The Museum of Hoaxes
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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
April 2012
If you're a woman, don't expect much help from men during a shipwreck. In fact, the men are likely to be shoving the women out of the way in their eagerness to save themselves. That's the general message of a new study by Swedish economists Mikael Elinder and Oscar Erixson, "Every Man for Himself! Gender, Norms and Survival in Maritime Disasters." Women fare worst on British ships — contrary to the tradition of British chivalry. The one exception to this rule was the Titanic, where Captain Smith announced, 'Women and children first.' And he enforced this rule at gunpoint. But apparently, during disasters it hardly ever occurs to captains to insist that women and children…
Setting The Clock Back
Posted by The Curator on Fri Apr 13, 2012
A nice example of the forced perspective illusion. Photo taken October 28, 1960. (found on eBay) "Careful placement by photographer gives illusion that Aileen Gallagher is setting clock on tower of Chicago's Wrigley Building as Illinois and other sections of nation prepare for return to Standard Time from Daylight Saving Time at 2 A.M. this coming Sunday. Aileen, Trans World Airlines hostess, is standing on ledge about two blocks from clock."
Categories: Photos/Videos Comments (0)
The Car Switcheroo Prank—this couldn’t be done today!
Posted by The Curator on Thu Apr 12, 2012
Marjorie writes in again, with a story told to her by an Aussie friend (in his words). What I love about this story is that it's set in a time and place where people actually left their cars unlocked, with the keys on the front seat, expecting that the cars would still be there when they returned. I was living in Hobart in 1977 and, driving home, I noticed a friend's car parked outside the corner store at the bottom of my street. I was expecting her to come visit later that afternoon and thought she might be in the store, so I parked behind her. She wasn't in the shop, and I couldn't see her…
Categories: Pranks Comments (2)
France's tourism agency has been embarrassed after it's been revealed that a whole series of photos it's been using to promote French beaches don't actually show French locations at all. They're stock photos, taken in Hawaii and South Africa, in the background of which the tourism agency sometimes photoshopped sections of French coastline. It seems stupid since France has some great scenery, but the tourism agency was apparently too cheap to hire a photographer to take photos of any of it. (link: Daily Mail) This is hardly the first time tourism agencies have been caught pulling this trick. In Hippo Eats Dwarf I noted some examples, including a 2003 brochure for Bermuda that showed sunny beaches…
Russian Girl Floats Up Into The Air
Posted by The Curator on Wed Apr 11, 2012
Either it's a hoax, or a muggle wandered across a wizarding lesson. (via HuffPost)
Categories: Paranormal, Videos Comments (1)
Scammers vs. lawyers vs. bankers
Posted by The Curator on Wed Apr 11, 2012
It's kinda hard to know who, if anyone, to feel sympathy for here. (Thanks, Bob!) Lawyer falls for Nigerian e-mail scam, sues Wells Fargo bizjournals.com An Edina law firm that lost nearly $400,000 in a Nigerian wire-fraud scam is claiming that Wells Fargo, which handled the fund transfers, should cover its losses. The Star Tribune reports on the lawsuit by Milavetz, Gallop & Milavetz, which three years ago received an e-mail from someone purporting to be a Korean woman who needed the firm's help to collect a settlement... In his suit, Robert Milavetz argues that Wells Fargo & Co. should have recognized the red flags involved.
Categories: Law/Police/Crime, Scams Comments (0)
Tube of Liquor Hidden in Prohibition Boot
Posted by The Curator on Wed Apr 11, 2012
These shoes were quite popular during the prohibition era. You could buy them in many shoe stores. They don't look like they were very comfortable.
