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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
January 2008
Hrbacek’s Head Finds New Body
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jan 21, 2008
Some surgeons (particularly Robert White) believe that "total body replacement" might be a viable option for people suffering from incurable diseases such as cancer. Just cut off the patient's head and attach it to a healthy body. In the meantime, photo editors have long been using "total body replacement" for a more mundane purpose: making their subjects look better. Recently, the campaign office of congressional candidate Dean Hrbacek admitted that their candidate had been a victim of this technique. The brochure they mailed out to voters showed Hrbacek posing in a suit. But in reality, only the head belonged to him. Not the body (which happened to be…
Categories: Photos/Videos, Politics Comments (3)
A Warning to Mac Users
Posted by The Curator on Sat Jan 19, 2008
I'm a Mac user, and I recently decided to upgrade to the new operating system, OS X Leopard. I thought it would be relatively simple to upgrade. But it wasn't. I've spent the last two days stuck in front of my computer working out all the kinks. So I thought I'd post a warning to help any other people in a similar situation avoid the mistakes I made. My big mistake was apparently my choice to simply upgrade the existing system. It took an hour or two to complete the installation process, but then, instead of seeing an improvement, the performance of my computer slowed to a crawl. It was like swimming through molasses. I kept getting…
Categories: Miscellaneous Comments (14)
Is Bigfoot really Cain?
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jan 15, 2008
Here's a Bigfoot theory I haven't heard before. Apparently there are some in the Mormon church who hypothesize that Bigfoot may actually be Cain, condemned to walk the earth forever. Matt Bowman provides some scholarly elaboration on this theory on the Mormon Mentality blog. Apparently the Bigfoot-Cain connection traces back to a story told by an early leader of the Mormon church, David W. Patten. Patten claimed that in 1835 he encountered Cain walking along the side of the road. He wrote: "He walked along beside me for about two miles. His head was about even with my shoulders as I sat in my saddle. He wore no clothing, but was covered with…
Categories: Cryptozoology, Religion Comments (27)
The Filipino Monkey
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jan 15, 2008
Following up on last week's post about the confrontation between US and Iranian vessels in the Persian Gulf, the mysterious threat that the U.S. ships received -- the one in which they heard someone say "I am coming to you... You will explode after... minutes" -- is now being attributed to the "Filipino Monkey." The Filipino Monkey is apparently a prankster who interjects obscenities and threats into ship-to-ship radio communications in the Persian Gulf. Or rather, it's many pranksters. The name "Filipino Monkey" now serves as a generic term for rogue radio operators in the Middle East. I became intrigued by the Filipino Monkey phenomenon, so I did some…
Categories: Military, Pranks, Radio Comments (9)
Twins get married… or maybe not
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jan 15, 2008
Last week this story was EVERYWHERE. A pair of twins in Britain, who had been adopted into different families, met and fell in love... without realizing they were twins. They then got married, only to discover the terrible secret they shared. Their marriage was promptly annulled. When I first read about this, it sounded pretty fishy to me -- very much like an urban legend being reported as news -- but on a cursory reading of the story I also got the impression that there were officials involved who knew about the case but couldn't disclose the identity of the twins. So I accepted the news as true. I think the paragraph in the BBC…
Quick Links: January 14, 2008
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jan 15, 2008
Nuclear Reactor in Garage A 22-year-old man was boasting on an amateur science blog that he had built a mini-nuclear reactor in his garage. His boasts earned him a visit from federal authorities who determined that he didn't actually have a nuclear reactor. But he did have some kind of strange experiment going on that, had it continued, "would have been a cleanup issue." (Thanks, Joe) Dead Man Cashing Check Scam "Two men were arrested on Tuesday after pushing a corpse, seated in an office chair, along the sidewalk to a check-cashing store to cash the dead man’s Social Security check." (Thanks, Gary) Facebook President Hoax
Non-Smokers Not Fired
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jan 15, 2008
Last week quite a few papers ran this story: NON-SMOKERS NEED NOT APPLY BERLIN -- The owner of a small German computer company has fired three non-smoking workers because they were threatening to push demands for a smoke-free environment. The manager of the 10-member IT company in Buesum, named Thomas J., told the Hamburger Morgenpost newspaper he had fired the trio because their non-smoking was causing disruptions. "I can't be bothered with trouble-makers," Thomas said. "We're on the phone all the time and it's just easier to work while smoking. Everyone picks on smokers these days. It's time…
Categories: Journalism Comments (5)
Ernst Bettler
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jan 14, 2008
Back in 2000 a graphic design magazine called Dot Dot Dot ran an article about a subversive artist from the 1950s called Ernst Bettler. Design Observer summarizes the article's central tale: In the late 1950s, Bettler was asked to design a series of posters to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of Swiss pharmaceutical manufacturer Pfäfferli+Huber. Aware of reports that P+H had been involved in testing prisoners in German concentration camps less than 15 years before, he hesitated, and then decided to accept the commission. "I had the feeling I could do some real…
Categories: Art Comments (4)
Husband meets wife in brothel
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jan 14, 2008
This story sounds suspiciously like an urban legend being reported as news. It could, of course, be true, though the source (a Polish tabloid called Super Express) makes it difficult to fact check: WARSAW (Reuters) - A Polish man got the shock of his life when he visited a brothel and spotted his wife among the establishment's employees. Polish tabloid Super Express said the woman had been making some extra money on the side while telling her husband she worked at a store in a nearby town. "I was dumfounded. I thought I was dreaming,"…
Bigfoot Bait
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jan 14, 2008
I wonder how many women are going to respond to this craigslist ad? The scary thing is that the guy's probably completely serious.
