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April 1, 2005

A day for fine notions
Posted by Teresa at 07:23 AM * 60 comments

Scientific American gives up.

Google has announced the roll-out of Google Gulp:
Quench your thirst for knowledge.

At Google our mission is to organize the world’s information and make it useful and accessible to our users. But any piece of information’s usefulness derives, to a depressing degree, from the cognitive ability of the user who’s using it. That’s why we’re pleased to announce Google Gulp (BETA)™ with Auto-Drink™ (LIMITED RELEASE), a line of “smart drinks” designed to maximize your surfing efficiency by making you more intelligent, and less thirsty.

Think fruity. Think refreshing.

Think a DNA scanner embedded in the lip of your bottle reading all 3 gigabytes of your base pair genetic data in a fraction of a second, fine-tuning your individual hormonal cocktail in real time using our patented Auto-Drink™ technology, and slamming a truckload of electrolytic neurotransmitter smart-drug stimulants past the blood-brain barrier to achieve maximum optimization of your soon-to-be-grateful cerebral cortex. Plus, it’s low in carbs! And with flavors ranging from Beta Carroty to Glutamate Grape, you’ll never run out of ways to quench your thirst for knowledge.
The best part is their Google Gulp FAQ, which perfectly replicates Google’s expository style.

The Welcome to Gmail page announces their new Infinity + 1 storage plan. My favorite line: “NOTE: All numbers rounded to the nearest GB.

BoringBoring: A Directory of Dull Things is an elaborate and graphically well-executed spoof. Unfortunately, it succeeds in being dull.

Update: Cory Doctorow swiftly returned fire with Cory uses the DMCA against Boring Boring .

Mattandjess tenders a couple of nice little stories: New IBM server guarantees 100% uptime / AltaVista adds new translation to BabelFish.

Update: Further entries from Mattandjess included Blog Trackbacks create digital Cartel and C++ under trademark infringement on the school grading system.

The Museum of Hoaxes keeps a list of the greatest AFD hoaxes of all time (in their opinion), but that’s a poor substitute for a fresh hoax on the day itself.

A NASA article about dust fountains on the Moon has been mistakenly identified as an April Fool’s Day hoax.

BrandRepublic has put together a round-up of the day’s hoaxes in the UK media. AFD hoaxes are more of a tradition in the British media than they are in the US. Over here we mostly just have the White House Press Secretary, and every day is April Fool’s Day.

Any reports of other spoofs?

Addenda from the comment thread: Michael Pullman says the admins at the Comic Book Resources Forums are insisting that the boards switch over to paid format today, but that no one’s biting. He’s keeping an eye on other major comics sites.

Paula Helm Murray says that Wikipedia is getting slammed; no specifics as yet.

Update: Andrew Gray reports that Encyclopedia Britannica stages armed takeover of Wikipedia; also
European Toilet Paper Holder
, an old joke article that surfaced again.

Dorothea Salo notes that Bloglines has added a new language option.

Abi spotted a prime item at The Register: Bush twins to join Air Force tech unit in Iraq:
First daughters Jenna and Barbara Bush will be assigned to a high-tech unit in Iraq, the Air Force Human Resources Command has confirmed. Having finished basic training at the Officer Training School (OTS) at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama, they are scheduled to receive advanced training in telecommunications at the School of Information Technology before deployment overseas with the USAF Information Operations Squadron. For security reasons, the exact dates have been withheld.

The girls’ surprise enlistment was kept secret until they successfully completed their basic training. During an invitation-only press conference while on leave between OTS and their school assignment-conducted, symbolically, at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware where America’s war dead are brought-the twins described their motives and rationale. (…)

“Everyone knows what a devoutly religious and exceptionally patriotic family we are,” Jenna added, “so it shouldn’t surprise anyone to know that this wasn’t as hard as it might have been for other people. Of course, it cuts both ways. I mean, when you’re as close as we are, it’s hard to let go of each other. But we made the ultimate argument: we said to our parents, ‘how can we, as a family, ask other families to put their children at risk for the world’s benefit, when we aren’t willing to set the right example and accept the same challenges?’”

