Monday, April 20, 2009

Period of Grace

I apologize to all for my silence. It's been a rather busy month. Busy and then company. But the worst was when my internet connection went down. I am still waiting for the technical issue to be resolved...hopefully this week. Shaw has promised to send an IT technician on Wednesday. In any case, I haven't abandoned you, nor jumped on the Facebook bandwagon. I have posts started, even if they're not completed, and I look forward to getting back online soon and catching up on all your stories.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

April Fools

On April 1, 1957 the British news show Panorama broadcast a three-minute segment about a bumper spaghetti harvest in southern Switzerland. The success of the crop was attributed both to an unusually mild winter and to the “virtual disappearance of the spaghetti weevil.” The audience heard Richard Dimbleby, the show’s highly respected anchor, discussing the details of the spaghetti crop as they watched video footage of a Swiss family pulling pasta off spaghetti trees and placing it into baskets. The segment concluded with the assurance that, “For those who love this dish, there’s nothing like real, home-grown spaghetti.”

The Swiss Spaghetti Harvest hoax generated an enormous response. Hundreds of people phoned the BBC wanting to know how they could grow their own spaghetti tree. To this query the BBC diplomatically replied, “Place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best.”

To this day the Panorama broadcast remains one of the most famous and popular April Fool’s Day hoaxes of all time. It is also believed to be the first time the medium of television was used to stage an April Fool’s Day hoax.