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Foolish April Fools


Fri, Mar 29th, 2002
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Monday, April 1, 2002

Think about this. You are visiting a friends house on a lovely April afternoon. Since she is known for her wonderful baking, you decide to try the cookies she has just baked. The cookies look similar to Oreo cookies but, instead, have a mint colored filling. With no hesitation you immediately grab one and take a bite. Instead of tasting the wonderful chocolate and mint combination, you taste toothpaste! Your friend could not contain herself any longer and yells, "April Fools!" Yes, you definitely were fooled. Pranks like this happen all over the country on April 1st or April Fools Day. Have you ever wondered how this day came to be? Like some other holidays, the origin of April Fools is rather uncertain.

One common belief holds that during the improvement of the calendar, the date for the New Year was moved from April 1st to January 1st. During this time in history, there was a lack of many things including televisions and radios, therefore, word spread very slowly. There were also the people who were very set in their ways and chose to ignore the change. While others simply forgot. The traditionally set people, along with the forgetful ones, were considered "fools." As a result, these people received invitations to non-existent parties and other practical jokes.

The harassment of April Fools evolved, over time, into a tradition of prank playing on the first day of April. The tradition eventually spread to England and Scotland in the eighteenth century. It was later introduced to the American colonies of both the English and French. April Fools Day developed into an international type of funfest, with different nations celebrating their own brand of humor at the expense of their families and friends.

April Fools Day is celebrated differently in every part of the world. April Fools could have begun with the celebrations of the Spring Equinox. In Scotland, the celebration lasts two days. Day two is known as Taily Day. This being the day the pranks are played. The playing of the practical joke is referred to as "hunting the gowk." The gowk is the extinct cuckoo bird.

In Spain, Da de los Santos Inocentes is held December 28th. This is The Feast of the Holy Innocents. It is celebrated similarly to our April Fools Day with the playing of practical jokes.

In France, April 1st is called "Poisson d'Avril." French children fool their friends by taping a paper fish to their friends backs. .....
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Clancys Clambake

Fri, Mar 29th, 2002
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Monday, March 11, 2002

It should have been the hi-light of the social season, it should have been a night to remember, instead it was the blight of the season and a night no one wanted to remember. The winter had been long, cold, dry and drear ..... 
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Before there were computers

Fri, Mar 29th, 2002
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Monday, March 25, 2001

I've been feeling nostalgic about computersor, I should say, the time before computers. Most of my students at RCTC cannot remember a time before personal computers. Their eyes glaze over at such phrases as, "before th ..... 
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Are You Game?

Fri, Mar 29th, 2002
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Monday, January 21, 2002

A quick note on the NFL playoffs which are in full swing with the Vikings sitting on the couch watching on TV like most everyone else. Look for the Rams, Eagles, Patriots and Ravens to go to the next level. The Packers ..... 
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Bluff Country Bird Festival

Fri, Mar 29th, 2002
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Monday, March 18, 2002

"I think of Fillmore County as my true home," says John Hockema, one of Minnesota's most skilled birdwatchers. John and I are visiting over lunch at the Harmony House. We have just come from a planning meeting for the th ..... 
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"Taming a Shrew is Highly Unlikely"

Fri, Mar 29th, 2002
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Monday, April 1, 2002

Despite a superficial mouse-like appearance Shrews are not rodents, the mammalian group characterized by chisel shaped incisor teeth to which mice, rats, squirrels and a host of other plant eating species belong. Instead, ..... 
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2002 Perennial Plant

Fri, Mar 29th, 2002
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of the Year
Virginia CooperMonday, March 4, 2002

The Perennial Plant Association has named Phlox 'David' to be the plant of the year. Each year this esteemed group chooses a plant whose character and grace deserve a place of honor.

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The Skunk Works

Fri, Mar 29th, 2002
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Monday, March 25, 2002

I noticed the scent of a skunk when I went into our barn a few weeks ago. I had hoped that the skunk was just a passer-by who had become mildly offended or that maybe I had driven over a road kill and gotten some of that ..... 
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Margaret Mead and Gilligan

Fri, Mar 29th, 2002
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Monday, March 18, 2001

For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travels sake. The great affair is to move.
Robert Louis Stevenson

Our world has sure gotten smaller.

When I was a kid, it never seemed ..... 
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