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January 2005
image One of the many random viral videos that floats around the internet is this 'Aicha Kid Video' that shows a skinny teenager singing and dancing to the song 'Aicha'. But before you click on the link to see the video, first read about the urban legend that accompanies the video, because I think it makes the video itself much more interesting. According to the UL, there's an 'uncut' version of this video, and in this uncut version... well, this poster from ebaumsworld summarizes it better than I could:

it is hard to get the unedited one, most of them stop after he is dancing. In the full version after he dances, he gets a knife out from under his minnie mouse comforter and slits his throat. He bleeds out all over his adidas sweatshirt and falls on the floor. The camera keeps taping for another 5 minutes until the tape runs out. I think you can get the full version on www.rotten.com. Ya it is sad.

So does this uncut suicide kid video actually exist? I don't think so. At least, if it does I can't find it anywhere. Though in a variant of the UL, the non-existence of the extended video is explained away by the fact that the skinny kid's parents supposedly filed a lawsuit to get it removed from the internet. If the video does exist I'm sure that I'll hear about it eventually, but I'd bet good money on it just being a stupid rumor.
Categories: Death
Posted by Alex on Thu Jan 20, 2005
Comments (192)
Back when I was writing The Museum of Hoaxes (the book) I exchanged a few emails with Jenny Abel, daughter of professional hoaxer Alan Abel. During the course of our correspondence she mentioned that she was making a movie about her father. Now I see that she's completed the movie, titled Abel Raises Caine. It can be seen at the Slamdance Film Festival in LA next week. Phil Reisman describes it in this way (his article also tells about some of Abel's more famous hoaxes):

It's an entertaining and at moments a laugh-out-loud film about growing up in a creative, dysfunctional family in the vein of "Capturing the Friedmans" and "Crumb," but minus the sinister elements that made those documentaries especially creepy. Using archival footage of now defunct talk shows, press conferences and long-forgotten news broadcasts, Jenny Abel attempts to explain her antic father, who has never held a 9-to-5 job and it would appear has never had much of an attachment to the truth. About anything.

The only Abel hoax I describe on this website is his most famous one, the Society for Indecency to Naked Animals. But I included many more of his hoaxes in my book. I've been meaning to describe more of his hoaxes on this site for ages. Just never got around to it.
Categories: Entertainment
Posted by Alex on Wed Jan 19, 2005
Comments (2)
While other people are planning how to spend the day of the Inauguration protesting (or not spending a dime), here's a guy who's figured out that the Inauguration and all the related festivities represent an opportunity to trick women into going out with him. Here's his scam, as he tells it in this post on Craigslist DC (warning: not safe for work language): He placed an ad looking for a date to accompany him to a black tie inaugural ball. The one condition was that he wanted to meet his date for drinks a few days before the event. He claims that this has resulted in women calling him all the time, pleading with him to pick them as his date, buying him free drinks, etc. In reality, he doesn't have tickets to a black-tie event. Plus, he's a Democrat. I'm not sure if any part of this guy's story is true, but women should be on their guard.
Categories: Politics, Sex/Romance
Posted by Alex on Wed Jan 19, 2005
Comments (2)
The Sun reports on this very odd form of political protest:

GERMAN police are hunting for a gang who have been going around Berlin sticking tiny American flags into dog poo. Officers say they are baffled by the bizarre behaviour - which does not break any laws - and have stepped-up patrols to catch the gang.
Cops had initially thought the jokers were protesting about the war in Iraq, according to iol.co.nz. But the pranks continued throughout George W Bush's re-election leaving detectives without a clear motive.
Police spokesperson Reiner Kuechler said: "We have sent out extra patrols to try to catch whoever is doing this in the act. But frankly, we don't know what we would do if we caught them red-handed."
Park boss Josef Oettl added: "This has been going on for about a year now, and there must be 2000 to 3000 piles of excrement that have been claimed during that time."


