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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
November 2009
Demi Moore’s Disappearing Hip
Posted by The Curator on Fri Nov 13, 2009
On the December cover of W magazine, Demi Moore's left hip doesn't line up with the rest of her leg. (look right above the 'R' in Moore.) It would seem that a photo editor must have screwed up. According to jezebel.com: Although W has a history of using master retoucher Pascal Dangin for its celebrity covers and fashion editorials, the magazine's rep says that the retouching was done in-house by Alas and Piggott's staff. We contacted Demi's rep, too, but haven't heard back. (Thanks, Joe!)
Categories: Photos/Videos Comments (9)
The Ghost of Babinda Boulders
Posted by The Curator on Fri Nov 13, 2009
According to legend, the ghost of Babinda Boulders in Australia lures young men to their death. (I think Babinda Boulders is also called Devil's Pool.) A recent visitor to the site took a photo in which a "ghost face" appeared. Or so she claims. I can't see anything. Can you? Link: Cairns.com
Categories: Paranormal, Photos/Videos Comments (9)
Does dust consist primarily of human skin?
Posted by The Curator on Wed Nov 11, 2009
It's a widely repeated factoid that dust consists primarily of human skin. For instance, one can find this piece of information in the first paragraph on the wikipedia page about dust. But Paloma Beamer, a dust expert at the University of Arizona, disputes this claim. From NPR.org: Beamer says there are really only two places dust can come from: outdoors and indoors. We are an important part of the process of getting the outdoor stuff indoors. We bring it with us when we enter a house — through "soil particles that come in on your shoes," says…
Categories: Urban Legends Comments (19)
Fox News Falsifies Footage of Protest
Posted by The Curator on Wed Nov 11, 2009
Fox News reminds me of William Randolph Hearst. They're no longer even trying to be subtle about falsifying the news. In particular, the latest from Fox News reminds me of something Hearst's New York Mirror did back in 1932. Here (in the words of Curtis MacDougall) is the 1932 incident: In 1932 the New York Mirror ran a picture allegedly of hunger marchers storming Buckingham Palace in London. It was revealed that the scene actually was of a 1929 crowd gathered anxiously during the illness of King George V. And here's what Fox News did recently, in the words…
Categories: Journalism Comments (32)
Dasani Deception
Posted by The Curator on Tue Nov 10, 2009
I'm a little late with this, but better late than never. From The Boston Phoenix: An odd press conference took place last week in Post Office Square as a man claiming to be an executive at a soft-drink giant touted “a new era for Coca-Cola,” in which its Dasani bottled water will be labeled “Deception.” Of course, it wasn’t actually a Coca-Cola executive or a real press conference (despite the fake journalists asking fake questions), but activist street theater perpetrated by the guerrilla prankster collective the Yes Men. The mock press conference, part of Boston-based Corporate Accountability International’s (CIA) Think Outside the Bottle…
Categories: Food Comments (7)
Where was Sarkozy on November 9, 1989?
Posted by The Curator on Tue Nov 10, 2009
He claims he was at the Berlin Wall, helping to knock it down. He even posted a picture of himself there on his Facebook page. But skeptics are saying he couldn't have been there at that time. It may be a case of political "false memory syndrome," like Reagan swearing he was present at the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps, even though he never was sent to Europe during the war. From the Daily Mail: In 1989, Sarkozy was 34 and a top official in France's conservative RPR party. As such,…
Categories: Politics Comments (5)
What really lurks in Loch Ness
Posted by The Curator on Tue Nov 10, 2009
Apparently, it's golf balls. From cnn.com: It seems the simple plastic golf ball is increasingly becoming a major litter problem. The scale of the dilemma was underlined recently in Scotland, where scientists -- who scoured the watery depths in a submarine hoping to discover evidence of the prehistoric Loch Ness monster -- were surprised to find hundreds of thousands of golf balls lining the bed of the loch. It is thought tourists and locals have used the loch as an alternative driving range for many years. It would be kind of sad if Nessie died choking on a golf ball.
Categories: Cryptozoology, Nessie Comments (8)
MSNBC lists ten “heinous” internet hoaxes
Posted by The Curator on Mon Nov 09, 2009
MSNBC has posted a list of the "10 most heinous hoaxes on the Net." Though in the intro they admit they added in "a handful of amusing ones." Here's the list (minus their descriptions): Twitter/Facebook AMBER alert Bonsai Kitten Epilepsy Forum Raid Bigfoot's body Changing the value of pi Save Toby MySpace suicide 419 Nigerian money scams Work-at-home scams Facebook hoax on TechCrunch I don't think "Bigfoot's body" counts as a true internet hoax. Sure, people discussed it on the internet, but it was also discussed on TV, radio, and in newspapers. As for heinous internet hoaxes, a few of the ones they missed include Manbeef.com, Marry Our Daughter, and Lcpl.…
Categories: Websites Comments (1)
Does the internet promote extremism and crazy rumors?
