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March 2004
I've finally gotten my act together to enable the RSS Feed that comes built into the software that I use to run this site. So if you use an RSS reader to scan blogs every day, you can now add the Museum of Hoaxes to your subscription list. The RSS Feed is here. I'll also add a button in the navigation bar on the right.
Categories: Miscellaneous
Posted by Alex on Wed Mar 24, 2004
Comments (1)
On March 9 Kerri Dunn, a psychology professor at Claremont McKenna College east of LA, reported that her car had been vandalized and covered with racist graffiti. Now the police suspect that Ms. Dunn, who often spoke out against racism, may have staged the crime herself. Apparently some witnesses claim that the car was already covered with graffiti when she pulled into the college parking lot where the crime supposedly took place. She denies this, of course. So we'll have to wait and see how this plays out.
Categories: Hate Crimes/Terror
Posted by Alex on Wed Mar 24, 2004
Comments (4)
Here's some free advice. If a guy you meet online claims to be Daniel Radcliffe, the young actor who plays Harry Potter, don't believe him. A teenage girl from Chile flew all the way to England with her mother to meet an online correspondent who claimed to be Daniel Radcliffe, only to find some random slimebag waiting for her. Which reminds me, J.Lo, I'm still heartbroken that you stood me up.
Categories: Identity/Imposters
Posted by Alex on Wed Mar 24, 2004
Comments (0)
image Naked Came the Stranger, the hoax novel penned in 1969 by 24 reporters from Newsday, is being re-released by Barricade Books as a 'cult classic.' The movie rights to the book have also been bought.
Categories: Literature/Language
Posted by Alex on Tue Mar 23, 2004
Comments (0)
image It's not quite as elaborate as the foil prank that got a huge amount of publicity two months ago, but it's good nevertheless. Damon arrived at his office on Monday morning to discover that over the weekend his co-workers had covered everything in his office with post-its.
Categories: Pranks
Posted by Alex on Tue Mar 23, 2004
Comments (0)
image In May 2001 Charli Claypool, who lives on Kent Island in the Chesapeake Bay, began to hear voices coming from her Krups coffee maker. After listening to these voices for many, many hours she concluded that they were voices of ghosts. And lucky for us, she recorded the 'voices' and made a large number of them available on her website, CoffeePotGhost.com. A visitor (Elizabeth A.) sent me the page and asked me whether I thought it was for real. At times it's tempting to think the entire thing is a joke, especially when you come across sections of the site such as the Ghost Pot Dance. But all in all, I'd say it's just too elaborate to be a joke. This is not to say that I think the coffee pot is really possessed. To be honest, I can't really hear what Charli Claypool claims to be able to hear in the squeaks and whistles of her coffee maker, but I'm pretty sure the voices are clear to her.
Categories: Paranormal
Posted by Alex on Tue Mar 23, 2004
Comments (1)
There are quite a few satirical hoaxes that I find myself comparing to Jonathan Swift's Modest Proposal For Preventing The Children of Poor People in Ireland From Being A Burden to Their Parents or Country (by feeding them to rich people). The Arm the Homeless prank was one such satire. This is another. It's the Coalition to Promote the Use of Child Soldiers. Yeah, I'm assuming it's satire.
Categories: Military, Websites
Posted by Alex on Tue Mar 23, 2004
Comments (1)
image At the beginning of March a news story about a three-headed frog found in England swept around the internet. Experts warned that the appearance of such a mutation could be a sign of impending environmental problems. But science journalist Ray Girvan thinks we shouldn't be jumping to conclusions. To him the three-headed frog actually looks like three separate frogs clasping together, engaged in a well-documented frog mating behavior called multiple amplexus. He points out that the frog heads are different colors, which is not what you would expect if this was one frog with three heads. Not a hoax, I suppose, but a misinterpretation. Unless you consider that the frogs were hoaxing the humans.
