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APRIL 1, 2009
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Where is the only remaining Wonder of the Ancient World?
International Info . . . . . P AGE 4

April Fools’ Day Pranks
By Kane Casolari April Fools’ Day is Wednesday, April • 1st. To celebrate, Gist Weekly takes a look at some of the most famous April Fools’ Day pranks and hoaxes of years past.
• Illustration: MS

What’s the difference between a bison and a buffalo?
Ask Kane . . . . . . . . . . PAGE 5

What is a cubit?
By the Numbers . . . . . . . PAGE 6

Which international organization was formed 60 years ago this Saturday?
This Week in History . . . PAGE 7

Which five-time Academy Award-winning film director turns 70 this Tuesday?
B i r t h da ys . . . . . . P A G E 7 Plus games including: Crossword— PAGE 2 Scavenger Hunt— PAGE 2 Trivia Quiz— PAGE 5 Sudoku— PAGE 6 ...And More!

On April 1, 1957, the British television documentary show Panorama featured a three-minute segment about “spaghetti trees.” Hundreds of viewers phoned in about the program, many of them asking how they could grow their • own spaghetti trees. Burger King ran an ad in USA Today on April Fools’ Day in 1998, offeri ng “left- handed Whoppers.” Many customers ordered the “new” burgers, though some asked for the “original,” right-handed ones. The April 1, 1985 issue of Sports Illustrated featured an article called “The Curious Case of Sidd Finch.” Among other fantastic details of his life, Finch was reported to throw a 168-mile-perhour fastball, a skill he learned in • a Buddhist monastery. The subheading of the article said, “He’s a pitcher, part yogi and part recluse. Impressively liberated from our opulent lifestyle, Sidd’s deciding about yoga—and his future in baseball.” Read the first letter of each word up to the dash and you get “Happy April Fools’ Day!”

The fictional island nation of San Serriffe—named after the typography term “sans serif”—first appeared in the British newspaper The Guardian on April Fools’ Day, 1977. That initial article—and subsequent related hoaxes in later years—featured many puns about fonts and text, such as islands called “Upper Caisse” and “Lower Caisse” (uppercase and lowercase). Google has had April Fools’ Day pranks almost every year since 2000. Among these have been a drink called Google Gulp (2005) that was said to increase a person’s intelligence, a free broadband Internet service through sewer lines called Google TiSP— short for Toilet Internet Service Provider—in 2007, and a scratch and sniff feature in 2008. Given Google’s history of pranks, many users initially thought that the company’s email service, Gmail, was a prank when it launched on April 1, 2004. Last year, YouTube—which is owned by Google—pulled its first April Fools’ Day prank on users by making all the links to featured videos on the main page Rickrolls—links that unexpectedly take people to the music video for Rick Astley’s 1987 song “Never Gonna Give You Up.”

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Gist Weekly

APRIL 1, 2009

Word Search: April Fool’s Day

Scavenger Hunt
Search this issue of Gist Weekly to find the pictures and words listed below. They may be anywhere in the issue, in articles, Image: MS games, or ads. (No, finding them in this box doesn’t count.) Answers are on page 8.
Text Images D. A Bird E. A House F. A Robot

Joke of the Week
An artist asked the owner of the local art gallery if anyone had bought any of his paintings recently. “Well, I have good news and bad news,” said the gallery owner. “The good news is that a man came by asking about your work. He was wondering if its value would go up after your death. When I said that it probably would, he bought every painting you had in the gallery.” “That’s great!” said the artist. “What’s the bad news?” “The man was your doctor.”

Find the following words in the grid above. They may be forward, backward, up, down, or diagonal. April Fool Fun Gag Hoax Joke Mischief Prank Ruse Trick

A. Joseph Heller B. Napoleon C. Powhatan

While information in Gist Weekly is collected from sources judged to be reliable, the accuracy of all information cannot be guaranteed. Gist Media is not responsible for the content or accuracy of advertisements. Advertisements are the property of their respective companies and/or creators. The Gist Weekly name and logo are property of Gist Media. Any other trademarks used are the property of their respective owners. All images not otherwise indicated are in the public domain. For image credits, WC: Wikimedia Commons; MS: Microsoft Corp., used under license; PD: public domain; CC By #: Creative Commons Attribution License (, where # is the number next to “CC By”). Any text and puzzles created by Gist Media and not otherwise indicated as being in the public domain or created/copyrighted by a third party were created by Kane Casolari and are released under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. For more information, visit license or by/3.0.

