Canada

April Fools Day! Origins and Best Of…


So today is April 1st, or April Fools Day (this is true, not a joke).

April Fools’ Day, also referred to by some as “All Fools’ Day” is an informal holiday celebrated every year on April 1st. The day is not a national holiday in any country, however it is widely recognized as a day when people play practical jokes and hoaxes on each other, called April fools.

Hoax stories are also often found in the press and media on this day – but not on the Internet, because we all know that everything on the Internet is 100% true, right?!?

Many believe that April Fools Day originated in In Iran, where jokes are played on the 13th day of the Persian new year (Nowruz), which falls on April 1 or April 2. This day, was celebrated as far back as 536 BC, and is referred to in Iran as “Sizdah Bedar”, making it the oldest prank-tradition in the world.

As far as April Fools Day pranks go – and many of us are already expecting there to be something so outrageous that it has to be a prank, but back in 1957, the BBC pulled a prank, known as the Swiss Spaghetti Harvest prank, where they broadcast a fake film of Swiss farmers picking freshly-grown spaghetti. The BBC were later flooded with requests to purchase a spaghetti plant, forcing them to declare the film a prank on the news the next day.

While that was a clever prank, some people take April Fools Da a little too far, such as, “An Australian woman called emergency services to tell them her baby had fallen off the bed and stopped breathing. When the ambulances arrived, there was no sick baby. It was her idea of a hilarious April Fool”.

But some fairly common pranks to look out for, and some classic pranks which garnered world-wide attention include these;

On April 1, 1976 famed British astronomer and radio presenter Patrick Moore announced over the BBC that a rare alignment of the planets Pluto and Jupiter would occur at exactly 9:47 a.m. during which the effects of gravity would be nullified and everyone on earth would feel weightless for a brief moment. “At 9:47, Moore declared, ‘Jump now!’”

A minute passed, and then the BBC switchboard lit up with dozens of people calling in to report that the experiment had worked!

But it was all a complete prank.

In more recent years some of the best April Fools jokes have been perpetrated by the advertising industry, specifically in 1996, when Taco Bell ran a full-page ad in the New York Times announcing it had purchased the Liberty Bell and would rename it the “Taco Liberty Bell.”

In 1998, Burger King announced the rollout of its “Left-Handed Whopper”, there has been stories about glasses for dogs, canned pizza, and in 2002 a British supermarket chain called Tesco published an advertisement in the British newspaper “The Sun” announcing the successful development of a genetically modified ‘whistling carrot.’ The ad explained that the carrots had been specially engineered to grow with tapered air holes in their side, which, when fully cooked caused the carrot to whistle.

On the Internet, hoaxes are such standard fare that April Fools’ Day is barely distinguishable from any other, but this one keeps getting brought up year-in-year-out, and makes me laugh – the announcement to that every computer connected to the World Wide Web must be turned off and disconnected for Internet Cleaning Day, a 24-hour period during which useless “flotsam and jetsam” are flushed from the system.

What stories have you seen today?

Did you get fooled?

Did you pull a prank on your kids, or them on you?

We toyed with the idea of moving all the kids into each other’s beds in the middle of the night, but geez, we’re so darn tired, I just told them about it in the morning.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Some Trivia and Facts for you to educate your kids and impress your colleagues.


Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

A public holiday in parts of Canada - Newfoundland and Labrador - St. Patrick’s Day commemorates the death date of St. Patrick, and is celebrated on March 17 by the Irish and Irish diaspora worldwide.

Here are some cool facts you can use to educate your children and impress your colleagues.

  1. St. Patrick is not actually Irish.

St. Patrick was born in Great Britain and was of Romano-British descent.  He was “6 years a slave” in Ireland, being captured by Irish marauders and brought to Ireland at 16-years-old.  He eventually escaped and returned to his family, although he would make his way back to Ireland as a missionary, and be forever associated with Ireland and the holiday in his name.

