The Museum of Hoaxes
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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
October 2005
Google’s Dentist
Posted by The Curator on Mon Oct 24, 2005
Status: HoaxI'm a bit late on this one, but it's odd enough to be worth recording for posterity. It was the blog of Sam Gustard, "Google's first full-time on-site dentist." As the blog explained: After they hear this people usually ask why we need our own dentist, or they roll their eyes about supposed extravagence like the well-known free meals at work and so on. Actually, I'm surprised more companies of their size don't have their own dentist. Just do the math (I had to do some math in my interview also): with 3000 employees visiting the dentist twice a year on weekdays, that's 24 patients…
Categories: Websites Comments (7)
A Baby Named Google
Posted by The Curator on Mon Oct 24, 2005
Status: Seems True Earlier this year there was a story about a couple who named their baby Yahoo, in honor of having met over the internet. That story turned out to be a hoax invented by a Romanian reporter, Ion Garnod. But now there's a case, apparently true, in which a couple decided to name their baby Google. In response to whether he thinks his son will be teased in school on account of his name, the father stated: "not if he is using Google Search engine and he is building new idea with his friends around The Psychometric and Informational Structural Mind." I have no idea what that means. However, according to the
Categories: Birth/Babies Comments (12)
Victor the Talking Budgie
Posted by The Curator on Sun Oct 23, 2005
Status: In my opinion, a case of parrot pareidolia Victor is (or rather was) a budgie that, according to its owner, could speak in context. In other words, Victor could not only mimic words, as many birds can, but also carry on meaningful conversations. Victor has been a topic of discussion on the internet for over four years. However, I just became aware of him thanks to an email from Gretel Shuvzwichinstov. So here are the basic facts about Victor, as I understand them: Victor belonged to Ryan Reynolds who, as he became aware that Victor was saying intelligible…
Categories: Animals, Pareidolia Comments (42)
World’s Longest Surname
Posted by The Curator on Fri Oct 21, 2005
Status: Seems to be true Charles Haberl e-mailed me with a question about the world's longest surname. Here's the main part of his message (it's kind of long): There's an bit of internet lore circulating around that the Guinness World Record for Longest Name in the world belongs to a Mr. Adolph Blaine Charles David Earl Frederick Gerald Hubert Irvin John Kenneth Lloyd Martin Nero Oliver Paul Quincy Randolph Sherman Thomas Uncas Victor William Xerxes Yancy Wolfeschlegelsteinhausenbergerdorffwelchevoralternwarengewissenschaftschafe rswessenschafewarenwohlgepflegeundsorgfaltigkeitbeschutzenvonangreifeudurch ihrraubgierigfeindewelchevoralternzwolftausendjahresvorandieerscheinenersch einenvanderersteerdemenschderraumschiffgebrauchlichtalsseinursprungvonkraft gestartseinlangefahrthinzwischensternaitigraumaufdersuchenachdiesternwelche gehabtbewohnbarplanetenkreisedrehensichundwohinderneurassevonverstandigmens chlichkeitkonntefortpflanzenundsicherfeuenanlebenslanglichfreudeundruhemitn icheinfurchtvorangreifenvonandererintelligentgeschopfsvonhinzwischenternart Zeus igraum Senior, who was born in Munich in 1904 and lived in Philadelphia for most of his life. Apparently he shortened his name to Wolfeschlegelsteinhausenbergerdorff, and subsequently went by Hubert…
Categories: Literature/Language Comments (37)
China Invades Japan
Posted by The Curator on Fri Oct 21, 2005
Status: Hoax (Fake News Story) A fake news article ruffled a few feathers over in Asia by reporting that China had invaded the Japanese island of Okinawa. In the context of growing tensions between the two countries, this was apparently believable to some people. Though there's no word on how many people fell for it. The hoaxers disguised their fake story as a Yahoo! News page. Usually fake news stories are easily spotted by examining the URL. If it looks like a Yahoo! News page, but it's not on news.yahoo.com (or whatever the Japanese equivalent is), then it's a good bet the story…
Categories: Military, Websites Comments (21)
Miss International’s Nanny Speech
Posted by The Curator on Wed Oct 19, 2005
Status: Probably a hoax Last month Precious Lara Quigaman, Miss Philippines, was crowned as the 2005 Miss International. An email now going around relates a story about her answer to a question asked during the final round: Precious Lara Quigaman, the Miss Philippines who took home the 2005 Miss International crown, was asked during the final round the following question: What do you say to the people of the world who have typecasted filipinos as nannies? Precious Lara replied, “I take no offense on being typecasted as a nanny. But i do take offense that the educated people of the world…
Categories: Email Hoaxes Comments (8)
Back From The Desert
Posted by The Curator on Tue Oct 18, 2005
I wasn't able to post for the past few days since I was out in the Anza Borrego desert (just outside of San Diego), where I spent a long weekend with my wife and parents at the Borrego Valley Inn. I got to see some incredible desert fauna while I was there, including coyotes, jack rabbits, tarantulas, red-tailed hawks, and roadrunners. Thankfully I didn't encounter any rattlesnakes. In the picture to the right I believe that I was looking at a Jumpin' Yuccy. Update: Here's a picture of the tarantula that I saw.…
Categories: Miscellaneous Comments (8)
Is The Word ‘Dwarf’ Derogatory?
