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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
March 2008
Padded Lampposts Protext Text-Messagers
Posted by The Curator on Tue Mar 18, 2008
A few weeks ago a story was going around about a street in London where the lampposts had been padded in order to protect text-messaging pedestrians. Neo posted about it in the forum. The story sounded pretty ridiculous, and sure enough it turns out to have been a publicity-stunt hoax. The padding was placed on the lampposts by a pr firm, and it was only there for a day and a half. The Press Gazette reports: Journalists across the world reported that Britain’s first “safe text” street had…
Categories: Places, Technology Comments (4)
Sperm For Tickets
Posted by The Curator on Mon Mar 17, 2008
Donate your sperm and get a ticket to a music festival. That's the deal offered by Sperm for Tickets. Or rather, that was the deal. If you visit their site now, they state that the response far exceeded expectations, so they're temporarily calling a halt to the invitation. But I'm pretty sure the offer never was for real. Not that the idea of giving tickets in exchange for sperm is that outlandish. Instead, it's the delivery method that seems bogus. The site claimed donors could send their sperm via mail:
Categories: Birth/Babies, Websites Comments (1)
How To Make Fake Gold Bars
Posted by The Curator on Sun Mar 16, 2008
Recently the national bank of Ethiopia discovered that much of the gold in its possession was fake. It was simply gold-plated steel. It found this out after it sent a shipment of gold to South Africa, which promptly sent it back. Theo Gray, writing for popsci.com, points out that it's incredible that a national bank fell for a fraud like this, since simply by picking up the gold bars someone should have noticed that they were too light to be real -- gold being much heavier than steel. Gray then considers a potentially very useful question: how could you create a fake gold bar that would be convincing enough to…
Categories: Business/Finance Comments (15)
Dr. James Barry, aka Margaret Bulkley
Posted by The Curator on Wed Mar 12, 2008
Stephanie Pain has an interesting article in this week's New Scientist about Dr. James Barry, a nineteenth-century British doctor who may have been a woman. She writes: MYSTERY, intrigue, romance... the story of Dr Barry has them all. The tale is so compelling it's been told countless times, yet no one has ever solved the central mystery: who was Barry, the pint-sized physician with the sandy curls and squeaky voice? The doctor was both caring and quarrelsome, dainty yet dashing. He fought for better conditions for the troops, shot a man…
Categories: Identity/Imposters Comments (19)
Animal Candidates
Posted by The Curator on Wed Mar 12, 2008
The "I Can Has Happy" blog has posted a list of animal candidates. That is, animals (and one plant) who have been nominated as political candidates. The list includes Tião, a "bad-tempered chimpanzee" who was a candidate for mayor of Rio de Janeiro in 1988; Junior Cochran, a black lab who is mayor of Rabbit Hash, Kentucky; Bosco, a black Labrador-Rottweiler who was mayor of Sunol, California for ten years; Molly the Dog, who is currently running for President of the United States; and Boston Curtis, the mule who was elected Republican precinct committeeman in Milton, Washington. (I've got an article about Boston Curtis in the hoaxipedia.) But…
Categories: Animals, Politics Comments (4)
Mysterious Creepy Gnome
Posted by The Curator on Tue Mar 11, 2008
A "creepy gnome" was recently captured on film by teenagers in Argentina. The Sun reports: Teenager Jose Alvarez - who filmed the gnome - yesterday told national newspaper El Tribuno that they caught the creature while larking about in their hometown of General Guemes, in the province of Salta, Argentina. He said: “We were chatting about our last fishing trip. It was one in the morning. “I began to film a bit with my mobile phone while the others were chatting and joking. "Suddenly we heard something - a weird…
Categories: Gnomes Comments (18)
Snow Tower
Posted by The Curator on Tue Mar 11, 2008
My sister forwarded me this photo. It comes with the caption: Ottawa last weekend...this is NOT a fake photo.  he has been building it for a while. Well, if the caption says it's not fake, then it must be real! But seriously, I'm labeling this one undetermined. It could very well be real, but on the other hand, I can't locate its original source. So who knows! Similar photos: • Car buried in snow •…
Categories: Photos/Videos Comments (10)
Solar Mary
Posted by The Curator on Tue Mar 11, 2008
According to the website dnaindia.com, 50 people in the Kottayam district of India have lost their vision after gazing into the sun for hours trying to see an image of the Virgin Mary: Though alarmed health authorities have installed a signboard to counter the rumour that a solar image of Virgin Mary appeared to the believers, curious onlookers, including foreign travellers, have been thronging the venue of the ‘miracle’. St Joseph’s ENT and Eye Hospital in Kanjirappally alone has recorded 48 cases of vision loss due to photochemical burns on the retina... There are quite a few people still seeking…
Categories: Pareidolia, Religion Comments (1)
Webster’s Condom
Posted by The Curator on Tue Mar 11, 2008
In the city of West Hartford there's a statue of the lexicographer Noah Webster. For years, it was a tradition among local high-school students to place a condom on the statue's pointing finger. But then someone removed the finger. West Hartford resident Nan Glass, who's written a book about the statue, says that "One myth about the finger is that it was broken off by high school students, or that it was broken off by police officers who were tired of taking condoms off of it." It may never be known who removed the finger, but Webster didn't have to remain permanently fingerless. A replacement…
Categories: Pranks Comments (3)
Do casinos pump in oxygen?
