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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
December 2004
End of World Causes Bank Failure
Posted by The Curator on Wed Dec 08, 2004
Numerous bad loans to a polygamist sect that believes the end of the world is nigh has caused the 99-year-old Bank of Ephraim in Utah to go under. The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (a small Mormon sect a small splinter sect of the Mormon church, unaffiliated with the main church) was spending money like the end of the world was around the corner... because they thought the end of the world actually was around the corner. And happily funding this spending spree was the Bank of Ephraim. They approved loans for one bizarre project after another: a watermelon farm that didn't grow watermelons, a construction company that made a loss on everything it sold…
The ESP Game
Posted by The Curator on Tue Dec 07, 2004
Do you think you have ESP? Test your skills with the ESP game. It's a bit addictive. You're paired with a random partner on the internet, then you're both shown a series of images. You each have to guess what word the other person is typing to describe the image. I ranked as a novice.
Categories: Psychology Comments (2)
Have You Forsaken Baby Jesus?
Posted by The Curator on Tue Dec 07, 2004
Lots of people are linking to this floating Baby Jesus head that squeaks plaintively, occasionally moans 'WHY', and constantly demands 'WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME?' One look at the URL told me that it was a spoof, because it's part of the Objective: Christian Ministries (O:CM) site, probably the most elaborate anti-fundamentalist parody site on the internet. But apparently not everyone is aware of O:CM, so they're getting creeped out thinking the floating Baby Jesus head is supposed to be taken seriously. O:CM has been around for a while. I first became aware of it in mid-2003, but it's older than that.…
Categories: Religion, Websites Comments (7)
PhotoBlocker Spray
Posted by The Curator on Tue Dec 07, 2004
The makers of PhotoBlocker spray claim that their product will make your license plate invisible to photo radar, red light cameras, and infrared and laster cameras. Special crystals in the spray will reflect back the flash (or light source) used by these cameras, making your license look like a bright blur. Would this actually work? Would it be legal if it did? They say that the spray is invisible to the naked eye, which means that it won't be of much use if a cop pulls you over. Personally, I've always thought someone should make a stealth car, made out of the same material as the stealth airplanes. That would…
Categories: Law/Police/Crime, Technology Comments (222)
Ghost Cane Sold for $65,000
Posted by The Curator on Tue Dec 07, 2004
So goldenpalace.com, the same online casino that shelled out $28,000 for the Virgin Mary Grilled Cheese Sandwich last month, has now bought the haunted walking cane for $65,000. It occurs to me that this casino is rapidly building a Museum of Hoaxes all of its own. They're becoming the P.T. Barnum's of the 21st Century.
Categories: eBay Comments (14)
How To Pick Up Women
Posted by The Curator on Tue Dec 07, 2004
According to Don Diebel, "Americas #1 Singles Expert", the secret to picking up women is hand puppets. (so that's what I was doing wrong back when I was single... no hand puppets!). Here's what you do: When you see a girl that you're attracted to, approach her and tap her on the shoulder lightly with your puppet and when she turns around raise your hand puppet towards her face and say something like this with your puppet, "Hi beautiful, would you like to dance with me?" Move your puppet up and down with your hand as you are saying your script just as if the puppet was really talking. And be sure to talk…
Categories: Sex/Romance Comments (19)
Praise from the Guardian
Posted by The Curator on Mon Dec 06, 2004
There was a very nice blurb in today's issue of The Guardian about the Museum of Hoaxes. Does this mean I can now tell my mother that I'm famous?
Categories: Miscellaneous Comments (10)
Santa’s Female Reindeer
Posted by The Curator on Sun Dec 05, 2004
David Emery has posted an intriguing piece of netlore concerning the gender of Santa's reindeer. Here's the text of the email that's going around: According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, while both male and female reindeer grow antlers in the summer each year (the only members of the deer family, Cervidae, to have females do so), male reindeer drop their antlers at the beginning of winter, usually late November to mid December. Female reindeer retain their antlers till after they give birth in the spring. Therefore, according to every historical rendition depicting Santa's reindeer, every single one of them, from Rudolf to Blitzen ... had to be a female.
