Wikipedia:April Fools' Main Page/In The News/Archive 2009

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The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Please use this page for discussions surrounding the creation of "In The News" items for April Fool's day 2009

Areas of work needed to complete the front page are:

Ground rules for this activity along with a list or participants may be found on the Main talk page.

General discussion[edit]

The Mission[edit]

Since this describes current news, April Fool's activities, if any, are limited to finding unusual pieces of news and publishing them in this section. This section would be unchanged or largely unchanged from any other day, albeit with a couple of interesting or unusual events that may have occurred in the days leading up to 1 April, 2007.

Action Items[edit]

  1. It seems like we should try to get one weird/funny item into the ITN list.
  2. This will have to be done just a day or two before April 1st - so we should make sure that we are all set up to scour the news around the world for weird/funny stuff. I'd like to see everyone on the 'team' working hard on this from about March 28th or so.

Other Way[edit]

We could always see what others write as news in the morning and then throw it all into the page as news in the afternoon. Kevin Rutherford (talk) 03:25, 24 February 2009 (UTC)[reply]

From ITN team[edit]

Hey guys, why didn't you contact anyone from ITN team before :-) Well, the idea is we will have real events written in satirical way. We are already collecting items and looking forward for suggestions, no problem if things are a couple of days old on April 1 already. We already have one item, about fossil octopus found in Lebanon and we need around 5-6 more items to fill the whole box. Seems we'll just ignore bad news on that day... (by the way, all the items still should have an appropriate article, as a rule) --Tone 18:42, 20 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Discussion moved from ITN

Ok, this is a bit early but I feel it is appropriate to raise a discussion now. On this particular day, most of the Main page content is written in a humorous but still accurate way. Do you think it is appropriate to apply this principle to ITN? I know it is harder than in any other MP boxes since we mainly can't plan what to put on ITN. So I am asking, is it worth trying or we just keep up with standard procedure? Well, it would be extremely hard to have humorous spirit if the news are connected with wars or natural catastrophes. However, we can start choosing the ITN items one week or so in advance so that we have enough useful content for April 1 (no problem if things are a couple of days old anyway). Opinions? there perhaps an item that can be put up in a more satirical sense? However, the article must still be updated and be in mainspace. SpencerT♦Nominate! 00:25, 19 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]
We could try overlinking once again. –Howard the Duck 14:53, 19 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]
You mean linking every word it the blurb? Hm... it would look funny for sure but I suppose we can do better. I've just seen a nomination of an article about fossil octopus for March 19. This is a great thing that could be rewritten in a funny way and is indeed unusual but still accurate. --Tone 16:04, 19 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]
We can change the language of ITN to something like the hacker language like Google. That will at least keep the news accurate.

!!!Before posting!!![edit]

I did some modifications of the blurb, the Chinese gerbils had no article updated so they went away. The item with porn seems better this way. Before anyone moves this to the Main page, the image of Cowen needs to be uploaded and protected. There probably are too many items so if necessary, we can kick the shoe incident out because that's rather an old one. And there's one item with ship collision that needs some polishing in wording but is otherwise fine. I've added two items from current ITN, Mayotte and lasers, someone check the wordings please. I am not sure if the word enlightenment can be used for illumination but if this is ok, I think it reads quite nice. Maybe use or apply instead of undergo... ? I am not really happy with the Octopus wording but I am sure you guys are creative enough. During the day, new items may be added as long as they meet the guidelines and are funny. Serious news can wait until Thursday, I suppose. Today I won't be awake long enough to post this at midnight UTC so whoever does, please make sure that everything is ok with the items. Good luck! --Tone 19:54, 31 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Note: Wordings of ship collision, Mayotte and lasers are now fixed and updated. I've also included a note at the top of the list to remind that the Cowen image needs to be uploaded and protected. --candlewicke 20:35, 31 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]


Please note: This is not the official final design but all of the articles included here have been updated. Please upload and protect the Cowen image from Commons before posting on the Main Page. Thanks.

Ireland's Taoiseach Brian Cowen, who has been unexpectedly and publicly hanged in Dublin.

