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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
December 2004
Coydogs
Posted by The Curator on Tue Dec 21, 2004
Coydogs. Are they real creatures, or just the stuff of urban legend? As the name implies, a coydog would be a cross between a coyote and a dog. But according to Chrissie Henner, a biologist at the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, they're an urban legend. She says that "there has never been any physical evidence of a half-dog, half-coyote animal." Not that it would be impossible for the two species to mate and produce an offspring, just very unlikely. Though Henner also points out that the mating cycles of the two species differ: "Coyotes go in to heat between January and March and have pups in May or…
Categories: Animals Comments (230)
Case of the Phony Dawn
Posted by The Curator on Tue Dec 21, 2004
Here's a story that ranks about as high in the weirdness category as that story about the sleep-sex woman. Stephen Hill invites four guys over to his house to have sex with a woman named Dawn. This goes on for three years. Finally, it occurs to the guys: 'are we really having sex with Dawn... or is that just Stephen pretending to be Dawn?' Three years to figure this out! With a story like this you know there's got to be a lot more to it than you're getting in the news report.
Categories: Sex/Romance Comments (15)
Bloggers Can Be Fakers
Posted by The Curator on Mon Dec 20, 2004
Time Magazine is running an article titled "10 Things We Learned About Blogs". One of the things they learned was that "Bloggers Can Be Fakers." They write: Plain Layne, a highly personal blog supposedly belonging to a Minnesota lesbian named Layne Johnson that drew thousands of fans over 3 1/2 years before mysteriously disappearing, was revealed to be a hoax. Hundreds of fans helped track down the real author, Odin Soli, 35, a male entrepreneur from Woodbury, Minn. Later in the year, fake Bill Clinton and Andy Kaufman blogs became hits. Congratulations to Odin for getting his name in Time Magazine. But I've also got to point out that Time has one of its…
Categories: Websites Comments (7)
The Top Hoaxes of 2004
Posted by The Curator on Sun Dec 19, 2004
I've created a year-end list of the top hoaxes of 2004. Actually, I've chosen ten hoaxes that I think might be worthy of making the list (my basic criteria was the hoaxes that received the most media and public attention), but I haven't ranked them yet. Instead, I'm opening it up to voting. I think that's a more democratic way of doing it. Check out the list and vote here.
Categories: Miscellaneous Comments (0)
Auto-Urine Therapy
Posted by The Curator on Sat Dec 18, 2004
The About.com urban legends forum has a thread going about auto-urine therapy, which translates into 'drinking your own urine'. Is there really a thriving urine-drinking subculture? Well, yes. As the poster points out, all you have to do is google 'drinking your own urine' and you get all kinds of hits. The reason urine-drinking has so many fans is that it's supposed to offer numerous health benefits, including improving the immune system, giving you nice skin, acting great as a gargle if you have gum disease, and having very powerful anti-aging properties. I think I've mentioned before somewhere on my site that I have personal experience with this urine-drinking subculture. NOT that I've ever drunk the stuff myself…
Categories: Food, Health/Medicine Comments (72)
Nokia Speed Trap Detector
Posted by The Curator on Sat Dec 18, 2004
According to an email urban legend, certain models of Nokia phones have built-in radar detector that you can activate via secret code. Obviously this can't be true. But what I'm curious about is if a radar sign actually will appear on certain models if you follow these instructions. I could imagine bored engineers programming this in as a joke. Since I don't have access to a Nokia phone I can't test it out. Here's the email: Nokia Speed Trap Detector The settings for radar speed traps detector. Your Nokia cell phone can be programmed to pick up radar speed traps, when programmed your cell phone picks up the…
Categories: Technology Comments (58)
Santa in the Manger
Posted by The Curator on Fri Dec 17, 2004
In the same vein as the crucified Santa urban legend, here's an odd statue that would look great in any front yard. It's the Santa Kneeling by Baby Jesus Outdoor Statue. I wonder if they realize that Santa wasn't actually one of those three wise men that the Bible talks about? (via Bifurcated Rivets)
Categories: Religion Comments (26)
Duct Tape Bikes
Posted by The Curator on Fri Dec 17, 2004
Duct Tape Bikes seem to be popping up on the streets of New York. Here's one. And here's another one. I'm assuming it's some kind of prank. Somebody leaves their bike locked up in one place for too long and eventually they return to find it covered in duct tape. Or perhaps the bikes are some kind of weird art project. (via New Yorkish)
Categories: Pranks Comments (15)
Find Bailey
Posted by The Curator on Thu Dec 16, 2004
