On the search engine usually known as Google, users Thursday are having their computer redirected to Topeka. The city of Topeka, Kan., has been wanting to change its name to Google, so Google decided to change its own name to Topeka.
In explaining the April Fools' Day change, the search engine says Google employees once known as "Googlers" will now be called "Topekers" or "Topekans."
Starbucks is getting in on the April first fun, too. The coffee giant announced on its company blog that there will soon be two new drink sizes. "Plenta" is a hefty 128 ounces, while "Micra" is a tiny two ounces. Starbucks suggests once a customer is finished with a Plenta drink, the cup can be used for a rain hat or a lampshade. It says a Micra cup can be used as a milk dish for kittens or a paper clip holder.
In North Carolina, some Southern Pines high school seniors got an early start on April Fools'. According to a report in The Pilot, they replaced the sign out in front of Pinecrest High School with a large sign proclaiming the school building was for sale. The professional looking billboard proclaimed "any offers accepted."
In Britain Thursday, the nation's newspapers got in on the act. Headlines included: flavored newsprint, high-tech ferrets and the revelation that Britain's greatest writer was -- quelle horreur! -- half French.
The aren't true, but examples of the British media's proud tradition of April Fools' Day spoofs -- the unofficial April 1 competition to dupe the naive and unsuspecting.
This year, The Sun reported it has developed the world's first flavored newspaper page and invited readers to lick a square of newsprint "to reveal a hidden taste." Just below the spot to be licked was the fine-print warning: "May contain nuts."
The Daily Telegraph said an Internet service provider plans to use tunneling ferrets to deliver broadband services to remote areas, and BBC radio's "Today" program ran an item claiming William Shakespeare's mother was French.
The Daily Mail, meanwhile, claimed staff at car-breakdown service the Automobile Association are to be fitted with jet packs to fly over traffic jams and reach stranded motorists.
Some say April Fools' Day started with the creation of the Gregorian calendar in the 16th century, which changed the starting date of the new year from April 1 to Jan. 1. But associations between April 1 and tomfoolery stretches back to the Middle Ages, and some say the day's origins lie in ancient Indian and Roman festivals that celebrated foolishness and misrule.
The British media prides itself on a long tradition of elaborate hoaxes. In 1957, the BBC news program "Panorama" aired a story about the unusually strong spaghetti harvest that year in southern Switzerland. Straight-faced and convincing, it is now considered a classic April Fools' hoax.
Several spoofs on Thursday targeted Britain's next national election, which must be held by June 3.
The Guardian reported the Labour Party plans to tackle rumors that Prime Minister Gordon Brown has anger-management issues with a campaign slogan "Vote Labour. Or else."
It said strategists plan posters based on classic films "casting Brown as The Gordfather, the Terminator or Mr. Brown from 'Reservoir Dogs."'
The age of the Internet has created new opportunities for fun. Google's British home page on Thursday offered a new service, Google Animal Translate, promising to let you know exactly what your pet is thinking.
Advertisers get in on the act, too. A BMW ad invites British drivers to "show your true colors this election" with special hood ornaments in red, blue and yellow -- the colors of the Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties.
"In the event of a hung Parliament, we'll replace your badge for free," it says.
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