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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
July 2002
Legal Urban Legends
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jul 31, 2002
Bob Levey of the Washington Post debunks a few internet legends about people who have received huge financial awards for mishaps that were very minor or their own fault. Such as the one about the woman who threw a soda at her boyfriend in a restaurant, then slipped on the puddle, and successfully sued the restaurant for $113,500. It never happened.
The Hitler Diaries
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jul 30, 2002
New evidence indicates that Gerd Heidemann, the journalist largely behind the Hitler Diaries hoax, was an East German double agent working for the Stasi. This breathes new life into the old theory that the hoax was actually a communist plot.
Categories: History, Journalism Comments (0)
Signs, Crop Circles
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jul 30, 2002
Daily Variety gave Shyamalan's new film Signs a mediocre review. I loved The Sixth Sense, but found Unbreakable disappointing. So I'm not expecting much from his new one.
The Cardiff Giant
Posted by The Curator on Sun Jul 28, 2002
Go visit Cooperstown, New York, where the Cardiff Giant still resides. It's housed in the Farmer's Museum. Cooperstown is also home to the Baseball Hall of Fame. There's an article about the town in today's Toronto Star.
Categories: History Comments (0)
NPR Funding Hoax
Posted by The Curator on Sat Jul 27, 2002
Good description in the Christian Science Monitor of the NPR Funding hoax. I've got this in my e-mail a couple of times. It's the one in which you're asked to sign a petition to help save NPR. It's not real, so don't sign the thing if you get it. The CSM article ends on a glum note: "It would be nice to think that Americans in the 21st century are too savvy and intelligent to get collectively hookwinked by hoaxes, pranks, or propaganda. Don't you believe it."
Categories: Email Hoaxes, Radio Comments (0)
UFO Sightings
Posted by The Curator on Sat Jul 27, 2002
UFO sightings expected to increase in the next few weeks. But that bright object in the night sky won't be a UFO. It'll be the International Space Station.
What separates skeptics from believers
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jul 26, 2002
Fascinating article in New Scientist reports on research that posits that what really separates skeptics from believers (when it comes to matters such as paranormal activity) is brain chemistry. Those with high levels of dopamine in their brains seem to be more prone to see patterns and meaning in random pieces of information. When the drug L-dopa was given to skeptics, they likewise became more prone to see patterns in randomness as well. Of course, the researchers seem to be assuming that the patterns weren't really there. But maybe they actually really WERE there, but the researchers themselves weren't able to see them because their own levels of dopamine weren't high enough. I wonder if the researchers noted their…
Categories: Science Comments (0)
Naperville Crop Circle
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jul 26, 2002
Large crop circle found in a field of soybeans outside of Naperville, Illinois. Is it real, or a publicity stunt in anticipation of the release of the movie 'Signs' on August 2?
Web Site of Supernatural Activity
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jul 26, 2002
"Stickboy" sent me an e-mail letting me know about his "official web site of supernatural activity." Check it out.
Categories: Paranormal Comments (0)
Wacky Postcards
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jul 26, 2002
Nice collection of 'Wacky Postcards' (also referred to as tall tale postcards, or freak postcards) at the UCM Museum's site. UCM stands for Unusual Collections and Miniature Town. The Museum is located in Louisiana. I've never been to Louisiana, but I'd love to get there someday.
Categories: Folklore/Tall Tales Comments (0)
Remembering Naked Came the Stranger
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jul 25, 2002
Robert Wiemer, one of the 25 authors of the 'Naked Came the Stranger' literary hoax from 1969, died yesterday. He was better known as an editorial writer for Newsday. Naked Came the Stranger was a novel that was designed to test just how low the standards of taste of the American public had sunk. 25 Newsday staff members each wrote a chapter of this novel. Their only requirements were that their chapters could contain no plot or character development, no social insight, and no verbal skill. Only one thing was required: a minimum of two sex scenes per chapter. The resulting novel was attributed to a fictitious author (Penelope Ashe), who was played by the attractive sister-in-law…
Categories: Literature/Language Comments (0)
Fake Romanian Soccer Team
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jul 24, 2002
A rogue soccer team pretends to be Romania's Olympic team.
Categories: Sports Comments (0)
Fake 9/11 Heroics
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jul 24, 2002
Lake Tahoe Man invents Sept. 11 heroics, including the claim that he was buried under rubble for over 79 hours.
Online Liars
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jul 23, 2002
Using technology to get around the problem of people lying online. From the NY Times (reg. req.). Researchers estimate that 42% of online responses are currently false.
Categories: Technology Comments (0)
Should it be called palmistry or buttistry?
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jul 22, 2002
I've heard about psychics reading palms. Now here's one that reads buttocks.
Categories: Future/Time Comments (4)
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