Image: Google's April Fool's
Google ... er ... Topeka decided to return the favor after the Kansas city changed its name. staff and news service reports
updated 4/1/2010 1:37:54 PM ET 2010-04-01T17:37:54

Need to search for a local restaurant or find a specific Web site? Forget Google — why not "Topeka" it?

Or need a bucket of coffee to keep you going during the day? You're in luck: Starbucks unveiled today the "Plenta" — a 128 oz. drink that requires two hands to hold. Too much? Try the 2 oz. "Micra."

April Fools. Google and Starbucks are just two of the companies getting into the spirit of the annual pranking day.

YouTube offered the curious option of watching videos in text.

The comedy video site was revamped as "Bieber or Die", its home page riddled with the teenybopper star Justin Bieber.

Whole Foods debuted a line of action figures and announced it would add exercise equipment to its stores for customers to burn off the calories of anything they plan to buy.

And Qualcomm, a California tech company, warned that its products could cause users to be "savagely attacked by swarms of butterflies."

'Good place to dig'
For Google, the daylong gesture was a nod to the Kansas capital, which unofficially changed its name to "Google, Kan." for a month to try to persuade the company to test its planned super-fast fiber optic network there.

Visitors to the company's home page were greeted by the name "Topeka" in Google's familiar multicolor typeface. Below it was a link to a lengthy blog post by Google Chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt explaining the move.

Topeka, Schmidt said, took its name from the Kansa Indians as "a good place to dig for potatoes" along the banks of the Kansas River.

"We'd like to think that our Web site is one the Web's best places to dig for information," Schmidt wrote.

Google's pranks didn't stop with just changing its name. Google Maps offered a 3-D feature and Gmail had a "vowel outage."

Cups can be used as yoga block?
Starbucks, meanwhile, said it added the cup sizes to "satisfy all U.S. and Canada customers."

Image: Starbucks April Fool's
Starbucks unveiled today the "Plenta" — a 128 oz. drink that requires two hands to hold. Too much? Try the 2 oz. "Micra."
"Recognizing the potential impact the Plenta presents for municipal waste collection, Starbucks is also suggesting several subsequent uses for the Plenta cup post coffee enjoyment," the company wrote in a press release on its blog. "Suggested usage options include popcorn receptacle, rain hat, perennial planter, lampshade or yoga block."

April Fools' Day dates back centuries, but its origins remain unclear.

A widespread theory is that it dates back to the adoption of the Gregorian calendar with the term April Fool applying to those who were still following the Julian Calendar.

By tradition in most countries, people can pull pranks before noon on April 1 in the name of April Fools' Day but become the fool themselves if they do it in the afternoon.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.


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