Hello, April! | In April Fools’ Day Pranks We Trust
We call April this way as a reference to the coming of spring. The Greek word for spring is “άνοιξη” (means “opening“) and the word “April” is thought to derive form the Italian “aprire” (to open). April is also the first month of the year to have 30 days, it is quite often Easter month, and it starts with good humor – the pranks of April Fools’ Day or “April Fish” as it’s called in France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Italy, and French-speaking areas of Canada and Switzerland.
Although April Fools’ Day is recorded as a custom since the middle of the 14th century, and has become popular since the 19th century, the day is not a public holiday in any country. It’s just the day where you would expect everybody to play a hoax on you and call you “inocente” in Spain (a word meaning both “innocent” and “credulous”) or simply shout out “April Fool” in English-speaking countries. Living in the info-world that we do, the habit of the pranks of the first of April has become such a standard in the last a hundred years that we couldn’t help compiling our own Top 10 of April Fools’ Day Hoaxes at the end of our article. Enjoy and be inspired.
Famous Quotes About Fools
- You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time. ― Abraham Lincoln
- I have great faith in fools – self-confidence my friends will call it. ― Edgar Allan Poe,
- A quick temper will make a fool of you soon enough. ― Bruce Lee
- Any fool can make a rule. And any fool will mind it. ― Henry David Thoreau
- I am a fool with a heart but no brains, and you are a fool with brains but no heart; and we’re both unhappy, and we both suffer. ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky,
- Any darn fool can make something complex; it takes a genius to make something simple. ― Pete Seeger
- Jasnah had once defined a fool as a person who ignored information because it disagreed with desired results. ― Brandon Sanderson
- A fool’s paradise is a wise man’s hell. ― Thomas Fuller
- In order to share one’s true brilliance one initially has to risk looking like a fool: genius is like a wheel that spins so fast, it at first glance appears to be sitting still. ― Criss Jami
- There are two kinds of fools. One says, “This is old, and therefore good.” And one says, ” This is new, and therefore better. ― John Brunner
- Every man is a divinity in disguise, a god playing the fool. ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
- Any fool can turn a blind eye but who knows what the ostrich sees in the sand. ― Samuel Beckett
- Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times, shame on both of us. ― Stephen King
- Well, God give them wisdom that have it; and those that are fools, let them use their talents. ― William Shakespeare
- If it is ones lot to be cast among fools, one must learn foolishness. ― Alexandre Dumas,
- A fool tries to shut others’ mouth instead of listens to his own heart. ― Toba Beta
- A man learns to skate by staggering about and making a fool of himself. Indeed he progresses in all things by resolutely making a fool of himself. ― George Bernard Shaw
- God save me from fools with a little philosophy—no one is more difficult to reach. ― Epictetus
- Ask a sage, he will explain. Ask a fool, he will complain.― Toba Beta
- The moment you start arguing with an ignorant fool, you have already lost. ― Ali ibn Abi Talib
- There are no foolish questions and no man becomes a fool until he has stopped asking questions. ― Charles Proteus Steinmetz
- I just wanted to be your fool. But you were too fool to understand.― Arzum Uzun
- I know now that what makes a fool is an inability to take even his own good advice. ― William Faulkner
- With the persistent loud voice, fool asks us to respect serenity. ― Toba Beta
- A sage is a former fool who has become tired of himself. A foolish sage is one who forgets this. Remember, or come full circle. ― Vera Nazarian
- It is hard to befool a fool who has already been fooled so many times. ― Munia Khan
- The fools are always the architects of their fall and trouble. ― Bamigboye Olurotimi
- If you don’t want to be foolish, don’t try to fool anyone. ― Debasish Mridha
Famous Quotes About Jokes
- A joke is an epigram on the death of a feeling. ― Friedrich Nietzsche
- The gods too are fond of a joke. ― Aristotle
- They all laughed when I said I’d become a comedian. Well, they’re not laughing now. ― Bob Monkhouse
- A person reveals his character by nothing so clearly as the joke he resents. ― Georg Christoph Lichtenberg
- Some jokes are less agreeable than others. ― Harriet Beecher Stowe
- Childhood was the germ of all mistrust. You were cruelly joked upon and then you cruelly joked. You lost the remembrance of pain through inflicting it. ― Graham Greene
Famous Quotes About April
- April is the cruelest month, breeding
lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
memory and desire, stirring
dull roots with spring rain.
― T.S. Eliot,
- It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. ― George Orwell,
- April hath put a spirit of youth in everything. ― William Shakespeare (Sonnet XCVIII)
- April, April, laugh thy girlish laughter, and the moment after, Weep thy girlish tears, April. ― Angus Wilson
- April. Month of dust and lies. ― Naguib Mahfouz
- April was just beginning, and after the warm spring day it turned cooler, slightly frosty, and a breath of spring could be felt in the soft, cold air. The road from the convent to town was sandy, they had to go at a walking pace; and on both sides of the carriage, in the bright, still moonlight, pilgrims trudged over the sand. And everyone was silent, deep in thought, everything around was welcoming, young, so near— the trees, the sky, even the moon—and one wanted to think it would always be so. ― Anton Chekhov
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Top 10 April Fools’ Day Hoaxes of All Time
Whether on TV, the radio, the press or over the internet, these are the greatest hoaxes man has ever come up with:
10. Wikipedia’s Main Page (2007)
Back when the Internet Age was still starting, Wikipedia thought they could go traditional and set up an April hoax. On April 1st, 2007, the Today’s Featured Article on the Main Page was George Washington (inventor), who was actually a real person. However, the fact that it was featured on the Main Page was obviously a spoof off of the famous George Washington, the President. In fact, the article was created, nominated for featured-article status, and put on the Main Page in a mere 5 days.
