Saturday, April 2, 2011

Who's Gullible?

Yesterday was the day when crap loads of people got fooled, one way or another. Over the years, we have heard countless stories about people getting pranked. You have probably pulled one or two yourself.

I did pull one myself yesterday, although it was totally done on the fly. I also did get pranked - first thing in the morning, no less. This happened despite my repeated warnings to myself the night before. (Numi to self: Tomorrow's April Fools' Day. Take everything with a grain of salt.) I guess there is no doubt about it - I am totally gullible in the first hours of my day!

Anyhow, all those shenanigans distracted me into checking out the greatest April Fools' hoaxes of all time.

I think my favorite is the April 1998 issue of New Mexicans for Science and Reason. In this issue, it was reported that the state of Alabama had changed the value of pi from 3.14159 to 3.0. Rounding up does make for nicer results, doesn't it? Believe it or not, the Alabama legislature received hundreds of calls - not so nice calls, at that. I don't know exactly who was responsible for the prank, but if I were him, I would have had personalized stationery gifts made with the "new" value of pi, and I would have sent them out!

Another really hilarious prank was done by The Guardian in 1977. They published a supplement to the newspaper - all 7 pages of it! - about San Serriffe, a group of islands supposedly found in the Indian Ocean. The give away? The islands were shaped like semi-colons. Oh, and the main islands were named Upper Caisse and Lower Caisse. Again, believe it or not, people bought it. The British newspaper received calls all day from people asking about the dream destination.

All this foolery is now over - for the year. Some have totally enjoyed it, while others have had their tricks blow up in their face. Whether or not you subscribe to this silliness, you have to admit that there are some really gullible people out there. This one will not say that she is not one of them - every now and then, at least.A

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