The Museum of Hoaxes
hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive
HOME   |   ABOUT   |   FORUM   |   CONTACT   |   FACEBOOK   |   RSS
The Top 100
April Fool Hoaxes
Of All Time
April Fool Archive
April fools throughout history
Hoax Photo
Archive

Weblog Archive
November 2004
Here's an interesting piece from a newspaper about the burgeoning market in Coca-Cola Fantasy items. One of the paper's readers wrote in to ask whether their Coca-Cola belt buckle designed by Tiffany Studios and showing a nude woman sitting on a crescent moon was of any value (unfortunately there's no picture of the item). The paper's reply: No, because the item is a fantasy fake:

[This] is what Coca-Cola collectors call a "fantasy," which is a piece that never existed as an old item, was not used in advertising by the Coca-Cola Co. (nor sanctioned by them), but is a modern creation meant to appeal to collectors or to mislead the unwary. There are literally tons and tons of these Coca-Cola "fantasy" items out there, lurking in flea markets and at garage sales. The variety seems to be endless, and belt buckles are one of the favorite items to be made as "fantasies," and many of them feature nude women, including one extremely tasteless and offensive example that has the representation of a nude nun of all things!

Nude Nun Coke memorabilia. I may be twisted, but for some reason that seems more interesting to me than the authentic Coke stuff.
Categories: Advertising, Food, History
Posted by Alex on Mon Nov 08, 2004
Comments (31)
image A fire at the only factory that produces Branston Pickle reportedly sparked panic buying of the popular brown relish, spurred on by a comment from Premier Foods (its manufacturer) that within two weeks stock levels would run out. So sellers of Branston Pickle began asking as much as £16 or £25 for the stuff on eBay (a jar usually sells for less than £1). For Americans who don't know what this stuff is, it's kind of like a savory brown chutney, very popular in Britain, and often spread on ham and cheese sandwiches. It's good stuff. But now it seems that Branston Pickle isn't in imminent danger of disappearing from stores. Premier Foods will be able to maintain supplies of it. And this article in The Guardian implies that the Branston Pickle Panic never really materialized anyway. Buyers weren't flocking to the stores to snatch up the last remaining jars of the stuff. The Branston Pickle panic was mostly an invention of the media.
Categories: Food, Mass Delusion
Posted by Alex on Mon Nov 08, 2004
Comments (3)
This is my new anti-spam system. Comments submitted to the site will be approved by a moderator (me) before they appear on the site.

HOWEVER, if you choose to register as a member, your comments will appear immediately. They'll skip the moderation process. So this is how you register as a member (it took me all weekend to figure out how to get this to work, so there may still be some bugs in it):

Step 1: Go to the Member Registration page and fill in the info.

Step 2: An email will be sent to you. Click on the link in this email and your member account will be activated.

Step 3: You'll then need to login on the Member Login page with your username and password. If you choose the 'auto login on future visits' option, you'll never need to login again, as long as you're using the same computer and don't erase your cookies.

That's it. As a member you'll be able to post comments as before without waiting for them to be moderated. I'll add permanent links to the member registration and login pages sometime this week.
Categories: Miscellaneous
Posted by Alex on Mon Nov 08, 2004
Comments (11)
I've got to say: spammers really suck. My site is being aggressively comment spammed. Hundreds of comments inviting people to check out 'interesting' information about personal finance credit reports, etc. are appearing on posts throughout my site. Most of it is being left on older entries, where I guess the spammer figures I won't notice it. The spam seems to be coming from a wide variety of different servers throughout Europe, which makes it impossible for me to effectively IP ban it.

As a consequence I've been wasting a lot of time deleting it all. An increasingly large amount of time every day. I've finally decided that enough is enough. The spammer has won, in the sense that I can no longer keep the comment feature on my site totally open (to be honest, I was surprised I was able to keep it open as long as I have). I've decided to activate the feature of my blogging software that requires every comment to be approved by me before it appears on the site. This will mean that absolutely no spam will make its way onto the site, since although spammers can easily get past software-based screening methods, they can't get past a human being.

Unfortunately it'll also mean that people won't have the instant gratification of seeing their comments appear right away, though it shouldn't take long for me to approve the messages (it's just a single click of a button)... a minute or two if it's during the day when I'm sitting at my computer. Obviously longer on the weekend or at night. The only other options are to a) only allow people who have registered as 'members' to post anything. But this would eliminate casual visitors from ever leaving any comments; or b) require people to type in a 'captcha' code every time they post a message, but I think this would be more of a pain in the neck than just waiting a minute or two to see your comment appear. Plus, a spammer could type in the code if he/she was determined enough.

On the positive side, having me approve every comment means that if you choose the option to be notified by email whenever someone responds to your comment, you can be confident that you won't be opening yourself up to spam by doing this.

