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Friday, April 1, 2011


April Fool!!!  In 1957, BBC televised that spaghetti tree hoax (please click on it, you'll never regret it!!).  Not much happened in history today, but the most important people I could find born this day were Debbie Reynolds in 1932 (mother of Carrie Fisher--father, Eddie Fisher, who dumped Deb for Liz), which  means, wow, Debbie is 80, and Susan Boyle (you MUST click on this to see the befuddlement and astonishing amazement of Simon and Piers--oh, that's Amanda Holden...on the right...between them, and she is 40 years old).  Susan is all of 50.  She looks older than me.

This is a day of foolish jokes and, yes, hoaxes.  This all began in in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (1632).  You can plan for 2012 by reviewing some potential pranks.  Be aware that Alex Trebek and Pat Sajak play games this day with their Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune (this one a year ago in Hawaii), sometimes with each other.  In 2005, NASA announced that water was found on Mars, with a photo of a glass of water on a Mars candy bar.

Unfortunately, on 1April1946, a 7.8 earthquake in the Aleutians resulted in an earthquake that killed 159 in Hawaii because most thought this was one of those April Fool's jokes.  Exactly a year ago, Charlie Sheen announced he was considering leaving Two and a Half Men.  Well, he is prescient.

Iran thinks they originated this day. In France (they call this April Fish Day), they attach a fish to your back.  There is even a web site of April Fool's jokes since 2004.

There is a 1986 movie entitled April Fools's Day, and another one in 2008.  If you're into Japanese anime, well, this should be worth your while.  I'm not.  But I'm in Japan, so, maybe this what Japanese youth think of this day.

Google re-named itself Topeka last year, and Topeka became Google for the day.  This year, this is a joke???  But that's part of the joke.  If you wasted your time on this, click on Google 2011.

In any case, this is early enough in the day, so you can now minimize getting fooled.  Pardon me, but let me skip Day 22 of the Great Tohoku Earthquake, Tsunami and Nuclear Disaster.  I do plan to Shinkansen to as far north of Tokyo as I can in two days.  Let's see where this takes me.

Heck, it's April 1, aloha to my first pirate:


In the popular modern imagination, pirates of the classical period were rebellious, clever teams who operated outside the restricting bureaucracy of modern life. Pirates were also depicted as always raising their Jolly Roger flag when preparing to hijack a vessel. The Jolly Roger is the traditional name for the flags of European and American pirates and a symbol for piracy that has been adopted by film-makers and toy manufacturers.
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Even though pirates raided many ships, few, if any, buried their treasure. Often, the "treasure" that was stolen was food, water, alcohol, weapons, or clothing. Other things they stole were household items like bits of soap and gear like rope and anchors, or sometimes they would keep the ship they captured (either to sell off or keep because it was better than their ship). Such items were likely to be needed immediately, rather than saved for future trade. For this reason, there was no reason for the pirates to bury these goods. Pirates tended to kill few people aboard the ships they captured; oftentimes they would kill no one if the ship surrendered, because if it became known that pirates took no prisoners, their victims would fight to the last and make victory both very difficult and costly in lives. In contrast, ships would quickly surrender if they knew they would be spared. In one well-documented case 300 heavily armed soldiers on a ship attacked by Thomas Tew surrendered after a brief battle with none of Tew's 40-man crew being injured.
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