Legendary Bush family religious piety also played a significant role, the girls explained.

“As our father led us in prayer, asking for strength and wisdom from Our Lord-as he does in every important decision of his Presidency-divine Grace touched all of us, and we were of one mind,” Barbara recalled. “We all understood that my sister and I had been called to set this example of hope and optimism for all of America and the world beyond. And we knew as well that it would be a disgrace and a scandal for us not to accept freely the consequences of our father’s decision to go to war on behalf of freedom and liberty.”

“How could my sister and I, in good conscience, allow other Americans to shoulder this burden if we were not just as willing?” Jenna asked rhetorically. “How could our parents allow it? What a terrible message to send! Well, fortunately, that’s not the way we Bushes are made. We have a long history of public service and personal sacrifice.”
I’ve been waiting a long time to see that story. Too bad it’s a hoax.

Update: The Register also weighed in with Cisco to merge with Nabisco.

Anna Feruglio Dal Dan fell for this one.

Andy Perrin says the Fug girls have had a change of heart. Also, a Harry Potter fansite called The Leaky Cauldron has launched a new portal: Ask Peeves.

Update: Zzedar adds that Ask Jeeves has done its own parody of itself. He also notes that the Thinkgeek anagram shirt decodes to “Shop at Thinkgeek, fools!”

From Tobias Buckell, Spacedaily’s lead article: Bush Cancels Space Shuttle Program.

Skwid notes that Foxtrot, Get Fuzzy, and Swine Before Pearls are all in cahoots today. He also pointed out the Internet Working Group’s AFD RFD for this year, Requirements for Morality Sections in Routing Area Drafts.

Greg Ioannou says the Toronto Star had him fooled all the way down to the rewritten song lyrics with Long overdue Casablanca remake a new classic.

I love the one Julia found on Astronomy Picture of the Day: Water found on Mars!

Two stories were noted by Tiara. One had LiveJournal’s founder, Brad Fitzpatrick, anouncing major corporate changes, including his “resignation” and the addition of banner ads. As of this posting, the story has gotten 1610 comments.

The other story:
Hitz.FM, a Malaysian radio station, pulled off a major prank involving the “firing” of their Morning crew due to them coming late the day before. They took the studio hostage, other DJs came and yelled “YOU’RE FIRED” at them only to be suspended, there were fights, they even changed the format. The Malay Mail was even in on the act (either that or they’re being extremely obtuse). It was quite a while before they confessed to the joke. Very convincing!

Still redacting:

Phil Lee reports that a grand AFD hoax was posted by Japanese game company Irem, and translated elsewhere on the web, but none of the URLs I have for it seem to be working.

Aaron Bergman: “The joke’s unfortunately highly dependent on knowing what’s been going on in high energy physics, but this paper is an April Fool’s joke.”

Skwid:ThinkGeek usually has a good turnout, and this year is no exception, with my personal favorite being The Green Laser Aircraft Tracker.”

See also their Executive Pong, iCopulate, and MegaMags offerings.

Bill Higgins: “Our lab newsletter is amusing today.
Olympic Committee Seeks Bid from Fermilab “Fermilab has much to offer,” said IOC President Jacques Rogge, of Belgium. “The Tevatron and Main Injector rings would be an unparalleled venue for track events, and the lab already has an Olympic-sized pool and a Village. As for field events, Fermilab is almost nothing BUT field. Frankly, none of the bids we have received so far can compare.”
Jason: “TeeVee.org’s eighth April Fool’s prank is a rendition of TypePad devoted entirely to blogs “by” TV celebrities, including Dan Rather.” From G. Jules: How to Felt Acrylic.

Julia: “quiet ahem?”

Skwid:

Tiger + Tiger, burning bright,
like a Photo iPod in the night,
what designer’s hand or eye
dare pixellate thy symmetry.

Michael Pullman: Comics update: Heidi Macdonald’s The Beat has 2 fake headlines for the price of one. Both, however, require some familiarity with the comics scene to get. (Google “Identity Crisis” and “Dave Sim misogyny” to understand the first, and just know that Joe Quesada and Bob Wayne hate each other for the second.)

