Pranks have been associated with April 1st since at least the late 1300s. One of the earliest recognized April Fools' tricks: In Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, the vain rooster is deceived by a fox on April 1st.
April is the international month of the fugue, following Bach's birthday at the end of March. Some composers channel the master by writing a fugue a day for 30 days.
In the Air
"April hath put a spirit of youth in everything."
The asterisk: not just for dissertations. Deck the walls with a dose of über-modern grammar with the George Nelson Asterisk Clock, originally designed by the architect-artist in 1950 after a lively doodle session with Isamu Noguchi and Bucky Fuller. ($300, momastore.org)
Record player, meet the iPod shuffle. For the vinyl loyalist constantly on the move, the Playbutton may be the perfect solution. The customized button doubles as an LP, with discreet play buttons on the back and a lone jack for headphones — simply pin to your lapel and go. ($25, playbutton.co)
A version of this article appeared in the April 2011 issue of Fast Company magazine.