Find your way from the upper-left corner to the lower-right

In issue 16, the web address given for The Escapist was incorrect. The correct address for the site is Gist Weekly regrets the error and has corrected it in the online edition of that issue.


ACROSS 1. International org. founded in 1949* 5. Explorer supposed to be the first person to reach the North Pole* 10. Duration 14. Baking chamber 15. Adjust, as laces 16. One-eighties 17. Low in pitch 18. Baddies

19. Notion 20. Abounding in lilies 22. Inflammation of the ileum 24. Overjoy 25. Org. 26. Ova 29. ___ Buffalo* 33. Not just “a” 36. Rec ord- se tti ng day f or tornadoes: The ___ Outbreak* 39. To one side

40. Distinctive quality 42. Compost 44. Send forth 45. First 47. March of ___ 49. Airport abbr. 50. Cease being awake 51. Combustible heap 53. Doctor’s order 57. Famous hoax: Spaghetti ___* 61. Capital of Kenya 63. Rascal 64. Catchall abbr. 65. Pocahontas’s husband* 67. Magician’s opening 68. Hip bones 69. Most common noble gas* 70. “Hop ___!” 71. Faculty head 72. Horse 73. Inspires dread DOWN 1. Kind of gas* 2. Benefit 3. Kind of coil 4. At the scene 5. Goad 6. Brain scan, for short 7. Courtyards 8. Cambodian cash 9. Those in favor 10. Piece of luggage 11. Foot: Prefix 12. The ___ have it

13. Code-cracking org. 21. Lines of thought, for short? 23. State that has the motto, “Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain” 27. Resin 28. Potato 30. Duration 31. Prepare for publication 32. Abbr. after many a general’s name 33. Last call? 34. Fling 35. Buffalo’s lake 37. Inventor Whitney 38. Dudley Do-Right’s org. 41. ___ Bison* 43. Get your hands off me! 46. 0 on a phone: abbr. 48. Mex. miss 52. List of errors 54. Lively dances 55. Fail at a premature stage 56. Drivel 58. Arm joint 59. Strange and mysterious 60. Sports figures 61. Egyptian river* 62. Water buffalo’s home* 63. Sell 64. Being at the middle 66. Enemy
*Starred clues have answers that can be found elsewhere in this issue Solutions to all puzzles are on page 8


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Gist Weekly

APRIL 1, 2009

Though it looks small compared to the rest of Africa, Egypt has an area of 386,660 square miles— nearly one-and-a-half times the size of Texas. Egypt is well-known for its pyramids. The country is home to over 100 of them, most of them tombs build for pharaohs.

Napoleon’s troops. In fact, it may have been damaged by a vandal as early as 1378—nearly 400 years before Napoleon’s birth. The Sphinx may also have had a beard at one time. Fragments of limestone thought to have been part of the beard are on held by both the Egyptian Museum and the British Museum.

The Great Pyra• Perhaps the mid of Giza, most famous citibui l t a bout zen of Egypt is 4,580 years ago King Tutankhamen, Egypt’s flag as a tomb for or “King Tut” for King Khufu, is short. He is known the only one of the Seven Wonnot just for being a pharaoh, but ders of the Ancient World still for his tomb—the most intact standing today. Ancient Egyptian tomb found to date. Archaeologist Howard The Great Pyramid is approxiCarter’s discovery of the tomb in mately 455 feet tall and is thought 1922 helped popularize the study to have been about 481 feet tall of ancient Egypt. when it was built, having lost some of its height to erosion. It • The vast majority of Egypt is dewas the tallest structure built by sert; less than five percent of the humans for nearly 3,900 years, land is suitable for farming. Most until the completion of the Linof the country’s population lives coln Cathedral’s spire in London in the Nile valley and delta. around 1311. • At roughly 4,135 miles long, the At roughly 241 feet long, 20 feet Nile is the longest river in the wide, and 65 feet high, the Great world. Some people are confused Sphinx of Giza is the largest by seeing it seem to flow “up” on statue in the world made of one a map. Remember that the top of piece of stone. It is also the oldest a map is north, not up. Like all known sculpted monument, datrivers, it flows downhill; downhill ing back to about 4500 years ago. just happens to be toward the north for the Nile, as it is for the Contrary to a popular legend, the Niagara River, the Rhine, the nose of the Sphinx was not deElbe, and many other rivers stroyed by a cannonball fired by

Match the Ancient Egyptian gods and goddesses on the left to their descriptions on the right.
(Answers on page 8.)