Categories: Animals
Posted by Alex on Sun Mar 21, 2004
Comments (12)
Roy and Mitch are trapped in a cabin in King's Canyon National Park, surrounded by zombies. Luckily they have access to the web, allowing them to maintain a weblog describing their situation. But for some reason, no one is coming to their rescue because no one believes their story. Meanwhile they're entertaining themselves by reading Harry Potter Books, downloading movie trailers off the internet, and lobbing javelins at zombies. Maybe this is some kind of blog tie-in for a movie (Dawn of the Dead?). I'm not sure. But whatever it is, it's amusing. (via Metafilter)
Categories: Paranormal
Posted by Alex on Sat Mar 20, 2004
Comments (7)
imageThe Belle de Jour weblog, which records the daily trials and tribulations of a London call girl, began attracting a lot of attention a couple of months ago. It wasn't just the racy, sexy content that got people hooked. It was also the fact that the writing was unusually good. So it wasn't a surprise when the anonymous Belle landed a book deal. But now a new element of controversy has been added to the story. As the London Times writes, "There is growing evidence that Belle may be a fictional character who has never been a prostitute." Dr. Dean Foster, who earlier unmasked the author of Primary Colors, analyzed Belle's writing and concluded that it was very similar to that of 33-year-old music journalist Sarah Champion (see thumbnail). Champion's agent is denying the charge, but Champion herself is staying mum, though she has stated that she's never been a prostitute. So we'll have to wait and see how this plays out. When I first came across the Belle de Jour site I suspected it might be a hoax just because Belle's life seemed a bit too exciting and glamorous. It seemed like something a writer would make up.
Update 3/21/04: Sarah Champion has written a piece in the Guardian responding to the allegations and insists, "I am not Belle de Jour."
Categories: Identity/Imposters, Sex/Romance
Posted by Alex on Fri Mar 19, 2004
Comments (1)
image Family Fun magazine has quite a few suggestions for April Fool's Day pranks over at its site. I especially like their list of food pranks, such as preparing ice-cream potatoes (shown to the right). That's not potatoes with gravy. It's ice cream with butterscotch sauce. Also check out their recipe for creating green beans out of Jolly Rancher Fruit Chews.
Categories: April Fools Day, Food
Posted by Alex on Fri Mar 19, 2004
Comments (0)
image Back in February if you were shopping for a Valentine's Day card at Wal-Mart, you might have been able to pick up a card that showed a black 'Sambo' version of SpongeBob Squarepants. Wal-Mart officials report that it was quite a popular item. Amazingly only one person complained about the blatantly racist image. But when the manufacturer of the card found out about the card, they hit the roof, because a Black SpongeBob was definitely not what they had ordered from the printer. The mystery is how 'racist SpongeBob' ever got created. Who was responsible for it? Was it a joke by the printer in China? Seems unlikely, since all the cultural references are American, not Chinese. But if not the printer, then who? For now, it's a mystery. (Thanks to Alex Knight for the link).
Categories: Hate Crimes/Terror
Posted by Alex on Thu Mar 18, 2004
Comments (11)
Stewart Kirkpatrick of Scotsman.com presents the Lazy Guide to Net Culture: Hoax, Line and Sinker. "Idiotic hoaxes abound online, and are taken very seriously indeed by people who are not usually idiots."
Categories: Technology
Posted by Alex on Thu Mar 18, 2004
Comments (0)
image Did you know that David Duchovny released a record of trashy love songs with titles such as "Alien to Your Arms," "You Must Be From Venus," and "X-File of Love"? Or that Herman Melville wrote a novel called "Symmes' Hole" that was lost for decades but has been recently rediscovered and is now available as an audiobook read by David Byrne of the Talking Heads? I certainly didn't. So I was surprised to discover these rare CDs (and others) discussed at the Entropic Empire. Now I've decided that these rare CDs are all fake, but I only concluded that after spending fifteen fruitless minutes searching for that rediscovered Herman Melville book on Amazon.com. Why would someone make this stuff up, I kept thinking. The attention to detail is certainly impressive.
Categories: Entertainment, Websites
Posted by Alex on Thu Mar 18, 2004
Comments (0)
This one had me going for a while before I figured out it was a joke. The EETimes reports on a small Belgian company called Prophy-Lectric that has developed a cellphone add-on, dubbed the Nippit 3000. This remarkable device "projects a high-intensity ultra-sonic electromagnetic 'sound cone' that is inaudible to the human ear but fatal to any sperm cell within a range of six meters, or about 18 feet." In other words, just place it next to the bed during moments of intimacy, and that's all the birth control you need. As an added benefit, the high-pitched sound also keeps the dog away. I've noticed that quite a few websites have linked to this story without any acknowledgment (or apparent recognition) that it's a joke.
Categories: Birth/Babies, Sex/Romance, Technology
Posted by Alex on Thu Mar 18, 2004
Comments (0)
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