10 Geeky Ways to Celebrate April Fools' Day

The Web is the epicenter of foolishness these days, but there are also ways to celebrate April 1 offline.

April Fools' Day has become increasingly geeky, since the Web, cameras and other high-tech tools make it so much easier to prank people. Here's a roundup of ways to make the most of your April 1.

Learn your April Fools' history

Here's a YouTube video giving you the quick rundown.

Hang out on Google

Google has become the master of April Fools' jokes, inspiring publications like ours to round up the flurry of gags to be found across Google's various sites, like we did last year when Nintendo Maps, YouTube DVD collections and Google Street Roos (shown here) surfaced. Google might wanna consider not touching Google Reader on April 1 though, given how upset many are about the company's decision to kill the RSS tool come this summer.

IETF knee-slappers

Only the real in-crowd will get most of the jokes sprung by the standards outfit on April 1 each year. Last year, for example, the IETF issued a phony request for comments that outlines use of Hide-and-Go-Seek techniques to encourage network privacy.

REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

Check out a Fools' parade

Some April Fools' Day parades are real, while others are just pranks. New York City's pretend parade, which gets an ample PR push every year, supposedly heads down Fifth Avenue and 59th Street and features the theme of "Forget the Big Bang Theory, Let's Just Go Out With a Bang." Then there's the actual St. Stupid's Day Parade in San Francisco, which tends to bash various religious practices and other targets. Check local listings (artsy theatres, colleges) for more such events.

App-ril Fools' Day

There are apps for everything else, so naturally April 1 has attracted plenty of creative app options, including these from the Apple App Store: "April Fool: Who is the greatest fool ever!", "101 April Fool's Day Prank Ideas" and the ever-popular "Broken Screen" app, that tricks your friends into thinking they ruined your smartphone. Just hope they don't drop the phone in shock, and really break the screen.


Run backwards

Technically, the Backward Mile road race in Essex, Conn., doesn’t take place until April 6, but it is part of the community's sixth annual April Fools' celebration. At left is a look at another backward race that has taken place in the past in New York City's Central Park.

Visit the virtual Museum of Hoaxes

This site has curated the top 100 April Fools' Day hoaxes of all time, and points out that there's even an audio version available. We don't recommend trying to find a physical museum, but if you must, the directions are: From downtown San Diego, get on I-5 north and keep driving until you see a giant floating jackalope.

Play an office prank

Here's a collection of office pranks caught on video. Before duplicating any of these, do remember: It's your job and not everyone has a sense of humor.

Watch a foolish movie

Searching through IMDB, there are several April Fools'-worthy titles, including teen slasher movie April Fool's Day (1986) and the direct-to-video "April Fools" (2007), which comes with this review, which indeed has a nerdy angle: "Deanna, 17, a young hottie, seduces Melvin the class nerd, only to set him up for a cruel April Fools' joke. She's joined in her prank by Missy, the goody-two-shoes; her boyfriend Malik, Eva the hip-hop diva; Scoop the jock; and Diego the bad-boy." Head back to 1969 and you can find "The April Fools" with Jack Lemmon and Catherine Deneuve, not that there's anything especially April Foolish about this one.

Cook up an April Fools' recipe

Mash up some fruit chews and voila, you have phony green beans! Many other ideas here, but do be careful about food allergies.

Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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