Eavesdropping on the population has revealed many saying “I’m not doing anything wrong so who cares if the NSA tracks what I say and do?”[more inside]
Citizens don’t seem to mind this monitoring, so we’re hiding recorders in public places in hopes of gathering information to help win the war on terror. We've started with NYC as a pilot program, but hope to roll the initiative out all across The Homeland.
The Washington Post has attempted to comprehensively list all April Fools pranks and hoaxes appearing on the internet today, helpfully separated into categories. There's still April Fools Day on the Web (mentioned twice, previously) which has a collection of jokes, spoofs and parodies around the internet, with annual records going back to 2004. For older records, there's a far from complete Wikipedia list of April Fools' Day Jokes, with a slim selection of notable hoaxes going back to the 1950s, while the Wikipedia article on April Fools' Day goes back much further. Snopes breaks down the legends behind the term (previosuly).
An electric door at the University of Mainz in Germany breaks down, setting off an exuberant meme-off. Because "One does not simply inform...the Techniker" . [more inside]
Controversial public art is nothing new in Colorado, the state whose largest airport welcomes you with Blucifer, the red-eyed demon mustang who tragically killed his own sculptor. But for many citizens of Durango, CO, this summer's $28,000 installation of Tom Holmes' piece "Arc of History" wasn't unsettling so much as simply aesthetically insipid. Described as "a giant stone Batman signal," "a flying piece of excrement at the intersection of Highways 160 and 550," or more succinctly, "Turd Rock," Arc of History drew little praise until last week, when an anonymous local resident placed a handmade dinosaur head atop the sculpture on Halloween. But Arc of History's new Mesozoic look was not to be. On Monday afternoon, police received a call that a group of local youth had pilfered the head, sending Durango residents in an uproar. On Wednesday evening, the Durango Herald reported that the dinosaur head had been surrendered to police custody: [more inside]
You're Nick Santonastasso, you got an ...interesting... sense of humour so you team up with uber prankster Vitaly Zdorovetskiy to scare the shit out of people, making full use of the fact that thanks to Hanhart syndrome you only have one arm and no legs by playing a dismembered viction of a chainsaw wielding maniac. [more inside]
The Republican Party began selling new web domains ending in .gop today at www.join.gop. Public interest has definitely been sparked, but perhaps not for the reasons Republicans have hoped. [more inside]
Fake Chef Pranks 5 Shows Into Making Disgusting Dishes (SLHuffPo with video)
The Berners Street Hoax - On November 26th, 1810, at 5 o’clock in the morning, a chimney sweep appeared at Mrs. Tottenham’s door.
"Me and the boys played a bit of a joke on our mate Russ. Kegs of beer have been plumbed into every tap in the house, with loads of cameras to catch the action. Took us all day to set up but it was worth it when the icy cool beer came pouring out." (SLYT)
While filming Star Trek Into Darkness, Simon Pegg decided to play a prank on his costars and convinced them that they needed to use something called “Neutron Cream” whenever they were shooting in a specific location. Their reactions are fantastic. [via]
Gnomeland "New Hampshire's Premiere Gnome Destination!" Also known as, what happens when friends play a prank on you and install 500 handpainted gnomes in and around your house. Full Flickr set [via mefi projects]
Victoria's Secret has a new line of feminist-friendly underwear: PINK ♥s Consent. Except not really -- it's a hoax site created by FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture. The internet's response has been tremendous.
2Day FM's DJs Mel Greig and Michael Christian phoned the King Edward VII Hospital from Australia on Wednesday morning pretending to be the Queen and Prince Charles asking for an update on the condition of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. The call was described as a prank by the DJs who made it and foolish by the hospital. The nurse who answered the call, Jacintha Saldanha, was convinced by the impersonation and relayed confidential medical details. Today Ms Saldanha was found dead, early reports indicate the death is not suspicious and is suspected to be suicide. [more inside]
Remember that great scene in "Toy Story 3" when the toys were about to fall into the incinerator? Well, a couple of siblings with a copy of Final Cut Pro decided to make the movie end there, with the toys going off to a fiery end - then showed it to their mom, who had never seen the film, and told her that was the real ending. [slyt]
Dave Hartnett was surprised with an award this week for his services to tax avoidance. He was celebrating his retirement as head of the UK's tax and customs department, where he agreed "sweetheart" deals with Goldman Sachs and Vodafone, letting them off outstanding tax bills. Cue some pleasantly awkward confusion as the partygoers realise what is going on.
Little brother hacked your Facebook profile? Redecorate his room for a teenage girl. In Dutch, with subtitles. [SLYT]
In light of today's news that one of two Shell ships slated to drill exploratory oil wells in the Arctic waters of Alaska's Chukchi and Beaufort Seas had slipped its moorings and was headed towards Dutch Harbor, in Alaska's Aleutian Islands... check out a collaboration between the Yes Men and Greenpeace that's been online since June: arcticready.com (Twitter) -- an elaborate site spoofing Royal Dutch Shell Plc, who have uh... promised not to sue.
It started because of an odd ad for denture containers, Tooth Garage (for sanitary, safe parking of false teeth), and became one of the gags in Marvin Glass' collection of novelty products (whose gags would include fake vomit [prev], Rock ’Em Sock ’Em Robots, and more [prev] ); usually an inexpensive prank item or toy, but valuable when used as a promotional item for The Rolling Stones: Yakity-yak Talking Teeth, the history.