Articles updated[edit]

The following suggestions already have updated articles and comply with standard ITN guidelines. The wording needs to be polished so suggestions are welcome. I think it would be wonderful if all the stories on ITN could be science-related for this day. --Tone 19:02, 27 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]

USS Hartford and USS New Orleans collision[edit]

  • Given that no one was killed you could twist the blurb to make it sound humourous like The US Navy fails in an attempt to create a new 'super-vessel' by merging a ship and submarine. --Daviessimo (talk) 17:56, 21 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]

alt 2. Government officials assign blame after failed attempt to unite Hartford, New Orleans. Spikebrennan (talk) 19:41, 29 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]

  • Good one! What about: A merge of Hartford and New Orleans shows to have bad consequences for environment? Since there was a fuel leak. --Tone 15:08, 31 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]


I would like to nominate 2009 extinct fossil octopus discoveries. Grundle2600 (talk) 21:14, 19 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Wording possibility (?): A German scientist reports that some elderly Lebanese octopi do not liquify correctly. SpencerT♦Nominate! 01:42, 20 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]
We should work on it. It seems a bit too complicated and not really funny yet.--Tone 18:50, 20 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Note: The plural octopodes is "rare" and octopi is "often objectionable". I favour octopodes as it will cause people to question it and this is of course what we are trying to achieve, no? --candlewicke 19:15, 27 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Is there a chance of combining this discovery with sea food in the blurb? --Tone 19:25, 27 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]
German scientists unearth a row of suckers belonging to the ancient Octopoda order? --candlewicke 01:04, 28 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Astronomers catch a shooting star[edit]

Astronomers catch a shooting star that is full of diamonds in Sudan. [1] --BorgQueen (talk) 20:58, 25 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]

I like this one. It was published in Nature, therefore it is a big science story as well. The blurb can go something like: NASA astronomers manage to catch a shooting star and are awarded with diamonds for a prize. The link would be to that meteorite, if there is the article already. --Tone 21:13, 25 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]
I thought you might like it. No article yet... we'll have to create one. --BorgQueen (talk) 21:54, 25 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Actually there is an article and we had it on ITN back in October: 2008 TC3. --Tone 16:21, 26 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Oh my! That saves a lot of work. --BorgQueen (talk) 16:27, 26 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]
That also gets us an image for ITN, as well. SpencerT♦Nominate! 00:16, 27 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Alt. wording: Diamonds fall from the sky, NASA reports. Spikebrennan (talk) 17:53, 27 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]
I love it! --Tone 18:38, 27 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Or to sound more formal and typically ITNish... NASA reports a shower of nanodiamonds over Sudan. --candlewicke 19:11, 27 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Better. But just say diamonds. Nano or not, they are diamonds ;-) --Tone 19:25, 27 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Home Secretary's husband caught watching porn[edit]

Jacqui Smith has been under investigation over her use of expenses claimed from the government. Today the media found out that her husband had been using government money to pay for pay-per-view porn films. What a way to find out your husband's not satisified in the bedroom, lol! Jolly Ω Janner 16:03, 29 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Suggestion "The husband of British Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, admits using claimed expenses from the government to purchase pornography." Jolly Ω Janner 17:11, 30 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]

This can be written much better. What about just omitting the names and writing that buying porn is among the regular expenses of the Home Secretary or something like that? We want a blurb that is really improbable but factual. --Tone 17:44, 30 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]
ALT1 "It has been discovered that Internet porn is one of the things used by British MPs on their claimed expenses." Jolly Ω Janner 18:21, 30 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]
  • By the way, the name of the films were Raw Meat 3 and By Special Request. Jolly Ω Janner 21:31, 31 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Taoiseach's public hanging[edit]

This is too good an opportunity to miss. There are so many possible wordings... --candlewicke 21:49, 29 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Henry Allingham[edit]

