Happy April Fool’s Day: Recap Of The Web’s Best Jokes & Pranks

If you open up most calendars, you’re not likely to find April 1st listed as an official holiday, but that doesn’t stop most of the western world from celebrating it in one way or another. Though the true origins of the day remain unclear, what IS clear is that cultures throughout history have again and again marked days for hilarity and celebration. Ours is no different!

Though traditionally confined to school classrooms and workplaces, over the past few years Internet culture has taken quite the liking to April Fool’s Day pranks. Often featuring bogus products or outrageous claims, companies and services on the Internet have taken to April Fool’s Day almost as much as they have to Super Bowl commercials.

While you were out pulling pranks with your friends, here are some April Fool’s Day videos you may have missed:

Conan O’Brien Buys Mashable
One of my favorite news sites for startups and social media, Mashable, has been reportedly taken over by Conan O’Brien. Watch the video for his explanations as to why, and be sure to visit Mashable.com soon to check out their “new look.”

Car “Mood Paint” Color
French car company Peugeot shows off their new “Mood Paint” on their latest RCZ. The paint changes with the mood of the driver!

TERII Car Anti-theft
Honda is demonstrating their latest talking gadgetry with this  vehicle theft-deterrent system, featuring “biometric recognition and negotiating tactics to protect against vehicle theft.”

Google Maps 8-bit for NES
Google may take cake this year creating more than seven April 1st product announcements, but this one is easily my favorite. Watch the video, then visit maps.google.com to try it for yourself!

Other 2012 Pranks:
YouTube DVD Collection
Kodak Print Your Own Kittens
Assassin’s Creed for Kinect
Skype For String

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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “When I hear the phrase ‘The American Dream' I think…A loaded term that is meaningless these days. At this point, I'd be happy if I can manage to live a mostly comfortable, independent life. Is that The American Dream? I don't know.” –Male, 25, PA

When it comes to kids using tablets and smartphones, most of the attention is given to the dangers of it all: what will it do to their attention spans, their minds, or their health? But there are potential positives to their mobile use as well. One (Millennial) mom’s reasons for continuing to give her kids handheld devices include the importance of encouraging their technology and problem solving skills, expectations that they will know how to use them in school, and a hope that her girls will be involved in tech in their futures. (Hip Mombrarian)

This might be the year that vending machines became a full blown marketing trend, and Nike has put their own athletic spin on the tactic. Their recent “secret” vending machine in NYC, the Nike+ FuelBox, dispensed products like hats, shirts, and socks that visitors could only pay for with daily points from their Nike+ FuelBands, encouraging exercise in exchange for goods. (Engadget)

We’ve seen FoMo, the rise and fall of YOLO, and now social media has given us MoMo, the “Mystery of Missing Out.” Unlike FoMo, Fear of Missing Out when you see your friends posting a ton of fun pictures on social media, MoMo is the anxiety that results when friends stop posting. In the words of one Millennial, “’what can be so good that they aren't posting?’” It might seem silly to some, but for a generation used to being connected with friends nearly all the time, the feeling of exclusion that results from being left out and unaware of what’s happening is real. (Jezebel)

The value of higher education is already being questioned by Millennials, and evidence is continuing to mount that college systems and hierarchies need to be rethought. One former Yale professor is making headlines by telling parents not to send their kids to Ivy League schools, and that those who attend are not the “winners in the race we have made of childhood” but that instead elite education produces “anxious, timid, and lost” young people. (New Republic)

Oh, Barbie. She's had a rough year, and Mattel recently released an Entrepreneur Barbie in an attempt to tap into girl power marketing, and revive flagging sales. But is the reality that Barbie is just too perfect for today’s kids? The brand’s offbeat, weirdo Monster High dolls do far better than pristine, “clean cut” blond icon. Tapping into new trends in toy tech and giving Barbie a renewed sense of “imaginative play” might help, but at the same time post-Millennials, like the generation before them, could be turned off by anything that doesn’t show some flaws. (The StarPhoenix)

Quote of the Day: “When I hear the phrase ‘The American Dream’ I think of 1950s cliches, the economic downturn of 2008, and how college debt has pretty much made it impossible.” –Female, 17, RI

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