April Fools: The Best of the Rest
By Keir Liddle
If you have digested our April Fools tomfoolery and japery, perhaps you either found it to be something amusing, or a juvenile prank that we should frankly be above at our ages. If the former, read on… If the latter, disengage your brain now to save yourself more pain, as this post will descend into the japery of some of the other people who created April Fools pranks today…
If you didn’t enjoy ours (you may still have a sense of humour), then you might not appreciate this post.
We start with a Scottish themed April Fool: a polar bear being washed ashore on Mull:
“We rounded a headland on the west coast of the island and saw a large, white shape lying by some rocks in the distance. As we got closer, I was staggered to see that it was a polar bear. At first I felt sure it was dead, but then I realised it was still breathing. Scarily, it opened its eyes as we got next to it, but didn’t show any other signs of moving. We grabbed a few photos and went off to get help.”
The poor creature had not, of course, paddled its way from the melting ice flows of the Artice circle, as it did not actually exist. This April Fools Day prank likely convinced more than it might have done due to its source: The RSPB.
Google got in on the April Fools action with their wonderful new application “Google translate for animals“, an app that allowed us all to become budding Dr Dolittles to understand the furrier, scalier and otherwise non-human denizens of this planet:
Making the world’s information universally accessible is a key goal for Google. Language is one of our biggest challenges so we have targeted our efforts on removing language barriers between the species. We are excited to introduce Translate for Animals, an Android application which we hope will allow us to better understand our animal friends. We’ve always been a pet-friendly company at Google, and we hope that Translate for Animals encourages greater interaction and understanding between animal and human.
I’m tempted to suggest that anyone who fell for that one is barking.
The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) became, perhaps predictably enough, a source of much April fool amusement. From a particle collider being added to the circle line:
London Underground is in talks with the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (Cern) about the possibility of using the 23km tunnel of the Circle Line to house a new type of particle accelerator similar to the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva.
…to the discovery of a “paleoparticle” (which may be a bit more on the science side than the humour side for most folks- including myself).
evidence of a new, massive neutral particle thought to have existed in the very early Universe. “It’s awful”, explains Alain Grand, still shocked by the discovery. “It left horrible tracks inside the detector that made the physicists on duty at the time feel quite sick”. No wonder. The particle consists of two strange quarks and one top quark but no beauty or charm quark. The physicists have nicknamed it the “neutrinosaurus” because of its repulsive appearance and prehistoric origins.
I’ve heard it argued convincingly that all CERN had to do to achieve a grand old classic April Fools Day gag would have been to write simply “oops” on their twitter feed. However, I’m not sure even that would have topped the Physics World‘s April Fools Day japery.
Should you trust Physics World, and one wonders what cause they have ever given you to doubt them, then you would be confronted with the knowledge that Professor Brian Cox, physicist, keyboard player and TV science presenter would be appearing in Coronation Street. Perhaps not too far-fetched, given Tony Booth (Cherie Booth, wife of Tony Blair – in case no one actually knows) and Ian McKellen have appeared previously in the soap. But then, you read some details about the character…
The Mancunian physicist is set to play the character Byron Knox, a particle physicist who works at Weatherfield Polytechnic.
Although details about the storyline for Cox’s character are scarce, physicsworld.com has learned that Knox used to work at CERN but returns to Weatherfield after being sacked for accidentally dropping his meat and potato pie onto an electrical connection at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider — stopping the experiment from working.
On an unrelated note, watch this:
So there you have it: a cross section of the other April Fools gags that tickled our fancies this year. Better or worse than ours? You decide…