Cuéntame un cuento...

...o una historia, o una anécdota... Simplemente algo que me haga reir, pensar, soñar o todo a la vez, si cabe ..Si quereis mandarme alguna de estas, hacedlo a pues80@hotmail.com..

miércoles, abril 7

April's fools

(Another nice list published on Expat's Daily Telegraph. This time is a list of good April's fooleries. The old ones are the best.)

In 1957 Panorama announced that as the result of a mild winter and the virtual elimination of the dreaded spaghetti weevil, Swiss farmers were enjoying a bumper spaghetti crop. Cue footage of Swiss peasants pulling strands of spaghetti from trees. To callers asking for gardening tips, the beeb's switchboard said: "Place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best."

On April 1 1962 Kjell Stenson, Swedish television's technical expert, told the nation that, thanks to a new technology, it would be possible for viewers to convert their TV sets for colour reception. All they need do was pull a nylon stocking over the screen - and he proceeded to demonstrate for them, looking suitably pleased with the result for the benfit of a nation watching him on their black and white sets. Since Swedish television didn't start broadcasting in colour until 1970 one can only assume that optimistic Swedes spent eight years pulling a stocking on and off their TV.

In 1995 the Irish Times published a report about negotiations between Disney and the Russian government to purchase the embalmed body of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, which had been on display in Red Square since his death. Disney proposed moving the body to Euro Disney, it said, where it would be given the "full Disney treatment", including stroboscopic lights to tone up his pallid face, Lenin T-shirts for sale and excerpts from Ronald Reagan's "evil empire" speech played in quadrophonic sound. Liberal groups were said to be lobbying to keep the mausoleum empty thereafter "to symbolise the emptiness of the Communist system".

Two years ago the BBC announced that it had captured footage of Adélie penguins in flight, as part of its natural history series Miracles of Evolution and even offered a video clip of the miraculous event (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dfWzp7rYR4). Penguins can't fly because their wings are too small to support their body weight. A follow up video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzhDsojoqk8) showed how the special effect had been achieved. The clue should perhaps have been in the fact that it was Terry Jones playing the natural historian.

The Times reported in 1992 that Belgium was to be split in half with the north, Dutch-speaking part joining the Netherlands and the French-speaking south joining France. The British foreign office minister Tristan Garel-Jones went on television to discuss the hot, breaking story and a rival newspaper pointed out, rather po-facedly, that one would only find it funny if one found the notion of Belgium instrinsically funny.

In 1915, with the First World War in full swing, a French pilot flew over a German camp and dropped what appeared to be a huge bomb. Everyone scattered and it was some time before they crept back, unnerved by the lack of an explosion, to find a football where they had expected to find a bomb, with a note attached reading "April Fool!".

In 1993 China Youth Daily ran a story on its front page saying that the government had decided to make PhD holders exempt from the country's policy of allowing only one child per couple, the better to create a brainy population. The story was clearly marked as a joke, but this did not prevent it being picked up by a French wire service and beamed around the world. Another Chinese newspaper declared that "April Fool's Day is Liar's Day".

A 1973 radio broadcast featuring a doddery academic called Dr Clothier referred to the work of a Dr Emily Lang at the London School of Pathological and Environmental Medicine, who had found that exposure to Dutch elm disease immunised people against the common cold. Unfortunately there was also a side effect: it made red hair turn yellow and fall out, which was attributed to a similarity between the blood count of redheads and the soil conditions in which affected trees grew. Dr Clothier was, in reality - ta da! - Spike Milligan.

In 1992, amid the decay of the Soviet Union, the Moskovskaya Pravda announced that the forces of capitalism were coming to Moscow with a vengeance: plans had been finalised to build a new subway system for the Russian capital. The second metro was to be dug, it was explained, "in the interests of competition".

1984: the Orlando Sentinel featured a story about a craze for a new pet called the Tasmanian Mock Walrus. It was said to be approximately four inches long, looked like a walrus, purred like a cat and had the temperament of a hamster. Oh, and it ate cockroaches. A picture of a Tasmanian mock walrus accompanied the article. Some sceptics noted that the creature looked surprisingly similar to a naked mole rat.

The April 1998 edition of New Mexicans for Science and Reason carried a story by a physicist called Mark Boslough to the extent that Alabama's state legislature had voted to change the value of the mathematical constant known as pi from 3.14159 etc to the "biblical value" of three. Guess what it was a parodying?

In 1977 The Guardian published a seven-page supplement about several semi-colon shaped islands in the Indian Ocean known as San Serriffe. Its two main islands were called Upper Caisse and Lower Caisse and its leader was called General Pica. Each of the proper nouns is printer's terminology, making it a very "in" April fools joke. But it is credited with having kicked off an enthusiasm for similar pranks elsewhere in the British newspaper industry.

In 2007 a website called RealClimate.org posted a story about the work of a Dr Ewe Noh-Watt, who had discovered that global warming had been caused by the decline of New Zealand's sheep population. Sheep are white, you see, and collectively they increase the planet's albedo, which is the amount of sunlight reflected back into space. Terrifyingly, the good doctor also warned of a pernicious feedback mechanism, saying that as the temperature rose there would be falling demand for wool sweaters and woolly undies. Hence the sheep population would tend to fall, leading to even more warming.

It was 1965 and the Danish newspaper Politiken reported that parliament had passed a new law requiring all dogs to be painted white. This, it explained, would increase road safety by allowing dogs to be seen more easily.

Burger King took out a full page advert in USA Today in 1998 announcing the introduction to its menu of the left-handed Whoppper, designed for the USA's left-handed minority (of a lucrative 32 million). The ad stated that the new burger contained basically the same ingredients as the original but that all the condiments had been rotated 180 degrees for the benefit of their left-handed customers. Needless to say, thousands attempted to order them before it was revealed as a hoax.

More April's fools might be found at: http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/hoax/aprilfool/

Free counter and web stats