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June 2003
An 1817 portrait of Princess Caraboo done by Thomas Barker is going up for auction at Christie's soon. Bidding is supposed to reach at least £6000. If I had the money I'd bid on it. It would go nicely above my desk.
Categories: Art, Identity/Imposters
Posted by Alex on Fri Jun 06, 2003
Comments (0)
Here's the website of Miskatonic University, well known to fans of H.P. Lovecraft. If you don't know who Lovecraft is, you won't get the joke.
Categories: Paranormal
Posted by Alex on Fri Jun 06, 2003
Comments (0)
The Globe and Mail argues that many of the spoof ads going around recently are actually inside jobs created by the companies being spoofed.
Categories: Advertising
Posted by Alex on Fri Jun 06, 2003
Comments (0)
Steve Merchant just shared this with me. Apparently it's video footage taken from a camera that survived the destruction of the World Trade Center.
Categories: Photos/Videos
Posted by Alex on Thu Jun 05, 2003
Comments (1)
Guys have been able to shop for mail-order brides for quite some time now, so I guess this was inevitable: mail-order husbands. And what fine specimens of the male species they have available!
Categories: Sex/Romance
Posted by Alex on Thu Jun 05, 2003
Comments (26)
The Canberra Times reports on a different moon hoax from the late 1960s which it, in turn, read about in the most recent newsletter of the Canberra Skeptics society. This hoax was perpetrated by a grad student named Ray Crawford who had managed to get his hands on some NASA stationery:


"Shortly after the first moon landing Dr John Lovering at the ANU [Australian National University] received a piece of moon rock to analyse. Ray wrote a letter purporting to be from NASA to Dr Lovering requesting he present a sample of his urine at the US embassy at 3pm on a certain day; this was to be sent to NASA for analysis in case John had become infected by some alien life form.'


Dr Lovering, for all his intellectual eminence, seems to have fallen for the hoax and to have consulted an ANU biochemist about the best way to collect the requested specimen.


'But as urine samples are best collected early morning' Mr Griffith reports [and as this seemed at odds with the request to Dr Lovering to show up with his sample at 3pm] the biochemist 'smelled a rat'.


'So the US Embassy staff were contacted. Of course they knew nothing about this and, after a lot of coming and going with NASA, the urine sample went down the drain, so to speak. The Yanks were not amused and tried their hardest to find out who was behind the letter. But, as with the weapons of mass destruction, the CIA just could not get its act together on this one either.'"
Categories: Extraterrestrial Life
Posted by Alex on Thu Jun 05, 2003
Comments (0)
Visitor Michael Melen wrote in with a description of a radio hoax from the mid '80s:


"Baltimore had recently undergone a revival of its downtown area, centered on the Inner Harbor development. A radio ad trumpeted the newest addition to Baltimore's Inner Harbor: the world's very first underwater shopping mall called the Loch Ness Mall. The ad went on to describe how wonderful the mall would be and when it would open. It turned out to be a concoction of a radio advertising group, hoping to display the power of
radio advertising... It was a very beguiling ad!"
Categories: Radio
Posted by Alex on Thu Jun 05, 2003
Comments (0)
An article in the magazine Syllabus is discovered to have been plagiarized. The topic of the article was plagiarism.
Categories: Literature/Language
Posted by Alex on Thu Jun 05, 2003
Comments (0)
Someone just sent in this hoax website: Dog Island. It's doggie paradise, where pooches get to roam free and play all day. As the website says: "They live with almost limitless space, and tens of thousands of rabbits, rodents and other natural prey. Surrounded by thousands of other dogs, this is the only place for them to be truly social and create healthy families." Dog Island and Yoga Kitty. Hmmm. Soon we'll have a world of stress-free pets.
Categories: Animals, Websites
Posted by Alex on Wed Jun 04, 2003
Comments (0)
The Unreliable Facts website, established in 1851, offers a motherlode of misinformation.
Categories: Entertainment
Posted by Alex on Tue Jun 03, 2003
Comments (0)
Check out the website of Larry Adams, CPA. He writes a regular column about the jargon and street slang of fraud. Much of this is shared on his website. For instance, we find there the definition of Fat-Finger Dialing: "Fat finger dialing scams take advantage of customers whose fingers are too large for the tiny buttons on the telephones. For example, a customer might unintentionally dial 1 (800) COLLETC, 1 (800) CULLECT, or 1 (800) CALLECT, instead of 1 (800) COLLECT. Class action lawsuits have been filed against several companies that intentionally own knockoff numbers that are just digits away from popular 1 (800) phone numbers." You can also order his book, Fraud in Other Words, which is a collection of fraud slang and jargon.
Categories: Con Artists
Posted by Alex on Tue Jun 03, 2003
Comments (0)
King Bloop Zod from the planet Mars strikes up an email exchange with Mel Martinez, the White House Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and gets a response.
Categories: Extraterrestrial Life, Politics
Posted by Alex on Tue Jun 03, 2003
Comments (0)
The Iraqi (Mis)Information Minister (aka Comical Ali) is reported to be alive and well in Baghdad.
Categories: Military
Posted by Alex on Mon Jun 02, 2003
Comments (0)
The strange case of a man whose death revealed that he had been living as an imposter almost his entire life. His true identity is unknown.
Categories: Identity/Imposters
Posted by Alex on Mon Jun 02, 2003
Comments (0)
The Mustang Daily recently analyzed the reality of the art of cow tipping.
Categories: Pranks
Posted by Alex on Mon Jun 02, 2003
Comments (0)
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