Category: Pranks

April Fool's Day Roundup

Serious pranksters take today off, but I guess there are a few good posts worth pointing out. I’ll update this throughout the day, quarantining the fake stuff to this post alone.

Online Photographer: Canon 4D Official Leak

Apparently our posts on the possible costs of the Canon 5D replacement attracted some attention at Canon. I have an old friend high up in Canon USA who frequently travels to the home offices in Japan, and he contacted me yesterday with some “allowable leaks.” The news is good for Canon fans. The 5D replacement, which will be called the 4D (even Canon balked at the implications of “3D,” apparently), will be out by August. It is slated to have an innovative full-frame 31-MP CMOS sensor with switchable IS in-the-body. But the real news is that the full 31-MP is reserved for a “big print” mode, usable only up to ISO 800; the real meat is a half-rez 15.5-MP mode in which the camera gives it highest image quality and best high-ISO performance. In this mode, the camera is said to better the sharpness and resolution of cameras that have no anti-aliasing filters (think Leica M8).


The NY Times has the details on the reported 25 Million dollar deal that would move her entire collection to Flickr with a Creative Commons License (!).

EPUK: Met Police to relax London photography restrictions in pilot scheme

A pilot scheme set to begin next month will see the Metropolitan Police taking a less restrictive approach to street photography in the capital by agreeing not to approach registered photographers.


Due to overwhelming response from the photographic community to our calls for content, we are issuing this urgent call for specific areas where our collection is deficient. This request is based on our extensive research conducted in March 2008 with advertising agencies, publications, graphic designers, magicians and Canadians.

Sacha Baron Cohen Terrorizes Kansas Airport in Hotpants


Sacha Baron Cohen, who is in Kansas shooting his film Bruno, which centers around his gay Austrian news reporter character, has been terrorizing various locations around the state, including Wichita’s Mid-Continent Airport:

“Officials there are reviewing its media policies after the so-called German documentary film crew made a scene inside the main terminal on Friday. ‘We were lied to,’ says Assistant Airport Director Brad Christopher. ‘We were duped.’ Authorities say the film crew was not who they said they were. Last month, the group contacted Wichita airport officials about shooting part of their documentary on American culture at Mid-Continent. They arrived Friday and were shown around. Airport employees say they seemed professional. That is, until the cameras came on and the clothes came off. Witnesses say it almost looked like pornography. In the middle of the terminal, the film crew began stripping down. They were escorted out of the airport by police, and told to leave. Wichita Police, along with the Attorney General, are investigating the prank. Airport officials say it wasn’t necessarily illegal, but it was unethical and highly inappropriate for a public location where security is paramount.”

Check it out here.

Skullphone Goes Big In LA – Wooster Collective

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In what may go down as one of the best billboard hacks of all time, LA’s Skullphone managed to hijack not one, but ten, of Clear Channel Communications electronic billboards in the Los Angeles area. To pull it off Skullphone found a way to hack into the billboard’s computer network where he then placed his iconic skullphone character amongst the various ads flashing on the screens.

Check it out here.

EWU student pranks the New York Times

An aspiring filmmaker at Eastern Washington University says he never meant to prank the New York Times when he posted a video online March 16th.

“Pawley P” says he wanted to make a clip that looked like he interrupted a woman’s basketball game by playing a popular song from the 1980’s.

The prank of drawing attention to the Rick Astley song “Never Gonna Give You Up” is known as Rickrolling-and it happened to be the topic of an article being written by a New York Times reporter last week.

Check it out here.

Hacking the Olympic logo – Eyeteeth


China’s crackdown on dissent in Tibet — and, well, everywhere else within its borders — makes Beijing an odd choice as host city for an international gathering dedicated to competition in the “spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.” So it’s no surprise that the Beijing Olympics logo is getting a few enhancements by culture-jammers.

Check it out here.

The ’80s Video That Pops Up, Online and Off – New York Times


The women’s basketball game at Eastern Washington University on March 8 started out like any other, as the Eagles of E.W.U. faced off against the Montana State Bobcats.
Davin Perry, dressed as the singer Rick Astley, broke into a basketball game with an Astley hit from 1987.

But a routine timeout turned into a 1980s flashback, as two men on the sidelines briefly hijacked the proceedings with a popular prank known as rickrolling. They surprised the crowd by blasting the British singer Rick Astley’s 1987 hit song “Never Gonna Give You Up” through the gym, while one, dressed as a look-alike in Mr. Astley’s signature trench coat, lip-synched and mugged to the music.

The stunt provoked a variety of reactions. Many older spectators looked, by turns, puzzled or irritated. But the under-30 fans danced and sang, happy to participate in a rapidly spreading phenomenon with roots in their favorite medium — the Internet.

Rickrolling is a descendant of an older Internet joke called duckrolling. A Web site or blog post would offer a link to something popular — say celebrity photos or video gaming news — that led unsuspecting viewers to a bizarre image of a duck on wheels.

Check it out here.

Billboard Liberation Front

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The Billboard Liberation Front today announced a major new advertising improvement campaign executed on behalf of clients AT&T and the National Security Agency. Focusing on billboards in the San Francisco area, this improvement action is designed to promote and celebrate the innovative collaboration of these two global communications giants.

“This campaign is an extraordinary rendition of a public-private partnership,” observed BLF spokesperson Blank DeCoverly. “These two titans of telecom have a long and intimate relationship, dating back to the age of the telegraph. In these dark days of Terrorism, that should be a comfort to every law-abiding citizen with nothing to hide.”