Lis Riba: Opera Software has announced Platform-Independent Real-Time Speech Technology:
Opera Software’s R&D department today announced the discovery of a new technology dubbed ‘Opera SoundWave’ - a platform-independent speech solution for short- and medium-range interpersonal communication. Based on open standards, Opera’s patent-pending P2P speech technology uses analogue signals carried through open air, enabling users to communicate in real- time without the use of computers or mobile phones.
Stefan Jones Reported that the Landover Baptist website was under attack from fundies who’ve finally realized that it’s parodic. He also reported that the site itself had been hijacked, but currently it’s back to being its usual self.

Pupna is the search engine puppy that retrieves EXACTLY what you are searching for (and absolutely nothing else!).

Linkmeister: From RealClimate, Doubts about the Advent of Spring. From The Health Care Blog, Congress Acts in Health Care Emergency.

Kip Manley’s S.O., Jenn Manley Lee, announced that she’s giving up comics, and will go into either computers or cat anthropology.

Maines and Stefan Jones both spotted NPR’s “All Things Considered” segment on untapped maple trees.

Glenn Hauman: “A large number of Star Trek authors conspired to send an editor of the line their proposal to revive the sales: porn.

Liz: “OK, so April 1 was days ago, but I’m slow. The hands-down milk-out-the-nose winner, for me, was Michelle Maklin, done by Roxanne and her band of fools and helpers.”

Larry Brennan: Visible expressions of love, meant to last a lifetime (not for the easily squicked).

Right-coast Mike Walsh points out that www.Locusmag.com had some AFD goodies. This is true. The office where I work was giggling about them all day. My favorite was Paoli du Flippi’s (that’s Paul di Filippo’s) Charles Stross Achieves Posthuman Status:
At exactly 1:07 PM GMT on March 31, 2005, noted science fiction author Charles Stross ceased his existence as a baseline human being and entered an unknowable posthuman condition.

The precipitating event, as far as experts can determine, was Stross’s acquisition of a new Sony PSP game machine.

“Charlie was teetering on the precipice of transhumanism for the whole last year,” said his friend and collaborator Cory Doctorow. “His lifestyle and cerebral/neurological capabilities had been ramped up through intensive ideation and selective smart-drug use to an exquisite pitch just short of the Singularity. When he laid his hands on that sweet, sweet hunk of hardware, it provided the critical mass of complexification necessary to tip him over fully into the Extropian ideal condition.”

The resulting state-change brought total en-bobblement to an area of several cubic miles surrounding the store where Stross made his climactic purchase. It is presumed that the newly born ineffable deity once known as Stross is localized within the stasis-sphere, but authorities differ over containment theories. …
Charlie’s reply, from his weblog:
Stross to Earthlings Reports of my transcendence are regrettably lacking in a few minor details. Most notably, I am finding posthuman life rather cramped inside this Palm Pilot, and I urgently need more storage. Anyone got a spare 1Gb SD memory card?
I also liked 12 Killed in SFWA Flamewar by “L. Ron Creepweans” (Lawrence Person):
The outbreak of a vicious flamewar on a Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) private forum of has resulted in the deaths of at least 12 authors, though the death toll could climb much higher. “Many writers live alone,” said a SFWA spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity. “They could be pulling bodies out from behind computer monitors for months.”

Experts were shocked by the size and unexpected speed of the flamewar’s outbreak, which was the first fatal flamewar to strike SFWA since four writers died in the waning days of the Sawyer presidency. “It seemed like there were a lot of neopros involved,” said the spokesman, “people who didn’t realize how quickly a flamewar can turn deadly. …

The flamewar started innocuously enough in a SFWA Lounge thread on the percentage of reserves against returns on an author’s royalty statements for media tie-in novels. “It seemed like a reasonable discussion,” said a police spokesman investigating the deaths, “but then something went horribly wrong. Someone brought up the membership requalification issue again, and then all hell broke lose.”

