The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Hoax Museum Blog
Hoaxes, mischief, and misinformation throughout history
$200 George Bush Bills
Posted by The Curator on Mon Sep 15, 2003
This story has been getting quite a lot of attention. On Sep. 6, 2003 a man paid for $150 in groceries at a Food Lion in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina with a phony $200 bill bearing George W. Bush's portrait. The bill showed a white house with signs on its lawn reading 'we like ice cream' and 'USA deserves a tax cut.' The cashier accepted the bill and gave $50 change. The Smoking Gun was able to actually get a picture of the $200 bill used in the transaction. What most people don't remember is that this scam is hardly new. Two years ago, on January 28, 2001 a drive-thru…
Categories: Con Artists, Politics Comments (3)
Playing Chicken with a Bus
Posted by The Curator on Mon Sep 15, 2003
Here's a suspicious bit of video forwarded by Mara (who should get a prize for finding this kind of stuff). It shows a young man ducking to the ground as a bus rushes over him. Personally I think he's not actually under the bus. He's on the opposite side of the bus.
Categories: Photos/Videos Comments (0)
Cough CPR Update
Posted by The Curator on Mon Sep 15, 2003
A visitor named Lewy sent in a link to this ABC News story about 'Cough CPR' following up on my post about the subject below. It turns out that a Polish researcher, Dr. Tadeusz Petelenz, published some results just a few weeks ago suggesting that vigorous coughing could help people experiencing cardiac arrest remain conscious long enough to get help. But the jury still seems to be out on the subject. The UK Resuscitation Council says that there's no evidence coughing is going to help. The basic problem is that if you do the cough CPR, you've got to time the coughs exactly right, or you could actually make the heart attack worse. An emergency nurse named Richard…
Categories: Health/Medicine Comments (0)
Staged Bloopers
Posted by The Curator on Sun Sep 14, 2003
You know all those real-life, caught-on-video bloopers and accidents that are the staple of shows like 'Funniest Home Videos'? Guess what? According to the Hollywood Reporter A lot of them are staged. The market for bloopers has simply become too large to rely on accidental bloopers alone.
Categories: Entertainment Comments (0)
Neck-Bomb Hoaxer
Posted by The Curator on Sun Sep 14, 2003
On August 28 a man with a bomb padlocked to his neck robbed a bank in Erie, Pennsylvania. The bomb blew up shortly thereafter, killing the man. The case got a lot of attention, so given human nature it shouldn't surprise anyone that neck-bomb copycat hoaxers are now popping up.
Categories: Law/Police/Crime Comments (0)
Don’t Get Back into Your Car While Refueling
Posted by The Curator on Sun Sep 14, 2003
There's an email going around warning people not to reenter their car while filling the tank at a gas station. Doing so might create a spark that will set the gas fumes on fire, causing a flash fire. Now this sounds like some kind of urban legend, but Mike Davis at CarConnection.com, who's done some research into the subject, warns that the danger is small but real.
Categories: Email Hoaxes Comments (0)
A Fake McCoy
Posted by The Curator on Sun Sep 14, 2003
The real McCoy has her identity stolen. Fake McCoy still at large.
Categories: Identity/Imposters Comments (0)
Cardiff Giant
Posted by The Curator on Sun Sep 14, 2003
At the Farmer's Museum in upstate New York this weekend they're celebrating the Cardiff Giant's 134th birthday with a birthday cake contest. It seems to me they're celebrating his birthday a little early. I thought he was discovered on October 16, 1869. But I'm not one to split hairs over something like that. I just wish I was there.
Categories: History Comments (0)
Will coughing help ease a heart attack?
Posted by The Curator on Sun Sep 14, 2003
An email has been going around claiming that vigorous coughing can help you survive a heart attack. I received it, and to be honest I thought it sounded pretty believable. I should have known better. According to heart specialists, coughing won't make a heart attack any worse, but it's also not going to make it any better. Just another example of why you shouldn't believe medical advice you get from forwarded emails. The proper thing to do if you think you're having a heart attack is to take some aspirin.
Categories: Health/Medicine Comments (0)
The Hoaxing of Margaret Mead
Posted by The Curator on Sun Sep 14, 2003
Thanks to Derek Freeman's work, a lot of people know that the anthropologist Margaret Mead was hoaxed into believing that young Samoan girls were far more sexually active than they actually were. But Mead made influential claims about other cultures as well, about which she apparently was just as wrong, according to this article in Front Page Magazine. For instance, she claimed that the Mountain Arapesh, a tribe of New Guinea yam gardeners, had no knowledge of the concept of war. Not quite. Other researchers later found that about half the adult male Arapesh had killed people in battle.
Categories: Science Comments (0)
More about Google Ads
Posted by The Curator on Sun Sep 14, 2003
Just added Google Ads to the home page of the site (see to the right), and it looks like the Google computer is inferring from the fact that I had one entry referring to identical twins amputating body parts that visitors to my site might be interested in ads about amputation services and DNA testing. How weird. But at least these ads are a lot more interesting than the generic kind of ads for credit cards and mutual funds that are plastered over most of the internet.
Categories: Miscellaneous Comments (0)
SciFi Happens
Posted by The Curator on Sat Sep 13, 2003
The SciFi Channel has a section on its website called SciFi Happens on which they pretend to invite the public to send in clips of true-life weird things that have been caught on film. All the clips are staged by the SciFi Channel itself, of course, but some of them are kind of cool. There's a UFO spotted flying around the World Trade Center, a guy who becomes magnetized after suffering an electric shock, ladybugs that fly in geometric patterns, and the Lake Champlain sea serpent. You need Quicktime to see the clips.
Google Ads
Posted by The Curator on Fri Sep 12, 2003
I've just signed up with Google Ads to have them place ads on my website, thus ending my long-standing principled stance against cluttering up my site with advertising. Since it's costing me $50 a month to pay for the bandwidth for the site, I figure that I need to make an effort to recoup those costs somehow. Plus, the Google Ads, being only text, are relatively unobtrusive. And finally, the Google computer tailors the ads to the content of each page, so that the ads aren't totally irrelevant. I'm finding it very interesting to see what ads the computer chooses to place on each page. I've only begun adding the ad code to my pages, but on the Bonsai…
Categories: Miscellaneous Comments (0)
Holotouch.com
Posted by The Curator on Fri Sep 12, 2003
A visitor sent me a question about holotouch.com: "Dont think this is for real. Check it out. Seems too simple a site to claim what they have achieved." Actually, although the technology sounds like something out of Star Trek: the Next Generation, it is real. The links they have to articles about themselves written by the New York Times and others all check out. Plus, I've read about similar technologies before. As for the simplicity of the site, I assume that the company just doesn't have a lot of cash to spend on a flashy website. That's often the case with startup companies.
Categories: Technology Comments (1)
Body Modification Hoaxes
Posted by The Curator on Fri Sep 12, 2003
Dr. Zizlesse offers a revolutionary alternative for overweight women who can't lose those extra pounds: nipple surgery. I'll let you discover on your own why nipple surgery can solve women's weight problems, but I have to say that there's definitely a strange, twisted logic to what he suggests. I'm also sure it's a hoax. Note that near the bottom of the intro page Dr. Zizlesse asks 'Are you gullible?' (may not be safe for work because of the background image, though it took me ages before I actually noticed what was in the background). This next site also involves strange forms of body modification. At Adding and Subtracting we meet two identical twins, Ryan and Dave,…
Categories: Body Manipulation Comments (0)
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