Categories: Fashion Comments (2)
Craig Silverman has coined a term for a new kind of excuse popular with writers caught plagiarizing. It's the Maureen Dowd Plagiarism Defense. He explains: In 2009, Dowd used close to 50 words from a John Marshall post on Talking Points Memo. She didn't offer any attribution. The words were presented as her own, and that led to accusations of plagiarism, and to a correction being issued. The Dowd Defense emerged when she reached out to a variety of websites to explain how it happened. This is what she told Huffington Post and others: "I was talking to a friend of mine Friday about what I was writing who suggested I make this point,…
Categories: Bad Excuses, Journalism Comments (2)
Martian Pareidolia: An Elephant in Lava Flow
Posted by The Curator on Tue Apr 10, 2012
An image released by NASA last week, taken by the Mars Reconaissance Orbiter, shows ancient lava flow on the surface of Mars, in the Elysium Planitia region. Some are saying that the shape of the lava flow looks like an elephant. Hmm. It looks like Jesus to me. (link: space.com)
Categories: Pareidolia Comments (2)
Jennifer Love Hewitt’s Breasts Disappear Before Our Eyes
Posted by The Curator on Tue Apr 10, 2012
In an ad that ran in Entertainment Weekly, Jennifer Love Hewitt's breasts were noticeably smaller than they were in the same ad that ran just about everywhere else (including, briefly, on this site). I suspect this was done by some marketing person in order to give bloggers an excuse to write about Jennifer Love Hewitt's breasts, and post comparison photos. I fell for the ruse. (via Huffington Post)
The Great Pingpong Hoax of 1974
Posted by The Curator on Tue Apr 10, 2012
The Akron Beacon Journal tells the story of the Great University of Akron pingpong hoax: Local history: Fake pingpong team pulls off hoax at University of Akron in 1970s ohio.com The University of Akron table-tennis team created a national sensation in the 1970s by compiling a winning record without playing a single game. Submitting articles about a pingpong team that didn't exist, UA students pulled off an outrageous hoax against the Buchtelite newspaper... The writers peppered their stories with details about flagrant fouls and trying conditions: A foe threw ice chips on a table, a player hurt his knee, a coach got kicked out after protesting a referee's call, rowdy fans interrupted…
Categories: Sports Comments (0)
Ridiculously Photogenic Guy vs. Gorgeous Guy
Posted by The Curator on Mon Apr 09, 2012
If you follow internet memes at all, you're going to be aware of 'Ridiculously Photogenic Guy'. The title has been attached to 25-year-old Zeddie Little of New York. A picture of him was taken while he was running a 10k race in South Carolina. He seemed to look upbeat and well-composed, while everyone else looked like they were suffering. Someone uploaded the picture to reddit, with the comment, "My friend calls him 'Mr Ridiculously Photogenic Guy'". The image and title promptly went viral, making Little an overnight internet celebrity. Ridiculously Photogenic Guy This immediately reminded me of the Gorgeous Guy phenomenon, from way back in 2001, in which a guy's picture…
UK Legal Urban Legends
Posted by The Curator on Mon Apr 09, 2012
Another list of urban legends from the BBC. This time it's legal urban legends. All the following laws, though frequently repeated, are NOT TRUE: It's illegal to die in Parliament. It's illegal to put a stamp on upside down. It's illegal to eat a mince pie on Christmas Day. It's legal to kill Welsh people in the town of Chester. It's legal for a man to urinate in public, as long as it's on the rear wheel of his car and his right hand is on the vehicle. And pregnant women can legally relieve themselves in any public place, including into a policeman's helmet. London taxis have to carry a bale of hay in their boot. If someone knocks…
Part-Worn Human For Sale
Posted by The Curator on Mon Apr 09, 2012
Part worn human! Brighouse Echo A PRACTICAL joke landed Brighouse engineer Paul Pattinson in hot water with mighty online retailer ebay. Describing Paul as 'a part-worn human, in need of a good home', the ebay notice sought bids for the 45-year-old employee at Flow Technology Ltd. Within days hundreds of people had viewed the item and more than 35 had put in bids, the highest being for £82. But on Tuesday ebay removed the item, only 24 hours before the bidding was due to close, because it breached the online company's rules. One of Paul's colleagues, David Clark, decided to put his friend up for sale as a practical joke to see how many bids he…
Categories: eBay Comments (0)
The Turd in the Olympic Ring
Posted by The Curator on Sat Apr 07, 2012
Brian Chapman reports the start of an interesting Olympics 2012 rumor on his Legends & Rumors blog: Enormous Olympic rings have started popping up in London. There's a set at St Pancras, another recently floated down the Thames, and a third set will be suspended at Tower Bridge. We're told that there's something special about one of the rings. Someone involved in their construction had a bit of a downer on the whole Olympics in London thing. So he took a shit inside one of the rings. And then had it welded shut.
Categories: Gross, Sports, Urban Legends Comments (1)
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