Water on Mars: On April 1st 2005, the official NASA website [National Aeronautics and Space Administration, USA] uploaded a news
story regarding the discover of water on Mars.Upon clicking the link, readers were greeted with this picture of a glass of water on top of a Mars bar! (See picture right.)
A clever idea became a funny hoax in 1986 when it was reported that the Eiffel Tower was to be dismantled. This international
symbol of French culture would then be reconstructed in the new Euro Disney theme park being built, at the time, to the east of Paris.
The 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.
The London Times reported in 1992 that formal negotiations were underway to divide Belgium in half. For those who are unaware,
Belgium is a mixed country: the north is Dutch speaking [Flemings]and the south, French speaking [Walloons], in a ratio of approx. 5 to 3. It was announced that the Dutch-speaking north would join the Netherlands [Holland] and the French-speaking south would
join France and that Belgium would disappear. The Belgian embassy, in London, received numerous 'phone calls from journalists and
expatriate Belgians seeking to confirm the announcement.
On April 1st 1965, a Copenhagen newspaper, reported that the Danish parliament had passed a new law requiring all dogs to be painted white. The purpose of this, it explained, was to increase road safety by allowing dogs to be seen more easily at night.
In 1980, the Boston's Channel 7 news announced that the 635-foot hill in Milton Massachusetts had erupted. They showed footage of
lava pouring down a hill-side. They said that this eruption was a result of a chain reaction set off by the recent eruption of Mount
St. Helens in Washington.
A full-page BMW car advertisement was run on 1st April 1986, explaining their new car for driving between Great Britain and the
Continent. It was both left and right hand drive, had pedals on both driver's and passenger's side, had a detachable steering wheel which could go either side and a full set of instruments on each side, the unused one being covered by a lovely walnut panel.
There was once a report that hawks [birds of prey] carrying cameras would be used on the motorways of the UK by police to catch speeding motorists.
Top Ten Pranks For Your Office - Especially on April 1st
Unplug all PC's keyboards.
Move the contents of a desk to another part of the office.
Tell male colleagues it's "wear a brightly coloured shirt day".
Switch the refrigerator's handle.
Hang clear cellophane across a doorway.
Hand someone a phone message asking them to return an urgent call from Mr Lyon. The number listed is for the local zoo.
Do some "replacement changes" by switching the coffee room's sugar with salt.
Tape is also very good when placed over the pickup button on a telephone - no ring tone follows.
Send a colleague a fake email from HR, demanding that they go to the HR floor to discuss their email habits.
Go into the victim's office and locate every pencil and pen in their desk. Paint the tips with clear nail polish. When they try to
write, none of them will work. [After the prank is revealed, the nail polish can be removed by dipping the pens and pencils in polish
April Fools Day Pranks for the Office
'Office pranks are good for morale and could even help reduce stress,' a new report has claimed.
Will and Guy suggest that pranksters consider their victims carefully to ensure appropriateness. We have been friends for many years have learned that Guy is much more relaxed about pranks than Will - so tread carefully.
'Playing a practical joke on a colleague could encourage creativity and improve team-working,' according to an executive jobsite. 'When people come together to create a prank, it encourages creativity, teamwork and gives the office a shared experience outside of the workload.' So writes Sarah Drew, general manager of TheLadders.co.uk.
Whoopee cushions may be deemed inappropriate.
However, an alternative view is taken by Rosemary Haefner, Vice President of human resources at CareerBuilder.com when she says, 'Pranking at work can be risky business.'
True Story of an Ill-conceived Prank
Sitra Walker was an employee at a clothing store in Columbus, Ohio. She had only been working there for two weeks, but already she
felt that she knew the manager well enough to joke around with him. So on April 1, 2003 she called him up at his home and told him that
armed men were robbing the store.
The manager immediately called the police, who promptly dispatched four cruisers. Minutes later Walker phoned the manager
again and screamed 'April Fool!'
Too late. When the police arrived moments later they weren't amused and charged her with inducing a panic. Walker's manager fired
This story reminds us of Plato's quotation: 'Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools talk because they have to say something.'
April Fools Day Pranks from the Classroom
Ned and his photography
When I was a green horn teacher I was slightly shocked by some of the strokes that older teachers pulled on their students. One episode that opened my eyes was Ned's photography stunt. Because of cut-backs, old Ned Foreman had to run his 3rd year
photography class (now called Year 9?) with no money for film.
What Ned did was to assure his pupils that there was film in the cameras. He then send them around and about to take pictures for their projects. When it came to printing the non-existent photographs, Ned had a myriad of excuses; he seemed to invent a different excuse for every class. If he was in a bad mood, Ned would stage an event where the class duffer opened the cameras. Ned then lambasted the stooge for accidentally exposing some old film he that he secreted in the cameras between lessons.
If he was in a good mood, Ned would take partial responsibility himself, I remember him spellbinding my class with a dramatic tale of how a bird flew into the photography dark room (aka his kitchen) and caused a shaft of light to expose the film. On another occasion it was a long saga about how a rabid dog ate the film.
Guy the Greenhorn and his yogurt project
As a greenhorn, I was the reverse of Ned. I remember devising a bold project whereby the class made yogurt out of sour milk. It would be
illegal now of course, but rules were lax 25 years ago. Far from giving the class reasons why the sour milk did not turn into yogurt, I spent my own money and bought a dozen real cartons of plain yogurt and claimed that their experiment was a great success.
Guy and the Cactus - April Fools Day Prank
Years later when I was an older and wiser teacher, I pulled a stunt on my class. The project for the Easter term was cactus. I invested some of the departmental budget in some nice cactus plants for the pupils to take cuttings, we even had proper pots and a greenhouse to keep them warm.
Next, I arranged for a class outing to visit a local expert and admire his collection of cacti. When they returned to the lab, the class were impressed, but they now wanted to grow their own cactus from seed. Have you ever seen cactus seeds? They look just like gravel. Today is March 31st, what shall I do for tomorrow's lesson?
Time for an April Fools joke.
I could hardly keep a straight face as I told them that I managed to get some Cactus seed at great expense. In fact I was giving them gravel that I picked up on the way to the lesson. My pupils dutifully planted the 'seeds' in their pots. Finally, we formed a crocodile and deferentially stored the 'seeds' in the greenhouse to germinate over Easter. At this point the bell went for the end of the lesson, so I dismissed them with the words, 'You know those Cactus seeds you just planted - April Fool'.
More Student Pranks for April Fool's Day
Alarm Clock Confusion
Set ten alarm clocks so that they to go off at 2 minute intervals. The skill is in the concealed placement, for example, behind ceiling tiles
or heating vents.
You could camouflage the prank by putting up signs around that say April 1st is Alarm Clock Day so people don't mistake the sound for a bomb.
Red Letter Day - B E R K
Each member of your gang needs to get a t-shirt with a different letter printed on the front. Each person only needs one big letter. The
trick is to stand near members of staff while your group makes a word, then you take a photo. Friends with letters B, E, R, and K can stand next to your class teacher while you snap a photo.
Please send us your April Fool's Day pranks and practical jokes.
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