Posted by The Curator on Mon Nov 09, 2009
Elizabeth Kolbert in The New Yorker discusses whether the internet promotes the spread of bizarre rumors by encouraging "group polarization": People’s tendency to become more extreme after speaking with like-minded others has become known as “group polarization”... “Views that would ordinarily dissolve, simply because of an absence of social support, can be found in large numbers on the Internet, even if they are understood to be exotic, indefensible, or bizarre in most communities,” Sunstein observes. Racists used to have to leave home to meet up with other racists (or Democrats with other Democrats, or Republicans with…
Categories: Technology, Urban Legends Comments (8)
Dr. Geeta Shroff: legitimate practitioner or quack?
Posted by The Curator on Sat Nov 07, 2009
Indian doctor Geeta Shroff is claiming to have helped many patients, thought incurable, by injecting them with embryonic stem cells. However, she hasn't submitted any of her work to scientific review, leading to suspicions that something fishy is going on. From timesonline.co.uk: Dr Shroff has refused to publish her research and to submit it to peer review — a practise regarded widely as a cornerstone of good science. Instead, she has patented her technique, a route more familiar in business than medicine. Doctors say that without safety trials and randomised clinical studies, her treatments are unverifiable and potentially dangerous. There has been no research published, for instance, to rule out placebo effects. “If…
Categories: Health/Medicine Comments (0)
Cabbage Stump Night
Posted by The Curator on Fri Nov 06, 2009
Cabbage Stump Night (or merely Cabbage Night) appears to be an American variant of northern England's Mischief Night, celebrated on the night before Halloween. Once again, it's something I had never heard of before. From newburyportnews.com: Cabbage Stump Nights are not well chronicled. New Jersey apparently had its "cabbage night'' when cabbages were hurled at houses, but ours bettered that because cabbages do not fit small hands for throwing... Cabbages have a distinctive and proper root for Cabbage Stump Night because it is the rubbery equivalent of a Little League baseball bat — pliant, easy to grasp…
Categories: Celebrations Comments (4)
Snake in drain was a hoax
Posted by The Curator on Fri Nov 06, 2009
A man who caught a 14-foot (4.2-meter) python in a Florida drain pipe was charged with perpetrating a hoax after wildlife officers discovered he owned the snake and put it in the pipe in order to stage the capture. Justin Matthews, a professional animal trapper, later admitted that he had "staged the event to call attention to a growing problem of irresponsible pet ownership," the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said on Thursday. Link: Yahoo! News
Categories: Animals Comments (0)
Lee Harvey Oswald’s ‘Backyard Photo’: Not A Fake!
Posted by The Curator on Fri Nov 06, 2009
Photo-fakery expert Hany Farid has confirmed, after a two-month analysis, that the famous photo of Lee Harvey Oswald posing in his backyard with a rifle was not a fake. From unionleader.com: Farid said over the years, he's received dozens and dozens of requests to analyze the photo. What helped him decide to take on the project was a recent study he worked on looking at how the human brain processes images. He used a computer program Facegen, to build a virtual 3D model of Oswald's head. Once that was completed, he…
Categories: Photos/Videos Comments (3)
Fake Wilson Campaign Ad
Posted by The Curator on Fri Nov 06, 2009
This sounds like it might be a case of "black propaganda": Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) on Thursday condemned a fake campaign ad circulating under his name that implies President Barack Obama is a communist... The 30-second ad begins with a clip of President Barack Obama's speech to students on the first day of school this year. Red-colored text scrolls across the screen that says "Community Activist," a message that morphs into "Communist Activity." The image then changes from Obama to clips of Red Army parades featuring infantrymen, tanks, and rockets... The end of the ad…
Categories: Politics Comments (1)
Rescue Dummy, Get Robbed
Posted by The Curator on Fri Nov 06, 2009
What you get for trying to be a hero nowadays: A man was attacked and robbed after he jumped into a lake believing a boy was drowning, only to find it was a dummy. The dog walker was approached by a "distressed" couple in Foxes Forest, Portsmouth, who said their son had been attacked by a swan in nearby water. When the 48-year-old jumped into the lake and discovered the dummy he saw the man going through his coat pockets. Link: BBC
Categories: Law/Police/Crime Comments (0)
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