Here, courtesy of Museum of Hoaxes, are the top 10 April Fool's Day pranks ever, according to the San Diego-based Museum of Hoaxes. The criteria: notoriety, absurdity, and number of people fooled...
-- In 1957, a BBC television show announced that thanks to a mild winter and the virtual elimination of the spaghetti weevil, Swiss farmers were enjoying a bumper spaghetti crop. Footage of Swiss farmers pulling strands of spaghetti from trees prompted a barrage of calls from people wanting to know how to grow their own spaghetti at home.
-- In 1985, Sports Illustrated magazine published a story that a rookie baseball pitcher who could reportedly throw a ball at 270 kilometers per hour (168 miles per hour) was set to join the New York Mets. Finch was said to have mastered his skill -- pitching significantly faster than anyone else has ever managed -- in a Tibetan monastery. Mets fans' celebrations were short-lived.
-- Sweden in 1962 had only one television channel, which broadcast in black and white. The station's technical expert appeared on the news to announce that thanks to a newly developed technology, viewers could convert their existing sets to receive color pictures by pulling a nylon stocking over the screen. In fact, they had to wait until 1970.
-- In 1996, American fast-food chain Taco Bell announced that it had bought Philadelphia's Liberty Bell, a historic symbol of American independence, from the federal government and was renaming it the Taco Liberty Bell.
Outraged citizens called to express their anger before Taco Bell revealed the hoax. Then-White House press secretary Mike McCurry was asked about the sale and said the Lincoln Memorial in Washington had also been sold and was to be renamed the Ford Lincoln Mercury Memorial after the automotive giant.
-- In 1977, British newspaper The Guardian published a seven-page supplement for the 10th anniversary of San Serriffe, a small republic located in the Indian Ocean consisting of several semicolon-shaped islands. A series of articles described the geography and culture of the two main islands, named Upper Caisse and Lower Caisse.
-- In 1992, US National Public Radio announced that Richard Nixon was running for president again. His new campaign slogan was, "I didn't do anything wrong, and I won't do it again." They even had clips of Nixon announcing his candidacy. Listeners flooded the show with calls expressing their outrage. Nixon's voice actually turned out to be that of impersonator Rich Little.
-- In 1998, a newsletter titled New Mexicans for Science and Reason carried an article that the state of Alabama had voted to change the value of pi from 3.14159 to the "Biblical value" of 3.0.
-- Burger King, another American fast-food chain, published a full-page advertisement in USA Today in 1998 announcing the introduction of the "Left-Handed Whopper," specially designed for the 32 million left-handed Americans. According to the advertisement, the new burger included the same ingredients as the original, but the condiments were rotated 180 degrees. The chain said it received thousands of requests for the new burger, as well as orders for the original "right-handed" version.
-- Discover Magazine announced in 1995 that a highly respected biologist, Aprile Pazzo (Italian for April Fool), had discovered a new species in Antarctica: the hotheaded naked ice borer. The creatures were described as having bony plates on their heads that became burning hot, allowing the animals to bore through ice at high speed -- a technique they used to hunt penguins.
-- Noted British astronomer Patrick Moore announced on the radio in 1976 that at 9:47 am, a once-in-a-lifetime astronomical event, in which Pluto would pass behind Jupiter, would cause a gravitational alignment that would reduce the Earth's gravity. Moore told listeners that if they jumped in the air at the exact moment of the planetary alignment, they would experience a floating sensation. Hundreds of people called in to report feeling the sensation.
As we approach midnight on Christmas Eve, I cannot help but feel grateful to those who read this weblog on a regular (or irregular) basis. My goal has never been to create a mass readership. Rather, I've aimed to produce interesting--even compelling--content designed to inform and spark a thoughtful discussion for enlightened, concerned global citizens, online and offline.
The holidays are an important time for all of us, because they provide an occasion for us to reflect on the past year and on the lives we've led to date. They provide the opportunity to ask ourselves how we can be better human beings--healthier, more fit, more engaged, better friends, and better parents to our children. Whether you are religious or not, there is a certain mysticism and logic to this time of year that serves all of us well.
It's also a time to be thankful for those who are serving all of us so selflessly at home and abroad--whether they are civil servants, serving in uniform, in humanitarian organizations, or in the United Nations. They are the ones who are so willing to sacrifice themselves for a cause that transcends all of us--to free the oppressed and provide hope where none exists. Indeed, they are the ones who enable democracy and freedom.
If you are reading this post, you are fortunate. You are reading unvarnished opinions, news, philosophy, random thoughts, watching video coverage and listening to music...all of which are uncensored.
--It means you are free.
My Very Best Wishes to You and Yours for a Tremendous Holiday Season and New Year!
What are the 12 days of Christmas? Courtesy of: jsimonds
What in the world do leaping lords, French hens, swimming swans and especially the partridge that won’t come out of the pear tree have to do with Christmas?
Today I found out. From 1558-1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics. It has two levels of meaning; the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to the members of their church. Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality which the children could remember.
The partridge in the pear tree was Jesus Christ.
Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.
Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.
The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthrew, Mark, Luke and John.
The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.
The six geese a laying stood for the six days of creation.
Seven swans a swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit: Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership and Mercy.
The eight maids a milking were the eight beatitudes.
Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit:
Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self Control.
The ten lords a leaping were the Ten Commandments.
The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.
The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles’ Creed.