David Hasselhoff's bid to save North Korea, Google Nose and other April Fool's Day jokes

SCMP.com's picks of 2013's April Fool's jokes

PUBLISHED : Monday, 01 April, 2013, 4:36pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 02 April, 2013, 10:16am

For journalists, April 1 has to be the worst day on the calendar - especially those who are gullible.

April Fool's Day traditionally sees news organisations going all-out in a bid to fool their readers.

But this year it appears everyone was getting in on the act, with Google publishing two pranks and social media outlets posting their annual wind-ups.

SCMP.com pulls together the best April Fool's jokes of 2013.

1) Google Nose

Logging on to Google today, users may have noticed a new feature called Google Nose. When the user clicks the link they are taken to a beta site that promises "to offer the sharpest olfactory experience available".

As you click further through the beta site, readers are given the opportunity to "search for smells" - with examples ranging from "garlic breath" to "waffles".

Google even made a video which shows the user how to use the feature.

2) David Hasselhoff is the latest American celebrity to visit North Korea

Judging by his recent trip to Berlin to protest against the remaining part of the Wall being removed, the possibility of The Hoff turning his attention to North Korea at a time when nuclear war is threatened somehow doesn't seem that far-fetched.

German website tagesschau.de reported today that the TV superstar had been 'warmly welcomed' to the troubled country by leader Kim Jong-un, who, it said, was a big fan of Baywatch.

We say if anyone can bring peace to Korea, Knight Rider can.

3) The Guardian's 'augmented reality' glasses

As far as reader offers go, The Guardian's was worthy of first prize: specs with built-in anti-bigotry technology that will 'automatically redact columns by Melanie Philips or Richard Littlejohn'.

Furthermore, this groundbreaking eyewear, known as Guardian Goggles, overlays the wearer's view of their surroundings 'with a real-time stream of specially curated opinions from the paper's reporters, critics and commentators.'

Alan Rusbridger, editor in chief, went so far as to explain the new technology in a three-minute video for his most gullible readers.

4) Gmail Blue

At first glance it appears Gmail is launching a cool new feature that it's simply calling 'Blue'.

But closer inspection - and after viewing a tongue-in-cheek video featuring the search engine's top brass - reveals the prank: Gmail is launching a version of Google’s email service where everything is the colour blue.

"It's Gmail, only bluer!" says straight-faced project manager Richard Pargo in the video.

5) YouTube closing down

Tim Liston, competition director at YouTube, announces: "We are so close to the end. Tonight at midnight, youtube.com will no longer be accepting entries. After eight amazing years, it is finally time to review everything that has been uploaded to our site and begin the process of selecting a winner."

"I encourage everybody to watch as many videos as possible before YouTube deletes everything tonight," said Antoine Dodson, the Internet sensation whose interview about a house intrusion went viral after a musical version was posted on YouTube.

6) Bangkok Post: YouTube to release entire video collection on DVD

It would be one sizeable box set: YouTube's entire video collection released on DVD.

That was the April Fool's joke published in the Bangkok Post, which cleverly tied it in with the debate over lese majeste laws.

"A boxed collection of 14 DVD-9 disks contains all the YouTube videos ever submitted on Thailand – a full 70 hours of entertainment, information and trivia caught on video about Thailand," the newspaper claims.

A later version of the story carried the update: "There is something strange about this story. YouTube has not confirmed it and the news agencies seem to have missed it. Not only that but YouTube has just announced it is shutting down. (What's today's date again?)"

7) The Mirror: Virgin's glass-bottomed plane

It's actually a great idea that could really take off - but unfortunately The Mirror's story about Virgin Atlantic introducing a glass-bottomed plane is an April Fool's joke.

"It will offer an amazing “walking on air” experience, with the world at your feet," proclaims the British tabloid.

8) Twitter to charge over the use of vowels

"Annncng: Twttr" read the headline on the blog. "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."

Ny1 wh flls fr tht mst b stpd.