9. Copenhagen’s Subway Took a Wrong Turn (2001)
In 2001, Gevalia Coffee’s advertising made this subway vehicle pop up in front of Copenhagen’s town hall. The accident site was surrounded with a tape saying “Uventede gæster?” (unexpected guests?) referring to the accident of running out of coffee while having guests. Although it looked as if one of its cars had an accident, and had broken through and surfaced on the square in front of the town hall, in reality, it was a retired subway car from the subway of Stockholm cut obliquely, with the front end placed onto the tiling and loose tiles scattered around it.
8. New Zealand Wasp Attack (1949)
In 1949, DJ Phil Shone of radio station 1ZB warned his listeners that a swarm of wasps was headed towards Auckland, New Zealand. The swarm was supposed to be a mile wide, and listeners were warned to take measures in order to protect themselves, such as wearing their socks over their trousers when they left for work, and leaving honey-smeared traps outside their doors. The advice was followed by Auckland residents spreading panic across the city until the radio producer had to finally admit it had all been a joke.
7. Easter Island Statue Washed Ashore (1962)
In 1962, a Dutch artist named Edo van Tetterode was walking along the beach near the town of Zandvoort, Netherlands, when he reported a strange finding in the sand. It was a small washed up statue that looked just like the famous statues on Easter Island. The statue seemed weathered enough to convince that the ocean currents must have carried it all the way from the South Pacific to the Netherlands, until the artist made a confession on April 1 of the same year that he had made it and planted it on the beach. Meanwhile it had made worldwide headlines and huge crowds had showed up to see it.
6. Changing the Value of Pi (1998)
The April 1998 issue of the New Mexicans for Science and Reason newsletter contained an article making an outrageous claim. The Alabama state legislature was supposed to have voted to change the value of the mathematical constant pi from 3.14159 to the ‘Biblical value’ of 3.0. No matter how far-fetched the news appeared to be, they were considered true and the article spread onto the internet, and then it rapidly spread around the world, forwarded by email. When hundreds of citizens started making phone calls to protest, the world realized that the original article, a parody of legislative attempts to circumscribe the teaching of evolution, written by physicist Mark Boslough, had simply gone too far.
5. Instant Color TV (1962)
In 1962, SVT – Sweden’s one and only black and white TV channel at the time – broadcasted a 5-minute special featuring their technical expert Kjell Stensson, who informed the public that, thanks to a new technology, viewers could convert their existing sets to display color reception. Stensson made an in-depth analysis of the physics behind the phenomenon and thousands of people tried it, somehow unsuccessfully. It wasn’t until exactly 8 years later when regular color broadcasts commenced in Sweden.
4. UFO Lands in London (1989)
On March 31, 1989, thousands of motorists driving on the highway outside London noticed a strange flying object. Many of them pulled to the side of the road to watch the bizarre saucer, which finally landed in a field on the outskirts of London. Londoners immediately called the police to warn them of an alien invasion. When the police arrived on the scene, it was proven that he saucer was in fact a hot-air balloon that had been specially built to look like a UFO by Richard Branson, the 36-year-old chairman of Virgin Records. Branson’s intention was to land the craft in London’s Hyde Park on April 1. Unfortunately, the wind blew him off course, and he was forced to land a day early in the wrong location.
3. Planetary Alignment Decreases Gravity (1976)
In 1976, British astronomer Sir Patrick Moore told listeners of BBC Radio 2 that unique alignment of two planets would result in an upward gravitational pull making people lighter at precisely 9:47 am that day. He invited his audience to jump in the air and experience “a strange floating sensation”. Dozens of listeners phoned in to say the experiment had worked, among them a woman who reported that she and her 11 friends were “wafted from their chairs and orbited gently around the room.
2. The Eruptions of Mount Edgecumbe & Great Blue Hill (1974/1980)
On April 1st, 1974, the inhabitants of Sitka, Alaska woke to find out that clouds of black smoke were rising from the crater of Mount Edgecumbe, the long-dormant volcano that was near. The worrisome sight made people get out of their homes and onto the streets to gaze up at the volcano, until it was revealed that a local practical joker named Porky Bickar had flown hundreds of old tires into the volcano’s crater and then lit them on fire, all in a (successful) attempt to fool the city dwellers into believing that the volcano was stirring to life.
On April 1, 1980, Boston television station WNAC-TV somehow repeated the hoax when it reported that Great Blue Hill in Milton, Massachusetts had erupted. Panic soon grew and residents started to flee their home until the hoax was revealed, and executive producer of the 6 o’clock news, Homer Cilley, was fired. Apparently, humor was somehow absent back in the 80’s…
1. The Spaghetti Harvest (1957)
The BBC television programme Panorama ran a hoax in 1957, showing Swiss residents harvesting spaghetti from trees. They claimed that the despised pest, the spaghetti weevil, had been eradicated. A large number of people contacted the BBC wanting to know how to cultivate their own spaghetti trees. It was, in fact, filmed in St Albans. The editor of Panorama at the time, Michael Peacock, approved the idea, which was pitched by freelance camera operator Charles de Jaeger. Peacock told the BBC in 2014 that he gave de Jaeger a budget of £100. Peacock said the respected Panorama anchorman Richard Dimbleby knew they were using his authoritativeness to make the joke work. He said Dimbleby loved the idea and went at it with relish. Decades later CNN called this broadcast “the biggest hoax that any reputable news establishment ever pulled”.
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