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Google has made a name for itself as one of the more proactive pranksters in the business world. Every year on April 1, the company tries to punk its followers with a new prank.Past pranks
The naughtiness stems back to 2000, when Google claimed that its “MentalPlex” could read your mind through your computer screen, allowing users to conduct searches on sheer brain power.
“With MentalPlex, you just project a mental picture of what you want to find,” explained Google, in its 2000 posting, accompanied by a hypnotic spiral.
Last year, Google claimed its site was featuring the world’s first 3D browser, but this was just another case of April Fool’s bunk.
The strange tradition of April Fools’ mass media pranks goes back to 1957, when the BBC broadcast a weird and untrue television segment about Swiss farmers harvesting spaghetti from trees.
Naturally, many of the viewers mistakenly thought the BBC story was real. – cnn.com
Here are a few 2010 pranks from Google:
Below are the pick of this year’s crop, from a urine-powered “compost accelerator” to a floating hotel for football fans and a crab that walks forwards (including *absolutely genuine* video footage). …
B&Q to harness power of urine in new natural compost accelerator
A new natural compost accelerator powered by human urine it to be trialed by B&Q at its New Malden store tomorrow.
The product, called Wee&Q, comprises a one litre bottle of urine collected from the store's plumbing system. Each bottle costs 10p.
A member of B&Q's green team said: "Urine is one of the best compost accelerators there is, but not everyone is happy to spend a penny on their heap as their garden may be overlooked.”
Lavatories from which urine is being used will be clearly marked and customers can use traditional lavatories if they think their urine may not be suitable for composting.
Straightforward Crab Discovered
The fishing community has been rocked with the news that a Cornish fisherman has discovered a crab that walks straightforward rather than the usual sideways.
Mario Perry, a fisherman for Seafood & Eat It, a fresh crab supplier for Waitrose, first found the unusual crustacean while walking his dog along the beach at Newlyn, Cornwall.
Richard Corner, Director of Seafood & Eat It, said "My brother Neville and I have been working with crab for over 10 years, and have never seen anything like this. Mario, our fisherman, is now a local celebrity. We’re hoping that the research we have under way with Waitrose will help us put this new, straightforward crab on the Cornish foodie map along with cream teas and pasties.”
Quentin Clark, Seafood Buying Manager for Waitrose, said: "The exciting thing about this crab is that is has a competitive advantage: it can move faster and is much more agile than usual for a crab. We know from experience that this means it should have a firmer, tastier flesh, which is very exciting for us as a retailer."
Click here to see the video of the remarkable discovery.
Couple saved from last-minute hitch with first-ever Windows Live Messenger wedding
A couple whose wedding plans were jeopardised when their vicar was held up on a slow-moving train resorted to modern technology to conduct their vows in the first-ever Windows Live Messenger wedding.
Following frantic calls with the vicar, the couple — who were determined not to postpone their wedding — borrowed a laptop and used Messenger to exchange their wedding vows via a live video call link-up with the vicar.
Newly-wed Andrew Moon said: "We've both been saving and planning for our wedding for over a year, so when we learnt that the vicar couldn't make it on time, our hearts just sank. Someone jokingly suggested doing it over email instead and the idea just evolved from there.
His relieved bride, Honey, added: “The whole ceremony took about ten minutes in total so was really quick and easy. It's a day that we'll remember for the rest of our lives."
Exhausted polar bear washed up on Isle of Mull
An RSPB Officer got the fright of his life when he came across a polar bear while conducting a routine wildlife survey on the Isle of Mull.
Dave Sexton said: “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."
On his return an hour later, Dave was amazed to find that the bear had disappeared. "We couldn’t find any trace of it. Luckily we have the photos, or I doubt that anyone would believe us. Having spent many years protecting threatened wildlife, I just hope this polar bear is going to be OK."
Islanders are now searching for the missing bear, which is thought to have drifted across to the island on an ice floe. The public have been warned not to approach the bear if they see it, as it may be hungry after its long journey.
2000 Guineas horse race to be renamed 2331 euros by EU bureaucrats
The European Union has stunned the horse racing world by insisting the first two Classics of the turf flat season, the StanJames.com 1000 and 2000 Guineas, adhere to current EU law — and change their name from the Guineas to the Euros.
