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|•||Chilis Narrowly Avoids Funding Anti-Vaxxers 04/08/2014|
|•||Dutch April fools jokes 04/02/2014|
|•||Japanese stem cell breakthrough exposed as a fabrication 04/02/2014|
|•||April First - April Fools Day 04/01/2014|
|•||Cloned dinosaurs? 03/31/2014|
|•||US ‘psychic’ Cynthia Miller jailed for $1.2 million fraud 03/29/2014|
|•||Test of intelligence. Person calls police to report their cannabis plant stolen 03/25/2014|
|•||Malaysia air disaster 03/22/2014|
|•||Fred Phelps is gone 03/21/2014|
|•||Iran building fake aircraft carrier 03/20/2014|
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Status: Stupidity in the newsJust a week ago there was a town in Texas praying for rain. Before that we saw prayer as a treatment for cancer. Now a town in England is going to encourage local residents to pray for less crime. I'm sensing a trend: I assume this is like a Christian version of the Maharishi Effect. And doubtless just as effective!
Status: Joke productAttackchi.org is offering a "Poodle disguise kit for Dobermans" for people who worry that they'll be criticized while out in public for having a dangerous breed of dog. The kit includes: Fake fur pieces (4 leg pieces, one body piece, and head piece), Black face paint (safe for dogs), Safe suit fitting method statement and instructions. However, they warn that "dressing your dog like this will increase the chance of it biting you." They promise that other kits are coming soon, such as "Golden Retriever disguise kit for German Shepherds" and "Old English Sheepdog disguise kit for Mastiffs." (And no, I don't think they're really selling any of these kits.) (Thanks to LaMa for the link)
On a related note, check out artist Hung-Chih Peng's Dalmatian disguise for his dog.
The Xenna Corporation has issued a press release in which they detail a number of widely circulated myths about feet. These include:
• If a person's second toe is longer than the others, they are dependable, conservative and keep their emotions in check.
• If a person's third toe is bigger than the others, they're hot-headed and have a temper.
• If a person has long toes, they're among the thinkers of the world.
• If a person's feet are wide, they're a hard worker and have strong family values.
• If a person's feet are narrow, they're shy and quiet.
• If a person has webbed feet (a hereditary trait), they're the life of the party and would make a good salesperson or entertainer.
I have incredibly wide feet (size quadruple E), which makes it very hard for me to find shoes that fit. For instance, New Balance are the only brand of sneakers I can wear. None of the other sports-shoe manufacturers, such as Nike, make shoes that will fit mutant feet like mine. According to the myths, this would make me hard working, which I'm reluctant to say is false, though I do have a strong tendency to procrastinate. This entire website is the product of my procrastination.
Of course, Xenna coyly omits the greatest foot myth of all: that there's a relationship between foot size and penile length. This myth was actually investigated by Canadian researchers Jerald Bain and Kerry Siminoski, who published their results in the Annals of Sex Research (vol. 6, no.3, 1993. p.231-5). Using a sample size of 63 men, they determined that there was only a very weak relationship between foot size and penis length. They concluded "there is no practical utility in predicting penis size from foot size or height." Their research won them a 1998 IgNoble prize in the field of Statistics.
Status: NewsToilet-papering a house isn't a very original prank, and if it causes property damage (such as in the case below where the vandals smeared dog food and flour before covering it up with toilet paper), it's just plain obnoxious. So I totally support what California woman Katja Base did after waking to find her home TP'ed. She used some smart sleuthing to track down the people who did it and turned them in to the police: The one thing that surprises me is that the stores were willing to share their records with her.
Status: Dumb criminalGerman police report an encounter with a master criminal who, when caught in the act of stealing a computer, tried the old "pretend you're dead" act to elude capture: Maybe he thought that if it works for opossums, it might work for him.
Status: Dubious productThis seems like it should be a joke, but I don't think it is. Reference Audio Mods is selling wooden knobs for Silver Rock stereo equipment (to replace the standard metal knobs). They claim these knobs will greatly improve sound quality: And they're asking $485.00! I refuse to believe that wooden knobs would make any difference in the sound quality of stereo equipment.
Nov 08, 2005: Altmann Tube-O-Lator Lacquer
Status: Weird NewsMrs. Broomfield of Colchester has a serious problem. Her neighbor, Gnome Magic, has placed a gnome on top of a pole so that it stands higher than the hedge dividing their property. Mrs. Broomfield feels that the gnome is "peering" at her, and she's filed a complaint. EADT reports: I know how she feels. There's a jackalope head hanging on my wall that's giving me funny looks right now.
Status: Mystery Moose (existence undetermined)Curtis MacDougall, in his 1940 work Hoaxes, briefly mentions a creature named the Specter Moose. He writes: Unfortunately that's all he says about the Specter Moose. But I've always been intrigued by this mysterious creature, and recently when I decided to expand and improve my Gallery of Tall-Tale Creatures, I resolved to find out once and for all what the Specter Moose is.
A web search turned up nothing except one other person who had also come across MacDougall's mention of the creature and was similarly intrigued. A search through various library research databases didn't turn up anything. Google Book search also came up dry. But finally I got some results when I tried newspaperarchive.com, which is an archive of old newspapers.
The Specter Moose appears to have been a moose version of Moby Dick. It was a huge, whitish-gray moose, apparently immune to bullets, who terrified hunters by chasing them around. As such, it's probably less of a tall-tale creature and more of a cryptozoological legend.
On November 14, 1900 the Minnesota Freeborn County Standard reported: The Specter Moose returned to the headlines on November 19, 1911, at which time the Texas Galveston Daily News gave this summary of reports coming out of Maine: Finally he reared his antlers again in 1938 when news wires carried this blurb (which appeared on March 15 in the Pennsylvania Charleroi Mail): After that the Specter Moose never again seems to have been seen. At least, no sightings made it into papers. Perhaps the big guy died of old age. It's quite possible, of course, that a white moose (or more than one) was wandering around Maine. The size of the creature is the real question. My guess is that Maine hunters may really have seen a white moose, but then exaggerated its size, as hunters have a tendency to do.
Update: To put the Specter Moose in perspective, Mooseworld.com reports that the largest moose on record was an Alaskan bull moose that weighed 1,697 lbs. Other sites report that this record moose had an antler spread of 6 ½ feet. The Specter Moose, at 2500 lbs and with an antler spread of over ten feet, would easily have beaten this record.