It would be nice if I could selectively turn on the approval feature. Require approval for comments left on older posts and leave newer posts open. But I can't. It's an all-or-nothing feature. So that's the way it's got to be. Blame it on the spammers. (and by the way, this change doesn't affect the message board, which runs on different software).
Update: Guillaume emailed me with a good suggestion. Do a combination of allowing people to register as members and moderating comments. If people register as a member they can post and immediately have their comments appear. If they're not registered they can still post, but they'll just have to wait to wait to have their comments appear. That's definitely do-able, though it'll take me a day to figure out how to set it up. But it seems like a good compromise.
Categories: Miscellaneous
Posted by Alex on Sat Nov 06, 2004
Comments (17)
image Virgel Fisher owns a hand of corn. He inherited it from his grandfather. But this is the part of the story that I don't understand. He says that when his grandfather found the 'corn hand' two of its fingers were missing, "so his ancestor searched until he found them, using pins to reattach the dismembered digits". Does this mean that the fingers were an artificial add-on? Or had they simply broken off? Either way, Virgel could probably make a bundle if he sold his 'corn hand' on eBay, especially if he claimed that it was haunted. (via The Anomalist)
Categories: Food
Posted by Alex on Thu Nov 04, 2004
Comments (8)
Here's an amusing list of weird city and town names. Of course, I immediately wondered if all these names were real, so I checked a random sample in Mapquest. Nothing came up for Hornytown, North Carolina (a google search didn't turn up any offical website for it either, though there is a widespread report, probably false, that Hornytown has banned massage parlors). Nor was there a Love Ladies, New Jersey in Mapquest. That doesn't mean Hornytown and Love Ladies don't exist. It's just that I can't find them. However, according to Mapquest it would be possible to take a road trip from Intercourse, Pennsylvania to Hooker, Arkansas, with a quick stop in Hot Coffee, Mississippi, and finishing up in Climax, North Carolina.
Update: Apparently there is a 'Love Ladies' in New Jersey, but it's spelled all as one word: Loveladies, NJ. However, I've still found no evidence that there's a Hornytown in North Carolina, although there is a Hornyhead Mountain.
Update 2: By randomly typing words into Mapquest it turns out to be quite easy to come up with weird place names. In just a few minutes I came up with these: Shite Creek, Idaho; Trash Branch, Alabama; Weird Lake, Minnesota; and Dork Canal, Oregon.
Categories: Places
Posted by Alex on Thu Nov 04, 2004
Comments (88)
Jan Harold Brunvand calls it the "Indecent Exposure" urban legend. It involves a vacationing couple whose hotel room is broken into and robbed of everything save a toothbrush and a camera. When they get home and develop the film in the camera, they discover pictures of their toothbrush up the robber's rear end (to put it not so delicately). It appears that this urban legend has now served as the unfortunate inspiration for a prank that a New Zealand golfer played on his rival. As this article describes it:

The Dominion Post understands bad blood between teenagers Kauika and Aucklander Kevin Chun boiled over when a bare-bottomed Kauika misused Chun's toothbrush as a prop in a photograph allegedly snapped by Iles.

As punishment, Kauika and Brad were banned from representing New Zealand overseas until the end of the year.
Categories: Pranks, Sports, Urban Legends
Posted by Alex on Thu Nov 04, 2004
Comments (1)
I've heard about people who find their own obituaries mistakenly printed in papers, but I imagine that discovering you've been killed by Islamic militants in Iraq would be a little more off-putting. As the Associated Press reports: A woman was shocked to learn Friday that a photo of what appeared to be her old driver's license showed up on an Islamic Web site along with a claim that she had been captured in southern Iraq and slain. She's never been anywhere near Iraq, but she speculates that the militants got her name from a Kuwaiti guy she dated in the '80s. So not only has she been killed by Islamic militants, but also an old relationship is coming back to haunt her. That's got to be the worst. (via hoaxes' journal)
Categories: Death, Hate Crimes/Terror
Posted by Alex on Thu Nov 04, 2004
Comments (4)
An urban legend has been circulating about Pimp My Ride, the MTV show on which people get surprised by having their raggedy hoopties (read: old cars) transformed into tricked-out pimp-mobiles. I'll let this poster from the Elle.com forums describe the rumor, since she does it so much better than I could:

okay remember the beloved episode of the girl Nile with the pink cadillac and they put the river in the back her car. i think it was like episode 2 or something. i was told that she was car jacked and killed like 6wks after the show aired. did anyone else hear this? i searched the internet looking for this and i did see it posted somewhere else but you chicks are usually up on stuff like this, so did someone else hear this or am i just the last person to find out?  that is so sad!

