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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
August 2007
New From Elliot: Brooklyn Bridge Scams
Posted by The Curator on Thu Aug 30, 2007
Elliot's latest addition to the Hoaxipedia details scams involving the Brooklyn Bridge. I like this one in particular: In 1886, not long after the Brooklyn Bridge opened, another famous scam was perpetrated by a Brooklyn bookie named Steve Brodie. According to the story, Brodie’s scam originated in a bet with a Brooklyn bartender named Chuck Connors. The bookie wagered Connors that he could jump off the Brooklyn Bridge and survive the fall. Steve Brodie ultimately won the bet and wound up becoming a major New York City celebrity and legend. It was discovered years later that Brodie had actually pushed…
Categories: Con Artists, Places Comments (5)
Enormous Green Diamond Found
Posted by The Curator on Wed Aug 29, 2007
A Cape Town property developer, Brett Jolly, is claiming that a mine he owns shares in has found what could be the largest diamond ever, weighing in at 7000 carats. Plus, it's green. By contrast, the largest diamond found to date is only 3106.75 carats. And the largest green diamond only 40.7 carats. Initial reports said that this new diamond was as big as a soccer ball, but a photo of it has now been released, and in the photo it doesn't look quite that large. I'd say it looks only about as big as a softball. Which is still pretty big.…
Categories: Business/Finance Comments (12)
Wrapping Rove’s Car
Posted by The Curator on Wed Aug 29, 2007
White House pranksters wrapped Karl Rove's car in plastic wrap, as a way to say goodbye to the guy. CBS News reports: Rove, the top White House political strategist who recently announced his resignation, left his car on the driveway while visiting Texas and traveling with President Bush. He was due back in Washington Wednesday evening. Since the lot is heavily patrolled by the Secret Service, reports Maer, the joke looks like an inside job. It would have been funnier if they shrink-wrapped Rove himself and shipped…
Categories: Politics, Pranks Comments (8)
New From Elliot: Great Golf Hustlers
Posted by The Curator on Wed Aug 29, 2007
Elliot has posted an article about great golf hustlers. Read it and find out why, if someone wants to bet you that they can drive a golfball a mile, never bet that they can't.
Categories: Sports Comments (6)
Top 20 Most Bizarre Experiments
Posted by The Curator on Wed Aug 29, 2007
I've posted a list of the Top 20 Most Bizarre Experiments of All Time. The descriptions are all summarized from longer accounts that can be found in my new book, Elephants on Acid. Basically, although the list can stand on its own, it's meant to be one big ad for the book. My hope is that people might be intrigued enough by what they read in the list to want to find out what else can be found in the book. (They'll either be intrigued or horrified. When people hear about some of these experiments those are the two most typical reactions.) There's definitely plenty more material…
Categories: Science Comments (8)
Introducing Elliot Feldman
Posted by The Curator on Tue Aug 28, 2007
I was browsing the web a few days ago when I came across a guy who was posting lots of great hoax-related articles to the Associated Content site. He seemed to know all kinds of fascinating, obscure things. That guy was Elliot Feldman. I emailed him and asked him if he'd consider posting some articles here to the Museum of Hoaxes. Luckily, he agreed. So I want to introduce everyone to Elliot. We should be getting to read his articles regularly from now on. Elliot says that he was a game show writer for 25 years. Shows included the Match Game, Hollywood Squares, Nickelodeon's Double Dare, and (yes, it's true) That's…
Self-Adhesive Sunroof
Posted by The Curator on Mon Aug 27, 2007
I'm torn between thinking this is one of the stupidest products I've ever seen, and actually kinda wanting one. It's a self-adhesive sunroof, recently offered for sale on eBay. The seller writes: Do you want your car to have the look of a real sunroof? You can install it in 5 minutes!! Extremely fashion and new aparent sun roof, made of a sticker that will give any car the image of a real sunroof... The DECANO™ adhesive sunroof feels like glass, it´s anti-scracth and mirror like. Each package comes with photographies and step to step installation instructions...
