Monday, April 3, 2017


   April Fool's Day is rapidly approaching, and April Fool's celebrations will be occurring all around the world.  But not all April Fool's Day celebrations will be the same; April Fool's Day in one country is often quite different than in another.
  • April Fool's Day in the U.S. is usually a day of trickery, pranks and outrageous stunts.  The media becomes involved, running bogus news stories or promoting false products.  The April Fool's Day celebrations can occur any time of the day and can be as simple or complex as the trickster wishes.  The victim of the prank is supposed to maintain good humor about it, and traditionally he or she will attract bad luck by getting upset about he prank.

  • April Fool's Day in France is traditionally call Poisson d'Avril, which translates to "April Fish".  The term refers to the fish that are recently hatches and therefore naive and easy to catch.  The traditional April Fish prank in France is to tape a fish to someones back, and call them a Poisson d'Avril when they discover it.  Originally, the fish was a real dead fish, but nowadays it is most often a paper fish.  April Fish is also a common prank on April Fool's Day in Italy, called Pesce d'Aprile in Italian, April Fish trickery can last all day, and may include other kinds of tricks.

  • April Fool's Day in Canada is similar to April Fool's Day in the U.S., and also incorporates the tradition of Poisson d'Avril from French April Fool's Day celebrations.  On Canadian tradition comes from investigator James Randi, who annually announces a tongue in cheek award called the Pigasus Award on April Fool's Day.  These "awards" seek to expose paranormal or psychic frauds or to ridicules institutions that promote paranormal claims.  Past Pigasus awards have been given to the Kansas school board, John Edwards and Nostradamus.  New "winners" will be announced on April Fool's Day.

  • In Scotland, April Fool's Day celebrations last for two days.  April Fool's Day in Scotland is sometimes called "Tally Day" or "April Gowk".  The traditional prank for the first day is to send people on a fools errand.  You give someone an urgent note that they are supposed to deliver, but the note informs the receiver that it is an April Gowk joke, and they send the person to yet another person, who sends them somewhere else...etc.  On the second day, the traditional prank is to stick an April Gowk sign on someones backside, similar to a "Kick Me" sign.  April Gowk pranks are usually only played in the morning, and if someone tries one after noon, they are considered the fool instead.

  • April Fool's Day in Poland is called "Prymas Aprylis".  In addition to being a day of pranks, April Fool's Day celebrations often involve dressing up in costumes.  April Fool's Day in Poland is largely a holiday for children, but adults also get in on the fun.  In recent years, Polish media has also taken part in the April Fool's Day celebrations.

  • There are a few countries that have April Fool's Day celebrations on days other than April 1st.  In Denmark, for example, April Fool's Day celebration are held on May 1st, and the day is called Maj-kat, or May-cat.  Hispanic countries such as Spain and Mexico observe the Feast of the Innocents of December 28th by pranking and tricking people just as in April Fool's Day celebrations.  Victims of pranks are not allowed to be upset, because the pranksters are representing the innocents.  Yet another prank day similar to April Fool's Day celebrations occurs in Iran near the beginning of April, called "Sizdah Bedar".


  The first of April isn't just another ordinary day.  Also known as April Fool's Day or All Fool's Day.  It is celebrated in a number of countries including America, the United Kingdom, France and Germany.
   The origin of April Fool's Day is actually any body's guess, but it is known that it came to England from France or Germany in the mid 17th century.  At one time April 1st coincided with the New Year and was celebrated as such until 1582, when Pope Gregory XIII ordered the new Gregorian Calendar to replace the Julian Calendar.  With there being no computers, telephones and other speedy forms of communicating, word did not travel very fast in those days and therefore many people continued to celebrate New Years Day on April 1st, while some rebelled against this change in their old traditions.
   With some embracing a new system and others fighting progress it is thought that those following the new system mocked the others who were behind the times and sent them on fool's errands, such as to seek non existent objects like the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow in order to have some fun at their expense.
   People in England, Germany, Denmark and Norway continued to celebrate New Year's Day on April 1st, up until the mid 1700's, the Scottish adopted the new calendar in 1660.
   April Fool's Day has also been associated with ancient festivals, such as Hilaria which was to celebrate the resurrection of the god Attis, in ancient Rome when people would dress up in various costumes and the Holi festival in India which celebrates the arrival of spring.  During this celebration people play jokes on each other.
   Tricks and hoaxes in England can only be played up until noon.  In France, the victim of the prank is called an April Fish, while in Scotland they are called an April Gowk (gowk is a cuckoo or another word for a fool).  Anyone who tries to continue the jokes into the afternoon re likely to bring bad luck upon themselves.
   According to the Museum of Hoaxes, the best April Fool's joke of all time occurred in 1957 when the BBC news program "Panorama" based a full program on the spaghetti.
Crops in Switzerland and how due to the mild winter and virtual elimination of the spaghetti weevil, Swiss farmers were enjoying a bumper crop.  Some viewers failed to see the funny side, others wanted to know where they could purchase their own spaghetti bush.
   Many people love the excuse to play pranks on others and take full advantage of this opportunity on April Fool's Day, others prefer to keep their heads down and breathe a sigh of relief when the clock strikes 12!


