Do You Know How to Prank Properly? GUIDELINES FOR THE PERFECT APRIL FOOLS’ DAY
Know your audience and your target.
April Fools’ Day is one of my favorite holidays because I’ve always considered myself a prankster. Even as a kid, my friends and I were always pulling practical jokes on each other. While the holiday may have come and gone, it prompted me to think of my favorite pranks as well as what exactly makes a good practical joke. While some antics can seem light-hearted, you never know how someone is going to react, so it’s important to follow some guidelines when orchestrating the best practical joke. Even if your materials aren’t meant to be ingested by the prankee, following this rule ensures no one suffers bodily harm. As Murphy’s law says, anything that can go wrong surely will. I’ve seen situations go hilariously well and embarrassingly wrong depending on if the prankster followed this rule. For example, one April Fools’morning, I was running late and rushing to get ready for work. When I hopped out of the shower and went to blow dry my hair, the hairdryer blew baby powder in my face! It went everywhere: the floor, the counter, my face, my chest, and my shoulders. Turns out, my wife had put the baby powder in my hairdryer the night before. It was an innocent prank that didn’t damage the blow dryer and made a small mess in the bathroom. When I was younger, though, one of my friend’s pranks went a little too far while we were at a youth convention. It was a three-day event hosted at the same hotel that my friend Chuck and I were staying at. The first morning before we joined everyone in the convention area, Chuck replaced my deodorant with Flexall 454! If you’re unfamiliar with the product, Flexall 454 is a muscle and joint pain reliever. Typically, if used excessively or over a large area (like a kid’s armpit), it can cause irritation and a burning rash to develop. It’s safe to say the next three days at the conference weren’t the best. An excessive amount of this product could have left me at risk of severe pain, swelling, burning, or blistering. So when concocting your diabolical prank, make sure you’re not using ingredients that are harmful when ingested or topically applied. Don’t be like Chuck. Stick to harmless products and chemicals.
Make sure you know the person you’re pranking really well. This includes their allergies, sense of humor, and how they react to stressful situations. I pulled one
prank years ago on a former employer of mine. My boss and I were pretty good friends, and he had a great sense of humor. The night before I pulled the joke, there was a bad thunderstorm that ran through
the town. We had an elaborate sign out in front of the office. The next morning when I came in, I called to inform my boss that the sign was destroyed by huge tree limbs. He was so shocked and worried that he was getting ready to call the insurance company, but I quickly told him it was just a joke. He gave a howling laugh over the phone and said he really fell for it. In general, it’s best to go for less elaborate pranks, like swapping around the herbs and spices in the kitchen or switching the sugar and salt containers. These are fun pranks, and no one is harmed as a result — though they may receive an unexpected surprise in their morning coffee. Don’t introduce any food items you’ve never seen a person ingest. Better safe than sorry! Do you have any fun light-hearted pranks you love to pull? Let me know the next time you stop by! I’m always looking for fun, safe pranks to pull on my family and friends. —Shayne Harrell
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If your child is between 3–5 years old, you’ve probably noticed that they’re becoming a lot more talkative. By the time children are 4, they can usually speak in 5–8-word sentences. That makes this age range the perfect time to get your child interested in reading. However, this can raise a lot of questions. For starters, the question of how to get your child interested in reading is almost more important than when you do it. You may wonder how much time you should spend reading with them, how intensive reading time should be, and if you should make everything involving words and letters into a reading lesson. While the answers to these questions will vary from child to child, there’s one goal that every parent should strive for when teaching their child to read: Above all, help them enjoy it. When your child starts kindergarten, learning to read will be a part of the curriculum. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to teach them to read earlier, though. If your child loves to read, it can make their learning experience much more enjoyable. WHEN SHOULD YOU TEACH YOUR CHILD TO READ? And How Should You Do It?
Have you ever walked through a park and seen a plastic bottle or wrapper lying on the ground? If so, did you pick it up and properly dispose of it? You might not have realized it, but in that moment, you took a small step toward keeping your community — and, by extension, America — beautiful! April is Keep America Beautiful Month, and folks who celebrate aim to help each community in every state stay clean and green. Created by the nonprofit organization Keep America Beautiful, this holiday offers a perfect opportunity to roll up your sleeves and work to better the place you live in. Here are three ways to show your appreciation for a green America this month. Volunteer for the Great American Cleanup. This event is one of America’s largest community improvement programs, with hundreds of thousands of people participating each year. In 2019, over 550,000 volunteers participated in the GAC to bring natural beauty back into their communities. 2020 marks this event’s 22nd year, and you can be a part of it this month! Volunteer your time with a local Keep America Beautiful affiliate or another community improvement program close to home. Do your part to clean up your parks and spread awareness today. Start plogging. If you’re passionate about staying active and cleaning up your neighborhood, then this is the perfect activity for you! Plogging combines jogging and picking up litter, which takes care of your health and keeps your community clean. Anybody can do it: Just throw on your running shoes, grab a bag, head out the door, and pick up any stray bits of trash you see on your morning jog or evening walk. Improve recycling through education. An important goal during Keep America Beautiful Month is to spread awareness about recycling. There are various ways to educate those around you about recycling and encourage them to do their part. At work, for example, you can volunteer to lead a recycling initiative by printing off guides and fostering discussions on why recycling is so essential. At home, you can make a commitment with your family to fulfill the three R’s of recycling: reduce, reuse, recycle. DO YOUR PART TO KEEP AMERICA BEAUTIFUL AND MAINTAIN GREEN LIVING SPACES FOR EVERYONE
There are plenty of ways to help your child enjoy reading from an early age. One is to simply read to them and make storytime fun. If the pig goes oink or the mailman
has a funny, nasally voice, bring those features to life. You can also have your kids help you with daily tasks that require reading, like making a
to-do list or shopping at the grocery store. When they’re helping you and having fun, it won’t feel like learning at all!