It seems like the real criminals here are the people who aren't cleaning up after their dogs.
Categories: Gross, Politics, Pranks
Posted by Alex on Wed Jan 19, 2005
Comments (12)
image Check out this ad for the Volkswagen Polo (link may be dead) that's been going around. A suicide bomber blows himself up inside the car, but the car is so tough that it contains the explosion. Seems to push the envelope a bit too much to be an actual ad commissioned by Volkswagen, and sure enough it's not. It's a 'spec ad', created by leeanddan.com. Spec ads are 'speculative ads' created to show potential clients what kind of work you're capable of doing. In other words, Volkswagen never endorsed this material.
Update (1/20/05): The Guardian reports that they were able to track down Lee of leeanddan.com, who did indeed make the VW Polo ad. Lee says that he wasn't working for Volkswagen, but implies that he made the ad to get Volkswagen's attention. Reportedly the ad cost £40,000 to make.
Categories: Advertising, Hate Crimes/Terror
Posted by Alex on Wed Jan 19, 2005
Comments (18)
image Troy Hurtubise claims that he's invented a machine, dubbed the Angel Light, that can see through walls. It doesn't really matter what the wall is made of: wood, ceramic, steel, tin, titanium, even lead. The Angel Light can see right through it, just as if a window had opened up in the wall. Of course, he built this thing in his garage (where else?). The idea for the invention came to him in a dream, and he built it without the aid of any blueprints, drawings or schematics. Although Troy may hope to one day be known throughout the world as the inventor of the Angel Light, he's already well known as the inventor of the URSUS MARK VII, a suit that can help a man withstand the attack of a Grizzly Bear (see that suit in the right corner of the thumbnail? That's the Grizzly suit). So from Grizzly Bear suits to Machines That Can See Through Walls. No one can accuse him of not having an interesting resume.
Categories: Technology
Posted by Alex on Wed Jan 19, 2005
Comments (401)
image Here's another image-of-God-appears-in-food story. The BBC reports that a Swiss bar manager, Matteo Brandi, has found an oyster shell that bears the spitting image of Jesus Christ, though to me it looks more like what I imagine the Sea-God Poseidon should look like. Mr. Brandi said he found the shell when "The oyster stuck to his hand as if God was calling him." He also points out that his oyster shell is unique because, unlike the Virgin Mary Grilled Cheese Sandwich, it is "the work of nature." That's true. A few hundred years ago Mr. Brandi's shell would have been referred to as a Lusus Naturae. Mr. Brandi doesn't need any encouragement to sell his holy oyster shell online. That's already his plan.
Categories: Food, Religion
Posted by Alex on Tue Jan 18, 2005
Comments (21)
An email has been going around showing photos of bizarre, supposedly never-before-seen deep-sea creatures that have been washing up on beaches because of the tsunami. Photos of the creatures can be seen on this Russian website. It's obviously a hoax since these photos have been floating around the internet for ages. One of them has even appeared on my site before. But the Practical Fishkeeping site has done everyone a service by identifying what all these sea creatures actually are.
imageimage image
Categories: Animals
Posted by Alex on Tue Jan 18, 2005
Comments (7)
I spent my Sunday night watching FoodTV's new show, Iron Chef America. I've long been a fan of the original Japanese Iron Chef, but I quite liked Food TV's adaptation of it. However, I was upset to read in this NY Times article that the 'secret ingredient' presented to the chefs at the beginning of the competition isn't that secret after all:

Both teams are readier for the challenge than most viewers realize. They have come to Kitchen Stadium knowing that they will be cooking with one of two ingredients, striped bass or buffalo, a choice negotiated in advance with the network.

Hmm. Instead of calling it the 'Secret Ingredient' perhaps they should call it the 'Previously Negotiated and Agreed Upon Ingredient'.
Categories: Entertainment, Food
Posted by Alex on Tue Jan 18, 2005
Comments (23)
The Monkey Methods blog has posted pictures of a young Bill Gates supposedly posing for a Teen Beat photospread back in 1983. I'm willing to believe that the photos are real pictures of a young Bill. But I'm not willing to believe that they're from Teen Beat, not unless more evidence is provided, such as a scan of the article itself. Some of the people who have posted comments on the Monkey Methods blog have pointed out problems with the claim that these photos are from 1983. For instance, there's clearly an Apple Computer a Macintosh visible in the first picture. But the Apple Macintosh only began to be sold in 1984. Plus, why in the world would Teen Beat have wanted to do a photospread of Bill Gates?
image image