The Observer ran a series of columns by Richard Geefe, a writer whose work was interrupted by his promise to himself and his editors that he would kill himself before the end of November 1999. First, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth, eleventh, and the posthumous twelfth. Reaction in The Independent. [more inside]
For years, there was a rumor of practical joke recorded during the shooting of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Specifically, Instead of Indy being whipped by a Thuggee slave-driver, Barbara Streisand came in, wearing a dominatrix outfit, and starts lashing Indy with his own whip. Then Carrie Fisher jumped to Indy's defense, and director Irving Kershner criticized Steven Spielberg's directing of the scene. Well, it's not just a rumor (YT 1:25, with transcript).
When Brandon left for camp, his last words were, "stay out of my room!" Unfortunately for Brandon, he has the
meanest most awesome family in the entire world. [more inside]
Alaska man prints poster-sized boarding pass. No extra TSA pat downs, no enraged passengers.
"Hi Rob. You know how we said we were going to have a 6 month party in your room?" Rob's roommates had a good time while he was away.
Spanish TV hidden camera prank with a fun twist -- Place a creepy, ghostly little girl in a hotel hallway. [more inside]
PhDChallenge.org proposed a challenge: To have the phrase "I smoke crack rocks" included in a peer reviewed academic paper. The winner is Gabriel Parent from Carnegie Mellon, who included it in his paper [PDF].
The people of 4chan are at it again. They are now trying to hijack the voting for Justin Bieber's next touring destination. Their goal: to send him to North Korea. There are now almost half a million votes to send Bieber to the secretive communist nation.
Fucking Magnets, Here's How They Work. Noisebridge visits Insane Clown Posse fans to help them understand how magnets, rainbows, butterflies, and other mysteries of science work. Insane Clown Posse prefers ignorance, and responds with anger and threats of violence. Previously. Background.
Improv partout? N'importe qui descends on an amateur football (soccer) match outside Montpelier, Improv Everywhere style. Allez, pantless dude in the sombrero! The force behind this is Rémi Gaillard, a shoe salesman turned French prankster. My favorite prank is Le Tour de N'Importe Qui, which turns unsuspecting casual cyclists into trophy-winning heroes. (videos contain brief images of male nudity from behind)
"My new bank, Ally Bank, configures a security question and answer for customer service calls. In addition to your SSN, date of birth, and mother's maiden name they also ask you the question you specify and wait for the answer you've provided. A real live human operator always asks the question and waits for a real live answer. This measure has the potential to not just improve my account security but add entertainment value as well."
"Our plan is not to shout them down, but to infiltrate them and push them farther from the mainstream." Inspired by San Francisco's counter-protest to the Westboro Baptist Church protest at Twitter headquarters, Jason Levin is organizing groups to dress like Tea Partiers, talk like Tea Partiers, and carry signs like Tea Partiers. In fact, according to Levin, his Tea Partiers will be completely indistinguishable from Tea Partiers, except for one thing--they won't be out-crazied by anyone.
Roommate Leaves Town, Christmas Prank Ensues [SLYT]
NY Post Special Global Warming Edition (courtesy of The Yes Men). Thousands of hard copies hit the streets of New York at the crack of dawn.
The Smoking Gun turns the table on a group of pranksters allegedly responsible for terrorizing strangers over the phone: Outing An Online Outlaw describes how the group leader used skype, an unprotected wifi connection and his mothers bedroom to engage in what TSG calls "an orgy of criminal activity."
So you're a minor-league pitcher in the Blue Jays system, not an exceptionally good one - a non prospect. So what do you do? You blog about a great prank you played on a teammate.
When Man on Wire won a Grand Jury Prize: at Sundance this year, many could hazily remember Philippe Petit's high-wire walk between the World Trade Center Towers in New York in 1974 (previously) but few knew the extent to which the entire endeavor was a wacky multinational caper. [more inside]
Just saw a news report that you were on. Cool! Here is the link.
Just saw a news report that you were on. Cool! Here is the link.
A few days ago a post appeared on the Something Awful forums noting a curious website called Notes to Mary. The notes are a series of threatening letters from a high schooler named Robert to his crush, Mary. The goons figured out pretty quickly that they had an ARG on their hands and went to work on solving the puzzle. Several other forums picked up on the game. Robert began interacting with players, sending them strange messages and several series of numbers that appeared to be some sort of code. A Flickr pool was started. Players even created an IRC channel to swap clues and information in real time. The Notes to Mary site offered a link to a login. All effort was made to crack the user/pass combo. Finally, several days after the game began, users were finally able to log in. The game was solved. The players would be rewarded for their hard work. Where did the login lead? Here. [more inside]
In the late '90s, pop-culture historian Bill Geerhart had a little too much time on his hands and a surfeit of stamps. So, for his own entertainment, the then-unemployed thirtysomething launched a letter-writing campaign to some of the most powerful and infamous figures in the country, posing as a curious 10-year-old named Billy.
In 2003, Jordan Morris was bored. So, he did what any normal college graduate would do to entertain himself -- he made up a complicated and absurd story in order to prank a prank show, MTV's Burned. Particularly enjoyable: Jordan's absurd flopping about when the "burn" is "revealed." Jordan Morris is the co-host of Jordan, Jesse, GO! and friend-of-MetaFilter The Sound of Young America (previously here, and elsewhere.)