Monday, April 1, 2013

2013 April Fool's Round-up

I've collected some of the better April Fool's posts I've seen this morning. If you see something I've missed, leave it in the comments and I may or may not update with more as the day continues!


Google Nose: "The new scentsation in search"

YouTube - Winner: The contest that has been known as YouTube has officially ended, and now it is time to find the single winning video.

Google Maps - Treasure: Street view divers discovered a treasure map and are sharing it with the world as an emersive layer on Google Maps (complete with ye olde Street Spyglass View)

Gmail - Blue: It's like the old Gmail you love... but blue.


Premium vowels: "Starting today, we are shifting to a two-tiered service: Everyone can use our basic service, Twttr, but you only get consonants. For five dollars a month, you can use our premium “Twitter” service which also includes vowels."


Scope Bacon Mouthwash: Yep.


Adventure Time BMO Interactive Buddy: "Powered by your iPad mini, BMO is ready to play video games with you."

Play-Doh 3D Printer: "A great introductory 3D printer for you or your kids."

Bane Mask Walkie Talkie: "With amazing hypercommunication technology, you can command your own League of Shadows!"


Fake show ads: Hulu is advertizing fake shows from other real shows like Itchy and Scratchy (The Simpsons), Robin Sparkles (HIMYM), Inspector Spacetime (Community), The Rural Juror (30 Rock), etc.

Virgin Atlantic/ Richard Branson

Glass-bottom plane: "And with an unrivalled view of Scotland I hope this gives Scottish tourism an even bigger boost."


Spray On Jeans: Yep.

US Army

Military working cat program: "The 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), is doing its part to cut down on military spending with the implementation of a new cutting-edge program which will use military working cats to work alongside military police."


Upload via Snailmail: "It became evident to us that a more non-traditional type of uploading is necessary to appeal to a broad user base which includes film users, the computer illiterate, and those afraid of radiation from scanners."

William Shatner/George Takei Star in Star Wars Episode VII

Whole Foods

Cattle Cam: "See what your meat eats"

Virgin Mobile

Ultra Fast 4G Pagers: "No contract beeps at the speed of awesome."


The Retro-Proto-Turbo-Encabulator: A breaking news report on the scientific breakthrough of... I don't even know.

Rhett and Link

Hilarious fake ads: Don't press the "Skip Ad" button (it's not real anyways!)


Vimeow: "We’ve been building an innovative platform — one that you can sit on and survey your domain; tenderly rub up against; or scratch fervently, as if trying to claw the eyes out of the human who refuses to put more food in your bowl. It’s a place to hide when people come over, and a way to connect with other feral, potentially rabid strays. It’s the home for your cat videos. It’s called Vimeow."

Chris Hadfield (Astronaut on ISS)

UFO Pic: "Orbital debris seems to be on a course moving a bit faster than ISS. I'll try to take more pictures if it swings by."

The New York Times

Times Haiku: "Serendipitous poetry from The New York Times"

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Small Potatoes

In my quest to find not-entirely-legal videos, I, as is often the case, went to a somewhat sketchy Chinese website. I do not read Chinese so I had Google translate the page to English for me. Unfortunately the link was apparently broken, but I got a good dose of entertainment from the translated error message.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Yes, you can even edit the Wikipedia page about Wikipedia.

In the second grade, my school's library bought a brand new edition of the Children's Britannica encyclopedia. Needing space in the already crowded library, the librarian turned to the teachers and asked if they knew of any students that could use a slightly outdated set. I was the lucky student and I remember poring over the pages, mesmerized by the complexity of the world (and the pretty pictures; yay, children's editions). In the dozens of reports I would write in the following years, I referenced the encyclopedia often. But as I grew older and picked newer or more complex topics, I began turning to the just burgeoning internet for sources.

Last month, Wikipedia celebrated its tenth anniversary. This didn't strike me as all that special in the grand scheme of things until I thought about how extensively Wikipedia has impacted my life (and I mean that with all due hyperbole).

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Character Study: Janitorial Nascar

Leaning against his unloved mop, the custodian gazes out over his domain, his mouth hanging awkwardly agar. His camouflage-patterned truck cap covers a head that seems unusually suited to his greasy mullet. Every 3-4 minutes he makes a pass with his mop at the salty residue dragged in from the snowy walkway outside. He disappears now and then but reappears a few minutes later to again mop one step on a stairway or a couple tiles on the floor, with no obvious longterm strategy. It is only when he mounts his trusty ride-on floor cleaner that we glimpse what revs his engine, so to speak. You can see in his eyes, as he makes each left turn, that he's playing out his dream of driving in NASCAR. The competitive spirit catches him and he completes as many laps around the building's foyer as he can reasonably justify. His mullet wafts in the slight breeze at the top speed of a few miles per hour.

Monday, January 31, 2011

"Avast ye debate pirates!" ~The 2011 Filibuster Reform Compromise

Last week, the Senate took up a debate that can only reasonably take place once every two years: whether to change the Senate rules, specifically those pertaining to the filibuster and the cloture needed to end one.

The romantic in me loves the filibuster. One senator showing the resolve to stand up for his (or her) beliefs and argue his cause. Every one can have his voice heard. And then the process continues, either the lone senator has rallied support, or he hasn't.

But, alas! That's only how the process works in my head. Nowadays the filibuster has been twisted into a stall tactic used to block even the most banal of bills. Either the minority has its way or no legislation makes it to an outright vote. Though such tactics have led most observers to agree that some sort of reform is needed, no one is saying that the Senate should get rid of the filibuster in its entirety.
In 1975, a similar point was reached. The senate majority invoked a 1957 decision by then Vice President Nixon and led a powerful compromise that took the constitutional (aka: "nuclear") option off the table in exchange for lowering the threshhold of votes needed to pass cloture from two-thirds (67 of 100) to the current three-fifths supermajority (60 of 100), excluding special cases such as with international treaties. Simple, right? After the change, another fifteen years of relatively civil discourse prevailed until the early nineties when the filibuster came back into vogue.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Character Study: British coffee biker

"That's not what you said!" he cried, tempering a wild gesture so as not to spill his coffee drink. The man was passionately holding a one sided argument with his female companion next to their shared motorcycle, the sleepy atmosphere of the grocery store parking lot extenuating the odd melodrama of the scene. Although most of the dialogue was obscured by either the bustle of the public setting or his half-hearted attempt to acknowledge it, the cadence of his British accent was always discernible. This was likely due to his voice's juxtaposition to its very American surroundings and seemingly American speaker.  One wonders what could have evoked such passion in this leather clad gentleman, this English Fonze. How long had he been traveling in the States and how many women had been on the wrong side of his latte-fueled tirades? Sadly, nothing remains of this enigmatic road-warrior except the brief impression left on the author.

Sunday, January 2, 2011


I have always had a warm, fuzzy place in my heart for Southwest airlines. Their recent advertising campaign has been targeted toward their lone refusal among major carriers to charge fees for checked baggage. I thought this was a nice gesture, but I rarely fly with more than a stuffed carry-on. Today, I saw a new campaign that hit much closer to home, and likely cemented Southwest as my preferred carrier.

Last year I flew more miles than I had during the rest of my life combined. A 2500-mile long distance relationship will do that to you. On one memorable occasion, I had booked tickets a month and a half ahead of a  visit to NYC with my girlfriend, who would drive down from upstate NY to meet me. We would then drive back upstate and I would fly back to SoCal from there. A bit complicated but it worked.