Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma, Tonga

Friday, April 01, 2005

Holy Day of your idiot opens those

April Fool’s Day warrants special observances. In our home we take this day seriously, annually renewing our dedication to folly. I eagerly anticipated opening up Google this morning, hoping to see the marvelous decorations noting this day. After all, this is the seventh year that Google has created special holiday pages; since the beginning of this year, memorable Google homepages have marked both widely- and narrowly-observed holidays.

For instance: on 1 January 2005, the multicolored Google logo floated over its shadow, which cleverly carried the colors of the original letters but transformed the word “Google” into the numeral “2005”; the Valentine’s Day masthead replaced the first letter “o” in Google with a heart-shaped bouquet of red roses; International Women’s day on 8 March mutated the generic second letter “o” into the ankh-ish symbol for woman (♀); and on World Water Day , 22 March 2005, the Google logo appeared only half-filled with blue water (the upper half of the word drained of color), which was dripping into a pot below.

Even Vincent van Gogh’s birthday got the holiday treatment.

Because this year April Fool’s Day comes so soon after Purim, I still retain residual giddiness from last week the way Rosie O’Donnell retains water. [You remember Purim, don’t you—the original, pre-Pen-Elayne Esther-gen Day? ] Imagine my dismay this morning upon registering the fact that Google obviously does not worship at the same place that I do.

Still, Google’s Translate feature affords some small entertainment for the goofy. Play with this ladder translation:

April Fool’s Day
Tag Des April Dummkopfs (English to German) →
Jour de l'avril d'imbécile (German to French) →
Day of April of imbecile (French to English) →
天4月蠢人 (English to Chinese BETA) →
Day in April fool (Chinese to English BETA) →
Giorno nello sciocco di aprile (English to Italian) →
Day in the fool of you open them (Italian to English) →
あなたの愚か者の日はそれらを開ける (English to Japanese BETA) →
Day of your idiot opens those (Japanese to English BETA).

Proof again that translation is an art, and that Google Translate is less an accurate translation tool than a low-art amusement.

For real fun let your inner idiot direct you to open the Museum of Hoaxes’ splendid page, "The Top 100 April Fool's Day Hoaxes of All Time." The Museum commemorates an international cast of inspired pranksters, honoring the brilliance of Burger King’s marketing the “Left-Handed Whopper” and the too-believable hoax that the Alabama state legislature had voted to change the value of the mathematical constant pi from 3.14159 to the 'Biblical value' of 3.0.

Ninety-eight more stations of the double-cross await the true believer.

While you’re online, don’t miss:

Rox Populi’s guest blogger Michelle Maklin, who sports a fetching new hairstyle for the occasion;

Jesus' General, the Patriot Boy, getting "Cornered" at National Rebuke Online;

Pinko Feminist Hellcat descending into Barbie-dimension pink while railing that there is no draft, that hateful liberals target Ann Coulter, and much more;

The American Street’s World Nut Doily, “Faux Press for Freaky People”;

The Heretik, who found the Burning Desire of Laura Bush;

That Colored Fella’s Weblog, where La Shawn Barbarella amply illuminates why God Made Me Popular for a Reason.

UPDATE: I looked for the obvious at Google, and missed the truly inspired promotion for the Google Gulp!