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October 2004
image Peptalk seems to be positioning itself as the mobile phone service provider of choice for Dutch marijuana lovers. Check out its website,, where you can see that its corporate logo is a hemp plant. Marijuana is, of course, legal in Holland... and PePtalk is a Dutch company, but the weird thing is that beyond that PePtalk doesn't seem to have any rational connection to marijuana. It's as if they just liked the idea of being a pot-lover's phone company... without offering pot lovers any benefit from choosing their service over another. As this article at Strand Reports notes: PePtalk do not actually seem to express any views on cannabis on their website - other than their name and logo. And although they offer many premium rate SMS services, none of them seem to have anything to do with daily cannabis prices - or where you can locate your nearest cannabis coffee shop!  But maybe that is in the pipeline?
Categories: Advertising, Technology
Posted by Alex on Wed Oct 13, 2004
Comments (5)
imageTake a look at this picture. Is it real or fake? It kind of looks like two cats held up one behind the other. But it's not. The picture is real. It's Octopussy, the 8-legged cat. It's a cat that was born in Norway in 2001. Information about it can be found over at
In 2001, I received an email detailing a conjoined kitten which was born in Østfold, Norway in April. Unlike the 1750 six-legged cat which was only doubled from the "waist" down, the Norwegian kitten was doubled from the neck down. It had eight paws, two tails and two chins and was part of a litter of six. The other 5 kittens were normal. The conjoined kitten died shortly after birth, which is not unusual for such grossly malformed offspring. The image indicates two tortoiseshell and white female kittens (incompletely separated twins) which were joined at the belly and which would have shared most of their internal organs. Had such a severely deformed kitten survived, such a gross deformity would have severely compromised its lifestyle and mobility.

Update: I really messed up on my first attempt at this post (I was writing it late at night), confusing the Norwegian cat with an American-born 8-legged cat called Octopussy. Part of the Octopussy story can be found here.
Categories: Animals, Photos/Videos
Posted by Alex on Wed Oct 13, 2004
Comments (16)
image Bob Heironimus has been getting a lot of press lately by claiming to have been the guy who dressed up in a Bigfoot costume and mugged for the camera in the famous Patterson-Gimlin film, shot in October 1967. I haven't examined his story closely, so I haven't formed an opinion on whether he really was Patterson's Bigfoot, but looking at that Bigfoot costume he was photographed posing with last week, I've got to say that it doesn't look much like the Bigfoot in Patterson's film. Maybe it looks more like it at a distance.
Categories: Cryptozoology
Posted by Alex on Tue Oct 12, 2004
Comments (16)
CNN reports that Oklahoma tourism officials have recalled about 200,000 brochures because they contain, among other things, "a photo of an event in which lumps of cow manure are thrown as a part of a contest in the town of Beaver, in western Oklahoma." The way the article described it, I wasn't sure if the cow-manure tossing was a joke that somehow made its way into the brochure, or if it was a serious event. But a quick google search reveals that it's real enough. Here are some photos of the event. I wonder if there's some kind of special trick involved in throwing a cow chip (does it fall apart easily?), or is it just like throwing a frisbee?
Categories: Sports
Posted by Alex on Tue Oct 12, 2004
Comments (7)
image When I first saw this movie clip of a guy surfing a huge wave (windows media player file), I figured it had to be fake, especially since the wave just seems to get bigger and bigger as the camera pans out. But on second thought, I think it's real. Waves in Hawaii or Australia can get huge, and some of those surfers are insane enough to surf them. This clip seems to be footage from the surfing documentary Billabong Odyssey.
Categories: Sports
Posted by Alex on Tue Oct 12, 2004
Comments (3)
IKEA is my wife's favorite shop. I go along with her on her IKEA outings on the condition that I get to stop in at their restaurant and have a plate of Swedish meatballs. Anyway, the Elite Designers Against IKEA site pretty much describes what it is in its title. According to their manifesto: "We design profound and beautiful furniture for those with wealth and taste. Which is why IKEA makes us furious livid and angry." I'm assuming this site is part of an advertising campaign for IKEA itself.
Update: This definitely is a hoax, and it may be backfiring on Ikea (oops. I mean, IKEA). Here's a blurb from PR Week about the ad campaign:

