Monday, March 30

Walk Around Things Day

Many of us spend our days avoiding situations and things in our lives that we don’t really like to deal with.  However, many of these things are impossible to ignore and end up popping into our heads even if we don’t physically encounter them.  All of us know how it goes when you try so hard to get something out of your head but it ends up being all you can think about.  Today on “Walk Around Things Day”, you can spend all the time you want avoiding those unavoidable things in your life. 

One of the most often avoided entities is work; school-work, home-work, work-work.  All of us spend our days trying to get by and do anything but work.  We go on Facebook and tell people about how much work we have to do, we complain to coworkers about how our boss piled so much work on us this week that we have no idea how it is physically possible to get it all done, we do anything to not actually sit there and do the work we’re talking so much about.  (The thing we don’t actually realize is that if we talked a lot less about the work and just did it, it would be done before we were done complaining about it.)

However, in honor of this celebratory day, here are some ways to avoid doing your ‘whatever’work:

1)      Solitaire.  There are multiple kinds of solitaire any even different ways to play it.  You can play the computer version of regular solitaire with a 1-card flip or 3-card flip at the beginning or spider solitaire (the kind where you only match up cards of the same color).  If you are so inclined you can bust out some real playing cards and play regular solitaire (with one or three-card flip, of course) or you can play “handheld” solitaire which has different rules but is very convenient for small spaces and quick cleanup.  That’s six different ways to play a solo card game.

2)      Social-networking.  With social networking on the rise, there are many options to choose from when it comes to keeping up with your friends.  The most popular among college students is definitely Facebook.  With the picture uploading capabilities and the extremely entertaining applications such as “Bumper Stickers”, there are endless distractions.  As long as they stop changing the layout every 2 months it will probably stay popular for a while.  MySpace is still around, too, but it is definitely more music-based now.  Twitter is a site that uses only short updates to keep people in-tune to their friends’ lives.  People can send in updates via text, mobile web or on the site itself so people can know what they are doing every step of the way (such as what they are doing instead of their work).

3)      Making lists.  Lists can be very productive things, but when it comes to making lists about what you have to do on a given day, there is nothing that is a bigger waste of time.  By the time you’re done writing out your list and making little boxes next to each item so you can check them off later, you could have had 5 of those things done. 

So on this day of avoidance; focus on doing some things that would normally be considered a “waste of time”.  Today it’s all about procrastination and evasion.

April Fools' Day

April Fool’s Day is one of those days that doesn’t really matter in society, but boy do people like to celebrate it.  College students especially, in their ‘prankster’ mindset, love playing tricks on their friends and having an excuse for the victim not to get mad about it.  These pranks can be anything from a simple little statement such as, “I just got kicked out of college…April fools!!” or they can be really intense pranks such as saran-wrapping someone’s car.  Either way, April Fool’s Day is a day to be celebrated in the most untraditional ways.  Here are some of the best pranks done around the country.

Alabama Changes the Value of Pi:  In 1998, the April edition of the New Mexicans for Science and Reason announced that the value of pi had been changed from 3.14159… to the “Biblical Value” of 3.0.  It didn’t take long for the article to spread to the internet and, in turn, get around the world. 

Planetary Alignment Decreases Gravity:  in 1976 the British astronomer Patrick Moore announced on BBC Radio 2 that at 9:47 AM a once-in-a-lifetime astronomical event was going to occur that listeners could experience in their very own homes.  He said that Pluto was passing behind Jupiter, which would cause the gravitational alignment to be off and there would be a temporary decrease in gravity.  At 9:47 AM the station received hundreds of calls from listeners saying that they had experienced the loss of gravity.

Computer Pranks:  This is a prank that is easily done if you feel like playing a trick on an unsuspecting study buddy.   All you need to do is take a screenshot of the computer background (icons and shortcuts included) and set that picture as the computer background.  Then you delete the person’s icons so when they go to click on them, they can’t.  I witnessed this prank done first hand.  The prankster got quite a reaction from the prank-ee because there were important things on the prank-ee’s computer that he didn’t think he could get to.  He restarted his computer multiple times without success before the prankster told him what he had done. 

The Taco Liberty Bell:  In 1996, the Taco Bell Corporation announced that it had bought the Liberty Bell from the federal government and was renaming it the Taco Liberty Bell. Naturally, hundreds of outraged citizens called up the National Historic Park in Philadelphia where the bell is housed to express their anger. Things only calmed down when Taco Bell revealed a few hours later that it was just a practical joke.

Here’s a prank to keep in mind for if you ever work in an office with a coworker you can joke around with:  Foil Everything-- buy several restaurant-size rolls of aluminum foil. Wait 'til the "victim" leaves for the day on March 31 then go into their cubicle or office and wrap EVERYTHING in foil: desk, chair, computer, books, pencils, etc. If enough people chip in and help, it won't take too long. Be sure to take lots of pictures!

I hope you had a playful and fun April Fool’s Day and keep these pranks in mind for next year!