~★~♥~♥~★~ El Morno! ♥~★~★~♥ ~
April 1, 2011
★~ Today’s Quote: Even the gods love jokes. ~Plato
★~ April Fools Day:
Today is the day for good-natured pranks, hoaxes, and general silliness. The earliest recorded association between April 1st and foolishness is in Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales in 1392, although this may be a result of misinterpretation rather than Chaucer’s intention. In “The Nun’s Priest’s Tale,” there is a line, “Since March began thirty days and two,” which is probably a reference to the May 2nd betrothal of King Richard II to Anne of Bohemia, and not “March 32nd” as readers interpreted it. In any case, the story features Chanticleer, a vain rooster, being tricked by a fox, and some believe that’s how the date became associated with harmless trickery.
Many cultures have lighthearted celebrations around this time of year, and, in the Northern Hemisphere, it may be related to the spring equinox. One explanation for the April Fools’ holiday seemed plausible, until it was revealed as a hoax itself—Joseph Boskin, a professor of history at Boston University, said the practice dated back to the reign of Emperor Constantine, who was challenged by his jesters that a fool could run the empire as well as he did. Constantine appointed Kugel the jester “king for a day,” and one of Kugel’s acts was to decree an annual day of merriment. The Associated Press ran with the story, and didn’t realize Boskin had made the whole thing up until a couple of weeks later.
One April Fools’ Day announcement that was not a hoax was in 2004, when Google announced its new Gmail service. People couldn’t be blamed for thinking it was a prank, given Google’s propensity for April Fools’ leg-pulling, and the announced one-gigabyte online storage for e-mail was far larger than anything any other company had offered.
★~ Today in History:
♥~1930 – Leo Hartnett of the Chicago Cubs broke the altitude record for a catch by catching a baseball dropped from the Goodyear blimp 550 feet over Los Angeles, CA. He caught the ball cleanly, saying, “Eeeeeeeeeeeeeooooooooooowwwwwwww!” for posterity. Hartnett reportedly broke something else as well, this day … his jaw. When catching the ball, the force shattered his jawbone. Please, do not try this stunt at home.
♥~1987 – Steve Newman became the first man to walk solo around the world. No foolin’! The 15,000-mile trek took him four years and untold pairs of shoes to complete.
♥~1993 – The producers of Hee Haw announced the end of the comedy/country music TV show after 25 years. The format had remained the same since the program began as a summer replacement series on CBS in 1968: comedy skits featuring Southern belles in skimpy outfits interspersed with music by regulars like Roy Clark and Buck Owens
♥~1932 – Debbie Reynolds (Mary Frances Reynolds) actress: Singin’ in the Rain, Tammy and the Bachelor, The Tender Trap, The Unsinkable Molly Brown; singer: Tammy, A Very Special Love; mother of actress, Carrie Fisher
♥~1938 – Ali (Alice) MacGraw actress: Goodbye Columbus, Love Story, The Getaway, The Winds of War
★~ Did You Know: Top 6 April Fool Hoax
♥~ 1957- The Swiss Spaghetti Harvest: The respected BBC news show Panorama announced that thanks to a very mild winter and the virtual elimination of the dreaded spaghetti weevil, Swiss farmers were enjoying a bumper spaghetti crop. It accompanied this announcement with footage of Swiss peasants pulling strands of spaghetti down from trees. Huge numbers of viewers were taken in. Many called the BBC wanting to know how they could grow their own spaghetti tree. To this the BBC diplomatically replied, “place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best.”
♥~ 1962: Instant Color TV: In 1962 there was only one tv channel in Sweden, and it broadcast in black and white. The station’s technical expert, Kjell Stensson, appeared on the news to announce that, thanks to a new technology, viewers could convert their existing sets to display color reception. All they had to do was pull a nylon stocking over their tv screen. Stensson proceeded to demonstrate the process. Thousands of people were taken in. Regular color broadcasts only commenced in Sweden on April 1, 1970.
♥~ 1985– Sidd Finch: Sports Illustrated published a story about a new rookie pitcher who planned to play for the Mets. His name was Sidd Finch, and he could reportedly throw a baseball at 168 mph with pinpoint accuracy. This was 65 mph faster than the previous record. Surprisingly, Sidd Finch had never even played the game before. Instead, he had mastered the “art of the pitch” in a Tibetan monastery under the guidance of the “great poet-saint Lama Milaraspa.” Mets fans celebrated their teams’ amazing luck at having found such a gifted player, and Sports Illustrated was flooded with requests for more information. In reality this legendary player only existed in the imagination of the author of the article, George Plimpton,
♥~1992: National Public Radio’s Talk of the Nation program announced that Richard Nixon, in a surprise move, was running for President again. His new campaign slogan was, “I didn’t do anything wrong, and I won’t do it again.” Accompanying this announcement were audio clips of Nixon delivering his candidacy speech. Listeners responded viscerally to the announcement, flooding the show with calls expressing shock and outrage. Only during the second half of the show did the host John Hockenberry reveal that the announcement was a practical joke. Nixon’s voice was impersonated by comedian Rich Little.
♥~1996: The Taco Liberty Bell 1996: The Taco Bell Corporation announced it had bought the Liberty Bell and was renaming it the Taco Liberty Bell. Hundreds of outraged citizens called the National Historic Park in Philadelphia where the bell was housed to express their anger. Their nerves were only calmed when Taco Bell revealed, a few hours later, that it was all a practical joke. The best line of the day came when White House press secretary Mike McCurry was asked about the sale. Thinking on his feet, he responded that the Lincoln Memorial had also been sold. It would now be known, he said, as the Ford Lincoln Mercury Memorial.
♥~1998: The Left-Handed Whopper Burger King published a full page advertisement in USA Today announcing the introduction of a new item to their menu: a “Left-Handed Whopper” specially designed for the 32 million left-handed Americans. According to the advertisement, the new whopper included the same ingredients as the original Whopper (lettuce, tomato, hamburger patty, etc.), but all the condiments were rotated 180 degrees for the benefit of their left-handed customers. The following day Burger King issued a follow-up release revealing that although the Left-Handed Whopper was a hoax, thousands of customers had gone into restaurants to request the new sandwich. Simultaneously, according to the press release, “many others requested their own ‘right handed’ version.”
I love April Fools Day and have several pranks planned for Cole which I will share after the fact. What about you? Do you plan to torture your loved one’s? At least a little bit? Odd Loves Company so leave a comment and share your April foolery