Google’s custom time: In 2008, Google released a great April fools joke for Gmail. Gmail’s sign-in page and a banner at the top of each gmail inbox announced a new feature, called Gmail Custom Time, that would allow its users to “pre-date” their messages and choose to have the message appear as “read” or “unread”. The new feature uses the slogan “Be on time. Every time.” Around 11:00 p.m. EST March 31, 2008, on the newer and older version of Gmail, but not in the basic HTML version, in the upper right corner, next to Settings, a link appeared labeled, “New! Gmail Custom Time”. The link led to a 404 error until April when it led to the full Gmail Custom Time hoax page. Clicking any of the three links at the bottom of the page brought the user to a page stating that Gmail Custom time was, in fact, their April Fool’s day joke. Google wrote that the new joke feature “utilizes an e-flux capacitor (a pun from the movie Back to the Future) to resolve issues of causality.” Fake testimonials are given by “beta users”; one example is, “I used to be an honest person; but now I don’t have to be. It’s just so much easier this way. I’ve gained a lot of productivity by not having to think about doing the ‘right’ thing.” The feature only allows for ten pre-dated emails per year, claiming that any more “would cause people to lose faith in the accuracy of time, thus rendering the feature useless.”