Posted by The Curator on Tue Oct 18, 2005
Status: Not to my knowledge. Since my upcoming book is titled Hippo Eats Dwarf, this brief article in The Sun caught my attention: PANTOS of Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs are being censored — to outlaw the word DWARF. A shocked village drama group sent off for a script and found Dopey and his pals — played by kids — had to be called “gnomes” instead. Ray Lionet, 73, of the Coxheath Players in Kent, said the ban was to avoid offending short people. He said: “It’s madness.” I never thought the word dwarf was considered to be derogatory. I hope it's not, because it's way too late…
Categories: Literature/Language Comments (36)
CitiKitty: Cat Toilet Training Kit
Posted by The Curator on Thu Oct 13, 2005
Status: Controversial. I'm doubtful this could work, but some people swear it does I'm sorry. I refuse to believe it would be possible to train a cat to use a toilet, despite what the CitiKitty company might claim. After all, you can't train cats to do anything. (At least, not my cat.) This is how the CityKitty Cat Toilet Training Kit is supposed to work: The specially designed training seat securely sits on your toilet filled with litter. Your cat naturally uses CitiKitty as its new litter box. The rings are removed thus reducing the amount of litter. Once all rings…
Categories: Animals Comments (61)
Marzipan Babies
Posted by The Curator on Thu Oct 13, 2005
Status: Not Marzipan I'm a big fan of Marzipan. In fact, I've made several pilgrimages to Lübeck, home of Niederegger, makers of the best marzipan in the world (in my opinion). So I was intrigued by these pictures of tiny babies supposedly made out of marzipan. I don't see why one couldn't make lifelike dolls out of marzipan, but that's not the case with these dolls. They're actually made by the artist Camille Allen out of polymer clay or resin, and they're not edible. Still, in the past it was apparently possible to buy jelly babies, as well as chocolate babies. So why not marzipan babies? (via Strong Chemistry)…
Categories: Birth/Babies, Food Comments (103)
Photos of Pre-Crash Helios Airplane
Posted by The Curator on Wed Oct 12, 2005
Status: FakePhotos have circulated purporting to show the Helios Airways airplane that crashed on August 14, 2005 near Athens, as seen from the cockpit of a Lockheed Martin F-16 that intercepted it before the crash. According to Flight International, these photos are fake: Flight International has identified the pictures as high-quality fakes as they show a Helios 737-800, rather than the -300 that crashed. Efforts to disguise this have been made by doctoring the registration to that of the crashed aircraft. The other key giveaways that the aircraft is an -800 rather than a -300, are the twin overwing exits, its fuselage length and trailing edge configuration. The wikipedia entry about…
Categories: Photos/Videos Comments (3)
Santorum Fundraiser at U2 Concert
Posted by The Curator on Wed Oct 12, 2005
Status: True, but misleading A Newsmax article that many bloggers are linking to states that: "At a concert of the legendary rock group U2, Senator Rick Santorum will hold a fund-raising event for one night only. The thousand-dollar-a-seat fund-raiser has been put together by Sean and Ana Wolfington, and it will take place at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia in support of Santorum's reelection." The article then goes on to state that Republican Senator Santorum and Bono share spiritual values, and implies that the two men have struck up some kind of political alliance. I don't know about the shared spiritual values part, but the two men definitely haven't struck up a political alliance.…
Categories: Politics Comments (6)
Canal Bridge Magdeburg
Posted by The Curator on Tue Oct 11, 2005
Status: Real A photo of a "water bridge" is circulating around, accompanied by this caption: Water Bridge in Germany.... What a feat! Six years, 500 million euros, 918 meters long.......now this is engineering! This is a channel-bridge over the River Elbe and joins the former East and West Germany, as part of the unification project. It is located in the city of Magdeburg, near Berlin. The photo was taken on the day of inauguration. To those who appreciate engineering projects..... No, the picture hasn't been photoshopped. It's a real water bridge. Amazingly, the information…
Categories: Photos/Videos Comments (17)
Snakes On A Plane (the movie)
Posted by The Curator on Tue Oct 11, 2005
Status: Seems to be real When word got out that New Line Cinema was producing a movie titled Snakes On A Plane, starring Samuel Jackson, some people, assuming that no major studio would actually create a movie that stupid, thought it had to be a hoax. The minimalist plot outline (with bad grammar) added fuel to these suspicions: On board a flight over the Pacific Ocean, an assassin, bent on killing a passenger who's a witness in protective custody, let loose a crate full of deadly snakes. The hoax theory got a further boost when New Line decided not to launch an official website for the film. But now
Categories: Entertainment Comments (11)
MIDI or Virtuoso?
Posted by The Curator on Tue Oct 11, 2005
Reverent.org has an interesting quiz that challenges you to tell the difference between music played by a computer and music played by a human virtuoso. Most people will probably find it pretty easy. I, however, scored only 63%. I mistook Rachmaninov for a computer (among other errors).
Categories: Art Comments (8)
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