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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
March 2009
Square Root April Fool’s Day
Posted by The Curator on Tue Mar 31, 2009
Electrical engineer Aziz Inan, of the University of Portland, recently noticed that April 1st, 2009 is a square root date. From USA Today: April Fool's Day, April 1, 2009 is 04/01/2009, or 4012009, which has 2003 as a square root (2003 * 2003 = 4012009.)... The next April Fool's square date doesn't fall until April 1, 6016 (2004*2004 = 4016016.) Of course, this is of no significance whatsoever. Or is it???
Categories: April Fools Day Comments (12)
National Geographic Interview and iPhone App
Posted by The Curator on Tue Mar 31, 2009
Marc Silver of National Geographic interviewed me about the history and customs of April Fool's Day. The interview is now up on the Nat Geo blog. And in other news, programmer Mark Greenfield turned the list of the Top 100 April Fool's Day hoaxes into an iPhone app (for those people who want to have the list in an easy-to-read format on their phone). The app is now available at the iPhone store. I don't have an iPhone, so I haven't been able to test the app. I think it costs $1, of which I get about ten cents. Now, if only I could get everyone who reads the list on my…
Categories: Miscellaneous Comments (1)
Cheating Hubby Caught on Street View
Posted by The Curator on Tue Mar 31, 2009
A recent article in The Sun (and we all know how diligent The Sun is about fact checking) claimed that a woman, while using Google Street View, spotted her husband's car parked outside another woman's home. Now she's filing for divorce! But Matt Platino, of the Idiot Forever blog, claims he hoaxed the sun into printing the story: I emailed The Sun, first with the email address sashaharris289@gmail.com. I shot them a “frantic” note: Hey Sun, I need your help. One of my mates caught her husband cheating by using…
Categories: Journalism, Sex/Romance Comments (6)
Great Hoaxes Trading Cards
Posted by The Curator on Mon Mar 30, 2009
Topps has announced it plans to release a set of cards featuring the "world's biggest hoaxes, hoodwinks, & bamboozles." The entire set, according to visualeditors.com, will consist of: Charles Ponzi Bernie Madoff The Runaway Bride Idaho The Turk Enron Anna Anderson Ferdinand Waldo Demara San Serriffe D.B. Cooper Spaghetti Trees Victor Lustig The War of the Worlds George Parker The Bathtub Hoax The Cottingley Fairies James Reavis The Piltdown Man The Cardiff Giant Cold Fusion Looks good, though I'm not sure why they include Idaho. Probably because of the rumor that Idaho got its name from a hoax. Or maybe they're referring to the theory…
Categories: Miscellaneous Comments (12)
The Hotelicopter
Posted by The Curator on Mon Mar 30, 2009
The premise: According to Hotelicopter.com, a giant helicopter (a Soviet-made Mil V-12) has been transformed into a flying hotel: The Hotelicopter features 18 luxuriously-appointed rooms for adrenaline junkies seeking a truly unique and memorable travel experience. Each soundproofed room is equipped with a queen-sized bed, fine linens, a mini-bar, coffee machine, wireless internet access, and all the luxurious appointments you’d expect from a flying five star hotel. Room service is available one hour after liftoff and prior to landing. Reasons to think it's a hoax: a) it's a strange idea (how…
Categories: Exploration/Travel Comments (10)
Agloe, New York
Posted by The Curator on Thu Mar 26, 2009
A case of a fake that became real. In this case, a fictitious town that, for a while, achieved actual existence. The town of Agloe, New York was a "copyright trap" placed on Esso Maps during the 1930s. (That is, it was a nonexistent town whose purpose was to reveal if rival mapmakers were blindly copying the information on Esso maps.) The name was a scramble of the initials of Otto G. Lindberg (the company founder) and his assistant Ernest Alpers. They located the town at a dirt-road intersection north of Roscoe, NY. So when the town of Agloe later appeared on a Rand…
Categories: Places Comments (20)
The Fake Acai Berry Diet Girl
Posted by The Curator on Wed Mar 25, 2009
Following up on Accipiter's post in the forum about the Acai berry weight-loss scam -- one of the interesting (and sleazy) things about the scam is the proliferation of fake diet blogs promoting these Acai berries. The sites go by names such as kirstensweightloss.com, rachelsweightloss.com, patdietblog.com, etc. etc. The sites have before and after pictures of the Acai berry dieters, but pictures of the same women appear on different sites... under different names. For instance, the woman below, depending on which site you visit, is named Kirsten Hunt, Ann Conrad, Daniella Conrad, Jenna Patterson, and a bunch of other names.
Categories: Food, Scams, Websites Comments (31)
Can you see Half Dome from the Central Valley?