ATM Dispenses Fake Cash
Posted by The Curator on Sun Dec 05, 2004
When customers of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce tried to withdraw cash from the bank's ATM, instead of money they received "colorful bills used as incentives at Canadian Tire Corp. hardware stores." So what do you do if an ATM gives you funny money instead of real bills? An article in the Charlotte Observer (requires obnoxious registration) gives this advice: "Don't walk or drive away from the teller window without checking the money first... Once you leave the teller, fake bills are your responsibility. If you're at an ATM, go into the bank and ask for a replacement... If the bank's closed, you're likely out of luck." Of course, if you do find yourself stuck…
Categories: Business/Finance Comments (16)
Fake Predictions Seized
Posted by The Curator on Sun Dec 05, 2004
Here's an interesting short crime report from the China Post: Hong Kong customs officers have seized nearly 1,500 fake fortunetelling books that contain published predictions for the wrong year, a customs official said Sunday. The fake books, which were seized Friday, purport to offer predictions for the next Chinese calendar year, the Year of the Rooster, but their texts are lifted from published predictions for previous years, said Customs and Excise Department official Chiu Yuk-hung. The fakes were published under the names of local fortune tellers and legitimate publishers, he said. I wonder if the police were most worried about the plagiarism, or protecting the public from potentially inaccurate predictions?
Categories: Future/Time Comments (2)
Cluster Ballooning
Posted by The Curator on Sun Dec 05, 2004
Cluster Ballooning is air travel achieved by means of tying numerous helium balloons to yourself. I knew about Larry Walters' famous 1982 cluster balloon flight in which he took off from the LA area on a lawn chair tied to helium balloons, so I knew it was possible to do. But I didn't think that people did this regularly as a sport. Apparently they do. It actually looks like fun (the site has some great pictures).
Categories: Sports Comments (1)
Grandfather’s Ghost on eBay
Posted by The Curator on Sun Dec 05, 2004
Yet another ghost is up for sale on eBay. This one has received huge amounts of media attention (stories about it on CNN, MSNBC, etc.) thanks to a sob story that goes along with it. Last year this woman's father died. Now her eight-year-old son Collin thinks that the ghost of his grandfather is still living in the house. So the highest bidder will get the ghost of the grandfather (plus the grandfather's walking stick). The one condition is that the winning bidder has to write a letter to Collin assuring him that the ghost has relocated. I have just a few things to say about this. First of all, the really scary thing about this…
Categories: eBay, Paranormal Comments (12)
Jasper and the Yeast Rolls
Posted by The Curator on Sun Dec 05, 2004
This story (author unknown) has been 'floating around' the internet for a few months. I found a discussion of it on alt.folklore.urban. There's an easier to read version of it here. It involves a fox terrier named Jasper who eats twelve uncooked yeast rolls that a woman leaves out to rise before baking. The yeast begins to rise in the dog's stomach, causing him to swell up like a balloon: "He looked like a combination of the Pillsbury dough boy and the Michelin Tire man wrapped up in fur. He groaned when he walked. I swear even his cheeks were bloated." The next day it's worse. The yeast has begun to ferment…
Categories: Animals, Food, Urban Legends Comments (13)
BBC Falls for Bhopal Hoax
Posted by The Curator on Sat Dec 04, 2004
The hoaxing of the BBC has now been all over the news. In case you haven't heard, on Friday the BBC broadcast an interview with a man claiming to be a representative of Dow Chemical, Jude Finisterra (is the guy's last name supposed to mean 'the end of the world'?). During the interview the man said that Dow had decided to accept full responsibility for the chemical disaster that killed thousands of people in Bhopal twenty years ago, and in addition it would pay $12 billion in compensation to the victims. The BBC broadcast the interview twice, causing Dow's stock value to promptly drop. Later that same day it became clear that the man wasn't a representative of…
Bush Arrested in Canada
Posted by The Curator on Fri Dec 03, 2004
A mock CNN page with news about Bush being arrested in Canada and charged with war crimes has been doing the rounds, and apparently fooling quite a few people. It's pretty well done. The url even looks like it could be the real thing. Axis of Logic also has a satirical article about Bush being arrested on their site. Apparently the Axis of Logic article got picked up by the Google newsbot and was temporarily posted as a real headline on Google News. Hairy Houdini, as he promised in the Hoax Forum, sent me a screen cap of this (Thanks, HH, though…
Categories: Politics, Websites Comments (21)
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