From that point on, the flamewar quickly spiraled out of control and wildly off topic to such issues as by-law revisions, print-on-demand publishers, Sturgeon’s Law and who it applied to, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Jar-Jar Binks, racial stereotypes, Joseph Campbell, John W. Campbell, Robert A. Heinlein, gun control, Internet piracy, Napster, BitTorrent, Harlan Ellison, abortion, marginal tax rates, the war in Iraq, George W. Bush, John Kerry, Bill Clinton, John Ashcroft, the Patriot Act, Dan Rather, Michael Moore, Ayn Rand, rap music, Turkey, Armenia, Global Warming, the Kyoto Treaty, Russ Meyer, LASFS, Forrest J Ackerman, Isaac Asimov, Gnome Press, Philip Jose Farmer, L. Ron Hubbard, the Jonestown suicide, Bluejay Books, migration patterns in squirrels, IguanaCon II, Elian Gonzalez, Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, and Godwin’s Law.

Though the deadliest flamewar in SFWA history, old-timers say it wasn’t nearly as vicious as the 1970s debate over the SFWA tie. …
Further fun, with a high Inside Baseball quotient: Paradise Lost: A “Next Wave” of Year’s Best Anthologies Planned by “Ferje Vedfamner” (Jeff VanderMeer); Bertelsmann Technology—Press Release by “Achilles Wham” (Michael Walsh), and Jonathan Lethem to Novelize Three Comics by Mr. du Flippi.

Elsewhere in the AFD News:

Microsoft Announces SQL Server for Linux, Unix-based Systems, Support for Xbox Development.

Lethal Computer Virus Spreads in Humans.

Exclusive pictures of Motorola’s iTunes Phone.

Gentoo on the NT Kernel.

Auto-commentator software.

USB Memory with Ghost Detection.

Comments on A day for fine notions:
#1 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2005, 09:11 AM:

OK, now...If Cory doesn't actually write a story now titled "Bang the DRM slowly," I'll be tremendously dissapointed in him.

Not that he would care.

#2 ::: Michael Pullmann ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2005, 09:15 AM:

The admins at the Comic Book Resources Forums are insisting that the boards switch over to paid format today, but few have bitten. I'm expecting something from the other major comics sites, but haven't visited them yet. I doubt anything will eclipse 2003's "Extreme Smurfs," though.

#3 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2005, 09:17 AM:

Wikipedia is apparently getting slammed.

#4 ::: Dorothea Salo ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2005, 09:24 AM:

There's this one from Bloglines. I'm no expert, but it looks straight up to me.

#5 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2005, 09:31 AM:

The Register went a little over the top in the writing style, but I did like this one.

#6 ::: Anna Feruglio Dal Dan ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2005, 09:34 AM:

This one totally fooled me. Which nowadays doesn't happen very often.

#7 ::: Andy Perrin ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2005, 09:48 AM:

The Fug girls have had a change of heart. Their new site is GoHugYourself.com.

#8 ::: tobias s buckell ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2005, 09:59 AM:

Spacedaily's main page has an article about the president announcing the space station was going to get dismantled and put on eBay that I blogged up at Futurismic :-)

#9 ::: Andy Perrin ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2005, 10:06 AM:

Harry Potter fansite The Leaky Cauldron has launched the new portal Ask Peeves.

#10 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2005, 10:06 AM:

FoxTrot, Get Fuzzy, and Swine Before Pearls are obviously all in cahoots. I haven't found any other comic pranks, although PA addresses the topic with their usual panache.

#11 ::: Greg Ioannou ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2005, 10:14 AM:

This one from this morning's Toronto Star had me fooled all the way down to the song lyrics.

#12 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2005, 10:15 AM:

Oh, and of course, the traditional RFC, with a touch of political awareness this year for salt!

#13 ::: Lenore Jean Jones ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2005, 10:19 AM:

Skwid, I noticed that too. I didn't see any others either.

#14 ::: Lenore Jean Jones ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2005, 10:20 AM:

By the way, I LOVE the Google Gulp joke. Thanks, Teresa, for pointing it out!

