The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Hoax Museum Blog
Hoaxes, mischief, and misinformation throughout history
Trophy Turkey
Posted by The Curator on Thu Dec 04, 2003
It turns out that the turkey President Bush was proudly holding on his recent visit with the troops in Iraq wasn't for eating. It's what's known as a 'Trophy Turkey': one that is just for decoration, not for consumption. I guess it wouldn't have looked as good for the cameras for Bush to walk around holding the slices of processed turkey meat that the soldiers really got.
Categories: Food, Politics Comments (0)
Princess Caraboo
Posted by The Curator on Wed Dec 03, 2003
BBC Legacies, the BBC's new website for exploring local history, is doing a feature this month on Local Legends, and has put up an article about one of Bristol's local legends, Princess Caraboo (though perhaps legends is the wrong word to describe the Princess, since she was quite real, though not a real Princess). It's a good article, and they were nice enough to link back to the Museum of Hoaxes in a sidebar.
Does Santa Exist?
Posted by The Curator on Wed Dec 03, 2003
A Florida elementary school teacher made the mistake of telling her kids that Santa doesn't exist. Now Santa himself is making a special trip down from the North Pole to visit the classroom just to prove that he really does exist. I'm sure the teacher feels appropriately remorseful, but at least she didn't tell her kids that Santa was dead as a British vicar did last year.
Categories: Folklore/Tall Tales Comments (0)
He casts a long shadow
Posted by The Curator on Mon Dec 01, 2003
This photo of Dick Gephardt's shadow cast across an American flag was snapped today (Dec. 1) at a campaign rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It appeared on Yahoo News and is quickly spreading across the internet. Despite the suggestive nature of part of the shadow, one has to assume that it hasn't been photoshopped. It's one of those things that seems like a hoax, but actually isn't, much like the picture of the Jamie Oliver calendar that was circulating around recently. Thanks to Kentaro Mori for giving me a heads up about this.
Self Arrest Form
Posted by The Curator on Thu Nov 27, 2003
The East Point Police, in East Point, Georgia, have come up with a novel way to reduce the costs of fighting crime. They simply invite criminals to arrest themselves. They have an easy-to-use self arrest form on their website that criminals can fill out and submit online. At first I suspected that the entire East Point Police website was a joke, but this doesn't appear to be the case. Instead, I'm guessing that this self-arrest form is just a bit of police humor, in the same vein as the decision by the police in Kokomo, Indiana to cut costs by closing the police station during the night. Emergency calls would be recorded on an answering machine and answered…
Categories: Law/Police/Crime Comments (0)
MJ and JR News
Posted by The Curator on Wed Nov 26, 2003
Michael Jackson has set up a website that's serving as his Official Press Room. Apparently Jack the Ripper has now done the same. (Thanks to Kentaro Mori for the link) Update: By the way, don't bother clicking on any of the links on the 'JR News' site. They all lead to spam. Evidently the JR News site is just a front for spammers.
Categories: Celebrities, Websites Comments (0)
Vinland Map
Posted by The Curator on Wed Nov 26, 2003
According to a new study, the Vinland Map (that map of North America drawn by ancient Vikings) may be genuine.
Categories: History Comments (0)
State Seal of Kahlifoania
Posted by The Curator on Tue Nov 25, 2003
Apparently the great state of California, in which I live, has adopted a new state seal, as can be seen below.
Categories: Politics Comments (0)
Art Forgery
Posted by The Curator on Mon Nov 24, 2003
MyStudios.com has an interesting History of Art Forgery (via Fiendish Is The Word). Plus, they challenged 20 contemporary artists to create works in the style of past masters, and you can see the results here.
Categories: Art Comments (0)
Sea Urchins Live Forever
Posted by The Curator on Mon Nov 24, 2003
One of the questions in my gullibility test is whether turtles ever die of old age. The answer is that they don't, and here's a BBC article about another species that shares this trait: the sea urchin. Apparently, unless urchins are killed off by predators or diseasey, they'll live forever.
Categories: Animals Comments (0)
The Great Octopus Mystery
Posted by The Curator on Sun Nov 23, 2003
As a joke, a Peoria woman puts a baby octopus in her boyfriend's toilet. Her boyfriend gets home, finds an octopus in his toilet, and assumes it must have crawled there from out of the sewer. He calls the local paper and the city is soon caught up in the 'Great Octopus Mystery' until the girlfriend calls up and sheepishly confesses.
Categories: Animals, Pranks Comments (1)
Piltdown Man
Posted by The Curator on Sat Nov 22, 2003
Dr. Miles Russell argues that Charles Dawson had to be the sole perpetrator of the Piltdown Hoax, since Dawson had a long history of creating archaeological frauds.
Categories: Science Comments (0)
Bizarre Phobias
Posted by The Curator on Fri Nov 21, 2003
Tom wrote to ask about the reality of a site called The Phobia Clinic. At first glance, the site definitely looks like it represents a real business that's selling a program to help people overcome their fears. The strangeness comes when you dig into some of the fears that they claim they can cure, and you have to wonder... do such fears or anxieties really exist? For example, they can cure you of Arachibutyrophobia (that's a fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth), Ballistophobia (a fear of bullets... but why would anyone want to overcome their fear of bullets? Isn't that a good thing to be afraid of?), Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia (fear of…
Categories: Psychology Comments (449)
Michael Jackson, the jokes have begun
Posted by The Curator on Fri Nov 21, 2003
'Free MJ' shop that's now up on CafePress. Plus, there have been quite a few postings today on my message board dedicated to Michael Jackson's Nose.
Categories: Celebrities Comments (0)
The Jedi Religion
Posted by The Curator on Thu Nov 20, 2003
I wrote in my book about the burgeoning Jedi movement throughout the world. For instance, when the 2001 census was taken in Britain, tens of thousands of people listed 'Jedi Knight' as their religious affiliation on the census forms. I've actually heard from a source in the Office of National Statistics that when the figures were all counted, there ended up being more Jedis than Jews in Britain. Now we have more proof of the growing stature of 'Jediism': the quasi-official website of the Jedi Religion.
Categories: Religion Comments (28)
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