ItchyFeet (snopova) wrote,

April Fool's Day Hoax (Intermediate)

Instant Color TV

Sweden's most famous April Fool's Day hoax occurred on April 1, 1962. At the time, SVT (Sveriges Television) was the only television channel in Sweden, and it broadcast in black and white.

The station announced (объявил) that their "technical expert," Kjell Stensson, was going to describe a process that would allow people to view color images on their existing (существующий) black-and-white sets.

The broadcast cut to (резко сменить сцену) Stensson sitting in front of a television set in the studio. He began to explain how the process worked. His discussion was highly technical, going into details about the prismatic nature of light and the phenomenon of "double slit (щель) interference." But at last he arrived at the main point. Researchers, he said, had recently discovered that a fine-meshed (мелкозернистый, мелкосетчатый) screen placed in front of a black-and-white television screen would cause (вызвать) the light to bend (отклоняться) in such a way that it would appear as if the image was in color.

Stensson told viewers they could experience (испытывать) the effect at home with the help of some simple, readily accessible (доступный) materials. Nylon stockings (чулки), it turned out (оказалось), were the perfect fabric (ткань) to use as a fine-meshed screen. So all viewers had to do, Stensson said, was to cut open a pair of stockings and tape them over the screen of their television set. The image on the television should suddenly appear to be in color.

Stensson cautioned (предупредить) that the viewer would have to be seated at the correct distance from the screen in order to get the full effect. Also, it might be necessary to "move your head very carefully" back and forth (туда-сюда), in order to align (выстроить в линию) the color spectrum.

Thousands of viewers later admitted (признавать) they had fallen for the hoax. Many Swedes today report that they remember their parents (their fathers in particular) rushing (бегать, суетиться) through the house trying to find nylon stockings to place over the TV set.

SVT attempted its first color broadcast four years later, in 1966. Regular color broadcasts were begun in Sweden on April 1, 1970.

1. мистификация
2. единственный
3. черно-белые
4. позволить людям
5. подойти к главному
6. мелкосетчатый экран
7. пара чулок
8. обмотать вокруг экрана
9. сидеть на правильном расстоянии
10. туда-сюда
11. купиться на мистификацию
12. помнят, как родители бегали по дому

1. What happened on the 1st of April 1962?
2. How many TV channels were there at that time in Sweden?
3. What did the station announce?
4. Which technical details did the expert mention?
5. Which accessible materials could people use to make the image in colour?
6. Where should the people sit to get the proper view?
7. How was it recommended to move the head?
8. What do many Swedes remember their parents doing?
9. When were the colour broadcasts begun in Sweden?

What do you think?

1. Why were many people taken completely in?
2. What is a hoax? What other hoaxes do you remember?

Tags: english, english intermediate

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