Categories: Technology Comments (21)
Fake Al Sharpton Fools MSNBC
Posted by The Curator on Mon Aug 27, 2007
Newsgroper is a parody site full of fake celebrity blogs. To make sure that no one confuses its content with real news, it posts the warning "Fake Parody Blogs, Political Humor, Celebrity Satire, Funny Commentary" in the title bar of every page. Apparently, this warning wasn't enough for MSNBC's Alex Johnson. In a piece about Michael Vick, he quoted from Newsgroper's fake Al Sharpton blog, presenting the following quotation as if it were something Sharpton really had said:"If the police caught Brett Favre (a white quarterback for the Green Bay Packers) running a dolphin-fighting ring…
Categories: Journalism, Sports, Websites Comments (7)
Fake Money For Strippers
Posted by The Curator on Mon Aug 27, 2007
Damon Armagost probably thought he had a pretty good scam going. He had printed up some fake $100 bills from an image he downloaded off the internet. He was then using this counterfeit money to pay for lap dances at a strip club. He must have thought the strippers would never notice the money was fake. Unfortunately for him, they did and alerted the police, who arrested Armagost and charged him with manufacturing and passing counterfeit currency. Carl Sifakis, in his book Hoaxes and Scams, reports on a similar scam called "tishing a lady." It involves paying a prostitute with tissue paper instead…
Best of the Forum - 24th August 07
Posted by Boo on Fri Aug 24, 2007
Due to personal circumstances, this week's Best of the Forum post is brought to you by guest writer and board moderator Madmouse. Unauthorised Reincarnation Banned in Tibet (MadCarlotta) China has banned Buddhists from reincarnating without permission, in an apparent attempt to have the next Dalai Lama chosen by the Chinese government. From the news article: "According to a statement issued by the State Administration for Religious Affairs, the law, which goes into effect next month and strictly stipulates the procedures by which one is to reincarnate, is “an important move to institutionalize management of reincarnation.” This could lead to a…
Kaweah Nation Citizenship Scam
Posted by The Curator on Fri Aug 24, 2007
The Texas Attorney General has filed charges against three individuals who were running an elaborate citizenship scam. They claimed to represent the Kaweah Indian Nation, and were telling non-citizens that $400 would purchase a "tribal membership" in the Kaweah Nation. This membership supposedly carried the significant benefit of allowing them to circumvent the ordinary legalization process and entitling them to U.S. citizenship. Of course, becoming a member of an Indian tribe doesn't circumvent the process of legalization. In addition to this, the Kaweah Indian Nation isn't even a federally recognized tribe. The International Herald Tribune reports: The federal…
Categories: Scams Comments (7)
Minor Change
Posted by The Curator on Thu Aug 23, 2007
I decided to add a few visuals to the top of the page. I thought it was looking a bit too plain before. I wonder if anyone can identify all the figures without looking through the museum to find out what they are. (There's no prize. I'm just curious if anyone can do it.) At some point I'll make the figures clickable, so that they'll link to whatever they represent, but that's a bit of work. I'll save that project for later. Also, from time to time I might change them around. Take some out, put in a few new ones. It's quite easy to do. I can even have special ones for holidays…
Categories: Miscellaneous Comments (17)
Camp Okutta
Posted by The Curator on Wed Aug 22, 2007
Posters for Camp Okutta have recently been appearing in various Canadian cities. Camp Okutta is described as an adventure camp for kids. But in addition to normal activities such as hiking and games, kids also get a summer of "throwing grenades, shooting AK-47 assault rifles, and receiving minefield training — all for children aged eight through 12." Some people have been so outraged by the signs that they've ripped them down. Sarah Heywood is one of these people. She told CBC News that, "I immediately thought, wow, this is real, this is happening, people are now actually providing these kinds of services and opportunities for people who actually allow their children to go and experience…
Categories: Military, Websites Comments (10)
Feejee Mermaid on Display
Posted by The Curator on Wed Aug 22, 2007
The Feejee Mermaid is apparently currently on display as part of the American Museum of Natural History's exhibit on Mythic Creatures. A Flickr user, despite being told that photography was forbidden in the exhibit, managed to surreptitiously snap a picture of it anyway. The one time I saw the Feejee Mermaid was back in 1998 when it was housed at Harvard's Peabody Museum. It wasn't on display, so I had to ask for special permission to see it back in the archives. I managed to snap a few pictures of it, despite also being told that photography was not allowed. I…
Categories: Animals Comments (5)
Old man plays songs on a leaf
Posted by The Curator on Wed Aug 22, 2007
I have no problem believing it when the old man uses a leaf to play the theme from The Godfather. It's when he plays the tune while simultaneously balancing on the neck of a wine bottle that the video turns kind of surreal. Still, I think it's possible, though he must have very good balance, and very sticky feet.
Categories: Photos/Videos Comments (2)
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