Don't panic! Contrary to recent reports, Indymedia is NOT in talks with CBS/Viacom. Anti-GE activists have NOT bought Monsanto, Corsica will NOT become a detention center, and the 1st of May has NOT been removed from the calendar! Much less fortunately, Bush and Cheney are still in office in the United States.
These prank articles were posted in celebration of what is known across Europe and the United States as April Fools Day. On this day, it is common for people to play jokes on their friends, usually by telling outrageous stories or performing stunts that are punctuated by the exclamation: April Fools! (Or in France, Poisson d'Avril, "April's Fish!")
While the choice of day is limited to certain countries, the concept itself is a cross-cultural phenomenon. The same tradition is celebrated in Spain and across Latin America on December 28, "El Dia de los inocentes." Some trace the holiday back to the ancient festival of Holi, celebrated since ancient times by Hindu cultures on the first full moon of March. Others draw connections with the concept of carnival-festivals in which the usual social order is turned upside-down. This is seen as a reminder that none one, particularly those in power, should take themselves too seriously all the time.
As the humorist Mark Twain writes: "The first of April is the day we remember what we are the other 364 days of the year."