Anubis Bast (or Bastet) Ra Isis

Cat-like goddess of war and protector of the pharaoh Falcon-headed sun god Goddess of motherhood and fertility Jackal-headed god of mummification and the afterlife


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Illustrations: MS

Each question below relates to the topic of a feature in this issue of Gist Weekly, but is not answered in it. Answers are on page 8. 1. April Fools’ Day Pranks (Page 1): On April 1, 1980, the BBC reported that the face of which famous clock would be replaced by a digital one? 2. International Info: Egypt (Page 4): Which band sang the 1986 number-one hit song, “Walk Like an Egyptian”? 3. Ask Kane: Buffalo vs. Bison (Page 5): Which U.S. coin had an American Bison (also called an American Buffalo) on the reverse side from 1913 to 1938? 4. By the Numbers: 18 (Page 6): Baseball player Don Larsen pitched the only perfect game in World Series history while wearing the number 18 jersey for which team in 1956? 5. Historic Birthdays This Week (Page 7): Sir Alec Guinness would be 95 this Thursday. Who did he play in the original Star Wars film trilogy? By Gist Weekly editor Kane Casolari Kane, I know you already wrote an article about the differences between similar animals [way back in the very first issue –ed.], but I was wondering what the difference between a bison and a buffalo is. Thanks! —Robin N. Robin, The American Bison is often called the American Buffalo, but bison and true buffalo are distant relatives of each other. Both are part of the Bovidae family, but that does not necessarily make them very similar to each other—the family includes animals as diverse as cattle and goats. Buffalo belong to the genus (a division smaller than family) Bubalus; bison are in the genus Bison. As you can see from the pictures on the right (buffalo on top, bison below), both buffalo and bison are large, horned creatures. They also have similar diets, eating mainly grasses. One difference between buffalo and bison is where they live. The American Bison lives in North

Photo credits (clockwise from top left): Da/WC (CC By 2.0); Stig Nygaard/Flickr (CC By 2.0); Sedoglia/Flickr (CC By 2.0); Jack Dykinga/WC (PD)

Clockwise from top left: Water Buffalo, African Buffalo, Wisent (European Bison), American Bison

America and the European Bison— also called the wisent—resides in Europe. Buffalo are native to Asia (the Water Buffalo) and Africa (the African, or Cape, Buffalo).

Due to hunting in the 1800s, the bison was almost wiped out. It has begun to make a comeback thanks to conservation efforts, but bison are still much less abundant than buffalo. Today, there are about 350,000 bison One physical difference between the in the world and roughly 150,000,000 two creatures is that bison have (over 400 times as many) buffalo. thicker hair on the front parts of their bodies, including their heads—which, Have a question you would like answered? incidentally, are significantly bigger Send it to or submit it at and than buffalo heads. Bison’s hair editor Kane Casolari may answer your question includes a “beard” that buffalo do not in a future issue. Mark questions “okay to have. Bison also have shorter, but print.” Questions may be edited for space, clarity, or other considerations. sharper, horns than buffalo do.