Posted by The Curator on Mon Mar 10, 2008
Do casinos pump extra oxygen into the air in order to make gamblers feel more energized? I've heard this rumor quite often. The Betfirms.com blog uses some common sense to debunk it: According to my Captain at the local Fire Department, “pumping oxygen into a casino would be a tremendous fire hazard that would greatly increase the flammability of all other objects. Any small fire, anywhere in the hotel, would be fanned and magnify itself by pumped oxygen.” As for the risk/reward opportunity, no casino would ever entertain the thought. That makes sense. It wouldn't be good for…
Categories: Urban Legends Comments (9)
Worms in Salad
Posted by The Curator on Mon Mar 10, 2008
Here's a recent example of what I call the "gross things found in food scam." The Post Tribune reports: Tiffany Vance of Merrillville and her dinner date, Christopher Egnatz of St. John, tried to make a scene Tuesday night after dining at Applebee's, but it didn't play out as the pair had planned. Servers at the crowded restaurant let the couple walk out on a $57 meal after Vance loudly complained she had found worms wriggling in her salad after the two had almost finished eating, a police report states. But Vance left behind her purse, with…
Categories: Food, Scams Comments (5)
Malawi Ousts Fake AIDS Healers
Posted by The Curator on Sun Mar 09, 2008
Lawmakers in Malawi have decided to crack dawn on quacks peddling phony cures for AIDS. The "cures" generally involve having sex with a virgin, an albino, or a disabled person. The legislation is only in draft form right now, but if passed it will require traditional healers to register with the health ministry. I'll have to ask my sister what she knows about this, since she's been in Malawi for the past four years working on promoting AIDS education. That's why I visited Malawi last year. I had a great time there. I would definitely encourage anyone to visit, but if you plan on driving around the country, make sure you have a…
Categories: Health/Medicine Comments (9)
NYC’s 23rd Annual April Fool’s Day Parade
Posted by The Curator on Sun Mar 09, 2008
The New York April Fools' Committee has announced that, once again, the city will host a parade on April 1st. But for those planning to attend, please note that "the parade route has changed temporarily due to construction in Washington Square Park. This year the parade will detour east across Fourteenth Street to Union Square where the post-parade festivities will begin." This year, floats will include Michael Vick "taking bets on his Dog Fight Float with caged, snarling pit bulls," as well as "a dazed Britney Spears looking for the Halloween Parade." Inquiries about the parade can be directed to the Committee Chair, Joey…
Categories: April Fools Day Comments (4)
Holding the Sun
Posted by The Curator on Wed Mar 05, 2008
Pretending to hold the sun is one of the most popular tricks in amateur photography, because it's so easy to do and the results can look pretty cool. Teen/Nerd has collected together some of the best examples of the "holding the sun" trick from Flickr. A few are reproduced below.
Categories: Photos/Videos Comments (3)
Viagra-Inspired Food
Posted by The Curator on Wed Mar 05, 2008
Trifter.com has collected examples of foods that have either been made to look like Viagra, or have been renamed after it. The list includes Viagra Gelato, Viagra ice cream, Viagra spam mousse, Viagra cake, and Viagra musubi. The Viagra spam mousse seems particularly appropriate, since the drug is such a favorite topic of spammers.
Categories: Food, Health/Medicine Comments (2)
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