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On the First Day of April.....


Good Morning My Confidants!


I hope your weekend was wonderful.


Our Sunday was supposed to be gray and ugly with thunderstorms starting in the afternoon.


That's not what happened!


It started off gray and ugly all right, a little chilly, and then the sun burst out somewhere in the very early afternoon and it got up to be in the upper 70s and it was absolutely gorgeous!


What a blessing!


RBear had to work the whole weekend, he's in quarter end overtime, but the sweetie did something really special for us! When Noah and I came downstairs we discovered that he had left us with the Easter baskets!


Really really cute ones.


And mine had a Barbie doll in it! A really pretty one. I think she looks rather Samoan. And she is made from recycled ocean-bound plastics. I think that's pretty cosmic!


And if you're going to remind me how much plastic Mattel puts out each year and that it's going to hurt our environment, I don't want to hear about it. And I know who you are! You have told me many times before. Please keep your opinion to yourself. Imagine the world without toys. A sad place indeed!


You know, what might be cool.... If Mattel can make Barbies out of recycled ocean-bound plastic, maybe they should start something where you mail in your old Barbies and they'll recycle those! Now that would be cool! And it would help the earth.


Noah had to work Saturday, which I thought was ridiculous, but me complaining about it was only going to make it worse, so I kept it short (and then wished I hadn't even done that, I am still a work in progress).


He did have Friday and Sunday off, and that's great, and he was the force behind our wonderful Easter meal. He made asparagus with Parmesan cheese, sweet potatoes with pistachio pesto, roasted rainbow carrots, a veggie loaf, and I made the lamb sirloin chops. What a wonderful meal!


Today is April Fools' Day! I thought about pulling something, but when we did that a few years ago it caused a practice that we still occasionally hear about. We had read that Colombia was now allowing for polyamorous marriage, in fact three men got married. So we joked that we were packing up and moving to Columbia the three of us could get married. That we had found new jobs and everything. And everybody believed it. I think about 10% of the people instantly realized it was a joke and that's it. And before the day was over we made sure everybody knew it was a joke, and we still get comments like, "When did you guys move back to the United States? Will the three of you be considered married here?"


Things that make you go, "Hmmm...."


Noah used to pull someone wonderful April Fools' jokes on his Facebook page and he got everybody all the time, and before I moved here, he got me a couple too. He knew how to make them just straddle the line so you could believe it might have actually happened. Like when he said he went parachuting / skydiving, and then when he said he got ordained. He's a master at that, but as far as I know he's not pulling anything today!

As far as I know .... LOL!


A local radio station here in Kansas City used to pull some great jokes on April 1st. For instance, the Broadway Bridge was a toll bridge several years to help pay for its construction, with the promise that an uncertain year that would stop. It did not stop. It actually came up to a vote! It was a landslide in making the bridge free. The very next year the radio station announced that the city had lost so much money by this, that they had decided to make it a toll bridge again. It crashed the city switchboard! Everybody believed it. And then the next year they said that Kansas City had decided to do a new policy on dog license, and it would be a sliding scale on how much it cost by how much your dog weighed. Small dogs would be practically free and large dogs could be upwards of a hundred or more dollars. Apparently, it crashed the city switchboard again.

I understand they got into quite a bit of trouble....


People simply have no sense of humor! And haven't I posted more than once on this blog the healthy benefits of laughter? And of getting your head out of your ass?


Ah, well....


There was an interesting little article this morning in CBS about the origins of April Fools' Day.* It seems we don't really know. It has been traced back to Rome, but no one knows if there's any accuracy to that at all. Something to do with the Hilaria festivals celebrated during classical Roman times. The festival was held on March 25 which was called the "eighth of the Calends of April." How this relates to April Fools' Day I don't know.


Another Roman tie in happened when a young recorder called the college professor asking for information on the origins of the holiday, and as April Fools' joke, the professor just made up this crazy story, figuring the kid went back check it, he didn't, and it got published! Ooopps!


The article goes on to say that another possibility had to do with, "France [possibly being] responsible for the humorous tradition, tying it to a calendar change in 1582.... That [was the] year France implemented the Gregorian calendar, shifting the start of the New Year from the Spring Equinox, which usually falls around April 1, to January 1. After the change, people who wrongly celebrated the new year in late March and early April were called 'April fools.'" I don't know, but it sounds French!