  April Fool's Day is the one day of the year that serious minded people can go crazy without criticism.  Over the years there have been many great hoaxes that have occurred on or around this day of the year.  The Museum of Hoaxes put together a list of 100, this is a list of the top 15.

  • In 1982, the Daily Mail reported that a local manufacturer had sold 10,000 "rogue bras" that were causing a unique and unprecedented problem, not to the wearers but to the public at large.  Apparently the support wire in these bras had been made out of a kind of copper originally designed for use in fire alarms.  When this copper came into contact with nylon and body heat, it produced static electricity which, in turn, was interfering with local television and radio broadcasts.  The chief engineer of British Telecom, upon reading the article, immediately ordered that all his female laboratory employees disclose what type of bra they were wearing.


  • In 1974 residents of Sitka, Alaska were alarmed when the long dormant volcano neighboring them, Mount Edgecumbe, suddenly began to belch out billows of black smoke.  People spilled out of their homes onto the streets to gaze up at the volcano, terrified that it was active again and might soon erupt.  Luckily it turned out that man, not nature, was responsible for the smoke.  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.  According to local legend, when Mount St. Helen's erupted six years later, a Sitka resident wrote to Bickar to tell him, "This time you've gone too far"!

  • In February 1708 a previously unknown London astrologer named Isaac Bickerstaff published an almanac in which he predicted the death by fever of the famous rival astrologer John Partridge.  According to Bickerstaff, Partridge would die on March 29th of that year.  Partridge indignantly denied the prediction, but on March 30th, Bickerstaff released a pamphlet announcing that he had been correct.  Partridge was dead.  It took a day for the news to settle in, but soon everyone had heard of the astrologer's demise.  On April 1st, April Fool's Day, Partridge was woken by a seton outside his window who wanted to know if there were any orders for his funeral sermon.  Then, as Partridge walked down the street, people stared at him as if they were looking at a ghost or stopped to tell him that he looked exactly like someone they knew who was dead.  As hard as he tried, Partridge couldn't convince people that he wasn't dead.  Bickerstaff, it turned out, was a pseudonym for the great satirist Jonathan Swift.  His prognosticatory practical joke upon Partridge worked so well that the astrologer finally was forced to stop publishing his almanacs, because he couldn't shake his reputation as the man, whose death had been foretold.

  • IN 1984, back in the Stone Age of the Internet, a message was distributed to the members of Usenet (the online messaging community that was one of the first forms the Internet took) announcing that the Soviet Union was joining Usenet.  This was quite a shock to many, since most assumed that cold war security concerns would have prevented such a link up.  The message purported to come from Konstatin Chernenko (from the address chernenko@kremvax.UUCP) who explained that the Soviet Union wanted to join the network in order to "have a means of having an open discussion forum with the American and European people".  The message created a flood of responses.  Two weeks later its true author, a European man named Piet Beertema, revealed that it was a hoax.  This is believed to be the first hoax on the Internet.  Six years later, when Moscow really did link up to the Internet, it adopted the domain name "kremvax" in honor of the hoax.

  • On March 31st, 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 1st.  Unfortunately, the wind blew him off course, and he was forced to land a day early in the wrong location.

  • In 1976, the British astronomer Patrick Moore announced on BBC Radio 2 that at 9:47 a.m., 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 the time arrived, BBC2 began to received 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.

  • In its April 1995 issue, Discover Magazine announced that the highly respected wildlife biologist Dr. Aprile Pazzo had discovered a new species in Antarctica, the hotheaded naked ice borer.  These fascinating creatures had bony plated on their heads that, fed by numerous blood vessels, could become burning hot, allowing the animals to bore through ice at high speeds.  They used this ability to hunt penguins, melting the ice beneath the penguins and causing them to sink downwards into the resulting slush where the hotheads consumed them.  After much research, Dr. Pazzo theorized that the hotheads might have been responsible for the mysterious disappearance of noted Antarctic explorer Philippe Poisson in 1837.  "To the ice borer, he would have looked like a penguin", the article quoted her as saying.  Discover received more mail in response to this article than they had received for any other article in their history.

  • In 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.


  • The April 1998 issue of the New Mexicans for Science and Reason newsletter contained an article claiming that the Alabama state legislature had voted to change the value of the mathematical constant pi from 3.14159 to the "Biblical value" of 3.0  Before long the article had made its way onto the Internet, and then it rapidly made its way around the world, forwarded by people in their email.  It only became apparent how far the article had spread when the Alabama legislature began receiving hundreds of calls form people protesting the legislation.  The original article, which was intended as a parody of legislator attempts to circumscribe the teaching of evolution, was written by a physicist named Mark Boslough.

  • In 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 the 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.

  • In 1977, the British newspaper The Guardian published a special seven page supplement in honor of the tenth anniversary of San Serriffe, a small republic located in the Indian Ocean consisting of several semi colon shaped islands.  A series of articles affectionately described the geography and culture of this obscure nation.  Its two main islands wee named Upper Caisse and Lower Caisse.  Its capitol 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.  Few noticed that everything about the island was named after printer's terminology.  The success of the hoax is widely credited with launching the enthusiasm for April Foolery that then gripped the British tabloids in the following decades.

