Sunday, 6 April 2014

7 April Fools' Day Pranks (2014 Edition)

A few of the spoof stories and pranks found on the web on April Fools' Day.

Last year I rounded up some of the best online pranks played by various websites on April Fool's Day and as you'd expect there were plenty of spoofs this year as well, so here are a few of my favourites...

1) Scientists baffled by square eggs

Traditional 'egg' shaped eggs could become
a thing of the past according to 'April Fuller'.
Freedom Food Farms were reporting that one of their farms had become the first in the world to rear chickens that can lay square eggs!  Egg distribution company Hammond Eggs are already looking into the benefits of the square egg, with an obvious bonus being that eggs will now be easier to stack, and of course the square shape means that making sliced egg sandwiches will be more convenient from now on.

However, eagle eyed viewers may be able to spot a couple of 'April Fool' clues in the promotional video, such as square eggs being available in shops from April 1st, and also a more subtle clue is the name of the Hammond Eggs spokeswoman ... April Fuller.

You can watch the full video at the following link:
Chickens lay square eggs

2) Samsung, Toshiba and HTC all release smart gloves

Get ready for the next generation of 'Smart Gloves'.
One unusual coincidence on this year's April Fools' Day was that Samsung, Toshiba and HTC all pulled the same April Fool joke, with all three companies claiming they were launching a 'Smart Glove' incorporating all manner of futuristic technology.  Samsung's offering was called Samsung Fingers, Toshiba named their smart glove 'DiGiT' and HTC's was known as the HTV Gluuv, and as a further coincidence all three smart gloves incorporated similar gadgets, such as cameras and sensors.

It just goes to show that in this age of increasing obsession with scientific patents and stories of technology companies suing each other seemingly every other week, we do genuinely live in a very creative world where totally unconnected scientists and designers can independently come up with the same ideas.

You can find out more about the smart gloves from Samsung, Toshiba and HTC at the following links:
Samsung Fingers
Toshiba DiGiT
HTC Gluuv

3) Mona Lisa wore the world's first pair of contact lenses

A close up of Mona Lisa's eye which clearly
shows she was wearing contact lenses.  (Not really.)
La Villiazze, a centre dedicated to the study of Leonardo da Vinci's work, have found evidence suggesting that Leonardo da Vinci may have created the world's first pair of contact lenses.  According to the report, renowned Vinciologist Arvo Heft claims that Leonardo appears to have given this first pair of contact lenses to Mona Lisa for her to wear while posing for his famous portrait.  He even goes on to claim that Mona Lisa's famous enigmatic smile may have been a result of a smug sense of satisfaction at wearing the world's first contact lenses.

It has to be said though, that his evidence appears somewhat flimsy, as his findings are basically built on the fact that he claims that when you look at the painting you can see faint lines around Mona Lisa's irises.

Despite the obviousness of this April Fools' Day bluff, one person actually claimed in the website comments that it couldn't be an April Fool as he had heard of Arvo Heft before and therefore it must be a genuine story!

If you want to read the full article you can find it at the following link:
Mona Lisa wore contact lenses

4) Tidal power delivered to your home by wifi

Safety data for tidal wifi transmission zone.
I enjoy online spoofs so much that one of my blogs, Tomorrow's Technology Today, is dedicated entirely to fake stories regarding the latest alleged exciting developments in the world of science and technology.

The latest story focused on an Australian alternative energy company who look set to revolutionise the energy market with the promise of free tidal energy for life delivered to your home by 'wifi'.  The company responsible also boasted of the impressive safety record that 93% of people living within the tidal wifi transmission zone received no negative health effects whatsoever!

You can read the full article at the link below:
Tidal power produces free 'wifi' energy for life

A shark in the River Tyne is about as likely as a camel
at the North Pole.  (Or a penguin in the desert.)

5) Shark spotted in River Tyne

My local radio station, Metro radio, created a sneaky video which appears to show a shark swimming in the River Tyne.  For the benefit of anyone from outside the UK, the idea of sharks in the River Tyne is about as likely as a camel being spotted at the North Pole, but despite the timing of the video, i.e. posting it on April Fools' Day, there were still people taken in by the video.  One person commented, "That's no April Fool.  We regularly have seals and salmon in the Tyne, and sharks have been caught at the mouth of the river, following them and feeding on them.  That's real enough."

Judge for yourself how real it is by viewing the video at the following link:
Shark spotted in the River Tyne

6) And the Player Of The Month is...

March wasn't a vintage month for Newcastle.
One story which I seriously thought had to be an April Fools' Day joke, but which turned out to actually be genuine, was the Player Of The Month award for March on the Newcastle United website.  There were three nominees; Moussa Sissoko, Papiss Cisse and Rob Elliot, and it was the inclusion of reserve goalkeeper Rob Elliot which I found the most bizarre.

For the benefit of any non-Newcastle fans, I should perhaps point out that goalkeeper Rob Elliot only played in one of Newcastle's five games in March, and that was our match away to Southampton ... where we conceded four goals!  To be fair, Rob did have a really good game against Southampton, but for a goalkeeper to play only one game and concede four goals, and then be nominated for player of the month - on April 1st - did seem very suspicious.  It does, however, sum up how poor the rest of the squad have been since Cabaye was sold.

7) Subliminal Ways To Influence Book Review Ratings

The University of Central Newcastle.
The Charles Fudgemuffin blog contained an April Fools' Day prank of sorts when I reported on a recent study by the University of Central Newcastle which revealed that using certain 'trigger' words in a novel could artificially inflate the review ratings given by readers.

To summarise the story, when authors included heat sensitive words such as 'sizzling' or 'sweltering' in the opening and closing chapters of their book, it was scientifically proven to have a positive subliminal effect on the reader, causing them to give the book a higher rating.

In response to the story I received a reply on twitter from @OldCootCork suggesting that another way to improve your book ratings is to "...not believe advice from someone named Charles Fudgemuffin."  Wise words there from Old Coot Cork.

You can find the full story at the following link:
Subliminal Ways To Affect Book Review Ratings

Be Careful What You Wish For.
The second of Charles Fudgemuffin's
'How To Save The World' books.
On a final note, here's a sneaky tip for anyone who fancies an easy relaxing day at work next year on April 1st.  Whenever you get an email asking you to do a job, just ignore the request and simply reply, "Ha, ha!  You nearly got me there until I remembered the date!"  Then if they later complain that you didn't do what they asked, you can pretend that you mistakenly thought it was a joke request for April Fools' Day.

If you're looking for even more fake April Fools' Day online stories, then you can check out last year's round-up at the following link:
7 Online Spoofs From April Fools' Day

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Follow Charles Fudgemuffin on facebook and twitter:
Facebook:  Charles Fudgemuffin
Twitter:  @CFudgemuffin 

Other Related Posts:
Funny Prank Or Sly Trick
Daft Office Pranks (Part 1)
Daft Office Pranks (Part 2)

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About The Author

The 'How To Save The World' books
by Charles Fudgemuffin
Charles Fudgemuffin is the author of the alien comedy 'How To Save The World' books which are available for Kindle from Amazon.  The first book in the series is available from the following link:
How To Save The World: An Alien Comedy

As with all Kindle books, you can also download a free sample of the first few chapters.

Please note, the 'How To Save The World' books contain material suitable for ages 18+ and are not recommended for prudes or squares.