The Museum of Hoaxes
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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
May 2008
Uncontacted Brazilian Tribe
Posted by The Curator on Fri May 30, 2008
The Brazilian government released some dramatic pictures of one of South America's last remaining uncontacted indigenous tribes. It says it took the pictures to prove that the tribe existed, because there apparently were some people who doubted this. When I saw the pictures, I couldn't help but be reminded of the Stone Age Tasaday from the Philippines. The Tasaday were a tribe that was discovered in 1971. Unlike the Brazilian tribe (who are seen shooting arrows at the helicopter taking their picture), the Tasaday were entirely non-violent. They were often called the "Gentle Tasaday." In fact, it was said that they didn't even have a…
Categories: Exploration/Travel, Places Comments (14)
Big Cow
Posted by The Curator on Fri May 30, 2008
He looks too big to be real, but apparently he genuinely is a giant cow. His name is Chilli, and he lives at the Ferne Animal Sanctuary in Somerset. From the Daily Mail: Chilli dwarfs most horses, is the same height as a small elephant and casts a shadow over his cattle companions who are about 5ft in height "He now stands at 6ft 6ins from the floor to the top of his shoulder and he is massive when he holds his head up. "We have made an application…
Categories: Animals Comments (21)
Scorched Crotch Prank
Posted by The Curator on Thu May 29, 2008
If you need a reminder of the human race's capacity for stupidity, consider this story, from SanLuisObispo.com: Pillers, Keiffer and friend Elliot Tuleja were drinking at a house in Grover Beach on Jan. 18 when Tuleja passed out. Pillers and Keiffer decided to play a practical joke on him... “They were drinking, and one of the guys passed out. So (the other two) said, ‘Let’s do something. I’m going to look for rotten fruit to (put) up in his socks.’ “The other guy found a bottle of cologne and…
Categories: Pranks Comments (5)
The Perfect Woman
Posted by The Curator on Thu May 29, 2008
Ai Robotics claim to have developed the "Perfect Woman." Her face is shiny and her movements jerky, but she does housework. From perfect-woman.com: The company AI ROBOTICS was founded 2 years ago by Etienne Fresse and Yoichi Yamato, both robotics specialists working on developing cutting-edge technologies. During the last 3 years the two founders have dedicated all their time and energy to their project “robot woman LISA” which thanks to the support of numerous foreign investors will be presented to the public on June 11 2008. The company’s philosophy is…
The World’s Largest Drawing
Posted by The Curator on Thu May 29, 2008
I'm very late with this one, but I thought it was worth including on the front page. I'll defer to David B. who posted about it a few days ago in the forum: A Swedish artist, Erik Nordenankar, recently made more that a few waves by claiming to have drawn the biggest picture in the world, a portrait of himself constructed of a single line 110 thousand km long. Nordenanker said his amazing drawing had been sketched out, not in ink or paint, but by the movements of a special briefcase fitted with a GPS tracker. This case,…
Categories: Art Comments (4)
Was Shakespeare a Jewish Woman?
Posted by The Curator on Wed May 28, 2008
There are many theories about the true identity of Shakespeare. A new one (at least, new to me) is that Shakespeare was actually a Jewish woman named Amelia Bassano Lanier. This argument is made by John Hudson, author of a forthcoming biography of Bassano (who was the first woman to publish a book of poetry in England). Haaretz reports: The theory rests largely on the circumstances of Bassano's life, which Hudson contends match, much better than William Shakespeare's did, the content of "Shakespeare's" work. But Hudson has also identified technical similarities…
Categories: Literature/Language Comments (11)
Back from Virginia
Posted by The Curator on Wed May 28, 2008
I returned last night from Virginia, where I spent Memorial Day Weekend with my parents. Their dog, Falcon, never ceases to amaze me. He's huge. Every picture of him looks surreal, as if it's been photoshopped to increase his size, but he really is that big. At 200 lbs, he's heavier than I am. You don't sit with him on the couch, so much as you try to squeeze in beside him.
Categories: Miscellaneous Comments (10)
Punishing linkbaiters?
Posted by The Curator on Sat May 24, 2008
On May 9, money.co.uk published a story alleging that a 13-year-old kid in Texas had stolen his dad's credit card and used it to rent a motel room and some prostitutes. The cute/quirky part of the story was that the kids simply played Xbox with the "$1,000 a night girls." The story quickly spread throughout the media, appearing in The Sun, The Daily Telegraph, and Fox News, among others. But a few days later it was exposed as a hoax, since the police had no record of such an incident. David B posted about it here in the forum. Online marketer Lyndon Antcliff admitted he had posted the story on…
Categories: Journalism Comments (16)
Why do casinos have ugly carpets?