And..... "The first clear reference to April Fools' Day is a 1561 Flemish poem by Eduard De Dene, which tells the story of a servant being sent on 'fool's errands' because it's April 1..." That means the day was already called April's Fools' Day in 1561!


So..... CBS didn't answer the question of the origins of April's Fools' Day....


And there have been some great famous pranks over the years!


For instance, in 1957, the BBC aired a segment claiming that Swiss farmers were harvesting spaghetti from trees. Eight million people tuned in to watch Panorama’s three-minute feature on the Swiss spaghetti harvest, and were shown footage of people plucking strands of spaghetti from tree branches. Many believed it, despite the absurdity, and called the BBC to inquire about growing their own pasta trees, and were told to place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best. ** LOL!!


In 1980, the BBC World Service announced that the Big Ben clocktower would be going digital, and would henceforth be known as ‘Digital Dave’. The new and improved monument wouldn’t just tell the time – it would also issue a five-minute news bulletin every night. On top of that, the iconic bongs would be replaced with beeps. Many people called in to express their outrage. **


In 1962, in Sweden, viewers of Sveriges Television were tricked into believing they could transform their black and white screens with an easy DIY hack. Kjell Stensson, a ‘technical expert’, went into intricate detail on how stretching a mesh sheet over their screens could bend the light’s wavelengths, allowing viewers to see in full technicolor. Luckily, this could be easily achieved with an item found in many homes: nylon stockings. ...thousands of people fell for it. (I think I peed a little when I read that one!) **


In 1996, Taco Bell took out a full-page advertisement in seven leading U.S. newspapers announcing that the company had purchased the Liberty Bell to "reduce the country's debt" and renamed it the "Taco Liberty Bell". The ad was created by Jon Parkinson and Harvey Hoffenberg who worked at Bozell, the Taco Bell advertising agency at the time, and went on to win several industry awards. Thousands of people called Taco Bell headquarters and the National Park Service before it was revealed at noon the same day that the story was a joke. The prank cost $300,000, but generated an estimated $25,000,000 worth of free publicity, with a sales increase exceeding $1,000,000! I remember that one! ***


One of my favorites is of a video has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times in multiple posts on Weibo, Facebook and Twitter which claim it shows penguins flying. The video is actually computer-generated spoof created by the BBC in 2008 as part of an April Fool's Day hoax. They didn't even catch on when they saw who was making the announcement, Monty Python’s own Terry Jones!. ****




One of the most audacious pranks of all time was the fake eruption of the Mount Edgecumbe volcano in Alaska. It was carried out by a local logger named Oliver ‘Porky’ Bickar and was a hoax years in the making. Bickar diligently collected 70 tires which he stashed away in an airplane hangar, waiting for an April Fool’s Day with clear enough skies and the right weather conditions to pull off his plan. That day came in 1974 when Bickar used a chartered helicopter to deposit the tires into the volcano’s crater. He then doused them with fuel and lit them, causing a satisfyingly thick and ominous plume of smoke to billow up. Local townsfolk rushed into the streets, fearful that the long-dormant volcano was going to blow. While the police and fire service were in on the joke, Bickar had forgotten to inform the Coast Guard. They flew over to inspect the situation, but instead of seeing molten lava, they saw the old tires ablaze, surrounded by giant spray-painted letters reading ‘APRIL FOOL’. **


I hope my entry today made you laugh! It was certainly meant to!


And for those of you who get pissed off by the whole April Fools' Day thing, take a moment to reflect. Is this really the hill you want to die on? Or maybe you should just laugh!


It's good for the mind and heart and soul!

Namasté,

BG "Gentle Ben" Thomas



** 7 Incredible Aprils Fool’s Day Pranks from History:  https://www.history.co.uk/articles/april-fools-day-pranks










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Guest
Apr 03

You ways fill us with such good and noteworthy information. R Bear is the best! Happy Day!!😁

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I vaguely remember that Taco Bell prank. Fun!

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LOL! You had some I never heard of, and a fun reminder of the Taco Liberty Bell, which caught a couple of my co-workers--until reminded them of the date.

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Looks like RBear did good! :-)

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He really did!


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Guest
Apr 01

From Marj: Maybe April Fools' Day is the joke? Yes, I have seen some good jokes and some that hurt people (unintentionally I hope). I hope that, in the scales of balance, it is a happy, makes you smile, kind of thing. My fed taxes were accepted. Yeah! Waiting on the state'



s now. Always glad to get those done!

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Hooray! Good for you!!!

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