A few months ago, I went through a local automated car wash around sunrise and was inspired to snap a few photos as the water rushed over my car followed by the various rounds of cleaning products. I was surprised how most of them turned out very reminiscent of spatial entities. I immediately thought of my dad and his deep interest in everything space related. He regularly stargazes and always has the 411 on what's going on in the universe.
It was almost instant that I thought maybe I could pull a fast one and convince him that these were photos of a new-found galaxy. A wildly vibrant unexplored territory of our vast universe. As we now have satellites that have physically reached beyond the rings of Saturn, it was a completely feasible idea.
Now remembering that April Fool's Day is approaching isn't typical of me and I often fall victim to/suffer the consequences of having such a poor recollection of the arrival of this mischievous day. My dad and older brother have always taken great joy in participating in the days antics and since I naturally lean towards being a bit gullible, I have been their perfect target for a fair share of my life.
Nope. Not this year. I remembered and it's payback time. I told myself "Self, we need to develop this idea. It has great potential."
STEP TWO: PLOTTING
I started with the photographs. After some minor tweaking, I turned the very identifiable foamy yellows, blues and pinks into something more vibrant and otherworldly, possibly creations of elements and gases that we haven't even identified yet! I'm pretty sure I can spot an alien (or maybe that's a lovebug).
Image 1A and 1B
Image 2A and 2B
Image 3A and 3B
Image 4A and 4B
Now, the big question. How was I going to present these images? It has to be believable. OH, I know... I could make an "official" news website with a fake article on the "new discovery". We regularly email each other links to pages with interesting news, that wouldn't be suspicious. Nah.... he wouldn't fall for that, the URL would give it away. It has to be actually official, maybe from a site he frequents.
I can't alter an official page... or can I *grin*. Thankfully, we have such things as smart emails these days. Want to email an entire web page? You most certainly can... and you can edit it beforehand. Now I just need to find the perfect article to alter.
Finding that was MUCH easier than I thought it would be. THANKS GOOGLE!
"NASA's Swift Satellite Images a Galaxy Ablaze with Starbirth"
This article is about the Triangulum Galaxy (M33) which has been known for quite some time, so I know my dad would know about it and possibly have seen photos of it, MAYBE even looked at it through his telescope BUT this article has a twist to it. What does that galaxy look like when images are taken with ultraviolet light, rather than visible light? He can't see THAT through his telescope. Any images I switch would be believable. ZOMG IT'S PERFECT!!!
Here's the actual photo of M33 as seen in ultraviolet light. It's actually quite beautiful.
STEP THREE: FABRICATION OF SHENANIGANS
It's April Fool's Eve so its time to put the pieces together.
1. Create the email via the browsers "Share" command. It automatically loads the webpage as it originally seen into a smart email.
2. Switch out the photographs, easy enough.
3. Change a few dates to make it seem like it's recent news. Maybe not too new... that would be suspicious after all, I'm not as on top of the space news as he is.
4. Remove any working links so he can't click to the real article.
5. MOST IMPORTANTLY. TEST. TEST. TEST.
I know he uses a particular email client so how will this look when he opens it so I sent it to myself with the same email client to make sure everything opens as it should. Tweaked it. Tested it again.
ZOMG IT'S PERFECT AND THERE'S A NASA LOGO AT THE TOP!
6. Call upon one of my most trustworthy minions, Mom. Tell her to make sure he reads his email first thing in the morning before he realizes what day it is.
STEP FOUR: LAUNCH
"Re: Check out how cool this new discovered galaxy looks! Psychedelic!!! NASA's Swift Satellite Images a Galaxy Ablaze With Starbirth"
STEP FIVE: HAVE PATIENCE
*check email* nothing
*check email* nothing
*check email* nothing
*DING* You have mail!
"I can see that galaxy through my telescope. It is a VERY faint greenish grey patch of light; nothing like this. Very nice photos.
STEP SIX: MUHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
I have FINALLY done it. I have FINALLY gotten my dad on April Fool's Day. You have no idea how delighted I am. *does a little dance*
"So you liked those pictures I emailed you? The article forgot to mention that the satellite that took those photos was launched from the SS Corolla as it rolled through the Boggies Bubbles quadrant."
His response was "I clicked on the link and got a virus on my Mac.... thanks".
Which, is entirely not possible btw. Sounds like deflection of defeat to me!
STEP SEVEN: AVOID BECOMING THE FOOL
From this point forward I know anything he says is not true.
STEP EIGHT: DECLARE YOURSELF THE WINNER
Wear a party hat. Celebrate with a victory drink of choice. Be sure to smirk a little bit and don't forget to rub it in just a tiny bit (be careful not to over do it!).
STEP NINE: DON'T FORGET ABOUT YOUR BROTHER
He surprisingly fell for the ole *insert valuable and well-liked Saints player here* is getting traded trick. Of course it really helps when someone has already made a believable webpage for you. *wink*
I'm definitely going to have to be on my tippy toes next year.