I’m somewhat relieved that April 1st fell on a Saturday this year, as I learned that there were several people in our office who were real pranksters, and I don’t relish the thought of returning to my desk to find my desktop changed to a snapshot of my open windows, my new mail notification changed to a fart sound, or other such geeky tricks. Fortunately the relative difficulty of doing these things in Windows compared to the Mac make this a little less likely, but I won’t count out these getting tried on Monday, even if its April 3rd at that point.
Ever wonder how April 1st got such a designation? The Museum of Hoaxes has a whole page on it. My favourite bit on this page is this story:
British folklore links April Fool’s Day to the town of Gotham, the legendary town of fools located in Nottinghamshire. According to the legend, it was traditional in the 13th century for any road that the King placed his foot upon to become public property. So when the citizens of Gotham heard that King John planned to travel through their town, they refused him entry, not wishing to lose their main road. When the King heard this, he sent soldiers to the town. But when the soldiers arrived in Gotham, they found the town full of lunatics engaged in foolish activities such as drowning fish or attempting to cage birds in roofless fences. Their foolery was all an act, but the King fell for the ruse and declared the town too foolish to warrant punishment. And ever since then, April Fool’s Day has supposedly commemmorated their trickery.
I like this not only for it’s nod to bureaucracy, but also the fact that it involves King John. King John is so deliciously bad (he is the King who the Sheriff of Nottingham reports to in the Robin Hood story as well), and despite the fact that he signed the Magna Carta — he was forced into it, the history books say — he was, according to some accounts, such a disastrously bad king that the English woud never again have a king with the same name. Hmm, we can only hope that there will never again be a President (who acts pretty much as if he were a King anyway) with the name ‘Bush’ for the same reasons.
I’ll Take “Game Show Tryouts” for 200, Alex
On Thursday Night at 8:00 PM I took the Online test for Jeopardy. I did OK, I think, but missed a few (the movie title ‘Braveheart’, for example) because I couldn’t type the answer fast enough. There was an unnerving animation in this Flash-based trivia test that if you didn’t make it in time, the letters of your answer-in-progress were literally swept off the field as you were typing, like so much alphabetical detritus.
At the end of the 50-Question 15 seconds for each answer (and No, one didn’t have to answer in the form of a question) test, a message appeared that the show would tabulate the answers, and if there were more than enough qualifying contestants, there would also be a drawing among those. I haven’t heard anything since Thursday, and I have no idea if I even made the drawing. Oh well. I tried out for Jeopardy some 15 or so years ago in Boston (in person), and nearly made it (or so one of the women grading the entries said). Maybe the third time will be the charm.
My Office is so Typical Looking That…
On Thursday and Friday of last week, a group of people paraded through the offices I work in on Water Street in Gastown. They were scouting spaces for filming some scenes for a TV Series. Apparently the pilot has been shot already, and one of the scenes involves the character’s father who works at a software company. The main character is a kid who ‘has the super power that he speaks binary’ (I remember seeing that movie back in 1969, when it was called ‘The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes’ with Kurt Russell). So, it’s now looking as if the silly TV Show called ‘Kyle X/Y’ will be shot at our offices, because they look so ‘software company’-ish.
Earlier in the week, there were lights and cables everywhere on Water Street because they were filming the movie ‘Rogue’, an action flick with Martial Arts Star Jet Li. On Friday while walking back from lunch, one of my co-workers pointed out one of the buildings where they shot an exterior for the movie ‘I Robot’ (it’s the old building where Will Smith’s grandmother lived).
While I’m tickled that the Vancouver Film Industry that is so prevalent here is now bumping into my real life, it’s the not the first time that I’ve come close to a film in production. When we lived in Cambridge, for about a week there were several trailers in the parking lot of the Dante Alighieri Center behind our townhouse, for the filming of David Mamet’s movie, ‘The Spanish Prisoner’ in one of the offices in the One Kendall Square plaza across the street from us. We’re not positive, but we believe that for a few days, Steve Martin, who was the main villain in that movie, was in one of those trailers, about 200 feet from our back door.