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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
April 2006
Welcome to Detroit
Posted by The Curator on Sat Apr 08, 2006
Status: Prank Columnist Tom Greenwood of the Detroit News reports that a sign has been spotted "attached to an authentic Michigan Department of Transportation post on southbound Interstate 75 at the Oakland/Wayne county line." It reads: Welcome to Detroit. We hope you survive. There's no word on how long this has been up, or for how long. Of course, fake road signs have been a popular prank for quite some time. There's the fake road sign project in Lyons, France, in which "105 street signs, realised by 47 worldwide artists, and just similar enough to real traffic signs…
Categories: Places, Pranks Comments (5)
Cryptozoological Collectibles
Posted by The Curator on Fri Apr 07, 2006
Status: Stuff to buy I've asked my wife to buy me these footprint impressions from a crippled Sasquatch for my birthday. (I'll be 38 in June.) I think they would look great hanging on the wall in my office, across from my jackalope, and above my magicshelf. I also like the fact that one gets "Research documentation by Dr. Krantz included at no additional charge." I found the link to the Sasquatch footprint casts via The Proceedings of the Athanasius Kircher Society, a fascinating site that I've become a regular visitor to. And on the…
Categories: Cryptozoology Comments (5)
Ballymena Boots Hang From Power Line
Posted by The Curator on Thu Apr 06, 2006
Status: Prank Power company workers in Ballymena (Northern Ireland) were amazed to discover five pairs of shoes hanging from a power line along the road between Larne and Ballymena. Ballymena Today reports: Electricity engineers could only look skyward in bemusement at the bizarre sight of the shoes and boots hanging from the line, baffled as to who, why and how this was done. The inspiration for the prank may have come from the fantasy film Big Fish. In the film, the most memorable scene occurs when the young Edward Bloom, played by Ewan McGregor, visits the town of Spector, where it…
Categories: Places, Pranks Comments (14)
Paris Hilton To Play Mother Teresa
Posted by The Curator on Thu Apr 06, 2006
Status: False I'm posting this despite my belief that discussing, or even thinking about, the entity known as Paris Hilton can be dangerous to one's mental health. Apparently an Indian filmmaker known as T. Rajeevnath wants to cast Paris Hilton as Mother Teresa in his biography of the nun that he will begin filming next year. He claims that Paris's facial features closely resemble those of Mother Teresa, and that Paris has "expressed delight" at being considered to play the nun. Although Paris Hilton would seem to be a natural choice for the role, she has denied seeing…
Categories: Celebrities Comments (16)
Twenty Phobias
Posted by The Curator on Thu Apr 06, 2006
Status: Bogus fears The BBC invited its readers to tell them what their greatest fears were, and has posted a selection of 20 of the responses. Some of them are hard to take seriously. Especially this one: The letter Y: "M phobia is all about the letter . Ever time I tr to press it on the ke board, it makes me want to cr . I know it seems sill to ever one else, but it all started when I was a bab , and I swallowed a magnetic letter. At least that's what My mumm and dadd told me an wa ." Paul Davies, Swindon, UK This…
Categories: Psychology Comments (21)
Fake News On Your TV
Posted by The Curator on Thu Apr 06, 2006
Status: advertising disguised as news In Hippo Eats Dwarf I discuss Video News Releases (VNRs) and how their use means that a lot of the news we see on TV is either advertising or propaganda in disguise. (VNRs are video segments created by corporations or the government, that are then aired on TV news, often without their true source ever being revealed). RAW STORY reports that "over a ten month span, 77 television stations from all across the nation aired video news releases without informing their viewers even once that the reports were actually sponsored content." The article cites a…
Categories: Advertising, Journalism Comments (2)
Alien Autopsy Creator Revealed
Posted by The Curator on Thu Apr 06, 2006
Status: News about a hoax Sculptor John Humphreys has confessed to being the guy who created the alien that appeared in the infamous "alien autopsy" video. Remember that journalistic gem... how the camera would inexplicably go out of focus every time it neared the obviously rubber body? The Manchester Evening News reports: Until now, he says, he has kept secret his most well-known work - footage of an alleged post mortem of an alien which, some say, crashed to Earth in Roswell in the United States in 1947. For years sceptics have claimed it was a hoax, but John…
Categories: Extraterrestrial Life Comments (15)
Plastic Assets Follow-Up
Posted by The Curator on Thu Apr 06, 2006
Status: follow-up info about a hoax A month ago I posted about Plastic Assets, a faux credit card company offering free breast implants as a sign-up bonus. I noted that the site was an entrant in the Contagious Festival, a contest to create a high-traffic parody site. Now Plastic Assets has officially won the contest, receiving five times more visitors than its closest competitor. And the media, typically late to the party, are announcing that the site has just been revealed to be a hoax. (Even though I know I wasn't the only site to point out that this was a hoax…
Lasik At Home
Posted by The Curator on Wed Apr 05, 2006
Status: Hoax I have pretty bad eyesight and have worn contacts most of my life, but up until now I've never been tempted to try Lasik surgery. However, I am tempted to give this new LASIK@Home device a try. It's the "Affordable In-Home LASIK Surgery You Can Do Yourself!™": LASIK@Home is the same patented surgical procedure performed at eye clinics around the world, but without the unnecessary equipment and staff. I like the instructions for use: "1) Find a quiet place with no distractions; 2) Unpack your LASIK@Home™ Kit; 3) Perform the painless procedure. Don't blink!"