Jontex Condom Ad - Possible Hoax
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jan 11, 2008
The image to the right shows what is supposedly a guerrilla marketing campaign by Jontex, a Brazilian brand of condoms owned by Johnson & Johnson. The campaign involves a cardboard cutout that can be positioned beneath the door of a bathroom stall. The Brazilian phrase translates to, "You do not know when it can be necessary." But strangely, Johnson and Johnson is denying responsibility for the ad. Or, at least, the folks who run the Johnson and Johnson blog claim it's not their company's campaign: By talking…
Categories: Advertising, Sex/Romance Comments (3)
Gulf of Tonkin vs. Persian Gulf
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jan 11, 2008
In 1964 North Vietnamese forces supposedly attacked a US destroyer in the Gulf of Tonkin. President Johnson used this incident to obtain approval for the Vietnam War from Congress. But on Tuesday the National Security Agency declassified documents revealing -- to almost no one's surprise -- that the Gulf of Tonkin incident never happened. Also on Tuesday, by an odd coincidence, the US military released video of an incident in a different Gulf... the Persian one. The video shows Iranian speedboats approaching US warships. Then (separately) a heavily accented voice says over the radio, in English, “I am coming to you. … You will explode after … minutes.” (The…
Categories: Military Comments (4)
Two views from an airplane windo
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jan 11, 2008
One of these might be fake. Can you guess which? Update: My apologies. Apparently quite a few people didn't realize I was being sarcastic when I said "one of these might be fake." I thought it was pretty obvious both of them were fake. (Note that I didn't say 'only one is fake'.) To make up for it, here's a third view from an airplane window, and this one is definitely real. This photo was taken on July 13, 2004 aboard an AirTran flight from Atlanta to Orlando with 110 people on board. The left engine cowling came off soon after take…
Categories: Photos/Videos Comments (41)
Fictitious Countries
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jan 10, 2008
Elliot has posted five new articles in the hoaxipedia. His theme was fictitious countries. Or rather, countries of an ambiguous legal status. The Principality of New Utopia An island "country" in the Caribbean established in 1999 by Oklahoma businessman Howard Turney, who prefers to be known as HSH Prince Lazarus. The Dominion of Melchizedek A South Pacific island country, that happens to be entirely underwater. It was founded in 1987 by California father and son Evan and Mark Pedley. The Kingdom of Redonda A tiny uninhabited island near the Caribbean island of Montserrat that the British science-fiction author M.P. Shiel claimed…
Categories: Places Comments (14)
Gnome goes to Antarctica
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jan 09, 2008
Jerome Angus Graham III, a 25-centimeter-tall garden gnome, has been all around the world. But he hasn't been to Antarctica. Nor apparently, has any other gnome. But that's about to change. Jerome is heading to Antarctica, thanks to an invitation from Belgian travel firm Asteria Expeditions. Jerome will become "the first gnome to set foot on the frozen continent." The adventures of Jerome can be followed at travellinggnome.net. Earthtimes.org also reports that last year Jerome become politically active when he launched a petition against a Belgian brand of pate called "Gnome Pate": "However, he closed the petition once the pate's producers - a firm called "The Hobbit" - provided proof that the pate…
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