Posted by The Curator on Fri May 23, 2008
There are many rumors about casinos. One I posted about earlier is the belief that casinos pump in oxygen to encourage people to gamble more. (It's not true). Another rumor focuses on the carpets in casinos, which are often noticeably ugly. The theory is that there must be some diabolical reason why they're so ugly. David Schwartz, a historian of gambling, writes, "Casino carpet is known as an exercise in deliberate bad taste that somehow encourages people to gamble." He's collected an extensive gallery of photos of casino carpets. There are four main theories to explain…
Categories: Urban Legends Comments (24)
Todd Davis’s Social Security Number
Posted by The Curator on Thu May 22, 2008
Todd Davis, CEO of LifeLock, claims his company offers such a high level of identity-theft protection that he's willing to advertise his own social-security number. (It's 457-55-5462.) He's that sure no one is going to be able to steal his identity. Many criminals are quite happy to take him up on the challenge. From Yahoo! News: Davis acknowledged in an interview with The Associated Press that his stunt has led to at least 87 instances in which people have tried to steal his identity, and one succeeded: a guy in Texas who duped an online payday loan…
Categories: Advertising, Scams Comments (11)
Grand Teton and Wildflowers
Posted by The Curator on Thu May 22, 2008
The image to the right is available for purchase on webshots.com. The photographer is listed as Adam Jones. It's titled "Grand Teton and Wildflowers, Wyoming." The image has become quite popular and has slowly been circulating around the internet. One person on the webshots message board writes: What a wonderful blend of colours and God’s creation. At the present time I live in Beijing and in the smog I often look at this picture and remember how beautiful the world can be. But the image has met…
Categories: Photos/Videos, Places Comments (14)
Altered Yearbook Photos
Posted by The Curator on Thu May 22, 2008
When students at McKinney High School recently received copies of their yearbook, they noticed that many of their photos had been altered. From dallasnews.com: The problem photos are obvious. One girl's arm is missing. Another girl is missing her clothing – and was left with a blurred chest. Multiple students have the same body and clothes. Some shirt colors were changed, while patterns and wording on other shirts were wiped out. At least 34 students had someone else's body. Officials from Lifetouch National School Studios Inc., the Minnesota-based photography company, said…
Categories: Photos/Videos, Pranks Comments (9)
Rapture Check
Posted by The Curator on Wed May 21, 2008
RaptureCheck.org allows you to check the probability that the rapture has happened -- just in case you look out your window, see no one there, and get worried. Right now the rapture is listed as "Getting Close." Here's how it determines the imminence of rapture: I made an assumption that the people who would regularly check RaptureCheck would be dispensationalist Christians concerned about the rapture. I further assumed that many, if not most, of these people would be raptured when and if the rapture occurred. RaptureCheck tests for the 100 most recent accesses from unique IP addresses of the…
Categories: Religion Comments (6)
The Museum of Fakes
Posted by The Curator on Wed May 21, 2008
Smithsonian Magazine has an article about the Museum of Fakes, located in southern Italy. (Thanks, Joe.) It's like a real-life Museum of Hoaxes, but devoted exclusively to art fakes. Thanks to a special arrangement with the Italian police, it has become the repository for all counterfeit works of art confiscated in Italy (and there are a lot of them). Its director, Salvatore Casillo, is a sociologist who has spent 20 years studying counterfeits. My favorite detail in the article: Casillo says that counterfeiting is a group effort involving a chain of corruption that ends at the unscrupulous seller's door.…
Categories: Art Comments (3)
SpongeBob Vandalism
Posted by The Curator on Wed May 21, 2008
A chimney is all that remains of the cabin that used to be the home of the manager of the Forest Service tree nursery in Pike Forest. It's considered a historically significant remain. That didn't stop pranksters from refashioning it, with the help of some paint, into a monument to SpongeBob Squarepants. From gazette.com: Some people might find humor in a 10-foot tall likeness of the cartoon character SpongeBob Square-Pants painted onto a crumbling chimney in the middle of the woods. U.S. Forest Service officials certainly don't. "I didn't chuckle,"…
Categories: Places, Pranks Comments (11)
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