#16 ::: Phil Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2005, 11:12 AM:

Japanese video game company Irem puts on an elaborate April Fool's gag each year, with this year's spoof being mirrored here. Of course, if you don't speak Japanese the joke will be more than a bit confusing. Fortunatly the Gaming-Age Forums are obsessive enough to translate the gags. Granted, your own appreciation of the joke depends on how much of a video game geek you happen to be, but I figure everyone can dig on the joys of Zettai Zetsumei Yokocho/Desperate Alleyways, their new "Intoxicated Survival Action" salaryman drinking game. Their previous gags are also pretty entertaining, particularly Doki Doki Suikoden, the dating simulation game with 108 girls to choose from, or the high weirdness of Irem Burger.

Phil

#17 ::: Phil Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2005, 11:15 AM:

That post would probably have been more useful had I not completely failed to properly link everything. At any rate, you can find the Gaming-Age translations here:

http://www.ga-forum.com/showthread.php?t=41550

Phil, looking sheepish and shuffling back into lurkerdom

#18 ::: Andrew Gray ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2005, 11:28 AM:

Regarding "Wikipedia is apparently getting slammed."

Wikipedia's daily featured article (on the front page) is European Toilet Paper Holder, which if memory serves was an old joke article that surfaced again.

The front page also announces Encyclopædia Britannica announces an immediate takeover of the Wikimedia Foundation; the article goes to... some length.

There's a couple of other small hoax articles kicking around on there, I believe, but haven't gone to find them.

#19 ::: Aaron Bergman ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2005, 11:38 AM:

The joke's unfortunately highly dependent on knowing what's been going on in high energy physics, but this paper is an April Fool's joke.

#20 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2005, 11:43 AM:

Glee! ThinkGeek usually has a good turnout, and this year is no exception, with my personal favorite being The Green Laser Aircraft Tracker.

#21 ::: PiscusFiche ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2005, 12:00 PM:

Bwahahaha! "We'll always have Paris."

(The idea of Paris Hilton playing Ilsa Lund in Casablanca remake. Oooo, the kidneys, they hurt.)

#22 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2005, 12:04 PM:

Our lab newsletter is amusing today.

Olympic Committee Seeks Bid from Fermilab

"Fermilab has much to offer," said IOC President Jacques Rogge, of Belgium. "The Tevatron and Main Injector rings would be an unparalleled venue for track events, and the lab already has an Olympic-sized pool and a Village. As for field events, Fermilab is almost nothing BUT field. Frankly, none of the bids we have received so far can compare."

#23 ::: Lucy Kemnitzer ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2005, 12:31 PM:

Oh, I missed the April Foolsness of the Brad Fitz thing -- when he started talking about subordinates I tuned out and meant to query why he would suddenly start talking about his colleagues that way.

Well, that's all right then. I didn't make a public fool of myself because it was time to deliver the girl to school. I don't count this kind of making a public fool of myself.

#24 ::: Jason ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2005, 12:32 PM:

TeeVee.org's eighth April Fool's prank is a rendition of TypePad devoted entirely to blogs "by" TV celebrities, including Dan Rather.

#25 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2005, 12:33 PM:

I planned on doing something at work -- replacing the usual Friday morning bagels and donut spread with a bowl of Ritz crackers -- but the receptionist who would have had to cooperate didn't want to go along. Feh.

#28 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2005, 01:20 PM:

Tiger + Tiger, burning bright,
like a Photo iPod in the night,
what graphic designer's hand or eye,
dare pixellate thy symmetry.

Shame about that third line...

#29 ::: Michael Pullmann ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2005, 01:56 PM:

Comics update: Heidi Macdonald's The Beat (www.comicon.com/thebeat) has 2 fake headlines for the price of one. Both, however, require some familiarity with the comics scene to get. (Google "Identity Crisis" and "Dave Sim misogyny" to understand the first, and just know that Joe Quesada and Bob Wayne hate each other for the second.)

#30 ::: Lis Riba ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2005, 02:16 PM:

Opera Software has announced Platform-Independent Real-Time Speech Technology:

Opera Software's R&D department today announced the discovery of a new technology dubbed 'Opera SoundWave' - a platform-independent speech solution for short- and medium-range interpersonal communication. Based on open standards, Opera's patent-pending P2P speech technology uses analogue signals carried through open air, enabling users to communicate in real- time without the use of computers or mobile phones.

