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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
February 2006
TV Producer Has Question
Posted by The Curator on Tue Feb 21, 2006
Here's a request for help that I received today from a researcher at a TV production company: I work in the Development Department for a Production Company called North One TV. We're currently working on an idea for a show that uses science to hoax people. Obviously there are many fantastic science based hoaxes that have been performed through out history. What we're thinking is we could use one or two of the more famous hoaxes to break up the show. The main crux being a presenter fooling people on the street or in a studio, by confounding them with science? Unfortunately this is where we are struggling slightly. Do you know of any simple, experiment based…
Categories: Miscellaneous Comments (22)
Museum of Hoaxes Keyrings
Posted by The Curator on Tue Feb 21, 2006
I received this unusual request in my email today: My name is Beatriz Damiani and for 20 years I have devoted myself to collecting "keyrings", being my collection, at present, of more than 5600 units from 184 different countries all over the world. Within my collection one of the most important, as well as interesting sets, is the one of "Museums". After long years of hard but enjoyable work, I have been able to obtain keyrings from most Museums but I still lack one from yours. The possibility of incorporating this keyring to my collection would mean a lot to…
Categories: Miscellaneous Comments (8)
Fake Guinness Scam
Posted by The Curator on Tue Feb 21, 2006
Status: Scam I'm a big fan of Guinness (Murphy's and Beamish as well), so this news report from Africa of a Guinness counterfeiting scam caught my eye. Three men have been charged with producing fake Guinness and selling it to bars in Nigeria. (From what I've heard, Guinness is incredibly popular in Nigeria.) The way they created the phony Guinness was what I found interesting: They further explained that they buy the original product of Wilmot Stout [a cheap beer] from a depot located in Zuba in large quantity and with that they proceed to their factory where they start by first washing the empty Guinness bottles with the omo and water. After washing…
Categories: Food Comments (6)
Camera Unlost, But Not Quite Found
Posted by The Curator on Tue Feb 21, 2006
Status: True Earlier today I read (via blogdex) the tale of a woman named Judith and her camera that was lost, then found, but still (paradoxically) remains lost. I thought it was interesting, but didn't consider it might be a hoax. However, several people have emailed me about it, so I thought I'd take a closer look at it. Here's the jist of the tale. Judith lost her camera while on vacation in Hawaii. Back home she decided to create a photo blog of her vacation using pictures found on Flickr of the places she visited. About two weeks into this blog, she posts this message, explaining that she had received a call from…
Skinbags (bags made from human skin)
Posted by The Curator on Tue Feb 21, 2006
Status: Real bags (but not really made from skin) The front page of the skinbags site advertises that skinbags are "Organic objects, in synthetic human skin." That description isn't as clear as it could be, and could easily be misread to suggest that skinbags are actually made from human skin. Much of the rest of the site plays up this ambiguity. You come across passages such as this: What is it? Could it be human skin? One asks oneself, reaching out a hand in an attempt to touch it : a reflexive gesture. This is what is fascinating – like a game made to scare oneself.
Categories: Body Manipulation, Gross Comments (17)
Ancient Pottery Recorded Audio
Posted by The Curator on Mon Feb 20, 2006
Status: Hoax The Raw Feed has linked to a video (in French) in which Belgian archaeologists discuss how they were able to "use computer scans of the grooves in 6,500-year-old pottery to extract sounds -- including talking and laughter -- made by the vibrations of the tools used to make the pottery." The video is fairly good quality and would lead you to believe that it might be real, if it weren't for the premise being pretty farfetched (and not reported anywhere else in the news). Make Magazine reports that the video was created last year as an April Fool's…
Categories: History, Technology Comments (23)
Korean Couple Weds on a Train
Posted by The Curator on Mon Feb 20, 2006
Status: Fake About a week ago a touching scene took place in South Korea. A couple boarded a train and then proceeded to get married in front of all the passengers. The groom explained to everyone that he was too poor to pay for a proper ceremony, so he and his bride had decided to get married on a train instead. After the ceremony the crowd broke into wild applause, and pictures of the wedding (taken by a passenger with a cellphone) began to circulate on the internet. But now it turns out that the scene wasn't…
Categories: Sex/Romance Comments (7)
Popular Myths in Science
Posted by The Curator on Sat Feb 18, 2006