  • In 1996, the Taco Bell Corporation announced that it had bought the Liberty Bell from the federal government and was renaming it the Taco Liberty Bell.  Hundreds of outraged citizens call up the National Historic Park in Philadelphia where the bell is housed to express their anger.  Their nerves were only calmed when Taco Bell revealed that it was all a practical joke a few hours later.  The best line inspired by the affair came when the White House press secretary Mike McCurry was asked about the sale, and he responded that the Lincoln Memorial had also been sold, though to a different corporation, and would now be know as the Ford Lincoln Mercury Memorial.

  • In 1962, there was only one t.v. 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 newly developed technology, all viewers could now quickly and easily convert their existing set to display color reception.  All they had to do was pull a nylon stocking over their t.v. screen, and they would begin to see their favorite shows in color.  Stensson then proceeded to demonstrate the process.  Reportedly, hundreds of thousands of people, out of the population of seven million, were taken in.  Actual color t.v. transmission only commenced in Sweden on April 1st, 1970.

  • In its April 1985 edition, 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 with startling, pinpoint accuracy at 168 mph (65 mph faster than anyone else has ever been able to throw a ball).  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 everywhere celebrated at their team's amazing luck at having found such a gifted player, and Sports Illustrated was flooded with requests for more information.  But in reality this legendary player only existed in the imagination of the writer of the article, George Plimpton.


  • In 1957, the respected BBC news show Panorama announced that thank 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, and many called up wanting to know how they could grow their own spaghetti trees.  To this question, the BBC diplomatically replied that they should "place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best".


Image result for april

   There is a holiday for every day in April.  For some days, there are even two.  Here is how you can celebrate at least one every day in the month of April.

Image result for fun day

  • April 1st, National Fun Day-It's also April Fools Day, which is why it is such a fun day.

  • April 2nd, Reconciliation Day-This day doesn't sound like much fun, but who knows...you could end up with a new-old friend.

  • April 3rd, Tangible Karma Day-Have you ever watched "My Name is Earl ?"  Make a list of all the bad things you have done and fix them or Karma will make bad things happen to you.

  • April 4th, Victims of Violence Wholly Day-Befriend a victim of violence and do something nice for that person.

Image result for deep dish pizza

  • April 5th, National Deep Dish Pizza Day-Sounds like a delicious holiday.  I bet Domino's will be busy on this day.

  • April 6th, Drowsy Driver Awareness Day-If you are a drowsy driver, make everyone aware of the fact.  You wouldn't want to hurt anyone.

  • April 7th, No Housework Day-For me, pretty much everyday is No Housework Day.

  • April 8th, National D.A.R.E. Day-Say  "No" to drugs and alcohol...at least for this one day.

  • April 9th, National Cherish an Antique Day- Visit your parents or grandparents on this day.

Image result for sibling day

  • April 10th, National Sibling Day-Have no siblings?  No problem-adopt one for a couple hours.

  • April 11th, Barbershop Quartet Day-Go out and listen to some harmonizing.

  • April 12th, Walk on Your Wild Side Day-Go out and raise some cane!!

  • April 13th, Tax Freedom Day-Does this mean I don't have to pay taxes on anything today?

  • April 14th, Pan America Day-I still can't figure out what Pan America Day is.  All I know is Congress declared April 14th a holiday and every year on this day the President makes a speech.  So I guess you could listen to his speech (with the t.v. on mute).

Image result for take a wild guess

  • April 15th, Take a Wild Guess Day-Every time someone asks you a question, make something up, but keep a straight face when you're doing it.

  • April 16th, National Wear Your Pajamas to Work Day-Try to think how this would go over at work.  Maybe not such a good idea.

  • April 17th, Blah! Blah! Blah! Day-I see you talking but nothing but gibberish is coming out.

  • April 18th, Pet Owners Independence Day-Does this mean pet owners get to do whatever they want all day?

Image result for pot smoker

  • April 20th, National Pot Smokers Day-That's all we need is a bunch of stoners walking around.  They're all probably all at the grocery store because they have the munchies.

  • April 21st, Kindergarten Day-You know how you sometime wish you could be a kid again? Well, for this day you can.

  • April 22nd, National Jelly Bean Day- Gobble up some of these sugar filled pellets.

  • April 23rd, Talk Like Shakespeare Day-Or just talk like you're from England, it's the same thing.  Cheerio!

  • April 24th, Eeyore's Birthday-Throw him a birthday party with all your neighborhood friends, Why Bother!! is probably what he would say.

Image result for dna

  • April 25th, DNA Day- Leave a trail of blood for someone to follow (just kidding).

  • April 27th, Morse Code Day-Speak in Morse Code today.  Beep  Beep  Beep! Beep Beep!

  • April 28th, Workers Memorial Day-There need to be more of these kind of days throughout the year.

  • April 29th, National Dance Day- Rather than walking, dance everywhere you go (like that won't get you noticed by people).

Image result for hairball

  • April 30th, National Hairball Awareness Day- Maybe your cat can leave a little extra one for you in your shoe!