#31 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2005, 02:26 PM:

LANDOVER BAPTIST SITE UNDER ATTACK!
http://objective.jesussave.us/shutdown.html

LANDOVER SITE HIJACKED!
http://www.landoverbaptist.org/

#32 ::: Xopher (Christopher Hatton) ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2005, 03:09 PM:

Stefan: that seems to be quite real. Why do you think it's a joke? Or am I missing something?

#33 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2005, 03:15 PM:

[crushing your head]
Where did I say it was a joke?

Or more to the point, where did I not say it was a joke?
[/crushing your head!]

#34 ::: Pupna ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2005, 03:48 PM:

Pupna is the search engine puppy that retrieves EXACTLY what you are searching for (and absolutely nothing else!)

www.pupna.com

"A true breakthrough in Fetch Engine technology... Google and Yahoo have nothing even remotely comparable!" - Tech Review Magazine (April 1, 2005, print edition)

#35 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2005, 04:01 PM:

Spring? What spring? From RealClimate.

Universal health care enacted for all Americans. From The Health Care Blog.

The American Street has been taken over by conservative columnists.

#36 ::: Zzedar ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2005, 05:00 PM:

"Harry Potter fansite The Leaky Cauldron has launched the new portal Ask Peeves."

Ask Jeeves has done its own version of itself.

You probably got this already, but the Thinkgeek anagram shirt decodes to "Shop at Thinkgeek, fools!"

#37 ::: Kip Manley ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2005, 06:29 PM:

Not to toot a horn closely related to myself, but the Spouse has given up comics; she'll set Dicebox aside for either computers, or cat anthropology.

#38 ::: Mary Aileen Buss ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2005, 06:50 PM:

My favorite April Fools joke this year isn't online, and wasn't intended as a joke. Some background: The library where I work had a burst pipe last week; hundreds of gallons of water poured out before we could get the main shut off. No damage to the collection, but the library was closed for a week while we dried out, cleaned up, and patched and replastered the ceiling. So today our AudioVisual librarian comes back from vacation, hears the story--and doesn't believe it! He congratulated us on creating such an elaborate hoax and on getting everyone to tell the same details with such straight faces. He only believed us when we showed him the photo of the library director standing in the lobby soaking wet.

--Mary Aileen

#39 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2005, 07:40 PM:

Ouch, Mary Aileen. That hits a little close to home. The principal U of Hawai'i library had a similar disaster last Halloween.

#40 ::: Mary Aileen Buss ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2005, 08:00 PM:

Linkmeister: Yikes! Yeah, we were lucky: the damage was minor, we didn't lose any books or computers, and--most importantly--no one got hurt. Even so, the flood itself wasn't funny at all.

But the "April Fools joke" bit was hilarious.

#41 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2005, 08:06 PM:

I can imagine.

"No, no, it's true, it's true!"

"Aw, c'mon. Good joke, guys."

"But, but..."

#42 ::: pericat ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2005, 10:29 PM:

RE: misia's plans to restore her virginity...

the old coochie snorcher??

Snorcher. What an excellent word.

#43 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2005, 11:17 PM:

The last segment on All Things Considered this evening was utterly hilarious.

#44 ::: Maines ::: (view all by) ::: April 02, 2005, 12:31 AM:

Yes, the NPR thing on untapped maple trees--which can be heard by going here--was a winner.

#45 ::: Jon H ::: (view all by) ::: April 02, 2005, 12:40 AM:

Earlier tonight I heard Michio Kaku on the BBC saying that he had a device to travel through wormholes into other universes - a lookingglass, as in Alice's.

I was just thinking that might have been an AFD segment, but a Google search shows Alice coming up in relation to him and his new book, so I guess it wasn't.

Sounded a bit outlandish at the time...

#46 ::: Lois Aleta Fundis ::: (view all by) ::: April 02, 2005, 03:34 AM:

Oops! I just posted on the wrong thread a comment I meant to put here. (My computer may be confused and thinking it's still April 1. It's been acting strangely lately anyway.)

Anyway: a local radio station carried a report from CNN Radio that Congress was considering a ban on drinking while using the Internet. (The report did eventually 'fess up to being a spoof.)

