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April 2009
You can breathe a sigh of relief. Tila Tequila is not dead, despite the "tweet" posted on her twitter account claiming that someone had broken into her house and killed her and her dog. Seems that someone had hacked into her account. I have no idea who Tila Tequila is. I'm guessing she's some kind of D-list celebrity. [binside]
Categories: Death, Social Networking Sites
Posted by Alex on Tue Apr 14, 2009
Comments (3)
The term Neighbor From Hell seems an appropriate one for Julie Rank-Earley. Her neighbor once filed a police complaint about her, resulting in a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct. Instead of letting the issue drop, Rank-Earley decided to up the ante by subscribing to hundreds of dollars worth of pornographic magazines in the name of her neighbor. Her neighbor simply complained to the police again when she started getting all the bills. Now Rank-Earley is sitting in jail. [Dayton Daily News]
Categories: Law/Police/Crime, Pranks
Posted by Alex on Tue Apr 14, 2009
Comments (1)
"International spirit medium" Stephen Hermann claims he contacted the ghost of Alexander the Great during a recent seance. Alex's message: He urges the people of Macedonia to stop fighting and embrace peace. Surprisingly, he had nothing to say about that atrocious Oliver Stone movie about his life. [Balkan Insight]
Categories: Paranormal
Posted by Alex on Tue Apr 14, 2009
Comments (5)
Should the LA Times have run an ad designed to look like a regular news column on its front page? (The ad was for an NBC news show Southland.) Critics, who include quite a few of the paper's own staffers, argue that it crossed a line of journalistic integrity. The paper's defenders point out that all newspapers are losing money nowadays, so whether you like it or not, expect to see more ads disguised as news columns in the future. [Editors Weblog]
Categories: Advertising, Journalism
Posted by Alex on Mon Apr 13, 2009
Comments (10)
An announcement posted on the website of British psychic Derek Acorah:

Categories: Future/Time, Paranormal
Posted by Alex on Mon Apr 13, 2009
Comments (4)
Someone circulated a bogus press release claiming that rap star Lil' Kim was running for mayor of Hoboken. Local media in New York duly reported it as fact. But in a world where Ronald Reagan became president and Arnold Schwarzenegger is Governor of California, I can understand why they took it seriously. [NY Daily News]
Categories: Celebrities, Music, Politics
Posted by Alex on Mon Apr 13, 2009
Comments (0)
The latest victims of the decades-old trash-for-charity hoax are the students of PS 46 in Staten Island. They were collecting plastic bottle caps in the belief that for every 1000 caps collected a child with cancer would get chemotherapy. Finally one of the students did an online search for "bottle caps" and "charity" and figured out it was a hoax. [silive.com]
Categories: Health/Medicine, Pranks
Posted by Alex on Mon Apr 13, 2009
Comments (7)
Amazon is selling a ghost meter for only $27.98. Sounds like a bargain. And according to the reviews it's "a reliable indicator of paranormal activity." Of course, what it really detects is electromagnetic fluctuations, such as the kind produced by any electrical device. So as a home repair tool for finding live wires, it could be useful.
Categories: Paranormal, Pseudoscience
Posted by Alex on Thu Apr 09, 2009
Comments (8)
It must have seemed like a good idea to someone at Greenpeace to leave mysterious green pills labeled "nuclear radiation pills" on the doorsteps of various Toronto homes. The homeowners panicked and called the police. The pills were actually seaweed tablets. Greenpeace had been hoping to raise awareness of a nuclear power plant being built in the area. [citynews.ca]
Categories: Hate Crimes/Terror
Posted by Alex on Thu Apr 09, 2009
Comments (3)
Faye Shilling is accused of not only buying life insurance policies for people who didn't exist, but also of holding fake funerals for their (fake) deaths. She would fill the casket with "various materials" to make it the right weight, then bury it. And then, because she was afraid authorities would somehow later find an empty casket, she would file fake documents to indicate the body had been exhumed and then file more fake documents to show it had been cremated. [Daily Breeze]
Categories: Death, Scams
Posted by Alex on Thu Apr 09, 2009
Comments (1)
Yet another example of the "manipulative phone call" prank. A man staying in a Best Western hotel in Jamestown, NY received a call telling him that the fire department and HAZMAT were in the hotel investigating a gas/carbon monoxide leak. The caller advised the man to smash out a window to avoid injury or death. The man then proceeded to do this. According to the article, "The Jamestown Police Department is advising the public and businesses to be aware of this type of scam, and to contact the Jamestown Police Department should they receive any such phone calls."
Categories: Pranks
Posted by Alex on Wed Apr 08, 2009
Comments (6)
After President Lincoln died, there was a huge demand for photos of him lying in his casket. However, the army didn't allow any photos to be taken. As a result, a lot of fake Lincoln death photos appeared. I've posted about this before, and I have an example of a fake Lincoln death photo in the Hoax Photo Database.

Mary Curtis just sent me an old newspaper clipping describing some Lincoln death photos owned by her grandmother. Unfortunately, no one knows where the photos are now. According to the clipping, she kept them "in a bank vault in a nearby town."

Actually, reading over the clipping, it's not clear to me whether Mary's grandmother owned photographs or "mourning pictures" (i.e. drawings). The first picture, showing Mrs. Lincoln kneeling before her husband, who is surrounded by his cabinet members, is clearly an illustration, not a photograph.



The second picture seems to be a photograph. The caption says that it shows Mrs. Lincoln standing in front of her husband's coffin. But is that really Mrs. Lincoln? And is she in front of a coffin? It's hard to tell from the quality of this copy.



A third picture is partially visible in the news clipping, but the clipping offers no details about it.
Categories: Death, Photos/Videos
Posted by Alex on Wed Apr 08, 2009
Comments (7)
For some, April Fool's Day means innocent fun. For others it appears to be an invitation to explore the dark corners of their twisted psyches. That's the only reason I can think of to explain why every April 1st stories like this one, featuring a woman who "pranked" her brother-in-law by calling him and telling him that her 1-year-old child wasn't breathing, appear in the news.
Categories: April Fools Day, Hate Crimes/Terror
Posted by Alex on Wed Apr 08, 2009
Comments (2)
According to the Chicago Tribune, 18,786,325 people viewed Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" video on YouTube on April 1st. That indicates the number of victims that were RickRolled by pranksters on April Fool's Day. Which means that in only two years, rickrolling has risen from nothing to become the most popular April Fool's Day prank, eclipsing even the classic "trick a victim into phoning the zoo" prank. [Chicago Tribune]
Categories: April Fools Day
Posted by Alex on Wed Apr 08, 2009
Comments (0)
There's a lot of speculation in the town of York, New Hampshire Maine about the skunk signs that were placed on many traffic-enforcement signs on April 1st. The signs feature hand-painted, smiling skunks wearing yellow sashes with the word "Enforcer" painted on. The signs also have a drawing of a zebra with the statement, "Whoever says they did it, didn't do it." When asked if the police were going to be contacted, Community Development Director Steve Burns said, "They're our No. 1 suspect." After collecting all the signs, Burns received a mysterious note made from words cut out of newspapers: "Honorary special agent Burns, enforcer skunks in your protective custody ... Be watchful. ... escape possible!" [Seacoast Online]
Categories: Animals, April Fools Day, Pranks
Posted by Alex on Wed Apr 08, 2009
Comments (4)
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