The Museum of Hoaxes
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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
December 2008
Better translator needed
Posted by The Curator on Wed Dec 10, 2008
Respected academic journal wants to decorate its cover with elegant classical Chinese poetry. Journal editors -- who can't read Chinese -- don't realize they're actually placing an ad for a brothel on the cover. Embarrassment and retraction of cover follows. The journal was the MaxPlanckForschung journal. The text apparently advertised "burlesque acts by pretty-as-jade housewives with hot bodies for the daytime visitor"... emphasizing their "enchanting and coquettish performance". The editors insist they did have a Chinese speaker check the text before they used it, but whomever they used either didn't speak Chinese that well or had a mischievous sense of humor. Well, at…
Categories: Literature/Language Comments (9)
World’s Largest Lamb Sculpture
Posted by The Curator on Tue Dec 09, 2008
Some guy named Bill Veall claims to have discovered the world's largest rock sculpture. It's somewhere in the Peruvian Andean mountains, and it's in the shape of a "sacred lamb". He says he found it by using satellite imaging techniques to search for ancient shapes and formations. I guess that rules out any possibility he's just seeing what he wants to see. (sarcasm) From Sky News: "Mr Veall, who studies the relationships between astronomy and archaeological monuments, has faced a series of doubters who claim he doctored the images to create an elaborate hoax." Big red flag indicating the skeptics may be right: Veall won't…
Categories: Art, History, Places Comments (25)
Adobe on Facebook
Posted by The Curator on Tue Dec 09, 2008
Each week Adobe -- the creator of Photoshop -- will give you five images to test if you can differentiate between the real and the fake. I got them all right! WooHoo!
Categories: Photos/Videos Comments (3)
Black Dog Syndrome
Posted by The Curator on Mon Dec 08, 2008
Black Dog Syndrome is defined as "the propensity of dark-coated animals to be passed over for adoption [at animal shelters] in favor of their lighter counterparts." Reasons why the syndrome may exist: the age-old association of light with good and dark with evil; "Black dogs often don't photograph well. Facial features disappear, and animals can appear less expressive"; "black dogs sometimes fade away into the kennel shadows". And apparently black cats face the same problem as black dogs. However, there's debate over whether this syndrome is real. Many shelter and rescue leaders insist it's real, but skeptics note that the statistics don't seem to back up this perception. The general manager…
Categories: Animals Comments (10)
Is it healthy to pick your nose?
Posted by The Curator on Fri Dec 05, 2008
If you do a search on the web for information about rhinotillexis (aka nose picking) you'll soon run across references to Dr. Friedrich Bischinger, described as an Austrian lung specialist, who is quoted as saying that nose-picking combined with nasal mucus eating is a healthy habit: "With the finger you can get to places you just can't reach with a handkerchief, keeping your nose far cleaner. "And eating the dry remains of what you pull out is a great way of strengthening the body's immune system. "Medically it makes great sense…
Categories: Health/Medicine Comments (7)
Cranial Painting
Posted by The Curator on Fri Dec 05, 2008
In 1966, before becoming a regular on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour and before launching his perennial campaign for the US Presidency, comedian Pat Paulsen got into newspapers by pretending to be a "cranial painter". From the March 6, 1966 Mansfield News Journal: USING HIS HEAD -- Artist Pat Paulsen, who shuns more traditional means of painting, demonstrates how he produces masterpieces -- with "cranial painting." The 35-year-old San Franciscan, now appearing at the Ice House in Glendale, Calif., smears paint on his beard. top: really…
Categories: Art Comments (6)
How Man is Made Invisible
Posted by The Curator on Thu Dec 04, 2008
Hudson Pace sent this interesting clipping. He writes: Here's a hoax (see attached). Presumably done with double-exposures, but it would be nice to know how many people he fooled and why he did it. It's from 'The Encyclopedia of Modern Wonders for Boys', published by Collins apparently in the 1930s. Googling 'Herbert Winck' gives one reference to the same pictures in 'The Wonder World Encyclopedia' from 1936, also published by Collins. As you'll see from the caption, the pictures fooled at least one person. I assume the pictures…
Categories: Magic, Technology Comments (7)
Pareidolia Roundup: December 2008
Posted by The Curator on Wed Dec 03, 2008
It's been a while since I've done a pareidolia roundup, so a few of these are a couple months old. Virgin Mary in Salsa Stain "Elvia Alvarez was recently using her blender to make salsa in her kitchen. Some of the salsa splattered onto the wall, creating what Alvarez says is the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Since this happened. Alvaraz says it's a sign that people need to be nicer to each other." Funny. I thought it was a sign she needs to be more careful when making salsa. Jesus in Guitar
Categories: Pareidolia, Religion Comments (12)
The Roofs of Cambridge
Posted by The Curator on Tue Dec 02, 2008
Pranksters at Cambridge University recently succeeded in placing a Santa hat on top of two seemingly inaccessible roof spires. Ten firemen and three fire engines spent an hour getting them down. From the Daily Mail: The culprit currently remains a mystery, but it is thought to be a student playing a practical joke. It is also not known how anyone managed to scale the buildings, particularly the spire of Humility, which is thought to be impossible to climb. One suggestion is that the person used the famous book The Night Climbers…
Categories: Pranks Comments (8)
The strongest man in the world
Posted by The Curator on Tue Dec 02, 2008
Here's an entertaining example of complete bs. An Arabic TV station interviews a man who claims to be the "Incredible Hulk" of Egypt. He says that he has the strength of 30,000 men! He never sleeps! He has sex 15 times a day with his four wives! And he's so strong that the government doesn't allow him to work, for fear that he might accidentally hurt someone. But the only evidence of his strength that he offers is his ability to tear a coin in half. This, of course, is a well-known magic trick.
Time magazine lists its favorite “geek” pranks
Posted by The Curator on Tue Dec 02, 2008
Time magazine offers a roundup of what it describes as "the biggest pranks in geek history" -- limited to pranks perpetrated by MIT and Caltech students. The usual suspects are there: the great rose bowl hoax, Caltech relettering the Hollywood sign, etc. Except, uh, some of the items in the list clearly aren't pranks. For instance, creating a program that allows DVDs to play on any operating system may be a useful hack, but it's not what I would consider a prank. And I don't think MIT student Star Simpson intended to cause a security scare when she wore her "socket to me" sweatshirt to Logan Airport. …
Categories: Pranks Comments (0)
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