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April Fools’ Day trick and other fun stuff from social media

DC cherry blossoms

One of DC’s best spring sights: the cherry blossoms! Image courtesy of xianstudio, Morguefile.

Happy April Fools’ Day! Today, I’m feeling lighthearted, so I’ll tell you about some fun tidbits I discovered from various social media sites.

1) Live from Twitter: Be sure to visit Google Maps today — the developers have added a Pac-Man option to celebrate April Fools’ Day. Go to Google Maps, type an address into the search box and click the Pac-Man window at the bottom left-hand side of your screen. Your screen becomes a mini Pac-Man game to play (so far, my character’s been tromping around K Street in DC and Pall Mall in London — he’s SO international). The up, down, left and right arrow keys on your keyboard help you control your character.

If the location you choose doesn’t work, Google gives you the option of having them select a random address for you. It’s also possible to turn on the sound by clicking on a speaker in the top right corner so you get the background noise from the real Pac-Man game.

A CNET video tells me that it’ll work on mobile devices too. You can swipe the character with your finger to move it. (Let me know in the comments below if you try this — I’d love to hear how it works on different devices!)

2) Discovered from Mashable, a social media hub website: Another way to relax for a few minutes — go to Google Images, type in the words “Atari Breakout” and click the search button. The page you get with the search results becomes an Atari game where you use your left/right keys or your computer mouse to bounce a white ball up against colored barriers (somewhat similar to the game “Pong”). Careful: This one gets addictive.

3) From Moz: Go to the search box in Google, type in the words “do a barrel roll” and watch what happens to the text to your screen. This nifty little trick is particularly effective when you try it out on someone who doesn’t know what’s going to happen.

4) Fans of  J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit should love this one. A while back, I asked Google Maps to show me the directions to Mordor. Thanks to a built-in Easter egg, Google imperiously informed me — wait for it — that one does not simply walk into Mordor. I’m not so sure that this particular Easter egg works so well anymore since there are a few areas that have “Mordor” in their names and Google pulls those up in the search results.

Google Maps also tells me that Neverland is located near Hagerstown, Maryland, which is northwest of Baltimore. Who knew? *giggles*

Have fun today, everyone!

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