#47 ::: Glenn Hauman ::: (view all by) ::: April 02, 2005, 12:47 PM:

A large number of Star Trek authors conspired to send an editor of the line their proposal to revive the sales: porn.

#48 ::: Keith ::: (view all by) ::: April 03, 2005, 02:52 PM:

U of Hawaii is a sister college to U of Maryland. All us Librarians-in-training shuddered when we heard about the flood. it coincided with a Preservation class, though, so the Prof took the opportunity to discuss how to go about the procedures for cleaning up and recouping. I hope I never have to deal with a wate rleak or flood in a library I work at.

#49 ::: liz ::: (view all by) ::: April 03, 2005, 04:27 PM:

OK, so April 1 was days ago, but I'm slow. The hands-down milk-out-the-nose winner, for me, was Michelle Maklin, done by Roxanne and her band of fools and helpers.

Michelle Maklin.

I particularly liked the "Mary Jane" post.

#50 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: April 03, 2005, 04:48 PM:

Ahem. There's an unclosed [b] tag somewhere up there...

Here's one about visible expressions of love meant to last a lifetime. (Not for the easily squicked.)

#51 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: April 03, 2005, 04:55 PM:

Oh, and thanks for linking the NPR maple tree thing. I think it went over the top when they went to Samoa, though.

#52 ::: Michael Walsh ::: (view all by) ::: April 03, 2005, 05:44 PM:

& www.locusmag.com has some amusing bits for Friday.

Michael Walsh

#53 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: April 03, 2005, 06:58 PM:

Stefan, Maines, thanks for the NPR maple tree story. A pledge drive segment ate up that part of ATC, apparently, so I didn't even know it existed. Funny funny stuff. "Danish" Samoa, indeed.

#54 ::: TrepannyPeck ::: (view all by) ::: April 03, 2005, 08:06 PM:

A rather cruel prank by Wizards of the Coast

WotC recently had an author call and a friend of mine submitted some work to it. He got the following email:

Dear Mr. [Surname]

We would like to thank you for your submission, [title], to our new fiction open call. We had a total field of over 750 submissions, and it was a difficult task to select the top 10. It is thus my pleasure to inform you that your novel has made the cut. We would appreciate if you could send us your entire manuscript within the next week. In addition, your submission letter mentioned you were working this up into a potential trilogy, so we would appreciate if you could send us what, if any, work you have on the follow-up novels. Even if they just exist as notes, we would be curious in case we wish to option the entire series or just pick up the first novel.

At this point, you and your fellow finalists all have a good chance of being picked up for publication during fiscal year 2006, and this
final call will let us make the final decision about which novel will be our flagship, and the order to release the nine runners up.

Thank you again for your submission, and congratulations,

Peter Archer,
Wizards of the Coast.

PS: To any of your friends who read this and fall for it, please wish them a happy April Fools Day from all of us here at the fake letter writing department.

-*-

I actually think that crosses the line into cruelty.

#55 ::: Melissa Mead ::: (view all by) ::: April 03, 2005, 08:49 PM:

If that really was from WOtC, it was way out of line. Seems more likely, though, that somebody independent of WotC was playing a prank. Seems like a company would have more sense.

#56 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 03, 2005, 10:18 PM:

I hope that was someone other than WotC. And whoever it was, I wish them a bad case of boils, and a bout of painful gum disease.

#57 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: April 03, 2005, 10:33 PM:

I know several people who have submitted to that Open Call.

None of them have reported getting that letter.

I wonder if the full headers are available?

#58 ::: TrepannyPeck ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2005, 09:46 AM:

Oh, I'm an idiot!

It was my friend's April Fool's joke on his friends, because we all knew that he'd been submitted to the author call.

I'm sorry, everyone. I feel so stupid now.

Please forgive my libel of a perfectly innocent game company.

#59 ::: Melissa Singer ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2005, 11:09 AM:

I read my mom the Scientific American one while she was making salad and she made me stop because she was laughing so hard she thought she'd slice a finger off.

#60 ::: Melissa Mead ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2005, 05:24 PM:

Ah! That makes a LOT more sense than WotC messing with writers' heads.

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