The Museum of Hoaxes
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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
November 2004
Weird Pillows
Posted by The Curator on Mon Nov 15, 2004
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon have developed the latest in long-distance surrogate affection. It's a robotic pillow named The Hug. Katie in Kansas hugs her pillow, which then transmits a signal over the phone lines, instructing another pillow in Florida to start squeezing Grandma. It's meant to bring the sense of touch back to long-distance communication. But for some reason I think I'm going to stick with simple phone calls (I have visions of the pillow malfunctioning and not letting go). Not to be outdone, Japanese inventors have developed the Girlfriend Lap Pillow. Put simply, it is "a pillow imitating a woman's legs made from…
Categories: Sex/Romance Comments (4)
Kerry’s T-Shirt
Posted by The Curator on Sun Nov 14, 2004
Here's another political spoof photo that's going around. At least, I'm assuming it's a spoof. Kerry's head looks pasted on, and the words on the t-shirt also look photoshopped... not to mention that it's hard to imagine Kerry really wearing a t-shirt like that. (via J-Walk)
Categories: Photos/Videos, Politics Comments (5)
Win A Book, Contest #2
Posted by The Curator on Fri Nov 12, 2004
I've received a free copy of David Wilton's new book, Word Myths: Debunking Linguistic Urban Legends, courtesy of Oxford University Press. So I'm having a contest to give it away. The book has just been published. I'm not sure it's even out in stores yet, but you can get a copy here... if you win the contest. First, what's the book about? Wilton debunks all those stories about where words come from, such as 'is GOLF really an acronym for Gentlemen Only, Ladies Forbidden?' or 'does SOS stand for Save Our Souls?' or 'was F**K originally an acronym meaning For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge?' You'll have to…
Categories: Miscellaneous, Urban Legends Comments (143)
John Titor and the Election of 2004
Posted by The Curator on Fri Nov 12, 2004
In late 2000 a man calling himself John Titor began posting messages on internet discussion boards, claiming that he was a time traveler from the year 2036 (his time travel machine was a 1967 Chevrolet). His mission had been to journey back to the year 1975 and make contact with his grandfather, who was a member of the engineering team developing the IBM 5100, but somehow he ended up in 2000 instead. The tale of John Titor is pretty familiar internet lore by now, and I'm surprised that I've only made brief references to him before (though I have posted more about other time travelers). Anyway, to make a long story short, John Titor,…
Categories: Future/Time Comments (42)
New Anti-Spam Feature
Posted by The Curator on Thu Nov 11, 2004
About five days after I decided to have non-member comments be moderated, I've changed my mind. From now on there will be no moderation (it was a pain for me to do, plus it disrupted the spontaneity of comments). Instead, I've put in place a high-tech anti-spam feature in which people who submit comments have to first type in a word displayed in a box. Members won't have to do this. Hopefully the spammers won't be willing to do this. If they do it'll be a complete waste of their time since I'll promptly delete their spam.
Categories: Miscellaneous Comments (6)
Superendowed Children
Posted by The Curator on Thu Nov 11, 2004
Found on Liquito (the only Portuguese weblog I regularly read, even though I don't read Portuguese) [note: I meant portuguese-language blog... Liquito is a Brazilian blog]. Proof that the Egyptian pyramids and the Easter Island statues were constructed by superendowed children:
Categories: Photos/Videos Comments (16)
Smoking In Cars Illegal
Posted by The Curator on Thu Nov 11, 2004
A rumor flew through Lexington, Kentucky that the County Council had passed a law banning people from smoking cigarettes in cars. Given all the new laws banning smoking in public places, I guess such a law wouldn't be that unbelievable. Reportedly, hundreds of people called the Lexington police and City Hall to ask if the rumor was true. It wasn't. The rumor had been started as a prank by DJs at a Lexington radio station, Z-103. An early April Fool's Day joke apparently.
