Friday, April 01, 2005

No fooling

April 1st is, of course, April Fool's Day, a traditional day for pranks, practical jokes, and fake news stories. But this week the mood is so somber that everyone seems to be avoiding the usual practice - that, or they're being so subtle and clever that I'm missing it.

The only clear example I've seen so far is Gareth's fake entry about a living colony of Dodos being discovered on Mauritius. This borders on being cruel, and is possibly dangerous to some people who tend to believe everything they see online. Still, I wanted to believe it was true, and I had to do some digging to determine that it was either a prank or a heavily under-reported story. So - Bravo, Gareth! You got me! Sort of.

I've seen some other stories about numbers in a fortune cookie leading to a lottery win - hey, it could happen - and about Ms. Handicapped U.S.A. being dethroned because a photo was taken of her standing - I'm pretty sure that one is real, but I wish it were a joke, and as it is I can't find the story now, so maybe it was a joke, but not a very funny one.

The one "joke" story I would like to read: President Bush admits that the failures and exaggerations in Intelligence reports that led up to the invasion of Iraq were in part the fault of the Administration dictating the conclusions that it expected to be drawn. In reality, the Presidential Commission on Intelligence seems to be placing the blame entirely on the Intelligence community, and none on the Bush administration. Where's an Independent Counsel when you need one?


Gareth said...

Glad I almost fooled you. I thought it was worth a shot. I didn't consider it too dangerous. No more dangerous than the BBC's famous "spaghetti harvest" of 1957.

On a related note, I read your October entry, and like you, I tend to look through my StatCounter list of referrers on a daily basis. These days they are mostly from Search Engine results, because my posts have brought me high up the rankings for lots of search terms. (You must try KeyWord Tracker if you're not already doing so. Totally free!)

Occasionally I do see some very strange search requests (who are these people?), in which Another Chance To See features high in the search results.

Here's a few of examples...
Baby Douglas Adams

Northern White Rhino Dung

and yes,
dod discovered new zealand

D.B. Echo said...

That damned spaghetti harvest screwed me up for years.

Actually, since it aired 11 years before I was born, I think I must be remembering a spaghetti sauce commercial using the same or similar footage.

Speaking of strange search requests, I'm hoping I've sent a few people your way who started out searching for something else. Check this entry:
Cathy Baker, Hee Haw, and how they relate to the Hubble Space Telescope and other endangered species