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Gist Weekly

APRIL 1, 2009

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You can find a new issue of Gist Weekly each week at over 50 locations throughout the Illinois Valley area, including the ones listed below. Ann Frances Salon 300 5th St. #A Peru Applebee’s 1517 Wenzel Rd. Peru Arby’s 1530 May Rd. Peru Arby’s 833 3rd St. Peru Baymont Inn 5240 Trompeter Rd. Peru Big Boy’s Tire & Service 1155 5th St. LaSalle Burger King 1 Marquette Ave. Oglesby Ricardo Calderon, MD 128 Bucklin St. LaSalle Coronet of Peru 3705 Frontage Rd. Peru Days Inn 120 North Lewis Ave. Oglesby De Angelo’s Hair Styling 407 5th St. Peru Steven Delheimer, MD 128 Bucklin St. #1 LaSalle John DeRango, DDS 360 1st St. LaSalle Fajitas 254 3rd St. LaSalle Family Beauty Shop 1020 Buffalo St. Peru Franklin’s Hair Design 209 E. Walnut St. Oglesby Neelam Goel, MD 920 West St. #116 Peru Michael Grabowski, DDS 2200 Marquette Rd #107 Peru Grosenbach’s Auto Repair 301 N. Columbia Ave. Oglesby Hair Affair 813 Peoria St. Peru Hy-Vee 1651 Midtown Rd. #200 Peru I Need Cash, Inc. 148 Marquette St. LaSalle Illini State Bank 206 S. Main St. Lostant Illini State Bank 301 S. Columbia Ave. Oglesby Illinois Retina Institute 2200 Marquette Rd. #105 Peru Illinois Valley Community Hospital 925 West St. Peru Illinois Valley Community College 2501 E. 350th Rd. Oglesby Illinois Valley Surgical Associates 920 West St. #118 Peru JJ’s Dogs, Beef, Chicken, and More 154 3rd St. LaSalle Robert Kinsella, MD 2220 Marquette Rd. Peru La Quinta Inn 4389 Venture Dr. Peru LaSalle Public Library 305 Marquette St. LaSalle Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches 1318 38th St. Peru Joel Leifheit, MD 920 West St. #111 Peru Machelle’s Back Street 959 9th St. LaSalle McDonald’s 115 N. Lewis Ave. Oglesby McDonald’s 924 Shooting Park Rd Peru McDonald’s 5251 Trompeter Rd. Peru Metropolis 821 1st St. LaSalle Midas Auto Service Experts 4224 Mahoney Dr. Peru Mr. Salsa’s 309 E. Walnut St. Oglesby Nimee Auto Sales 4341 Venture Dr. Peru Oglesby Public Library 111 S. Woodland Ave. Oglesby Oscar’s Automotive 176 E. Walnut St. Oglesby Papa John’s 930 Shooting Park Rd. Peru Pennzoil 10-Minute Oil Change Center 4239 Venture Dr. Peru The “New” Pine Cone 206 LaSalle Road LaSalle Quad City Prosthetics 2200 Marquette Rd. #112 Peru Quiznos 5255 State Rt. 251 #11 Peru The Root Beer Stand 225 Columbia Ave. Oglesby Salon Patrice 1525 Peoria St. Peru Shear Wizards 2007 4th St. Peru Smitty’s Service Station 756 Crosat St. LaSalle Sparkle Cleaners 225 E. Walnut St. Oglesby Steak ‘n Shake 4240 Venture Dr. Peru Tiki Motel Rts. 80 & 51st LaSalle Waldorf Hair Co. 2129 4th St. Peru William White, DDS 225 Gooding St LaSalle
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By the Numbers: 18
Saturn has 18 moons. Golf courses traditionally have 18 holes. The number probably comes from Scotland’s St. Andrew’s course, the world’s oldest golf course still in existence. It originally had 12 holes, 10 of which were played in reverse as well, for a total of 22. In 1764, the course’s first four holes were combined into two, reducing the number of holes per round to 18. The periodic table of the elements has 18 groups (columns). A cubit, an early unit of length based on the distance between a person’s fingertips and elbow, is generally about 18 inches, though it has varied in different times and places. The Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution began Prohibition in the U.S. The novel Catch-22 by Joseph • Heller was originally going to be called Catch-18, but the name was changed to avoid confusion with • Leon Uris’s Mila 18. Both novels take place during World War II. A standard dartboard and a regulation-size basketball hoop both • have diameters of 18 inches. In many countries and 47 of the • 50 U.S. states, 18 is the age of majority. The only states in which • it is not 18 are Alabama (19), Mississippi (21), and Nebraska (19).

Alice Cooper, singer of “I’m Eighteen”

The age of majority is the age at which a person is legally considered an adult, though some other measures of adulthood (voting age, age of consent, minimum age to purchase alcohol, driving age, etc.) may be higher or lower. Alice Cooper’s first big hit was “I’m Eighteen,” released in 1970. Argon has the atomic number 18 and is in group 18 on the periodic table. It is the most common noble gas on Earth. The space between the goal posts in American football is 18.5 feet. Louisiana became the 18th U.S. state on April 30, 1812. In Australian football, each team has up to 18 players on the field at a time.

Number and Logic Games

Place a number in each empty box so that every row, column, and 9box square contains each of the numbers from one to nine.


Use logic to determine which boxes to fill in and which to leave white. The numbers above each column and next to each row indicate unbroken sets of filled-in boxes: i.e., “5 2” means that sets of 5 and 2 black boxes appear in it, in that order, with at least one white box in between. Fill in a box only when you are sure it must be black. You may want to mark known white boxes with Xs or dots.