Finally, the best way to make reading enjoyable
for your children is to enjoy it yourself. Your kids watch what you do, and if they see you enjoying a good book, they’ll want to read even more. Reading opens up the world to them, and with your help, nothing will dull their
To discover more ways to participate in Keep America Beautiful month, visit their website at KAB.org today!
love of learning.
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THE OLDEST LIBRARIES IN AMERICA A Story of Many Firsts
What’s the oldest library in America? It’s an easy question to ask, but it has an unexpectedly complicated answer. Before the Industrial Revolution generated greater interest in public services, a library’s function and purpose varied widely. Several libraries in the United States claim to be the country’s “first,” but for different reasons.
libraries throughout the colonies to encourage the spread of the Anglican Church. Not surprisingly, most of the libraries’ holdings were theological.
A Few More Firsts
During the 1700s, a few more “first” libraries were established. In 1731, Ben Franklin and a few others started the first subscription library in the United States. Members of subscription libraries could pay to buy books or borrow them for free. In 1757, 60 men founded the Library Company of Burlington in New Jersey, and Thomas Rodman received a charter from King George II to operate the business in 1758. The library still operates under that charter today. The Library of Burlington was the first library to operate out of its own building after a prominent resident donated the land in 1789.
Colleges and the Clergy
Some believe Harvard University hosted the first library in the United States. Harvard was the first university in the United States, founded in 1636, and clergyman John Harvard seeded the library with a 400-book collection. Soon after, however, Thomas Bray, another clergyman, began establishing the first free lending
By the People, for the People
In 1833, just as the Industrial Revolution was picking up steam, the Peterborough Town Library was founded in Peterborough, New Hampshire, at a town meeting. It was the first tax-supported free public library in the United States and in the world. Not long after that, the Boston Public Library, known as the “palace for the people,” became the first municipal public library in the country. The Boston Public Library was also the first library to have a space specifically for children.
Out of all the “first” libraries in the country, these are the most probable progenitors of most libraries today — even if they weren’t exactly “first.”
EASY DEVILED EGGS
TAKE A BREAK
Inspired by TasteOfHome.com
1/2 tsp ground mustard
1/2 cup mayonnaise
Salt, paprika, garlic powder, and pepper, to taste
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp dried parsley flakes
12 large eggs, hard-boiled
1/2 tsp dill weed
Fresh parsley, minced, and paprika for garnish
1/2 tsp fresh chives, minced
Mix mashed yolks with mayonnaise mixture. Spoon or pipe the mixture back into the egg whites. Garnish with fresh parsley and paprika. Refrigerate before serving.
In a large bowl, combine mayonnaise, milk, parsley flakes, dill, chives, mustard, salt, paprika, garlic powder, and pepper. Mix well and set aside. Cut eggs lengthwise and remove yolks carefully to preserve egg whites.
Solution on Page 4
In a small bowl, mash yolks.
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INSIDE 1 Guidelines for the Perfect Prank
Keep America Beautiful Fostering a Love of Reading in Your Child
The History of Libraries in America Easy Deviled Eggs
Did You Spot These Movie Easter Eggs?
DID YOU SEE IT? 3 of Hollywood’s Best Movie Easter Eggs
This April, many kids will search excitedly for Easter eggs, but aside from the holiday treat, the term “Easter egg” has a fun alternate meaning when it comes to media. In this context, an Easter egg refers to a hidden surprise or message, and people often enjoy trying to find as many as they can. This spring, turn on some of these classic movies and see if you can spot a few of Hollywood’s Easter eggs yourself.
ocean. Their destination is unknown, and sadly, a treacherous storm sinks their ship. Three years later, their eldest daughter, Elsa, is coronated, and guests arrive at the castle. If viewers scan the crowd of visitors, they will see Flynn and Rapunzel from the 2010 Disney movie “Tangled.” (Notice the time difference?) The theory, confirmed by filmmakers, is that Elsa and Anna’s parents were traveling to Flynn and Rapunzel’s wedding. The connections continue with claims that the shipwreck in “The Little Mermaid” was their ship, and some even think that Tarzan’s parents were actually Anna and Elsa’s parents, who survived the wreck.
In 2002, “Catch Me If You Can,” starring Tom Hanks and Leonardo DiCaprio, created just that. The movie follows the life of Abagnale, who briefly appears in the movie himself to arrest DiCaprio, who plays a young Abagnale. Today, Abagnale serves as a security consultant and teaches courses for the FBI.
Indiana Jones and Han Solo Teaming Up
No movie franchises are as prolific as George Lucas’ “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones,” but they also share another Hollywood connection. Both series feature Harrison Ford, who plays Indiana Jones and Han Solo, and the franchises make references to each other, including hieroglyphics in “Indiana Jones” that feature R2-D2, C-3PO, and Princess Leia, as well as a club named Club Obi Wan. Though “The Empire Strikes Back”was filmed before “Indiana Jones,” Lucas had Ford in mind for his next great story and gave Han Solo a bullwhip in reference to Indy’s famous go-to tool.
Disney Royalty’s Family Tree
Frank Abagnale Arresting ‘Himself’
At the beginning of Disney’s “Frozen,” released in 2013, Elsa and
At 15 years old, Frank Abagnale Jr. started his career as one of the U.S.’s most prolific con artists. Abagnale scammed the government out of money, impersonated pilots and doctors, and swindled banks, making his story seem like a Hollywood plot.
Anna’s parents leave
to journey across the
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