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Sun April 1, 2012
NPR Source: Tweets Will Shrink To 133 Characters
Happy April Fools' Day!
Rest easy, that headline was just a joke. You still have 140 characters to compose a tweet. Believe it or not: The productivity of the newsroom took a hit to come up with that fake headline. A whole host of people across NPR contributed a bunch of ideas. These were our 20 runners-up:
-- NPR Blogger Wins Mega-Millions Jackpot
-- Ford: All New Cars Will Have Air Bags For Cats and Dogs
-- Citing Safety Risks, 30 States Outlaw 'Driveway Moments'
-- More Teens 'Going Amish,' Shunning Technology
-- Facebook Adds 'Meh' Button
-- Facebook App Lets Friends See Your Tax Returns
-- Biden Out, Boehner In As Obama Shuffles Team
-- House, Senate, White House Agree On Budget
-- How Your Brain Is Like A Turkish Bath House
-- Limbaugh, Olbermann Plan 'Unity Tour'
-- Scientists: Pink Slime Is Really Chartreuse
-- Lady Gaga To Open Olympic Ceremonies With 20 Singing Kittens
-- Penguin Brawls Reported From Shrinking North Pole
-- Six Surefire Ways To Lose Weight Without Exercising Or Eating Right
-- Internet Goes Down. Experts Advise: Reboot
-- CPB Paid Clooney, Others For 'I Love NPR' Endorsements
-- Men Of NPR: The Calendar
-- Five Reasons Pink Slime Is Good For You
-- NPR Listeners Demand: No More Stamberg Cranberries. Ever.
-- R. Kelly Commissioned To Write New ATC Theme
At NPR, running a hoax story on April 1 is a long tradition. Back in 1992, Talk of the Nation ran a segment in which Richard Nixon — played by Rich Little — announced he was running for president using the campaign slogan, "I didn't do anything wrong, and I won't do it again."
Snap Judgment, a public radio show distributed through NPR and PRX, is also celebrating the holiday with a special edition, "Original Prankster," described as "amazing stories about people who take the joke waaaaaay too far ..."
One of our favorite hoax stories came in 2009, when All Things Considered reported from Belleville, Illinois where "the nation's first farm-raised whales are being grown and harvested."
Last year, All Things Considered reported on the "slow net wave," a movement of people who savored slow, dial-up Internet.
Update at 12:23 p.m. ET: Weekend Edition Sunday's April Fool's Story:
You can read the show's story on Beethoven's 10th Symphony here.
If you're hungering for more April Foolery The Museum of Hoaxes has a "Top 100" list.
Update at 4:18 p.m. ET: Getting Your Kid Into The Right School Just Got Harder:
Weekends on All Things Considered is weighing in with their own entirely plausible tale.
Meanwhile, here are a few more media pranks we've found from across the sea:
Amnesty for hosepipe owners as drought bites
From The Independent On Sunday in Britain: "People living in areas where the ban comes into force on Thursday are to be given the opportunity to surrender garden hoses at local police stations."
Arsenal launches new fragrance that smells of Emirates Stadium
From The Sun in Britain: "The £23 perfume includes a whiff of oils in the players' massage area, the fresh-cut pitch and leather from boss Arsene Wenger's dugout seat"
A fine BROmance... Simon Cowell and David Walliams fool around in the park
Photos from the Mirror in Britain: "The boys found a secluded spot to lay out their rug, uncork their wine and enjoy a natter"
And finally, one from the BBC, curiously unavailable on their site anymore, says the Gothamist: