Ah, April Fool's. The one day of the year when media outlets and corporations can spout utter blarney to the general public without fear of reprisal. MT has scoured the web, pored over press releases and perused the newspapers to bring you the top ten April Fools from 2013.
1. Google Nose
The search giant yesterday unveiled plans for a 'new scentsation in search', Google Nose. The service is still in beta mode, admitted Google, but its 'aromabase' of more than 15 million 'scentibytes' is sure to entertain, featuring such wondrous odors as airport terminal, used napkin and wet dog. Safesearch included to protect you from nasty odours...
Google also turned its Google Maps feature into a treasure map (pictured above) and showed users of Google Analytics that 41 people were viewing their website from the International Space Station.
2. Virgin launches glass-bottomed plane
Branson blogged yesterday that his aviation whizzes had cracked the secret to creating a plane with a glass floor. 'I am incredibly proud of yet another aviation breakthrough which has been years in the making,' said the Virgin billionaire.
The new aircraft are to be launched alongside Virgin's new routes to Scotland, he said, which would allow passengers 'an unrivalled view of Scotland'. However, the launch turned out to be a whole load of hot air.
3. Twitter charges for vowels
Twitter earns zero points for plausibility for its April Fool. The micro-blogging site announced that it will henceforth be charging tweeters $5 to use vowels. Consonants are free, and in addition, the social network explains, it will always offer Y for nothing, even when it is used as a vowel.
Twitter’s VP of Product, Michael Sippey, apparently came up with the gaga while Wheel of Fortune after Twitter’s recent birthday party. A contestant shouted about wanting to buy a vowel - and Sippey's Eureka! moment struck.
4. Asda's 50 shades of toilet paper
In an attempt to titillate fans of E.L. James everywhere, Asda announced plans to launch a 50 Shades of Grey loo roll. The grocer struck a deal to sell limited editions of loo roll in 50 variations of grey with each ‘shade’ named after lead character Christian Grey’s traits, from ‘enigmatic’ to ‘obsessive’.
There was even a quote from Kevin Merden, Asda’s 'director of tissue buying', saying of the spoof toilet paper: ‘Much like Grey’s character all rolls are tightly wound and will take time to unravel.'
5. Schlide down the Shard
The Huffington Post broke the astonishing news that a helter-skelter called the Shlide is going to be fitted outside the Shard skyscraper in central London. 'The tantalisingly terrifying tornado, 'imaginatively' called The Shlide, starts from the viewing platform on the 72nd floor and plummets 244.3m to ground level,' says HuffPo. 'Riders will reach a dizzying 75mph on specially made mats created with NASA technology to resist the huge levels of friction generated.'
Presumably so its Qatari backers can make a speedy and exhilirating exit after enjoying the view...
6. Sony's electronics for pets
Sony yesterday unveiled its new 'Animalia' line of electronics, designed exclusively for domestic pets.
'We are stoked,' reads the press release, 'with this introductory line-up!'. Cats now have their own feline-fitted headphones and your dog will soon master the paw-friendly TV remote control. And what hamster wouldn't want a hamster wheel equipped with a home entertainment system?
7. Mumsnet offers 'vajazzling' course
Mumsnet offered a one-day course - 1 April 2013 only - in the theory and practice of vajazzling. 'Attend a two-hour exhibition with cutting-edge vajazzler Dr Flora Pisol MBE, whose contributions to the field have earned her the recognition of a raft of well-known public figures including model Katie Price, the Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, and Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, Ed Balls,' says the UK's leading parenting site. LOL.
8. Cats and dogs to be trained in housework
Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in London has announced that it has started training its four-legged inmates to do housework and gardening in order to help them find new homes.
Head of canine welfare Ali Taylor said: 'Gone are the days when someone was impressed that a dog did a ‘sit’ or lifted a paw. Now people want to know whether our Westies can wash up or if a Labrador can do the laundry.'
Star pupil Robin the lurcher 'can hoover an average-sized lounge in ninety seconds, while simultaneously dusting ornaments with his tail'.
9. Owl post
In a similar vein, Kirkleatham Owl Centre in North Yorkshire has responded to Royal Mail cuts by training its feathered friends to become posties. Budget cuts have forced the local Post Office to reduce staff numbers, leaving a backlog of mail, apparently. But luckily, eight of the centre’s 45 owls have now been specially trained since the ‘Roy-owl Mail’ project began last week.
10. Youtube is closing down
Youtube has announced that it was in fact founded in 2005 with the sole mission of finding the best video in the world. The video network will now select its pick of the squillions of videos currently hosted on the site - and shut down for good at midnight (last night). MT is pleased to report that Youtube is in fact alive and well today.
What were your favourite April Fool's this year? Leave your comment below?