The Museum of Hoaxes
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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
May 2008
Panic Buy Carrots
Posted by The Curator on Tue May 20, 2008
On May 15th thousands of people around the world went to their local grocery store to panic buy carrots. They were members of the facebook group called "On May 15th 2008, everybody needs to go out and panic buy carrots." From northernnews.com: What started out as a prank Facebook group called "On May 15th 2008, everybody needs to go out and panic buy carrots," with just a handful of the creator's friends as members, has exploded online and now has 231,000 worldwide supporters on the popular social networking site. British teen…
Categories: Food, Pranks Comments (9)
Child Trader
Posted by The Curator on Thu May 15, 2008
If you're tired of your kid, why not swap him or her for another? Childtrader.com makes this possible. From the site: Child Trader is now the nations 4th largest child exchange network and as such, has brought happiness to more than 1623 American households who otherwise had very few options in creating a more loving family and home life when realizing their child wasn’t the right fit for them. Child Trader Child Exchange Network isn’t about not loving childing [sic]. Its about finding a family that can love them more.…
Categories: Birth/Babies, Websites Comments (15)
Malaysian Sea Monster
Posted by The Curator on Thu May 15, 2008
In an email with the subject "Giant Fish - Caught in Malaysia? Apparently...," Joshua Penley asks: "What the HELL is this?!!?!?!?!?!?!?!" This sounds like a question for Big Gary, the museum's Deputy Curator in Charge of Fish. I would simply note that the guys in the photos don't look particularly Malaysian, making it a case of "real picture, fake caption." The bottom picture reminds me of a picture of a…
Categories: Animals, Photos/Videos Comments (18)
Plant Rights
Posted by The Curator on Wed May 14, 2008
An ethics panel commissioned by the Swiss government has determined that the arbitrary killing of plants is morally wrong. From The Weekly Standard: A "clear majority" of the panel adopted what it called a "biocentric" moral view, meaning that "living organisms should be considered morally for their own sake because they are alive." Thus, the panel determined that we cannot claim "absolute ownership" over plants and, moreover, that "individual plants have an inherent worth." This means that "we may not use them just as we please, even if the plant community…
Categories: Food, Law/Police/Crime Comments (16)
Organic Tomatoes
Posted by The Curator on Mon May 12, 2008
Posted recently on Yahoo! News: "A farmer tends organic tomatoes at a greenhouse in Langfang, Hebei province, near Beijing, China, February 6, 2007." It's not photoshopped. It's an example of forced perspective. (via Snapshots from my world)
Categories: Food, Photos/Videos Comments (4)
Unreal Beauty
Posted by The Curator on Mon May 12, 2008
The models in Dove's "Real Beauty" campaign (whose tagline was "we believe real beauty comes in many shapes, sizes and ages") may have benefitted from some "digital plastic surgery." From The Telegraph: Pascal Dangin, a celebrated retoucher of fashion pictures, claimed the Dove women were far from au naturel. In an interview with New Yorker magazine, Mr Dangin, who runs Box Studios in New York, a company which retouches photographs and does regular work for Vogue, and the fashion companies Dior and Balenciaga, said that he had manipulated the photographs heavily.…
Decades-old Donut Prank
Posted by The Curator on Mon May 12, 2008
Two former Junior High teachers have been giving each other the same donut as a gift for 37 years. From sj-r.com: In 1971, Mrs. Ross, longtime language arts teacher at the junior high, brought a doughnut to school to enjoy on her break in the teacher’s lounge. She and Mr. Nelson already enjoyed teasing each other, but on this day, Mr. Nelson took things to another level. He hid Mrs. Ross’s doughnut. And then the doughnut disappeared. Did he eat it? “I hid the doughnut but I did not eat the doughnut,” swears Mr. Nelson. “Someone else…
Categories: Food, Pranks Comments (6)
Air guitar owned by JFK
Posted by The Curator on Mon May 12, 2008
You have missed your chance to bid on an "Air guitar owned by JFK": Extremely rare oppurtunity up for auction is the only air guitar known to have been owned by US president JFK President kennedy was under constant stress from political rivals and upsets, so its only natural he would have taken up playing air guitar Many silent and melancholy impromptu jam sessions haunted the air in Kennedy's office as US president it was discovered recently in a cold storage unit in its case
Categories: eBay, Music Comments (8)