  • Suggestion: Henry Allingham becomes the oldest man in British history, at the age of 112 years and 296 days. (BBC) ISD (talk) 19:47, 29 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]
    • Wow... this would be interesting... perhaps it ought to be sent to AFD? --candlewicke 20:57, 29 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]
      • If you think that is best, then do it. ISD (talk) 20:58, 29 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]
        • With a good blurb, I support. On a regular day, I probably wouldn't because we didn't have the world's oldest woman either. But in any case, we need good candidates for April 1 and this article is really nice. --Tone 21:05, 29 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]
          • OK, I've decided to move the story here based on the views of other users. ISD (talk) 21:18, 29 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]
            • This appears to be adequately updated so I've moved it further up the list... --candlewicke 00:44, 30 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]
  • Alt wording (it is meant to be for April Fools' Day after all). Henry Allingham credits cigarettes, whisky and wild, wild women for allowing him to become the United Kingdom's oldest man. --candlewicke 00:48, 30 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]
    • That sounds OK, but maybe we should link to "List of British supercentenarians" rather than "United Kingdom" and "Oldest people". ISD (talk) 08:28, 30 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]
I moved it to the blurb, this is a good one. --Tone 14:35, 31 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Computer tan hoax[edit]

I just saw this on the regular DYK page and it looks to be a recent event. Im sure you could do somethign with it.--Found5dollar (talk) 21:36, 30 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Thanks. A revolutionary new online tanning service receives one million hits within one month of being established. --candlewicke 20:07, 31 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]

King's head[edit]

23:45, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

alt 2 Dutch, seeking to placate Africans, deliver severed human head to Ghana. Spikebrennan (talk) 19:38, 29 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Note: Article located at Badu Bonsu II. --candlewicke 00:56, 30 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Update needed[edit]

The following seem to just require an update. --candlewicke 00:44, 28 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Turkish missiles[edit]

Found a great one from DYK (check links)

--Tone 18:50, 20 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]

    • When and where did this page come out of? ALT: "A manufacturer is requested to increase production by 600,000 over one week following the launch of two Turkish missiles at a former oil giant? From the opening paragraphs of his article he seems to have worked in his family's oil business... --Candlewicke ST # :) 21:12, 20 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Pink elephant[edit]

The article to be updated in this case would be White elephant (pachyderm). It does look very odd but if posted alongside the octopus and missile stories would be quite effective... --Candlewicke ST # :) 23:24, 20 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]
This [2] could complement that as well. Orange monkeys and pink elephants... what is the world coming to ;) --Daviessimo (talk) 15:37, 24 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Nice but we need a funny wording. Seeing pink elephants has the connotation of being crazy or something like that. Try to use it in the blurb. --Tone 17:40, 24 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]
A pink elephant is unearthed in Botswana as Australia gives birth to its first ever orange monkey. --candlewicke 00:18, 28 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]
That would really make people sit up and take notice... --candlewicke 00:19, 28 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]
"unearthed" makes no sense. Spikebrennan (talk) 13:14, 31 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]
And there is no article on either of those. Besides, I think this does not have sufficient encyclopedic value to merit own articles... --Tone 14:16, 31 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Stressed birds[edit]

  • One third of American birds are in danger from stress and disturbance today, especially in Hawaii.
Taken from: "It also highlighted that half of coastal migrating shorebirds had declined, "indicating stress in coastal habitats besieged by development, disturbance and dwindling food supplies". --Candlewicke ST # :) 00:25, 21 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]
I do like this one. Its something mirrored in humans "A recently released report suggests 1/3 of birds are stressed out" --Daviessimo (talk) 17:59, 21 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]
"Stressed out" sounds a bit casual though. I think it would be more effective as its original phrasing. It would also appeal to all those Wikipedia readers from that part of the world, seeing mention of the U.S. and perhaps having Hawaii singled out. --candlewicke 19:10, 21 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Robotic fish[edit]

  • After a long Dark Age, I've finally come across a non-satellite science-related item: [3] If consensus supports its ITN-worthiness, I can create a relevant article. --BorgQueen (talk) 15:58, 21 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Cool! Though I think this is a perfect candidate for April 1 since is it really something unusual. --Tone 16:53, 21 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Hmm, yes, I agree - April fool's sounds good. --BorgQueen (talk) 17:01, 21 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Agreed. --candlewicke 19:05, 21 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]
British scientists announce plans to release a fleet of robotic fish into the sea near Gijon, Spain. Or perhaps "sniffer robotic fish" since they're supposed to sniff out pollution? --candlewicke 19:16, 21 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Do we have an article on this one? --Tone 19:02, 27 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Not yet. --BorgQueen (talk) 12:33, 28 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Sudoku algorithm[edit]