Citing obscure EU currency legislation, Austrian MEP Lari Polof has called for the races to be renamed the 1165 and 2331 euros, the ancient coins' equivalent in euro currency, to “re-standardise the currency to prevent confusion among EU citizens”.
StanJames.com spokesperson Charlie McCann said, "This has thrown preparations for the race into complete disarray and both the Newmarket executive and ourselves are livid at this latest petty EU bureaucracy.
“This ludicrous decision will mean that race commentators Ian Bartlett and Simon Holt will need to be on their toes during the race just in case the exchange rate alters as the leaders enter the dip. It is possible that the race formerly known as the 2000 Guineas will start as the 2331 euros but finish as the 2335 euros.”
Diet Cola Bottle is world’s first negative calorie sweet
The Diet Cola Bottle, the world's first ever calorie negative sweet, is to hit Pic n’ Mix stands today.
The sweet, which burns more calories when eating and digesting than the sweet actually contains, was developed by Woolworths.co.uk and nutritional expert Professor A. Prilfoolius.
Each sweet contains seven calories, 50 per cent less than the original. Energy expended on chewing and digestion uses nine calories, meaning each sweet effectively contains minus two calories per bottle. Eating 100g of Diet Cola Bottles can clock up minus 140 calories.
Matthew Jacques, Head of brand at Woolworths.co.uk, says "The Diet Cola Bottle looks almost identical and tastes equally as good as the original cola bottle, but without the calories."
Hotel website launches overflow rooms to keep world cup fans afloat
The increased demand for accommodation in South Africa over the World Cup period has seen a range of floating, 'overflow' hotel rooms launched off the coast as the country prepares for a deluge of fans.
New ‘pontrooms’ which will be able to accommodate up to 1,500 football fans, are reached by boat and serviced from the mainland by an amphibious “front desk”.
The rooms, to be launched by Hotels.com and Flotilla Hotels, range from the five-star Ile Flottante Suites, which come equipped with a four-poster bed and Jacuzzi., to three-star glass bottomed rooms and two-star Lilypads offering “basic raft accommodation.”
At an extra cost, guests who wish to see matches in different locations can be 'tugged' along the coast to ensure they are moored in the most convenient locations at all times.
Lego to sand down sharp-edged blocks under EU health and safety laws
Lego has been forced to redesign all its bricks so that they come with rounded edges under new EU health and safety rules, which come into force today.
Staff at the Legoland park were this morning sanding down the edges of all models to avoid anyone hurting themselves.
Joel Whybrew, a 22-year-old model builder at the park, said: “I was a bit unsure at first but having shaved down this model crocodile it looks a lot better with smooth edges.
“Most animals have smooth skins so I guess it is quite silly to have models which are rough to the touch. Now children visiting Legoland in Windsor can stroke a crocodile — you can’t do that in the zoo.”
Kent moves three miles closer to France
An underwater chasm that extends the boundary of Kent three miles towards France has been discovered, making the county closer to the continent than previously thought.
Using ancient boundary maps unearthed by Visit Kent, a team of experts using hi-tech sonar equipment and local divers were able to locate a chasm extending from the southern coast of the county, effectively extending the border towards France by an additional three miles.
Visit Kent is now staking a claim on the new land, and is currently liaising with the Land Registry to register the additional coastline.
The new boundary line, dubbed the Poisson D’Avril line in honour of the man who discovered it — Professor D’Avril, from the Kent Seismology Department — will be honoured in an opening ceremony due to take place today in the Channel.
The Hotel and Restaurant Holt in Iceland has invited guests to have dinner surrounding the newest active volcano on Fimmvorduhals in Iceland.
While the crew travelled over glaciers in jeeps to get to the hot location and prepare the dinner on hot lava, the guests flew in on a helicopter. They landed on a glacier and their dinner was already prepared on the new lava field.
The guests were greeted with champagne before dining on fish soup, grilled lobster, monkfish and chicken breast.
All the food was cooked on the lava by Hotel Holt’s staff. Altogether, four chefs were responsible for the dinner.
Reddit ( http://www.reddit.com/ ) is making everyone an admin today. After you’re logged in, look next to your name and click “Turn Admin On”.
YouTube has a “text only” version of videos that “saves $1 per second” of bandwidth
StarBucks has two new drink sizes: Plenta — 128oz, Micra — 2 oz
Kodak is announcing “aromatography” after breakthroughs in “Neuro-Optic-Nasal-Sense Imaging”