The find is a series of controversial prehistoric paintings on stone tablets, recently discovered in a secret cave complex in mountains that separate Spain from France. For obvious reasons, at this early stage, she is reluctant to pinpoint the exact site of this discovery. ‘I believe it will have to await further research and even then the site itself will probably be kept secret from the public to preserve its unique qualities.’
The cave is nowhere near here...
Dr Sciocca concludes, ‘I have only been able to decipher a few tablets, but judging by these impressive details, I believe the history of scientific detection will prove to be much earlier than hitherto understood. I must remain vague on this subject until I have completed my translation of the first tablet.’
Watch this space!
Unlike most of the other non-foolish holidays, the history of April Fool's Day, sometimes called All Fool's Day, is not totally clear. There really wasn't a "first April Fool's Day" that can be pinpointed on the calendar. Some believe it sort of evolved simultaneously in several cultures at the same time, from celebrations involving the first day of spring.
The closest point in time that can be identified as the beginning of this tradition was in 1582, in
However, communications being what they were in the days when news travelled by foot, many people did not receive the news for several years. Others, the more obstinate crowd, refused to accept the new calendar and continued to celebrate the new year on April 1. These backward folk were labelled as "fools" by the general populace. They were subject to some ridicule, and were often sent on "fools errands" or were made the butt of other practical jokes.
This harassment evolved, over time, into a tradition of prank-playing on the first day of April. The tradition eventually spread to
Pranks performed on April Fool's Day range from the simple, (such as saying, "Your shoe's untied!), to the elaborate. Setting a roommate's alarm clock back an hour is a common gag. Whatever the prank, the trickster usually ends it by yelling to his victim, "April Fool!" It isn’t recorded as to whether there’s an increase in hospital admissions on this date.
Sometimes, elaborate practical jokes are played on friends or relatives that last the entire day. The news media even gets involved. For instance, a British short film once shown on April Fool's Day was a fairly detailed documentary about "spaghetti farmers" and how they harvest their crop from the spaghetti trees. I recall in the 1970s a ‘believable’ report in a respected Sunday newspaper that a budget airline had managed to shrink its passengers to accommodate more per aircraft; on arrival they were restored to normal height! Another hoax was so convincing, yet it was broadcast after April 1 – the actual landing of men on Mars in anticipation of climate change. The programme, Alternative 3 was broadcast in June 1977 and resulted in hundreds of calls to the TV station; a modern-day version of Welles’ radio production of The War of the Worlds.
[See the full discussion on this at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alternative_3 ]
For many years I’d purchase two or even three newspapers in an attempt at spotting the April Fool item. In recent years, however, the news has been strange on other dates, too, so that it’s even harder to spot the genuine hoax!
In today's Daily Mail, for example, I suspect the item 'Scot-free' - about the Union Flag being produced already in anticipation of a Yes vote for Scotland to leave the UK. (Possibly irresponsible of them, if not true). The giveaway is 'Campaigner Avril McTickle.'