Ikea has opened a can of worms with its hoax PR campaign to ban the furniture brand, spearheaded by the flamboyant sham-designer Van den Puup, who believes design should be exclusive and expensive.
Cooke & Brand PR set up an email and phone line for the phoney character and, flooded with responses, has found it difficult to differentiate those who have been taken in by the ruse from those enjoying the interaction.
'Huw Shooter' probably got the joke when asking for Puup to design his second guest suite in a fusion of 'Byzantine and Spanish Rococo' styles, but Stef Wheway felt compelled to write: 'It seems we av (sic) a mutual disliking for Ikea! But what's with your prices? Are they for real or is it a joke to take the piss out of Ikea?'
Categories: Websites
Posted by Alex on Tue Oct 12, 2004
Comments (6)
Someone called Martha (I wonder which Martha that could be?) who's recently been incarcerated in a federal prison has got a new blog up and running. She's already working on plans to redecorate her new surroundings:

I'm going to use toilet paper and threads taken from my bedsheets to quilt some nice drapes. I've been talking to some people on the outside about sneaking in some potpourri for me. This place is severly lacking in fine scents!
Categories: Celebrities, Websites
Posted by Alex on Mon Oct 11, 2004
Comments (2)
image If you hurry, you still have time to bid on the latest eBay sensation: a genuine Irish Ghost in a bottle (as opposed to a fake Irish ghost in a bottle). When I saw this, it immediately conjured up fond memories for me of the original Ghost in a Jar, but this new item seems to have a far longer pedigree than the Ghost in a Jar did. It is said to contain the ghost of a rogue 19th century landlord who took his own life after getting a young girl pregnant. And this is the best part of all: it's caught the attention of Michael Jackson, who reportedly is bidding on it. The price is already up to £1,550. It'll be interesting to see how much it ends up selling for.
Categories: eBay, Paranormal
Posted by Alex on Sun Oct 10, 2004
Comments (5)
The book contest has now been running for a week, and I got a lot of great responses. It was pretty tough making a decision (and any choice like this is bound to be somewhat random), but I finally opted to award a book to 'Redmond' for his account of the brownies with the secret added ingredient that turns urine blue. I'm also giving a book to Quentin Smith for his description of how they filled a school administrator's office from floor to ceiling with shredded paper (in order to give him a little more paperwork). The photographic evidence of the prank being pulled was great. So thanks to everyone for contributing their stories, and if you didn't win, don't worry. I think I'm going to have some more stuff to give away pretty soon.
Categories: Miscellaneous, Pranks
Posted by Alex on Sun Oct 10, 2004
Comments (2)
image A picture of a soldier cutting a small square of grass outside his tent is making the rounds. It's accompanied by this text.

Sometimes the little things we take for granted - Priceless
Here is a soldier stationed in Iraq, stationed in a big sand box he asked his wife to send him dirt, fertilizer and some grass seeds so he can have the sweet aroma and feel the grass grow beneath his feet.  If you notice, he is even cutting the grass with a pair of scissors.
 Sometimes we are in such a hurry that we don't stop and think about the little things that we take for granted.  Upon receiving this, please say a prayer for our soldiers that give (and give up) so unselfishly for us.

Someone who left a comment on the Utah VVA site where I came across the image noted that they had found a larger version of the image on which a date is clearly marked: November 2000. On this date the soldier could not have been stationed in Iraq. Of course, the date could be photoshopped in. Or maybe that's not even the date. I can't figure out what the numbers after '2000.11' mean. Also, I'm not sure how long this picture has been floating around.
Update: The soldier has been identified as Warrant Officer Brook Turner in Iraq. For more info see this update from Dec. 31, 2004.
Categories: Military, Photos/Videos
Posted by Alex on Sat Oct 09, 2004
Comments (19)
Here's what the setup to this little piece of video says:
Supposedly this is a car commercial that never aired. I'm thinking that it is more probably a very good student project using Computer Graphics. About 2 seconds into the "commercial" notice something moving along the side of the car, like a ghostly white mist that looks humanish.
All I'm going to add is that this really, really got me.
Update: Here's another link to the movie, in case the one above is down.
Update: Comments have been closed on this topic.
Categories: Paranormal
Posted by Alex on Sat Oct 09, 2004
Comments (235)
Here's an amusing email that's making the rounds:
I want to thank all of you!
To all my friends and family, Thank you for making me safe, secure, blessed, and wealthy by sending me your chain letters over the last year.
Because of your concern:

  • I no longer drink Coca Cola because it can remove toilet stains.