So was Nile the victim of carjackers? No. At least, if she was, it hasn't been reported anywhere in the news. Another poster on Elle.com claims to be Nile's friend and assures everyone that she's still alive, but who knows if that person really knows Nile. Anyway, I'd classify this rumor as yet another of the perils-of-sudden-fame-and-being-too-ostentatious variety.
Categories: Death, Urban Legends
Posted by Alex on Wed Nov 03, 2004
Comments (11)
Can Coca-Cola work as an insecticide? Indian farmers seem to think so. The Guardian reports that many of them have taken to spraying their cotton and chilli fields with the soft drink. The article quotes an agricultural analyst who suggests that this might actually work because the sugar in the drink would "attract red ants to feed on insect larvae". But a Coca-Cola spokesman dismisses the entire story as an urban legend: "We are aware of one isolated case where a farmer may have used a soft drink as part of his crop management routine. Soft drinks do not act in a similar way to pesticides when applied to the ground or crops. There is no scientific basis for this and the use of soft drinks for this purpose would be totally ineffective". I'm not enough of a plant expert to judge on whether Coke would work as an insecticide, though it does seem to me like the sugar could actually attract flies (but what do I know?). Plus, I'm not one to criticize the Indian farmers since I regularly throw banana peels around the flowers in my yard in the (perhaps illogical) belief that the peels will somehow keep aphids away.
Categories: Food, Science, Urban Legends
Posted by Alex on Wed Nov 03, 2004
Comments (13)
Defamer reports (via A Fly on the Wall) that George Clooney has his own weblog, titled A Chronicle of Bush's Failures. It's purely political, focusing (as you might guess from the title) on all of Bush's shortcomings. The question is, is this really Clooney's blog? I'm not convinced, mainly because whoever is writing the blog doesn't seem to claim anywhere that he or she is Clooney. And I'm not sure why we should believe A Fly on the Wall's anonymous source. More likely it's some blogger trying to attract traffic by spreading a rumor that he's George Clooney.
Categories: Celebrities, Politics, Websites
Posted by Alex on Wed Nov 03, 2004
Comments (5)
Here's a strange email hoax that reportedly is spreading around India:

Tonight a rectoscalar wave is passing at 10.25 pm, Indian Standard Time.... This causes damage in mobiles and computers..... So switch off your mobiles and computers at the specified time... This has been published in todays The Hindu paper also.... Keep fwd this message to your friends and loved ones.....


Is there even such a thing as a rectoscalar wave? I did a google search and didn't pull up anything. Sure hope that wave doesn't reach America. Or maybe it already did. Maybe that's what caused those unfortunate election results.
Categories: Email Hoaxes
Posted by Alex on Wed Nov 03, 2004
Comments (19)
A recent article in the Phoenix New Times describes Phoenix-based Preserve A Life, a company that specializes in Humidermy... a.k.a. Human Taxidermy. If you can't stand the idea of cremating or burying your dearly departed, then Preserve A Life will freeze-dry and 'mount' them for you. Bring Granny back home and have her on display in the living room. You can pose the body in any position you want: "Children have been posed on bicycles and skateboards, grandmothers in rocking chairs, and grandfathers playing boccie ball." As I was reading the article, I kept thinking this CAN'T be real, but some of the links mentioned in the article seemed authentic, such as this one to a Pet Preservation Clinic (and this link to Summum, the world leader in modern mummification, also seemed real, though it doesn't seem that Summum has had a lot of clients yet). What finally convinced me that the article was nothing more than an elaborate joke was the discovery that the Preserve A Life website is registered to the Phoenix New Times itself. But I have to admit, it had me going for a while. I was almost ready to believe that Preserve A Life was real.
Categories: Death
Posted by Alex on Tue Nov 02, 2004
Comments (8)
According to Replay Studios, Survivor will be a computer game that will allow people to "experience the most dramatic disasters of the 20 - 21th century in independent game episodes." The goal will be not only to virtually experience these disasters, but also to see if you could survive them. Here are some of the scenarios gamers will be able to play: Hiroshima, the Titanic, Hurricane Andrew, and (of course) 9/11. Replay Studios seems to be a legitimate game developer, so I'm almost certain that the game is real. But the inclusion of 9/11 does seem odd, especially since there was a previous 9/11 Survivor game from last year that turned out to be a hoax/art project. This article about the game notes that "The very inclusion of the World Trade Centre terrorist attack is bound to offend a great many people, but Replay makes the valid point that this game is entirely about rescuing people, saving human lives and surviving." Right. I'm sure it won't occur to any gamers to shoot every virtual person in their path in order to escape.
Categories: Hate Crimes/Terror, Technology
Posted by Alex on Tue Nov 02, 2004
Comments (18)
image According to local legend in Manitou Springs, Colorado (legend that may or may not be true), a young woman named Emma Crawford was once buried at the top of nearby Red Mountain. But during a rain storm, her coffin came loose and raced down the side of the mountain. To commemorate this event, residents of the town now hold an annual coffin racing contest through the center of town. A few pictures from yesterday's race can be seen here. I'm not sure who won.
Categories: Death, Sports
Posted by Alex on Tue Nov 02, 2004
Comments (13)
Page 5 of 6 pages ‹ First  < 3 4 5 6 >