Is Google Really Changing Its Name?
In one of the most amusing April Fools’ jokes I’ve ever seen, today Google has changed its name to Topeka. For those of you who are geographically challenged, Topeka is the capital of Kansas, with a population of 122,377 (as of the 2000 census) and a name that means “to dig good potatoes.”
Why Topeka? According to Wikipedia, on March 1, 2010, Topeka Mayor Bill Bunten issued a proclamation calling for Topeka to be known for the month of March as “Google, Kansas, the capital city of fiber optics.” This was to help “support continuing efforts to bring Google’s fiber experiment” to Topeka, though it was not a legal name change. Lawyers advised the city council and mayor against an official name change. Google announced that it would change its name to Topeka to “honor that moving gesture” at 1 am on 1 April 2010 (April Fools Day). Fun fact: In 1998, Topeka changed its name to “Topikachu” in honor of the Pokémon franchise.
From the Google Blog: Topeka Google Mayor Bill Bunten expressed it best: “Don’t be fooled. Even Google recognizes that all roads lead to Kansas, not just yellow brick ones.”
How might this inspire you to craft your own April Fools’ joke? You might change your name to Google. Or Detroit. Or tell your parents you’re moving to Topeka!