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This Week in History

April 1, 1789: The United States House of Representatives elects Frederick Muhlenberg of Pennsylvania as the first Speaker of the House during a quorum in New York City. April 2, 1984: Rakesh Sharma, a Squadron Leader in the Indian Air Force, is launched into space with two Soviet cosmonauts aboard Soyuz T-11, becoming the first Indian in space.

DC. By 2009, NATO membership more than doubles to 26, including Canada, the United States, and about half of the countries in Europe.

This Week’s Celebrity Birthdays
Actor Sam Huntington (Fanboys, Superman Returns) . . April 1, 1982 Actress Pamela Reed (The Simpsons, Jericho) . . . . . . April 2, 1949 Zoologist Jane Goodall, best known for her 45-year study of chimpanzees’ social behaviors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . April 3, 1934 Actor Craig T. Nelson (The Incredibles, Coach) . . . . . April 4, 1944 Film director Roger Corman, known for directing dozens of B-movies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . April 5, 1926 Actor Paul Rudd (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Clueless) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . April 6, 1969 Film director Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather, Apocalypse Now) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . April 7, 1939
Clipart: MS

April 5, 1614: Pocahontas and English colonist John Rolfe are married in Virginia. The marriage helps usher in eight years of peace between the English and the Powhatan tribe, led by Pocahontas’s father. April 6, 1909: An expedition lead by Robert Peary becomes the first to reach the geographic North Pole, according to Peary’s claims, though some doubt those claims due to inconsistencies in Peary’s records. April 7, 1964: IBM announces the System/360 mainframe computer family. It is the first time that computers of different processing capabilities can run the same program code without the need to rewrite it for each machine, allowing businesses to upgrade their computers as their needs grew but still keep using the same programs.

April 3, 1974: The biggest 24- • hour tornado outbreak in recorded history occurs across 13 central and eastern U.S. states and the Canadian province of Ontario. Dubbed “The Super Outbreak,” the record 148 confirmed tornados—including six rated • F5—kill at least 315 people, injure over 5,000, and do about $3.5 billion dollars’ worth of damage (in today’s dollars). April 4, 1949: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is formed when representatives from 12 European and North American nations sign the North Atlantic Treaty in Washington,

Historic Birthdays This Week
Actor Lon Chaney, Sr. (The Phantom of the Opera, The Hunchback of Notre Dame) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . April 1, 1883 Actor Sir Alec Guinness (Star Wars original trilogy, Bridge on the River Kwai) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . April 2, 1914 Actor Marlon Brando (The Godfather, On the Waterfront) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . April 3, 1924 Actor Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight, Brokeback Mountain) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . April 4, 1979 Actor Gregory Peck (To Kill a Mockingbird, The Boys from Brazil) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . April 5, 1916 Comic book artist Gil Kane (The Amazing Spider-Man, Green Lantern) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . April 6, 1926 Jazz singer-songwriter Billie Holiday (“Lady Sings the Blues,” “Strange Fruit”) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . April 7, 1915

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Next Week in Gist Weekly:

Easter is Sunday, April 12. To celebrate, Gist Weekly has some fun facts you might not have known about Easter. Which state was the first to declare independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain? Find out in Fifty State Fun Facts. Who became President of the United States by just one electoral vote? By the Numbers has the answer. This Week in History takes a look at the 35th anniversary of a baseball milestone and other events that took place between April 8 and April 14. In Birthdays, a House star turns 30 and “the father of modern neurosurgery” would be 140. Plus the usual assortment of puzzles and games, including a crossword, sudoku, scavenger hunt, and more.

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Look for Issue #19 in one week!
All planned upcoming features are tentative and subject to change. Planned publication/delivery date may be delayed due to weather or other circumstances.

Game and Quiz Answers
—WORD SEARCH— Solution —MAZE— Solution —CROSSWORD PUZZLE— Solution

A. B. C. D. E. F. Page 6 (“By the Numbers”) Page 4 (“International Info: Egypt”) Page 7 (“This Week in History”) Page 5 (On the African Buffalo’s back) Page 1 (Garage sale notice) Page 8 (Metropolis ad)

—MATCH UP— Answers Anubis—Jackal-headed god of mummification and the afterlife Bast (or Bastet)—Cat-like goddess of war and protector of the pharaoh Ra—Falcon-headed sun god Isis—Goddess of motherhood and fertility

—TRIVIA QUIZ— Answers 1. Big Ben 2. The Bangles 3. The nickel 4. The New York Yankees 5. Obi-Wan Kenobi

—SUDOKU— Solution

—NONOGRAM— Solution

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