  • I no longer drink Pepsi or Dr Pepper since the people who make these products are atheists who refuse to put "Under God" on their cans.

  • I no longer drink anything out of a can because I will get sick from the rat feces and urine.

  • I no longer use Saran wrap in the microwave because it causes cancer.

  • I no longer go to movies because I could sit on a needle infected with AIDS

  • I no longer check the coin return on pay phones because I could get pricked with a needle infected with AIDS.

  • I no longer want to pump my own gas - where I will either get AIDS or cause an explosion by cell phone or static.

  • I no longer use cancer causing deodorants even though I smell like a wet dog on a hot day.

  • I no longer go to shopping malls because someone will drug me with a perfume sample and try to rob me.

  • I no longer receive packages from UPS or FedEx since they are actually Al Qaida in disguise.

  • I no longer shop at Target since they are French and don't support our American troops.

  • I no longer answer the phone because someone will ask me to dial a stupid number for which I will get the phone bill from hell with calls to Uganda, Singapore, and Uzbekistan.

  • I no longer eat pre-packaged foods because the estrogens they contain will turn me gay.

  • I no longer eat KFC because their chickens are actually horrible mutant freaks with no eyes or feathers.

  • I no longer look at the opposite sex because they will take my kidneys and leave me taking a nap in a bath tub full of ice.

  • I no longer have a cell phone because I don't want brain cancer.

  • I no longer have any sneakers because I would hate to see all those poor kids in the sweat shops overseas suffering because I wanted a pair of Nike shoes.

  • I no longer buy expensive cookies from Neiman Marcus since I now have their recipe.

  • I no longer worry about my soul because I have 363,214 angels looking out for me.

  • I no longer have any savings because I gave it to a sick girl about to die in the hospital for the 1,000,000,000th time.

  • I no longer have any money but that will change once I receive the $18,624 that Microsoft and AOL are sending me since I participated in their special e-mail program.

I want to thank all of you soooooooo much for looking out for me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Now if you DON'T send this e-mail to at least 12,000,000 of your closest friends in the next 6 0 seconds a large bird with diarrhea will crap on your head at exactly 5:00 pm tomorrow!!!!!!!!!
Categories: Email Hoaxes
Posted by Alex on Fri Oct 08, 2004
Comments (18)
I just discovered a Gullibility Quiz at According to them, I am almost 100% non-gullible. That's a relief to hear. But I found the picture part of their quiz a bit confusing. For instance, they show you three pictures of flying saucers and ask you to select which one of them is real. So how do you select 'none of the above'? You can't. Therefore I just picked one at random. I still can't figure out which picture the non-gullible person would have chosen.
Categories: Mass Delusion
Posted by Alex on Thu Oct 07, 2004
Comments (10)
Fake Maoists are running amok in Nepal, robbing people and extorting money from shopkeepers and businessmen. What's next? Fake Marxists holding up banks? Phony Socialists looting liquor stores? Meanwhile, the Real Maoists are fighting back against the Fake Maoists who, so they claim, are trying to ruin their reputation. For some reason this reminds me of the fake eunuchs at large in India.
Categories: Identity/Imposters, Law/Police/Crime
Posted by Alex on Thu Oct 07, 2004
Comments (0)
Hicham Dequiedt claims that the reason he had to drive 125 miles at 120 mph, weaving in and out of traffic and speeding down the hard shoulder, was that the cruise control got stuck. Somehow, miraculously, he managed to stop the car just before he would have smashed into a toll booth. His story sounded a little fishy to me the first time I saw it two days ago. And apparently other people think it's fishy as well. Renault, the manufacturer of his car, says that they've examined his vehicle and can't find anything wrong with it. Perhaps Dequiedt just felt like going on a joyride. Or perhaps Renault is trying to get off the hook. Hard to know. I can understand the cruise control getting stuck, but usually the brakes would still work. (Oh, and Slashdot has a pretty lively thread going about this incident).
Categories: Exploration/Travel
Posted by Alex on Thu Oct 07, 2004
Comments (5)
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