Talk To The Dead
Posted by The Curator on Mon May 12, 2008
Charlotte Paru writes in an email: "Please let's leave the dead be." A fascinating comment turned up on a new web site by Nicole Zapruder, who has been "communicating with the dead since she was 4 years old." People aren't disputing her ability; they're asking her not to share the technique on the internet. http://www.talktothedead.org/ "All peoples of earth posess this natural ability," Nicole counters, adding that her site comes with a detailed warning. ("Do not contact any dead person who may have negative feelings toward…
Categories: Paranormal, Websites Comments (4)
Operation Knot So Fast
Posted by The Curator on Sat May 10, 2008
Eighty-three people have been rounded up by federal officials in Florida and accused of participating in sham marriages. A company called All Kind Services was staging fake weddings, complete with props, so that the couples could have photographs of their "wedding day" to show officials. From the Orlando Sentinel: The four-tiered cake the newlyweds were about to cut was plastic. The glasses and plates on the reception table were empty. And the bride wore casual shoes under her wedding gown. Those were among the clues that caught the attention of Immigration and Customs…
Categories: Scams, Sex/Romance Comments (3)
Marinated Money Scam
Posted by The Curator on Sat May 10, 2008
A novel twist on the money-multiplying scam. From Reuters: A Vietnamese man in Norway lost around 35,000 dollars after he was led to believe that mixing the cash with a special liquid would double its value, Norwegian media reported Saturday... The victim of the con, who was not identified, was reportedly told by the Frenchman to leave a mixture of real cash with blank bills to marinate in a special liquid overnight, and the next morning he would have double the amount of cash at his disposal. But when he showed up the next morning to collect…
Categories: Scams Comments (8)
FairDeal Homeopathy
Posted by The Curator on Sat May 10, 2008
FairDeal Homeopathy promises it won't lie to its customers. They only guarantee that their remedies are "as effective as all other homeopathic remedies." They also won't promise that their products can help you if you're ill. Although they do note that if you believe in their remedies they might help, because of the placebo effect. But they caution that if you're "actually ill" you shouldn't expect their products to cure you. "Homeopathy of any sort," they note, "is not a medical treatment, neither is it a substitute for evidence-based medicine and proper medical opinion." On the testimonials page you find comments from "Miss Emily…
Categories: Health/Medicine, Websites Comments (10)
Holy Potato
Posted by The Curator on Thu May 08, 2008
Cranky Media Guy wants to know "Who in the press can we implore to PLEASE MAKE THIS NONSENSE STOP?" He's referring to the most recent finding of a holy potato. From thelocal.de: A potato destined for the fryer has become a holy relic to some Berliners after a woman cut it open only to find an image of a cross inside. Birgül Balta, 49, was cutting potatoes for French fries at her home in Berlin's Charlottenburg district when the cross-shaped cavity inside one of the spuds stopped…
Categories: Pareidolia, Religion Comments (11)
Carrollton Mayor’s Questionable Singing Career
Posted by The Curator on Thu May 08, 2008
Becky Miller, Mayor of Carrollton in Texas, claims that she once sang backup for Linda Ronstadt and Jackson Browne, and was once engaged to Don Henley. Problem is, none of these people have ever heard of her. She also claims that her brother was killed in Vietnam. However, her father says that her brother is still alive in Maryland and was never in the service. And Western Kentucky University can't find any record of her attendance, despite her insistence that she was a student there. Clearly Mayor Miller is developing a bit of a credibility problem, so it's a good thing she's in politics. She should go far. (Thanks,…
Categories: Identity/Imposters Comments (11)
Placebo Walk Buttons
Posted by The Curator on Thu May 08, 2008
I've previously posted about the issue of placebo walk buttons -- that is, the widespread suspicion that the walk buttons at intersections don't have any effect on traffic lights. (There's also a separate theory that you can control the traffic lights by pushing the button in a special way.) An article on canada.com addresses the issue of placebo buttons at some length. They insist the idea of placebo buttons is a myth (at least for the city of Victoria), and they interview a traffic planner to discover what really happens when the button is pushed:
Categories: Psychology, Urban Legends Comments (11)
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