Bailey is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. On November 8, 2004 he was stolen from a locked car located in a Beverly Hills parking structure. Bailey's owner, Elizabeth Hart, is desperate to get him back. And to aid in this effort she's created the most elaborate, slickly designed website you'll ever see for a lost dog. She's also issued a press release about Bailey, and is doing radio and TV interviews. I feel bad being suspicious about all this. After all, the poor woman probably really has lost her dog and is just trying to do everything she can to get him back. I know I'd go to quite extreme…
Categories: Animals Comments (46)
Society for the Protection and Preservation of Fruitcakes
Posted by The Curator on Wed Dec 15, 2004
My wife is a big fan of fruitcakes, though only of the British variety. She tells me that American fruitcakes have too much weird stuff in them (maraschino cherries, etc.). But fans of American fruitcakes can find people of a like-mind at the Society for the Protection and Preservation of Fruitcakes. "The Society's goal is to protect and preserve fruitcake, not in the pouring on more brandy or rum type of preservation but in the 'spread the gospel' way. By providing information and links about fruitcake, it's hoped we can provide safe haven for fruitcake lovers and some encouragement for others to give it a try." Unfortunately the Fruitcake Society…
Categories: Food Comments (2)
Port-O-Jet
Posted by The Curator on Wed Dec 15, 2004
Paul Stender has built a jet-powered outhouse. He calls it the Port-O-Jet. No it doesn't run on natural gas (the obvious joke). But it can reach speeds of 46 mph with a good tailwind. The hoax is that it doesn't actually function as a toilet. Pity. Now if he could make the toilet work, and then outfit it with wireless internet access, it could be the world's first jet-powered iLoo.
Categories: Technology Comments (3)
The Hoax Paper Birds of Thailand
Posted by The Curator on Wed Dec 15, 2004
Last week 100 million paper birds were airdropped in southern Thailand. The airdrop was supposed to be the Thai government's symbolic peace gesture towards the Muslim separatists who live there. Billionaire Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra personally signed one of the paper birds, promising that whoever found this autographed bird would win a university scholarship (sounds like he has ambitions to be a modern-day Willy Wonka). A few days later a young girl came forward saying that she had found the bird. Provincial authorities checked it out and said that it looked genuine. But alas, it now appears the bird was a hoax. Shinawatra has indicated that he might give her a free scholarship anyway. But nobody knows…
Categories: Con Artists, Places Comments (9)
The Bat Creek Stone
Posted by The Curator on Wed Dec 15, 2004
In 1889 a curiously engraved stone was found in an Indian mound near Bat Creek, Ohio. The discoverer of the stone was John Emmert, who was working for the Smithsonian's Mound Survey Project. Emmert thought (or said he thought) that the inscription was written in Cherokee and sent the 'Bat Creek Stone' off to the Smithsonian, which accepted the stone as authentic. The Smithsonian then included a reference to the stone in its final report on the Mounds--the report in which it concluded that the mounds had been built by ancient American Indians, not by an ancient tribe of world-wandering Europeans or Israelites (the origin of the Indian mounds was a huge…
Categories: History Comments (43)
Judge Auctioned on eBay
Posted by The Curator on Wed Dec 15, 2004
The latest weirdness on eBay involves a woman, Janet Schoenberg, who put Judge Jerald R. Klein of the New York City Housing Court up for sale, free worldwide shipping included. Why did she do this? Because he had been involved in the legal process whereby she was evicted from her East Village apartment, and this was her way of getting back at him. She listed his sale under "Sporting goods, archery, arrows, shafts" (shafts... get it?). The hoax auction wasn't caught by eBay until bidding had already reached $127.50. Now Judge Klein is considering whether he should pursue legal action against Ms. Schoenberg. But the question is: would listing him for sale be considered as libel, or would…
Categories: eBay Comments (3)
Emperor Norton Bridge
Posted by The Curator on Wed Dec 15, 2004
According to the San Francisco Chronicle there's serious consideration of renaming the Bay Bridge after Emperor Norton I, the self-proclaimed Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico who lived in San Francisco during the 19th Century. The Board of Supervisors approved the idea yesterday. Now it just has to be approved by the Mayor, the Oakland City Council, and the California Legislature. Personally, I think it's a great idea. But will this inspire Los Angeles to follow suit and name something after HRM Caesar St. Augustine de Buonaparte, the present-day Emperor of the United States?
Categories: Places Comments (11)
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