Happy April Fools! All jokes aside, we have a no-fooling show with a look at all sides of pranks, hoaxes, cons, and the experts who study and make them happen. Whether you're the creative pranker or the reluctant prankee - we've got the April Fools show for you. Oh, and don't forget your headphones! You know, just in case you can't listen inside your plastic-wrapped car.
Listen to the whole show and click Read more for individual segments.
April 1st. A day dedicated to rubber bands on faucets, tinfoil-wrapped cubicles, plastic-wrapped cars, and universal remotes. A lot of terms are thrown around in connection to April 1st - prank, hoax, practical joke, con, gag, shenanigan. While we can likely agree that all of these terms have some aspect of "fooling," how do they differ in nefarious-ness? So let's get down to it - how do pranks, hoaxes, and cons differ from each other, and what are some of the best?
Public radio has a long history of pranking listeners on April 1st. Like the time listeners complained in droves to NPR about a story on farming whales in huge pools in Bellesville Illinois. And that time Weekend ATC reported the exciting discovery of Beethoven's lost 10th Symphony.
Today on Word of Mouth, we delve into the consequences of solitary confinement. Then a trip to the Internet reveals that cyberspace is chock full of fakes and fails; Photoshopped images can quickly become viral and shared as authentic. But history is full of giant hoaxes, too, as we learn from Nate Dimeo of the Memory Palace Podcast. Then we hear about The Encyclopedia of Ethical Failure, which isn’t one of those Darwin Awards-style coffee table books. It’s a real government document that catalogs bribery, graft, and other infractions in the Department of Defense. Finally, NHPR's Sean Hurley visited the Jackson biathlon range - the only dedicated course in New Hampshire - to find out more about this unusual sport.
Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.
As Melissa Block and Audie Cornish will explain later on All Things Considered, last year some pranksters hung a portrait on a hall in the Pentagon with a plaque saying it was "Ensign Chuck Hord. USNA circa 1898. Lost at sea 1908."