Check it out here.

Murakami takes graffitied Murakami billboard – Boing Boing

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In December, graffiti writers AUGER and REVOK modified a billboard advertising the wonderful Takashi Murakami exhibit at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art. Two days later, the billboard was removed. The LA Weekly now reports that Murakami himself saw online photos of the graffitied billboard and thought it to be “so wonderful, he had to have it for his collection,” according to his representatives. So apparently he had it taken down and shipped to his studio in Japan.

Check it out here.

Wooster Collective: The Israeli Border Police in Weimar – An Explanation

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I wanted to bring The Israeli border police in Weimar, the standard armored jeep that the border police uses to patrol will escort me in my daily life in town. I examine what such an action brings, how the presence of a militarized police force from Israel in a small quiet East German place would be perceived. Would it produce fear, antagonism, discomfort or maybe understanding and sympathy? The site of the Star of David is never neutral on the streets of Germany, all the more so when it is painted on an armored jeep. Not surprisingly, I could not bring a real jeep to Weimar. Instead, I built a two- dimensional life size cut out (like the fake police cars that deter driver from speeding). The cutout can do the same job that a real jeep can do and invoke the discussion I would like to create.

Check it out here.

TED | TEDBlog: Looking at celebrity: Alison Jackson on

Why can’t you make it through the checkout line without flipping through page after page of pregnant celebs in Us magazine? Alison Jackson knows why. In her work, she photographs the people you think you recognize doing what you really want to see. And in the process, she’s questioning our shared desire to get personal with celebrity culture. Funny and sometimes shocking, Jackson’s work contains some graphic images. (Recorded July 2005 in Oxford, UK. Duration: 17:36.)

Check it out here.

In Persian Gulf Incident, Some Suspect Hecklers –


In Persian Gulf Incident, Some Suspect Hecklers – “The Navy has a monkey on its back.

Since at least 1982, U.S. Navy ships plying the Persian Gulf have been taunted by mysterious radio transmissions that are alternately obscene, nonsensical, racist, infantile, misogynistic and menacing. Sometimes they threatened U.S. ships; at other times they simply babbled away, all night, in falsettos.”

That's My Girl, Asshole!

This is hands down, my new favorite blog. I know it’s a one-note joke, but it’s perfect.  Guy responding to Craigslist Missed Connections ads with those simple four words. With a mouthful of Baby Ruth and water, I nearly choked to death when I burst out laughing and half the candy bar went into my lungs. Thanks to WFMU’s Beware the Blog for the link. Here’s a sample and the link follows:

it was about 1 am on monday night/tuesday morning. you were wearing a magenta colored dress and lime green shoes. i usually don’t like hipster looking girls but you were adorable. we had a couple staredowns but i’m way to shy to do anything about it. i was the tall skinny white guy with a Mets hat on and a blue and white tattoo on my forearm. e-mail me if you think this is you.

Re: To the girl I saw at the Lorimer St. L platform – m4w – 25

That’s my girl, asshole.


WTO Announces Formalized Slavery Model for Africa

Yes Men:

Philadelphia – At a Wharton Business School conference on business in Africa, World Trade Organization representative Hanniford Schmidt announced the creation of a WTO initiative for “full private stewardry of labor” for the parts of Africa that have been hardest hit by the 500 years of Africa’s free trade with the West.
The initiative will require Western companies doing business in some parts of Africa to own their workers outright. Schmidt recounted how private stewardship has been successfully applied to transport, power, water, traditional knowledge, and even the human genome. The WTO’s “full private stewardry” program will extend these successes to (re)privatize humans themselves.

“Full, untrammelled stewardry is the best available solution to African poverty, and the inevitable result of free-market theory,” Schmidt told more than 150 attendees. Schmidt acknowledged that the stewardry program was similar in many ways to slavery, but explained that just as “compassionate conservatism” has polished the rough edges on labor relations in industrialized countries, full stewardry, or “compassionate slavery,” could be a similar boon to developing ones.


RE/Search Pranksfests in SF and LA

Boing Boing:

ARTY, SHOW AND SPECTACLE: Due to the “illegal” nature of Pranks, key speakers from the Billboard Liberation Front, etc, may be in disguise! Ex-hacker Marc Powell, Babalou and Karen Marcelo from SRL, Cacophony Society’s Chris Radcliffe, and Prankster-Godfather MAL SHARPE will show their real faces (we think). Rare and inspiring pranks video clips will be narrated live, and questions from the audience will be taken. Cyclecide will bring a demo-cycle. Event is still being planned; other guests/events TBA.

Videos will include Mal Sharpe’s new prank DVD release (excerpt), a special Billboard Liberation Front clip, Jihad Jerry and the Evildoers’ “Army Girls Gone Wild,” Reverend Al’s “Art of Bleeding Safety Film,” and excerpts from Ron English’s “Popaganda,” the wild & crazy “Yes Men” Film, the Cyclecide film, and Scott Beale’s “You’d Better Watch Out” documenting the Cacophony Society’s wild “Santarchy” escapade in Portland. (For the past ten years, groups of folks dressed up as Santa Claus have invaded department stores, hotel parties and other events, causing ideological havoc and consumer confusion–anarchic fun! Over the years, the Santas have spread to major cities over the planet.)