American computer science professor emeritus James F. Crook annouces an algorithm that can solve any Sudoku puzzle. [4] --BorgQueen (talk) 11:10, 23 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Well, that's dull. I solved Sudoku years ago, and I suspect any first-year computer science student should be able to, as well. It's a pretty trivial problem. But I guess he's the first to publish, so he gets all the credit :) AmiDaniel (talk) 03:38, 24 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]
I think the only way to solve it was to use bruteforce algorithms. this guy found some real algorithm to solve it. Ashishg55 (talk) 15:15, 25 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Algorithmics of sudoku. AmiDaniel (talk) 21:07, 26 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]
I wonder... brute force is nice and easy for 9*9 matrix and I can't imagine a good funny blurb for it. --Tone 19:02, 27 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Gerbils on 'the pill'[edit]

Chinese scientists use 'the pill' to control the population of gerbils in parts of the country [5]

This one may actually work. But we need an article. --Tone 19:02, 27 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Gurbantunggut Desert? --candlewicke 19:19, 27 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]
China reports a slight drop in population after issuing oral contraceptives tainted with bran feed to halt a desert plague. --candlewicke 00:37, 28 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Oral contraceptive seems the obvious choice for an update there. --candlewicke 00:38, 28 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Transsexual serial killer[edit]

A German transsexual serial killer turns out to be a phantom [6]
It's relatively recent news, and the article exists, but it needs a bit of inline referencing. Lampman (talk) 11:13, 28 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]

ALT: A German transsexual serial killer is outed as a phantom? --candlewicke 20:34, 28 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Other suggestions[edit]



  • Police in Wales seek to question a rarely sighted Wolfman in connection with a number of criminal offences. --Candlewicke ST # :) 23:53, 20 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]

UFO files[edit]

Indian carpet[edit]

  • A piece of old carpet is sold for $5.5 million in India. Perhaps "Prophet Muhammad" or any article relating to his "tomb in Medina" could be updated reflect this. --candlewicke 03:53, 22 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Toilet torcher[edit]

A person is sought in connection with a series of altercations with portable toilets in San Francisco. --candlewicke 04:01, 22 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]

I like this one. its actually real news but seems awfully like a prank. they actually put out awards for anyone who catches the guy. Ashishg55 (talk) 15:14, 25 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Fiona McKenzie, Fiona McKenzie & Fiona McKensie[edit]

Fiona MacKenzie and Fiona MacKenzie prepare for a performance with Fiona MacKenzie later this month. --candlewicke 04:04, 22 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Leon Jackson[edit]

If this could be twisted somehow to imply that it is Michael Jackson... --candlewicke 04:10, 22 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Jackson dropped by label after being discovered on top of young male star Rhydian Roberts. :) AmiDaniel (talk) 03:57, 24 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]
YES! Brilliant! —Vanderdeckenξφ 17:22, 31 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]
But does it have any encyclopedic value? The article, I mean... Besides, there are so many Jacksons that it is not too obvious which one this is about. --Tone 17:40, 31 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Suggestion: A musician named Jackson? --candlewicke 20:04, 31 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Thai Spider-Man[edit]

A Thai firefighter dressed as Spider-Man rescues an autistic boy. [7] --BorgQueen (talk) 18:24, 24 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Wind Power Car[edit]

Wind powered car breaks record... BBC. Can make something funny about bailing out automotive industry lol. Ashishg55 (talk) 20:21, 27 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]

A rare wind-powered Greenbird is recorded at a speed of 126.1mph (202.9km/h) in Nevada? --candlewicke 00:23, 28 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Wind power can make your car accelerate to speeds of 126.1mph (202.9km/h)? (talk) 18:02, 31 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Giant penis[edit]

A large penis is located on the roof of an English house. --candlewicke 00:12, 28 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]

That is not something that is currently linked to something on this site. That kind of makes this ineligible. Kevin Rutherford (talk) 02:50, 28 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]
? Not all of them are linked? Yet? --candlewicke 03:24, 28 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]
They have to be linked to a Wikipedia page. Kevin Rutherford (talk) 01:06, 31 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]
I know that. These are suggestions. We're doing our best, perhaps you could help? We're very undermanned at ITN. --candlewicke 20:03, 31 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Gordon Brown's Chilean education[edit]

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.