Update: These pictures were taken in 1985 by celebrity photographer Deborah Feingold shortly after the release of Windows 1.0. This information comes from Corbis.com, which has these photos in their database. There's no evidence that they ever appeared in Teen Beat.
Categories: Photos/Videos
Posted by Alex on Mon Jan 17, 2005
Comments (24)
Neurocam is very specific about what it is not. Its website asserts that:
neurocam is not a cult religion
neurocam is not a scientific discovery
neurocam is not anything to do with politics
neurocam is not anything to do with religion
neurocam is not a prank or a hoax

However, it's not clear at all exactly what Neurocam is. Compounding the mystery is that billboards have been appearing around Australia bearing the message "Get out of your mind" and directing people towards the neurocam website. There's not much to see on the site itself, but if you register and successfully pass the 'background checks' they put you through, you're eventually given strange tasks to perform, such as giving a stranger a locked briefcase. The leading theory is that neurocam is some kind of Alternative Reality Game. Or it could be a bizarre viral advertising campaign. Or it could be an art project. The people on Metafilter theorize it has something to do with this 'company' marketing Human Possibility.
Categories: Websites
Posted by Alex on Mon Jan 17, 2005
Comments (24)
image I received this email yesterday from an artist requesting my opinion. Feel free to leave your own opinion in the comments:

Being an artist, in August of 1996 I painted a picture.
It was supposed to be a simple picture of a large cross on a white background.
The picture is 24 x 30. The two axis of the cross are 11.5 inches wide.
Roughly 28 x 22.5. The cross was made by taking a pallet of mixed colors of paint and with one vertical and one horizontal swipe nothing more.

When the paint dried you could "I would say" clearly see the face of Christ on the cross. I was so afraid I put the picture away and in the last 8 years have only showed it to several of my friends. Please give me your honest input on what you see in and think about my picture.
You can either call or email me back.

This is no joke.

Warmest Regards,
DiMarcia (Dee) Ancrum


(Click on the image to enlarge it. I had to trim it down significantly because the image file was huge... 3.3MB)
Categories: Art, Religion
Posted by Alex on Mon Jan 17, 2005
Comments (68)
I've heard a rumor that some women do this, though I didn't think it was true. But what was I thinking? There's always somebody who's going to try something out, no matter how gross it is. So anyway, if you have a hankering for cooked placenta, here are some recipes, including Roast Placenta (with red peppers and a bit of garlic) and Dehydrated Placenta (that would be like Placenta Jerky, I assume).
Categories: Birth/Babies, Food
Posted by Alex on Sat Jan 15, 2005
Comments (59)
This attracted quite a bit of attention (relatively speaking), but I only found out about it today, once it was revealed to be a hoax. It was a Countdown-to-Suicide Journal on LiveJournal:

My name is Jerry Romero, and I am 23 years old. If you have found this journal, it is through your own actions. I will not comment on other entries in an attempt to make friends. I am leaving this in the hands of Fate and no-one else. This journal was created solely for the purpose of providing one last lifeline in a vast sea of hopelessness.
On January 13th, I am going to kill myself.
Categories: Death
Posted by Alex on Fri Jan 14, 2005
Comments (17)
image Hot on the heels of the latest guy who was auctioning off advertising space on his forehead, comes this eBay entrepreneur who has invented Forehead Ad Blockers.

there is a new type of advertising that is rapidly gaining ground: forehead advertising. These ads will be inescapable, especially if you have to visually interact with that soulless human posing as a walking billboard. That is, unless you have: The Forehead Ad Blocker™
Portable! No heavier than a standard pair of safety glasses!
Adjustable! Blocks forehead ads regardless of their height! Just raise or lift your head!
Patent-pending technology!


(via Adrants)
Categories: Advertising, eBay
Posted by Alex on Fri Jan 14, 2005
Comments (4)
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