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Hoaxes, mischief, and misinformation throughout history
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The boy with the golden tooth, 1593
Script of Casablanca rejected, 1982
Fake Photos of Very Large Animals

Fake Fish Photos
The Cradle of the Deep, a literary hoax, 1929
The Society for Indecency to Naked Animals, 1959
Bizarre pictographs of Emmanuel Domenech, 1860
Iceberg floats into Sydney Harbor, 1978
The Great Electric Sugar Swindle, 1884
Bonsai Kittens, 2000
More on the Reverse Sokal Hoax
Posted by The Curator on Mon Oct 28, 2002
Regarding the Reverse Sokal Hoax described below: apparently the two brothers supposedly involved in it have denied that it was a hoax (see their statement pasted below). So the mystery continues. TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN It was with the greatest astonishment that we have discovered that 2 members of the Ecole Polytechnique and 2 members of the University of Tours were the sources of an incredible rumor meant to validate the idea>that our papers were purposly written in serious journals as a hoax. Such an assertion is so outrageous that it discredits its authors. The published papers are the result of 6 years of intense and original work induced by our 2 PHD thesis in mathematics (1999, for...

Categories: Science Comments (0)
Reverse Sokal Hoax
Posted by The Curator on Mon Oct 28, 2002
There is an e-mail going around detailing a so-called 'reverse Sokal hoax.' I'm not sure if the circumstances it describes are real or not. But here's the text of the e-mail verbatim: Sometime ago Alan Sokol et al wrote a completely meaningless article on quantum gravity which was accepted by a leading, refereed "deconstructionist journal". Physicists laughed because the hoax was at the deconstructionists' expense. But now there is is an inverse Sokol hoax in which, apparently, two reporters interviewed a lot of string theorists, wrote meaningless but "right sounding" papers and even got a Ph.D. Details below. What is particularly sad is that a key paper appeared in CQG: Class. Quantum...

Categories: Science Comments (0)
Fake Bank Website
Posted by The Curator on Tue Oct 08, 2002
British authorities report that con men set up a website designed to look like that of a major British bank. Users of the website lost around $100,000. This seems very similar to a case that occurred in South Africa last month, which I posted here at the time. I wonder if it's the same group of con men?

Categories: Con Artists, Websites Comments (4)
Fake Ticker Tape Parade
Posted by The Curator on Tue Oct 08, 2002
Yesterday NYC staged a fake ticker tape parade. Bored firemen and policemen marched up and down the same block three times while, according to the NY Post, "drunken office workers shouting like morons to one another" dumped paper on their head. The whole exercise was supposed to persuade the Olympic committee to choose NYC as the site for the Olympics in 2012.

Categories: Law/Police/Crime Comments (0)
Blue Peter Chain Letter
Posted by The Curator on Tue Oct 08, 2002
Beware the Blue Peter chain letter, should you ever receive it. It's a fake! (for Americans who don't know what Blue Peter is, it's a British tv show for kids). Some fear it may even provide encouragement to pedophiles.

Categories: Email Hoaxes Comments (0)
Henry Raddick, Amazon Reviewer
Posted by The Curator on Mon Oct 07, 2002
I recently spent some time reading the Amazon book reviews of Henry Raddick. If you're unfamiliar with this reviewer, you should definitely take the time to acquaint yourself with his work. Rumor has it that Raddick is actually a pseudonym for none other than Prince Charles, a rumor which the Prince vociferously denies. Last year Raddick, or whoever he really is, was involved in a more outright hoax: impersonating Andrew Lloyd Webber on Amazon. Unfortunately, all of Raddick's reviews as Webber have been yanked by Amazon, though the Register has managed to resurrect a few of them.

Categories: Literature/Language Comments (0)
WHO Blonde Report
Posted by The Curator on Thu Oct 03, 2002
The greatest blonde joke ever!!! The media had been enamored of the story that the World Health Organization had predicted the eventual disappearance of the gene for blond hair because there are so many artificial blondes that they're diluting the gene selection for true blondes. But the WHO had never issued a report saying this. It was all a joke.

Streisand and Shakespeare
Posted by The Curator on Wed Oct 02, 2002
Barbara Streisand gets taken in by an internet e-mail hoax about Shakespeare.

Kevin Mitnick
Posted by The Curator on Tue Oct 01, 2002
Red Herring reviews Kevin Mitnick's new book, The Art of Deception: Controlling the Human Element of Security, in which he details the art of the con during the internet era.

Categories: Con Artists, Technology Comments (0)
Scientific Fraud at Bell Labs
Posted by The Curator on Mon Sep 30, 2002
Scientific Fraud at Bell Labs. Jan Hendrik Schon, a nanotechnology hotshot, gets caught falsifying data.

Categories: Science Comments (3)
Bush Learns to Read
Posted by The Curator on Mon Sep 30, 2002
This picture of Bush reading a children's book upside down is a fake. Read the explanation here.

Categories: Photos/Videos, Politics Comments (0)
The Celebrated Ceramic Toad of Osaka
Posted by The Curator on Mon Sep 30, 2002
From the Financial Times, the search for the celebrated ceramic toad of Japan:Few stories encapsulate the madness that was Japan's economic bubble as neatly as the tale of the most powerful ceramic toad in stock market history. At one point in the late 1980s, this toad controlled a Dollars 20bn portfolio, having received trading tips via messages from the gods. This amphibian George Soros has since disappeared, and its owner, a former bar hostess-turned-restaurant owner, is in jail. But on the basis that the gods might still be sending it messages, the Financial Times travelled to Osaka, Japan's most entrepreneurial city, to try to track down this slippery metaphor for all that went wrong...

Categories: Animals, Business/Finance Comments (0)
Saddam Hussein Doubles
Posted by The Curator on Mon Sep 30, 2002
Apparently Saddam Hussein employs many doubles of himself. The men shown below are apparently not the real Hussein. They're his doubles. So will the real Saddam Hussein please stand up?

Optical Illusion
Posted by The Curator on Mon Sep 30, 2002
A cool checkerboard optical illusion

Categories: Photos/Videos Comments (9)
Bigfoot Conference
Posted by The Curator on Mon Sep 30, 2002
It's time for the Annual Bigfoot conference.

Categories: Cryptozoology Comments (0)
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