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Throwback Thursday: An April’s fool?

I don’t know if you’re familiar with the idea of an April’s fool, but I’m very interested in your responses regardless if you’re familiar with it or not. Here it’s quite common to ‘send one into April’ (In den April schicken) as the term is literally translated from German. It’s telling a story that might be true, but when the recipient follows the instructions she got, she will see, it was a fool. Then, the sender proofs it with “April, April!”.

The editor of a computer magazine fooled their reader a couple of years ago, with a listing of program code containing a lot of machine code. In those days it was not something unusual to print such a listing instead of offering it for download. The background story for that listing was, a research group were been able to reverse the computer screen’s cable and convert the CRT screen into a scanner. The paper to be scanned should be backlit by a simple desk lamp. By using the computer program printed in the magazine the paper would have been scanned and stored as an image on the hard disk.

I didn’t believe that story. But, many people did. They typed down the listing, started the program and saw the output of the program on their screen. Instead of scanning something, the words “April, April!” were printed on the screen. A perfect April’s fool!

So, news have to be proof-checked more carefully as usual on April 1st.

I don’t want to send you into April. But, I want to encourage your mind to find out, what’s in the above image! Later this week, I’m posting an update here in the post with the result.

When freshmen start in their first job as an apprentice, they are also often fooled. They were often told to fetch a certain tool or material from the storage or even a so-called partner-company on the other side of the town. There they get something very heavy to bring back to their boss. I guess, this habit is also derived from April’s fool, because, in the old days, apprenticeships started on April 1st.

These are a few examples:

Banker:

  • get a Saldenziehzange = Zange um den Saldo zu ziehen = pair of tongs for balancing an account
  • Zinsfuß = old term meaning the interest rate

garage mechanics:

  • Kolbenrückholfeder = spring for pulling back the piston inside the cylinders of an engine

Manson, carpenter, …

  • Ersatzluftblase für die Wasserwaage = replacement airbubble for the water level

chemistry:

  • Benzolring (it’s a pun on words because we have the ring-shaped molecule named Benzol but in German, it can also mean a ring made of benzol)

I guess you got the idea. Some more of these fools can be found in the German Wikipedia. If these habits are common in your area, I’m also interested in hearing them. Please tell me a bit in the comments.

The idea is, a freshman might never hear this word before and starts investigating. All experienced colleges know what is meant and keeping the freshman busy until the initial college solves and explains. Now, the freshman has passed her initiation rite.

Nowadays, many of these fools are commonly know and the freshmen know much more about the jobs they start with than it was common in the past. So, not every fresh apprentice is faced with such a fool. But, I was told, some of them are still used in some companies.

The next isn’t an April’s fool. You know, last year I introduced you to Exire Foto, software to organize your images and, most importantly, find them!

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Currently, you can get the software with a discount when using the code “OSTERN2021” during checkout!

 

Take care!

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