Posted by The Curator on Mon Mar 23, 2009
This may be of interest only to Californians, but so be it... On February 18 the Patterson Irrigator posted a picture that appeared to show the Half Dome in Yosemite, visible from Patterson. (It's a little hard to see, but if you look closely it's there.) The thing is, Patterson is in the Central Valley, about 100 miles from Yosemite. So the photo met with a very skeptical reaction. A lot of people simply refused to believe that Half Dome could be seen from that far away. There was discussion of it on the yosemite blog, and on…
Categories: Photos/Videos, Places Comments (19)
Homeless Decoys
Posted by The Curator on Mon Mar 23, 2009
The City of Toronto plans to pay 100 people $100 each to pose as homeless people for a day. Each person will first attend a 30-minute training seminar on how to convincingly look homeless. The reason: the decoys will act as a "control measure" during the city's upcoming survey of the homeless population. I guess I don't sufficiently understand the methodology of conducting surveys, because this doesn't make any sense to me.
Categories: Identity/Imposters Comments (16)
Car by Ikea
Posted by The Curator on Mon Mar 23, 2009
A new site (in French), roulez-leko.com, appears to announce the imminent introduction of the Leko, "the car by Ikea". The suspicious part: the car is set to debut right around April 1st. However, it could be legitimate because the first week of April is France's Sustainable Development Week, which the text on the site states that the debut is part of. We'll know soon enough if it's a hoax or something real. If it is real, it serves as a reminder that companies should avoid making major product announcements on or around April 1st. Link: carconnection.com
Wolverine Blow-Up Doll
Posted by The Curator on Fri Mar 20, 2009
A picture of a Wolverine toy with an unfortunately positioned blow-up valve has been doing the rounds. It's another case of satire mistaken as news. The picture originated on the satire site christwire.org, under the headline "Marvel Now Promotes Gay Agenda With Wolverine Toy." But once the image got loose on the web, its satirical origin was lost. Thus, the confusion.
Categories: Photos/Videos, Sex/Romance Comments (11)
Twitter Premium Services
Posted by The Curator on Fri Mar 20, 2009
An article that ran on the satire site BBSpot has apparently fooled some Twitterers. It claimed that Twitter was going to begin charging for "premium" services as follows: * Sparrow ($5/month) – Users get 145 character limit, 5 extra random followers. * Dove ($15/month) – Users get 160 character limit, 25 extra random followers, 1 random celebrity follower, auto-spell check, "Fail Whale" T-shirt. * Owl ($50/month) – Users get 250 character limit, 100 extra random followers, 2 random celebrity followers, 30 minutes on recommended list, auto-spell check, "Fail Whale" hoodie. * Eagle ($250/month) – Users…
April 1st as an Atheist Holy Day
Posted by The Curator on Fri Mar 20, 2009
An urban legend has been circulating for a number of years that mockingly describes April Fool's Day as a holy day for atheists: FLORIDA COURT SETS ATHEIST HOLY DAY In Florida, an atheist created a case against the Easter & Passover holy days. He hired an attorney to bring a discrimination case against Christians, Jews & observances of their holy days. The argument was, it was unfair that atheists had no such recognized day(s). The case was brought before a judge. After listening to the passionate presentation by the lawyer,the judge banged his gavel declaring, 'Case dismissed.'…
Categories: April Fools Day, Religion Comments (12)
If you don’t show a weapon, is it really a robbery?
Posted by The Curator on Wed Mar 18, 2009
Police say that a man, alone in a car, drove up to a teller window at the Lone Star National Bank in Texas. He slipped the teller a note. Exactly what it said has not been revealed, but it caused the teller to hand him an undetermined amount of cash. He then drove away. At no point did the man display a weapon. Big Gary asks: But if you just say, "Give me money," and you don't display a weapon, and you aren't in any position to hurt anybody, it's not really a robbery, it's a gift, right? I don't think so. I'm pretty sure it's illegal to lead a bank teller…
Categories: Law/Police/Crime Comments (11)
Pareidolia Roundup: March 2009
Posted by The Curator on Wed Mar 18, 2009
The Divine Cushion The "face of Christ" appeared in a cushion attached to a priest's chair, located in a Roman Catholic church on the French Indian island of Reunion. Parish priest Daniel Gavard said, "This is not a miracle, it's a sign of God." So what, exactly, is the meaning of the sign? God likes comfy chairs? Dead Dad in Ultrasound Marion McAleese thinks the arm of her dead dad can be seen in this ultrasound, cradling her unborn child. She says, "You can see four fingers on the baby’s face as if a hand is cradling the…
Categories: Pareidolia Comments (10)
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