Categories: Pranks Comments (9)
Boo Bee Juice Drink
Posted by The Curator on Thu Nov 11, 2004
Could the makers of Boo Bee Juice Drink really not realize the double meaning of the product's name? Or do they realize perfectly well and are going for the titillation/subliminal advertising thing? I'm sure even kids would pick up on what the name means, especially when they hear the adults giggling behind their backs. I suspect it all could be another Haribo-Fruit-Chews-type marketing ploy. (via Boing Boing)
Categories: Food, Sex/Romance Comments (5)
Porcelain Doll Possessed by the Dead
Posted by The Curator on Wed Nov 10, 2004
Someday I'm going to get tired of checking out the haunted things for sale on eBay, but not yet (I'm easily amused). So here's the latest haunted offering. It's a Porcelain Doll Possessed By the Dead. I've got to hand it to the seller. That's a spooky looking doll. And the story that accompanies it is pretty good as well.
Categories: eBay, Paranormal Comments (13)
Phone-Eating Dog
Posted by The Curator on Tue Nov 09, 2004
From The Register comes a news report about a dog who swallowed a mobile phone. The owner of the phone only realized what happened when the phone started ringing... inside the dog's stomach. Now it seems to me that a) most dogs would not swallow something as large as a mobile phone, though it could happen; and b) the acid inside a dog's stomach would pretty quickly short-circuit a phone. Oh, and c) The Register says it got the news report from Ananova. And everyone knows how reliable Ananova is. (via Engadget)
Categories: Animals Comments (10)
Were students suspended for wearing John Deere shirts?
Posted by The Curator on Tue Nov 09, 2004
According to a rumor, students at a Baltimore County school were recently suspended for wearing John Deere shirts. The shirts, apparently, are considered racist. (I'm still trying to figure that one out. I guess if you wear a John Deere shirt you must be a redneck and, by extension, you must also be racist). But a spokesman for the school system has denied that any John-Deere-shirt-wearing students have been suspended on account of their fashion choice.
Categories: Hate Crimes/Terror Comments (36)
Remote Control Hunting
Posted by The Curator on Tue Nov 09, 2004
If you'd like to go hunting, but, for one reason or another, you don't want to get up from your computer, there's a new option available: remote control hunting. Live-shot.com is a site that allows its members to control, via the internet, a pan/tilt/zoom camera located on a ranch in Texas. The camera, in turn, is connected to a rifle. Aim your shot and fire away. Sounds a little odd, but I guess there's no reason a system like this couldn't be set up. But currently live-shot will only allow you to remotely fire a gun that's in a shooting range. But their site promises that in the…
Categories: Sports, Technology Comments (3)
Decomposition TV
Posted by The Curator on Tue Nov 09, 2004
Reality TV has definitely sunk to a new low. Reuters reports that Channel 4 in Britain is considering televising a human corpse as it decomposes. They're currently searching for volunteers willing to donate their body after they die. This reminds me of two things. The See Me Rot Decomposition Cam, and also that theater group that held auditions to get someone to donate their corpse.
Categories: Death, Entertainment Comments (15)
Wolf Howls at Auroral Lights
Posted by The Curator on Tue Nov 09, 2004
I was going through old email when I came across this image of a wolf howling at auroral lights. The person who sent it to me wondered whether or not it's real. A photographer would have to be pretty lucky to catch a scene like that, but that doesn't mean the picture isn't real. My guess would be that it's a composite image... that the images of the sky and the wolf were pasted together for dramatic effect. But that's only a guess.
Categories: Animals, Photos/Videos Comments (14)
Catproof Your Computer
Posted by The Curator on Tue Nov 09, 2004
This software sounds like a joke, but I'm pretty sure it's real, in the sense that it's a product you can actually buy (whether or not it works is another question). It's PawSense, the software utility that catproofs your computer. "PawSense analyzes keypress timings and combinations to distinguish cat typing from human typing. PawSense normally recognizes a cat on the keyboard within one or two pawsteps." If it senses cat typing, it'll automatically block any further keyboard input and play a loud noise to scare the cat away. So this should deter those cats who like to sneak onto the computer when their guardian isn't looking and work…
Categories: Animals, Technology Comments (9)
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