Researching existing April Fools' pranks for the development and analysis work for our 'Communication is a Virus: Tell a lie convincingly' project...
1. An appealing prank:
-For each slice into a banana, insert a threaded needle through one of the fruit's "corners" (where the edges of the peel meet) and out an adjacent corner, leaving a small tail of thread dangling for later.
-Insert the needle back through the exit hole you just made and push it through to the next corner, pulling all but a small loop of thread along with it. Continue from corner to corner until you return to the beginning, then push the needle out through the first hole you made.
-Gather the 2 thread ends and carefully pull them out simultaneously; the thread will slice through the banana. Repeat the threading for as many slices as you'd like, then get ready to wow your family with this new breed of snack food!
2. Can't catch this:
-Tape a dollar bill to the end of the fishing line on a fishing pole. Then hide behind a bush and wait for your victim to come along. As soon as they reach for the money, reel in the line a few inches. Keep reeling until they realize they're being had.
3. Tricky Coin
-Glue a quarter or dollar coin to the floor or the ground in a busy place. Sit nearby and watch as people try to pick it up.
4. Short Sheet
-This is a one of the oldest April Fool's Day pranks in the world! Take the top sheet off the victim's bed, and tuck the bottom end under the top end of the mattress. Pull it down and then fold it back up so that the top end is where it would be if the bed was made normally. Replace the pillow, blanket, etc., and make up the bed like it was before. When the victim gets into bed, they'll be surprised when they can't slide their feet all the way down to the bottom of the bed!
5. Leave 'Em Hanging
-Quick and easy classic prank. Just wait until your victim is in the shower, then sneak in and grab their clothes and all the towels. (You might want to get the bath mat too!)
6. Find a box about the size of a cake. Then cover it with frosting, making it look like a cake. Then put it out in the office kitchen, or wherever people leave free food. Sit back as one of your co-workers tries to cut a slice.
7. Switch the "pull" and "push" sign on a set of doors.
8. Put some water in a cereal bowl, and place it in the freezer so that the water freezes. Offer to make your sister/brother cereal in the morning. Make sure you use that same bowl. Put their favourite cereal over the top of the ice, and serve.
9. The Swiss Spaghetti Harvest
-In 1957 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."
10. San Serriffe
-1977: The British newspaper The Guardian published a special seven-page supplement devoted to San Serriffe, a small republic said to consist of several semi-colon-shaped islands located in the Indian Ocean. A series of articles affectionately described the geography and culture of this obscure nation. Its two main islands were named Upper Caisse and Lower Caisse. Its capital was Bodoni, and its leader was General Pica. The Guardian's phones rang all day as readers sought more information about the idyllic holiday spot. Only a few noticed that everything about the island was named after printer's terminology. The success of this hoax is widely credited with launching the enthusiasm for April Foolery that gripped the British tabloids in subsequent decades.
11. The Left-Handed Whopper
-1998: 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."
12: Planetary Alignment Decreases Gravity
-1976: The British astronomer Patrick Moore announced on BBC Radio 2 that at 9:47 AM a once-in-a-lifetime astronomical event was going to occur that listeners could experience in their very own homes. The planet Pluto would pass behind Jupiter, temporarily causing a gravitational alignment that would counteract and lessen the Earth's own gravity. Moore told his listeners that if they jumped in the air at the exact moment that this planetary alignment occurred, they would experience a strange floating sensation. When 9:47 AM arrived, BBC2 began to receive hundreds of phone calls from listeners claiming to have felt the sensation. One woman even reported that she and her eleven friends had risen from their chairs and floated around the room.
13. UFO Lands in London
-1989: On March 31, 1989 thousands of motorists driving on the highway outside London looked up in the air to see a glowing flying saucer descending on their city. Many of them pulled to the side of the road to watch the bizarre craft float through the air. The saucer finally landed in a field on the outskirts of London where local residents immediately called the police to warn them of an alien invasion. Soon the police arrived on the scene, and one brave officer approached the craft with his truncheon extended before him. When a door in the craft popped open, and a small, silver-suited figure emerged, the policeman ran in the opposite direction. The saucer turned out to be 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. The stunt combined his passion for ballooning with his love of pranks. His plan 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.
-2002: The British supermarket chain Tesco published an advertisement in The Sun announcing the successful development of a genetically modified 'whistling carrot.' The ad explained that the carrots had been specially engineered to grow with tapered airholes in their side. When fully cooked, these airholes caused the vegetable to whistle.
15. Migrant Mother Makeover
-2005: Popular Photography ran an article titled "Can these photos be saved?" about how to remove unsightly wrinkles from photographic subjects. They chose, as an example of a photo that "needed to be saved," Dorothea Lange's "Migrant Mother" photo taken in 1936 during the Great Depression. Lange's photo is one of the most widely admired in the world. It wouldn't be an exaggeration to describe it as the Mona Lisa of photographs, and the Migrant Mother's stoic expression is what makes the image great. Nevertheless, the editors of Popular Photography erased her wrinkles, softened her gaze, and removed her kids, transforming her from an iconic symbol of endurance into a smooth-faced, worry-free soccer mom. Their readers were horrified, not realizing the article was a spoof on the way magazines routinely touch-up celebrity images to remove blemishes and wrinkles. Hundreds wrote in expressing outrage at the defacement of such a classic image. To which the editors replied: Look at the date it was published!
16. Big Ben Goes Digital
-1980: The BBC reported that Big Ben, in order to keep up with the times, was going to be given a digital readout. The announcement received a huge response from listeners shocked and angered by the proposed change. The BBC Japanese service also announced that the clock hands would be sold to the first four listeners to contact them. One Japanese seaman in the mid-Atlantic immediately radioed in a bid.
17. Guinness Mean Time
-1998: Guinness issued a press release announcing that it had reached an agreement with the Old Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England to be the official beer sponsor of the Observatory's millennium celebration. According to this agreement, Greenwich Mean Time would be renamed Guinness Mean Time until the end of 1999. In addition, where the Observatory traditionally counted seconds in "pips," it would now count them in "pint drips." The Financial Times, not realizing that the release was a joke, declared that Guinness was setting a "brash tone for the millennium." When the Financial Times learned that it had fallen for a joke, it printed a curt retraction, stating that the news it had disclosed "was apparently intended as part of an April 1 spoof."
18. MITkey Mouse
-On April 1, 1998 the homepage of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced some startling news: the prestigious university was to be sold to Walt Disney Co. for $6.9 billion. A photograph of the university's famous dome outfitted with a pair of mouse ears accompanied the news. The press release explained that the university was to be dismantled and transported to Orlando where new schools would be added to the campus including the School of Imagineering, the Scrooge McDuck School of Management, and the Donald Duck Department of Linguistics. The fact that the announcement appeared on MIT's homepage added official credibility to it. But in fact, the announcement was the work of students who had hacked into the school's central server and replaced the school's real web page with a phony one.
I really like the mix of elaborate stories and everyday style pranks- a definate consideration to mix together for our final product- will discuss this with my group memebers to find a style which suits us all.