Categories: Websites Comments (9)
Plane Delays Landing for Tea Break
Posted by The Curator on Wed Apr 05, 2006
Status: True Imagine getting delayed because of this: STUNNED holiday-makers flying back to Britain from Tenerife said they were told by the captain they could not land because an air traffic controller was on a tea break. Because this occurred on April 1st, the passengers initially thought the captain was joking when he announced the reason for the delay over the intercom, but it turned out he wasn't. So the plane had to circle for almost half an hour until the guy came back to work. The British do love their tea breaks.
Categories: April Fools Day Comments (13)
Bank Withdrawal Prank
Posted by The Curator on Wed Apr 05, 2006
Status: Prank that backfired The Brainerd Dispatch (requires registration) reports on an April Fool's Day prank that went slightly wrong, ending up with the prankster, a 57-year-old woman, getting charged with disorderly conduct: About 10:15 a.m. Saturday, the woman stopped at Wells Fargo Bank at 424 W. Washington St. in Brainerd to make a legitimate withdrawal from an account. When she was finished, she handed the teller a note that read, "I'm here to take money," said Brainerd Police Chief John Bolduc... a bank employee called 911 indicating the bank was being robbed. Officers from Brainerd and Crow Wing County responded to the bank but the woman had left, Bolduc said. She was stopped…
Categories: April Fools Day, Pranks Comments (7)
Attack of the Mario Power-Up Cubes
Posted by The Curator on Wed Apr 05, 2006
Status: Misinterpreted April Fool's Day Prank This story offers a sad commentary on the state of affairs in America. Five teenage girls living in Ravenna, Ohio got into the spirit of April 1st by decorating a few public places in their town with brightly colored boxes designed to look like the power-up cubes in the Super Mario Bros. game (the ones you jump up to hit and get extra energy). They got the idea from qwantz.com. Local residents who didn't recognize what the boxes were supposed to be weren't amused and called out the bomb squad. And it seems like the police…
Story Rights to Purdue Basketball Hoax For Sale
Posted by The Curator on Wed Apr 05, 2006
Status: True. Make an offer! Back in December 2003 media outlets including ESPN and the San Diego Union Tribune ran a story about Purdue signing the wrong Jason Smith to a basketball scholarship. Due to a paperwork mix-up, Purdue had apparently given the scholarship to 5'6" Jason Smith computer geek, instead of 6'6" Jason Smith point guard. (Both Smiths attended the same school.) The story, it turned out, wasn't true. It was the fictional work of Josh Whicker who had posted it on his website, hoosiergazette.com, along with a warning that his site was an inaccurate news source. The media, in typical fashion, didn't heed this warning and reported the story as fact anyway.…
Categories: Entertainment, Sports Comments (5)
Amazon Review Contest
Posted by The Curator on Tue Apr 04, 2006
Last month I promised that I would send a free book to whomever posted the most creative review of Hippo Eats Dwarf on Amazon.com (the time limit being the end of March). I didn't forget! There were some great ones, which made it really hard to pick a winner. So I narrowed it down to my favorite five and then randomly picked one. And the winner is Arthur Hippo for his "Totally Useless Cookbook!!!" review: While I admit that the recipes in this volume can be daring, absolutely no guidance is provided as to the initial preparation of the dwarf, or any hints as to where to procure one in the first place. Also, would…
Categories: Miscellaneous Comments (7)
Strange Tax Deductions
Posted by The Curator on Tue Apr 04, 2006
Status: Tax Scams With April 15th fast approaching, taxpayers are once again scheming to dream up all kinds of deductions they can take. Bankrate.com has a list of some unusual ones (Thanks to Kathy for the link), such as: • The guy who claimed his dog as a dependent • The man who tried to claim a sperm donation as a 'depletion allowance' • The furniture-store owner who hired an arsonist to burn his business down so that he could claim the insurance, and then deducted the $10,000 he paid the arsonist as a consulting fee. • And the guy who tried to deduct dog food as a security expense (since,…
Categories: Business/Finance Comments (17)
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