2. St Patrick’s traditional colour was blue, not green.

Historians say that green was adopted because of St Patrick’s use of the shamrock – a three-leaf clover - and because of the its association with Ireland, the “Emerald Isles.”

  1. Shamrocks weren’t originally symbols of luck

Shamrocks represented the Christian Trinity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, however with the commercialization of St. Patrick’s Day, and with shamrocks appearing more and more on greeting cards due to their religious symbolism, shamrocks became lucky charms (without being magically delicious).

  1. The correct short form is Paddy, not Patty.  “Patty” is short for “Patricia,” not “Patrick.”  “Paddy” is an accepted short form for someone who’s name is Patrick.

You are wise not to call anyone of Irish descent “Paddy,” however, because that term is a 19th century slur for Irish people.

And did you know that there is a website and Twitter account created specifically to correct this misnomer.

  1. The St. Patrick‘s Day parade was invented in the United States.

On March 17, 1762, Irish soldiers serving in the English army marched through New York City in attempt to celebrate their Irish roots with fellow Irishmen serving in the English army.  Now there are hundreds of St. Patrick’s Day parades worldwide.

  1. If you want to really impress an Irishman or woman try this tongue-twister: Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Daoibh.  It means Happy St. Patrick’s Day!.

 

Source of information came from here; http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/562405-st-patricks-day-cool-facts-history-tradition/

March Break Activities for Kids with differing interests. Something for the GTA as well.


Google’s creative projects to keep kids busy during March Break

With schools closed during March Break, it’s a challenge to entertain kids on days when the weather doesn’t cooperate. For families with kids with differing interests it can be especially hard to keep everyone engaged throughout the day. Here are a few free tools and projects families can use to keep everyone from the young artist to the budding scientist entertained during their time off.

For the mini movie lover…

Disney’s Blank: A Vinylmation Love Story on the Google Play Store

With thousands of movies & TV shows available on the Google Play Store, there’s something for every little movie buff. Once you’ve found the perfect flick you can enjoy it across devices, which means kids who can’t sit still can start the movie on your laptop while on the couch and finish it on your Android device from the kitchen.

Google and Disney have teamed up on a special original stop-motion movie that’s sure to warm hearts. Blank: A Vinylmation Love Story tells the story of Blank, an unpainted vinyl character, and his quest to find his lost love. Have a look at the trailer here. The Disney Interactive 37-minute stop motion movie will be available exclusively on Google Play.

For the aspiring artist..

Google Art Project

Have an aspiring artist but don’t want to clean up after craft time? Google Art Project lets museums from across the world invite visitors inside their doors and into their galleries with a little help from technology. People across the world who might otherwise never see the real thing, can access masterpieces, antiquities and other artifacts that are part of our cultural heritage.

This digital experience has some of Canada’s – and the world’s – most creative and beautiful art. Some iconic Canadian collections include the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Royal BC Museum and the National Ballet of Canada.

For the inventor…

Google Science Fair

Does your teen want to change the world? Google is challenging students aged 13-18 to submit their brilliant ideas for the fourth annual Google Science Fair. Last year, Canadian student Ann Makosinski scored top honours in her age group for her battery-free flashlight. Thousands of teens around the world have tackled some of today’s greatest challenges, like an anti-flu medicine and more effective ways to beat cancer. The grand prize winner will receive a $50,000 scholarship along with a number of once in a lifetime prizes.

To inspire young inventors, Google hosts a series of Hangouts on Air with world-renowned scientists showcasing exclusive tours of cutting edge labs.

For the musically minded…

Pancake Manor on YouTube

The puppets from Pancake Manor know how to make kids move. The Victoria, B.C.-based YouTube channel has been making music for kids of all ages since 2011. The upbeat melodies don’t fail to provide entertaining and educational content. The videos can help teach little ones how to count to 10, how to remember the alphabet and, of course, how to make pancakes.

