Is that headline you're reading real or is it an April Fools Day hoax? Some April Fools Day tricks are a little too obvious—bacon flavored mouthwash, we're talking to you—and then there are those stories that leave you wondering if they're real or if they're just a clever prank. Here are five of the best we found around the web:
1. One Publisher to Rule Them All:
Since the advent of e-readers and tablet devices, there's been plenty of change in the book industry and Amazon's been busy positioning itself as a major player. Exhibit A, last week's purchase of Goodreads. So how can the six major publishing houses compete with Goliath? According to book newsletter Shelf Awareness, they're joining forces to create one mega-publisher:
The CEOs of all six publishers will constitute a managing directorate and be co-co-co-co-co-co CEOs. Efficiencies resulting from the mergers will lead to downsizing in less essential areas such as editorial, publicity, sales and marketing, warehouse operations and customer service. In one of its first moves, Random Ha Ha/SSMac Penguin indicated that it is absorbing Bookish, which will be rebranded ReallyGoodReads.
As for Amazon, they're not content to merely dominate the book industry. They're infiltrating the CIA, too:
...reports have surfaced that the retailer's recent 10-year, $600-million agreement with the CIA to build a secure cloud for the agency has a secret protocol: Amazon is making an investment in the CIA, buying a 10% interest each year, which even using Amazon math, means it will own the spy agency after a decade.
2. Can't We Just Crowdfund the National Debt?
Welcome to the United States, home of a nearly $17 trillion national debt. But if we all chip in together, we can eliminate it, right? President Obama's certainly seems to think so. On the brand new Crowdfund the National Debt site he's making a personal appeal to each American to do what "President John F. Kennedy famously requested: 'Ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.'"
Heavy hitters like President Clinton are gung ho about the idea, too. "Man, this is a great idea. I bet this was Biden's thing, am I right? Joe, call me," Clinton's quoted as saying on the site. And even Paul Ryan's down for this bipartisan solution. "I've vocally disagreed with the President on pretty much everything related to the debt," said Ryan,"but I do like this crowdfunding thing."
3. That Time an Ingredient Was WAAAY Too Local:
Over at Medium, Village Voice restaurant critic Tejal Rao takes hot New York City pop-up eatery '13 to task for 12 cardinal eatery sins. Chief among them? They take the locavorism on their $120 menu a bit too far:
Spring’s first green nettles, foraged from the cracks in the chef’s driveway, and from the path leading from his garden shed to the back door, were dehydrated to a crisp and shredded with raw knotweed and wild catnip, then served with a lukewarm shot of smoked puddle water.
The presentation didn't improve things, either:
The plate was garnished with a warm embryonic fluid that tasted of baby corn and death. "Oh, but you're not supposed to eat that one!" The chef explained, "You’re only supposed to Instagram it."
4. Because Life Is Too Short to Think For Yourself:
Forget Google's Glass project, all you need for a truly "immersive liberal" experience is a pair of spectacles from U.K. paper the Guardian. The stylish, web-connected, augmented reality Guardian Goggles "beam its journalism directly into the wearer's visual field, enabling users to see the world through the Guardian's eyes at all times." That means you get a "real-time stream of specially curated opinions from the paper's reporters, critics and commentators." Along with restaurant and movie reviews, columns from "bigoted" conservative writers will be blacked out from your line of sight.
5. Your Ability to Meow Will Be on the Test:
Okay, okay, this one isn't exactly believable, but since it's pretty adorable, we had to include it. Ohio's Oberlin College has been taken over by cats. Don't worry, even though felines rule the school, the aptly renamed Meowberlin is still "a place of intense energy and creativity, built on a foundation of academic, artistic, & musical excellence." And, "with its longstanding commitments to access, diversity, & inclusion, Meowberlin is the ideal laboratory in which to study and design the world we want." Of course, there's no word on whether dogs are allowed on campus anymore.
What's the best April Fools "story" you read today? Tell us in the comments.
April Fools Day prank photo via Wikimedia Commons
Kindle photo via Wikimedia Commons