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September 2002
From The Guardian, Prague police have declared war on cheating taxi-cab drivers by unleashing an army of fake tourists to flush out the cheats.
Categories: Law/Police/Crime
Posted by Alex on Tue Sep 17, 2002
Comments (1)
Simon Jeffery of The Guardian offers a comprehensive guide to the phenomenon of crop circles.
Categories: Crop Circles
Posted by Alex on Tue Sep 17, 2002
Comments (0)
From today's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: A woman invents an elaborate story about being kidnapped by three abductors, prompting police to send in a SWAT team to rescue her. They find her sitting alone in her car. The abductors were all a figment of her imagination.
Categories: Law/Police/Crime
Posted by Alex on Mon Sep 16, 2002
Comments (0)
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch asks of the Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo dance troupe: is it parody or real ballet? What is Les Ballets Trockadero all about? From their website, it's about "teaching hairy guys in tutus how to take flight."
Categories: Art
Posted by Alex on Mon Sep 16, 2002
Comments (0)
An LA Times reader reacts to the Sept. 9 story about the hotline for 'losers' (from LA Times, requires registration):
The idea of a woman giving out a bogus "loser's" phone number instead of her own is an old one ("Hey, Loser, Got a Message for You," Sept. 9). Some years ago I met an attractive young woman and asked for her number. She gleefully gave it to me. I phoned the very next day, only to hear a taped recording: "Thank you for calling the Los Angeles Zoo.... " My only solace was a good laugh because, even though the joke was on me, it was truly funny. Unfortunately, Jeff Goldblatt's "loser's" phone number is lean on humor and mean to the extreme.
Categories: Sex/Romance
Posted by Alex on Mon Sep 16, 2002
Comments (0)
If someone asks for your phone number and you don't want to give it to them, get rid of them discreetly by giving them the number for the rejection hotline. They'll think it's your number until they dial it up and hear this prerecorded message: "The person who gave you this number obviously did not want you to have their real number. Maybe you're just not this person's type.... This could mean short, fat, ugly, dumb, annoying, arrogant or just a general loser. Maybe you suffer from bad breath, body odor or even both. Maybe you just give off that creepy, overbearing, psycho-stalker vibe. Maybe the idea of going out with you just seems as appealing as playing leapfrog with unicorns." In LA the number is (310) 217-7638. (From LA Times article... Requires registration). Check out the website of the Rejection Hotline to find the number to call in your city. They also provide phony business cards.
Categories: Sex/Romance
Posted by Alex on Tue Sep 10, 2002
Comments (62)
Street Scams of Barcelona (link via bloggerheads).
Categories: Con Artists
Posted by Alex on Mon Sep 09, 2002
Comments (0)
There's a new documentary movie out called "Crop Circles: Quest for Truth." It's got a pretty cool website. Apparently it argues that crop circles are the work of extraterrestrial beings of natural forces. But the San Francisco Chronicle reviews it and calls it a "credulous bore."
Categories: Crop Circles
Posted by Alex on Sat Sep 07, 2002
Comments (0)
Elaine Dutka, writing for the LA Times, notes a minor prank that occurred on ABC's 'Good Morning America' show:

Producers of ABC's "Good Morning America" inadvertently served up a plug for a new drama-reality series airing on the network, Variety reports. As weatherman Tony Perkins was chatting with folks outside the studio, he encountered some fellows who claimed to be members of the Push, Nev., hockey team. As it happened, there is no such town--except in ABC's new series of the same name, executive-produced by Ben Affleck and Sean Bailey. The athletes in question were really actors hired by ADD--a company employed by ABC to mount a guerrilla public relations campaign for the show. No one at ABC News had been advised of the prank, and Perkins was unaware of the show. "This is a show that is very different and we are trying to market it in a different way," an ABC spokesman said. "ADD didn't take into account the kinds of questions that could arise by enacting this sort of strategy within the same company."
Categories: Entertainment, Places
Posted by Alex on Sat Sep 07, 2002
Comments (0)
Online crocodile hoaxes.
Categories: Animals
Posted by Alex on Fri Sep 06, 2002
Comments (0)
A report by the St. Petersburg Times.Psychic fails to predict her own arrest. From Agence France Presse, Sept. 4:
A US woman who claimed to be a psychic medium and conned her clients and the taxman was Wednesday ordered to pay 60,000 dollars restitution to her victims. Sonia Merino, 50 and her husband Steve Merino, 44, each admitted one count of tax fraud in connection with their mail business called "Sonia Psychic Advisor" and agreed to repay 60,000 dollars in ill-gotten gains, including 1,200 dollars to a client to whom she sold fake holy water. In addition to demanding that the couple stump up restitution for their victims, prosecutors have also recommended that the pair serve 18 to 24 months in jail and that they repay 316,427 dollars to the tax man. They were due to be sentenced on November 18. The disgraced Los Angeles-area "psychic" and her daughter daughter-in-law were initially charged with five counts of mail fraud, which carries heavy penalties, but Merino forged a plea bargain with prosecutors in return for those charges against her being dropped. The 23-year-old wife of her son however still faces those charges, while her parents -- who allegedly also tried to hide 850,000 dollars worth of income from the business from the Internal Revenue Service -- made a deal, a Los Angeles court heard. Prosecutors alleged that the women advertised services for certain prices, then told clients they had to pay for additional services to clear away curses or negative spiritual forces.
Categories: Future/Time
Posted by Alex on Fri Sep 06, 2002
Comments (0)
A short history of TV fakes from the Scottish Daily Record.
Categories: Entertainment
Posted by Alex on Fri Sep 06, 2002
Comments (0)
In its latest issue Sports Illustrated has run a hoax article detailing the career of Simonya Popova, a 17-year-old rising tennis star/sex symbol from Uzbekistan. The name Simonya was a play on the recent movie Simone, about an actress who doesn't really exist. At the end of the article the author, Jon Wertheim, admits Simonya doesn't exist, but this hasn't calmed down the WTA who apparently are up in arms about the hoax. From the AP report: (WTA) Spokesman Chris De Maria called the story deceiving and was annoyed at its emphasis on Simonya's sexuality. "It was misleading and irritating," he said. "There are a lot of great stories out there. We didn't need a fake one."
Categories: Sports
Posted by Alex on Thu Sep 05, 2002
Comments (0)
Nice LetterThis letter has been doing the e-mail rounds. I don't think it's real.
Categories: Email Hoaxes
Posted by Alex on Thu Sep 05, 2002
Comments (0)
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