For a GTA excursion (entry fee applies)…

The Doodle 4 Google Exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum

In October, Google challenged Canadian students to submit their creative ideas in the form of a doodle for the first-ever Doodle 4 Google Canada contest. Thousands of kids submitted doodles following the theme, “if I could invent anything, I would invent…”

In February and March, the Royal Ontario Museum will feature a special exhibit with the top 75 doodles from across the country. From time machines to new sports to ways to clean the environment, the doodles will be sure to inspire future inventors and young artists. The winner of the contest will of their doodle featured on the Google Canada homepage for one day.

IHOP’s National Pancake Day Fundraiser: March 4th, 2014. Free Pancakes!


The International House of Pancakes (IHOP) is holding their National Pancake Day fundraiser on March 4th from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., when IHOP restaurants nationwide will offer guests a free short stack of buttermilk pancakes and in return customers are encouraged to leave a little behind for McMaster Children’s Hospital Foundation.

Pancake Day is a tradition that dates back several centuries to when the English prepared for fasting during Lent.  Strict rules prohibited the eating of all dairy products during Lent, so pancakes were made to use up the supply of eggs, milk, butter and other dairy products…hence the name Pancake Tuesday, or Fat Tuesday.

A little more about the 1st Annual National Pancake Day Fundraiser in Canada aimed to raise donations for the Children’s Miracle Network.

For the first time in the fundraiser’s nine-year history, IHOP restaurants® throughout Canada and the United States will offer each guest a free short stack of its famous buttermilk pancakes on National Pancake Day in an effort to raise donations benefitting Children’s Miracle Network programs.

WHEN: TUESDAY, March 4, 2014, 7 a.m. – 10 p.m.

WHERE: Participating IHOP restaurants in the Toronto area.

WHO: National Pancake Day donations in the Toronto area will benefit McMaster Children’s Hospital Foundation.

 

National Pancake Day Fun Facts:

· IHOP served 4.5 million free pancakes in the United States on National Pancake Day 2013 and pancake lovers donated nearly $3 million to children’s charities.

· All of the free pancakes served on National Pancake Day 2013 in the United States would create a stack nearly 13 miles high.

· Since the inception of National Pancake Day in 2006, IHOP has raised nearly $13 million and given away more than 22 million pancakes to support charities in the communities where it operates in the United States.

ABOUT INTERNATIONAL HOUSE OF PANCAKES, LLC
For over 55 years, International House of Pancakes, LLC has been a leader and expert in all things breakfast and a leader in family dining. The chain is highly competitive in its menu offering, serving 65 different signature, made-to-order breakfast options as well as a range of meals under 600 calories. Beyond offering “everything you love about breakfast, ®” IHOP® restaurants have a wide selection of popular lunch and dinner items, as well. IHOP restaurants offer guests an affordable, everyday dining experience with warm and friendly service. As of December 31, 2013, there were 1,620 IHOP restaurants in 50 states and the District of Columbia, as well as in Canada, Guatemala, Mexico, Puerto Rico, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Philippines and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Under the licensed name IHOP at HOME® consumers can also enjoy a line of premium breakfast products available at leading retailers. IHOP restaurants are franchised and operated by Glendale, Calif.-based International House of Pancakes, LLC and its affiliates. International House of Pancakes, LLC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of DineEquity, Inc. (NYSE: DIN).

For more information or to find an IHOP restaurant near you, please visit http://www.IHOP.com. Follow IHOP on Facebook and Twitter.

The Urban Daddy has Been Nominated for the 2013 Canadian Blog Awards!


Hey!Canadian Blog Awards badge

I’ve been nominated for the 2013 Canadian Blog Awards in the Best Family Blog category and there is a LOT of great competition.

If you have a few, ahem, spare minutes, could you please head over to the page and vote for me. Voting closes February 22, 2014.

As uncomfortable as I am asking, I’m doing so anyways.

The site can be found here;  http://cdnba.wordpress.com/

I also took some time to check out many of the other sites in almost all of the categories and I voted for the ones I thought were the best.  Recognizing others feels great!