by

It’s April Fools’ Day. Believe Nothing.


April Fools’ Day never fails to remind us of how amazingly clever, self-deprecating, and — occasionally — gullible people can be.

Exhibit A: Georgia Tech announced today on its Web site that all faculty members would be required to use Twitter and Facebook as part of their teaching and research, and that their use of social media would figure into their tenure decisions.

Don’t bother looking for the page, as Tech has already taken it down. The new policy was widely tweeted, and the hyperlocal Web site Patch.com took the bait, reporting the announcement as truth.

“None of our faculty that I’m aware of fell for it,” says Lisa Ray Grovenstein, public-relations director at Georgia Tech. “But we felt like we wanted to take it down to avoid causing any confusion.”

Georgia Tech did leave one joke intact on its Web site: The “T” is absent from the university’s logo.

“The tradition is that students try to steal the ‘T’” from campus signs, Ms. Grovenstein says. “So today on our Web site, the ‘T’ is missing from our logo.”

Elsewhere today:

  • Marywood University, in Scranton, Penn., experienced a “squirrel uprising.”
  • William E. “Brit” Kirwan, chancellor of the University System of Maryland,  proposed selling the state’s flagship campus in College Park to a key sports rival, Duke University.
  • Canada’s University of Waterloo announced that all computer users would be required to be licensed to travel the information superhighway, if pending legislation were passed.
  • President Jane McAuliffe appeared as Princess Leia on Bryn Mawr’s home page, and she announced her institution’s intergalactic partnership with the alien Bithnian University of Science and Technology.
  • Yes! Weekly, a publication in High Point, N.C., declared that Nido Qubein, the ambitious president of High Point University, was going to disband the city council and declare himself king. The paper illustrated its article with a statue that depicted Mr. Qubein as the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro.
  • The “computational knowledge engine” Wolfram|Alpha changed its name to Bieber Beta (also dead, as of the time of this post).
  • LibraryThing released a new e-reader, LibraryThing-e, with a casing that “feels like fine morocco leather and emits a faint ‘old book’ smell.
  • The Union of Concerned Scientists reported that the impact of climate change had pushed Groundhog Day to January.

On that same topic, the venerable Scientific American simply gave up:

“For years, helpful letter writers told us to stick to science. They pointed out that science and politics don’t mix. They said we should be more balanced in our presentation of such issues as creationism, missile defense and global warming. We resisted their advice and pretended not to be stung by the accusations that the magazine should be renamed Unscientific American, or Scientific Unamerican, or even Unscientific Unamerican. But spring is in the air, and all of nature is turning over a new leaf, so there’s no better time to say: you were right, and we were wrong.”

Heard or seen any good ones? Post the links in the comments.

Return to Top