Status: Urban Legends LiveScience.com has a list of the 20 Most Popular Myths in Science. Included in the list are classics such as these: It takes seven years to digest gum. Hair and fingernails continue growing after death. A penny dropped from the top of a tall building could kill a pedestrian. Humans use only 10 percent of their brains. You get less wet by running in the rain. Eating a poppy seed bagel mimics opium use. Oddly enough, they also throw a few strange-but-true items into this list of myths, such as these: Chickens can live without a head. Yawning is…
Categories: Science, Urban Legends Comments (17)
Hillary Clinton in Wax
Posted by The Curator on Sat Feb 18, 2006
Status: Fake HillaryA lot of people don't like Hillary, but I do. But then, I'm nostalgic for the 90s. Anyway, here's something else to add to the list of strange hyperreal objects. it's Hillary Clinton in wax, recently unveiled at Madame Tussauds: The Clinton statue, crafted at the original Tussauds museum in London, takes its place in a wing dedicated to presidents and other public figures known as "the gallery." There, the likeness of the Democratic senator joins statues of Presidents Bush, Reagan, Kennedy, and her husband, Bill Clinton. I'll leave it to you to determine which is the real Hillary in the two photos below. …
Categories: Celebrities, Politics Comments (15)
Stealth Stars and Stripes
Posted by The Curator on Sat Feb 18, 2006
Status: Real This image of a Stealth fighter (an F-117A Nighthawk Stealth Fighter, to be accurate) decorated with the Stars and Stripes has been circulating around. At first I suspected it had been photoshopped. After all, painting a Stealth Fighter with bright colors would seem to defeat its purpose. But it's real. Some googling revealed that this Stars-and-Striped Stealth was featured at an Edwards Air Force Base Airshow in 2005 (scroll down almost to the bottom of the page to find it). A caption indicates that "This aircraft has completed its' flight test career and will be relocated to Holloman…
Categories: Photos/Videos Comments (12)
White House Valentine’s Day Dinner
Posted by The Curator on Thu Feb 16, 2006
Status: Undetermined For Valentine's Day my wife and I went to a restaurant called Green Tomato and had a great meal which included ravioli in a mustard cream sauce, green tomato soup, and chicken stuffed with mascarpone and spinach. But apparently, if this picture which is going around can be believed, the Valentine's Day dinner at the White House was quite a bit fancier than what I had. I don't see any good reason why this White House menu shouldn't be real. After all, the White House does employ a master chef. But it is possible that someone created this…
Categories: Food Comments (15)
Vietnam Deems Grapefruit Site Too Cocky
Posted by The Curator on Thu Feb 16, 2006
Status: True The internet is full of many unfortunate urls that can be read in two ways. Some of the urls intentionally have double meanings, some don't. For instance, viagrafix.com (via grafix / viagra fix) was an unintentional oversight, but powergenitalia.com (powergen italia / power genitalia) was a deliberate joke, as is penisland.net. Apparently Vietnamese sites are prone to the same problem. For which reason, Vietnamese regulators have rejected the website name www.buoi.com.vn. The BBC explains: A website hoping to promote grapefruit in Vietnam has been banned from using the fruit's name because of official fears of a mix-up with a penis. The Vietnamese for grapefruit, buoi, sounds different…
Categories: Literature/Language Comments (5)
Stevie Starr, Professional Regurgitator
Posted by The Curator on Tue Feb 14, 2006
Status: Magic trick Stevie Starr calls himself a professional regurgitator. He's been doing his act for a long time, and is quite famous. (He's appeared on shows such as Jay Leno and Ripley's Believe it or Not.) But I just became aware of him through a video of one of his performances on Google Video, and I'm at a complete loss to explain how he does what he does. His performance includes some of the following tricks: He swallows sugar, followed by a glass of water, and then regurgitates the sugar, completely dry. He swallows a live goldfish…
Categories: Body Manipulation, Food, Magic Comments (193)
Clairvoyant Gets Message From Woman Buried Alive
Posted by The Curator on Tue Feb 14, 2006
Status: Almost definitely an urban legend The Leicester Mercury has printed a spooky story that sounds very much like an urban legend. (Though I know some people say that true urban legends don't involve the supernatural, so I guess it would be a ghost legend.) Since I don't believe in ghosts, I'm assuming that the story is mostly b.s. But I'm curious if any parts of it are true. The story goes like this: In 1950 Dr Guiseppi Stoppolino of Camerino University was testing an Italian clairvoyant named Mario Bocca to see if his powers were real. During the test Bocca picked up a message from a dead woman calling herself Rosa Spadoni, who…
Categories: Death, Paranormal Comments (31)
Mexican Row Houses
Posted by The Curator on Mon Feb 13, 2006
Status: Real This looks like a painting, or a picture of toy houses, but apparently it's neither. These are real houses. The picture was taken by a Mexican helicopter pilot. (I can only find his last name, which is Ruiz Oscar Ruiz.) He writes of this picture: "REAL PICTURE! 300+ low income homes in Ixtapaluca, complex has more than 10,000!" The link goes to his gallery of aerial photographs of Mexico City. This photo is nine rows down on the right.
Categories: Photos/Videos, Places Comments (32)
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