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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
July 2012
Magic Log Found in Cambodia
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jul 31, 2012
Thousands of people in Cambodia are flocking to see a "magic log" that was found at the bottom of a pond earlier this month. It's a big log (42 feet long). But what makes it magical, in the eyes of the people journeying to see it, is that it appears so well preserved for a log that's been underwater for a while. From Sky News: Battambang province local, Nem Nay, explained to Reuters why he believed the log was magical: 'What I think is, why does this log not rot, even though it stayed underground for over a hundred years? It is still in such good state, unlike some metals, which would have rusted…
Categories: Paranormal, Religion Comments (7)
The Problem With Being Polite
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jul 30, 2012
Little white lies are part of the lubricant that keeps the cogs of the social machinery running. For instance, if someone tells a bad joke, we usually smile. We don't tell them they're not funny, because that would be rude and might hurt their feelings. The problem (according to Joyce Ehrlinger, a professor of psychology at Florida State University) is that sometimes these little white lies can be dangerous if people take them too seriously and become overconfident in their abilites. In such cases, being less polite would help to deflate the ego of these people and bring them back to reality. Ehrlinger explains: "There's definitely no harm in some types of overconfidence, and I…
Categories: Psychology Comments (5)
Petty theft as a “social experiment”
Posted by The Curator on Sat Jul 28, 2012
From the Bad Excuse file: A New Jersey couple was arrested for stealing outdoor table umbrellas from restaurants around Basking Ridge. They didn't deny taking the umbrellas, but they said it was all for a good reason. You see, it was part of a "social experiment." They were doing a documentary on "doing the right thing." They even had a manila folder with them full of notes about the project. But apparently they hadn't thought through what was going to happen when witnesses "did the right thing" and reported them to the police. Link: Baskingridge.patch.com
The Fix-a-Flat Faker
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jul 27, 2012
When a doctor starts injecting bathroom caulk into your buttocks, I think that's a good sign he/she isn't entirely on the up-and-up. Fake Fix-a-Flat nurse arrested, charged with manslaughter in Fla. client’s death bradenton.com BROWARD — Oneal Morris, the transgender woman charged in two counties with injecting people seeking fuller figures with a toxic concoction which included Fix-a-Flat, on Thursday was charged with manslaughter in the death of a Broward County client. Morris, 32, of Hollywood, has been charged in the death of Shatarka Nuby, 31, of Tamarac... According to the Broward Sheriff’s Office, Nuby had paid Morris, known as The Duchess, hundreds of dollars to inject her at her home with…
Angry Koala
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jul 27, 2012
When I saw this photo online a few days ago, I thought, "that koala looks pretty vicious." It didn't occur to me that the image might be fake. But the reality, I now know, is that the image is fake. Koalas don't have wolf-life jaws. The original photo (below) was taken in January 2009 by Flickr user Oz_drdolittle, who explains that the koala was wet because he had sprayed it with water: The poor thing was really hot. (We had a long heatwave recently). I had 3 hanging around the house that I watered twice a day while I was watering the garden.…
Categories: Animals, Photos/Videos Comments (1)
Balloon Boy Trading Card
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jul 26, 2012
Back in June 2011, Richard Heene, of Balloon Boy fame, tried to sell the balloon he had used in his hoax. He hoped to get $1 million for it, but ultimately had to settle for $2500. But the guy who bought it from Heene resold part of the balloon to the Topps trading card company, which has cut up the balloon into small pieces and glued them on to Balloon Boy trading cards. (link: Yahoo! Sports) It's part of a "used memorabilia" line of cards, but would also make a nice addition to their line of Great Hoaxes Trading Cards, released in 2009. Since I'm a sucker for any…
Categories: Miscellaneous Comments (0)
Bigfoot For Sale
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jul 26, 2012
Here's another item that would make a great addition to a real-life Museum of Hoaxes. It's a life-sized replica of Bigfoot. It was up for sale on eBay. The sellers wanted $80,000 for it, and no one came up with that much money, so the auction ended without it being sold. It's a nice piece. Would have looked great in my living room. But I have no idea how they came up with a value of $80,000 for it. Seems a bit like wishful thinking. From the auction description: In 1976, after years of study and research, a young man named Clifford LaBrecque undertook a challenge that stunned the Bigfoot world.…
Categories: Cryptozoology, eBay Comments (0)
Was Abby Farle a Chick-fil-A sock puppet?
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jul 25, 2012
Wikipedia defines a sock puppet as "an online identity used for purposes of deception." And it looks like the fast food restaurant chain Chick-fil-A just got caught red-handed using one. The sock puppet in question was one "Abby Farle" — whose Facebook profile picture showed her to be a teenage girl. But there were some odd things about Abby. For a start, her Facebook account was only created a day ago, and during her brief time on Facebook her sole activity appeared to be defending Chick-fil-A, vigorously supporting the company's claim that it stopped including toys from the Jim Henson Company in its kids meals because it concluded the toys were dangerous (not that the Henson…
Orange Forest: real or photoshopped?
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jul 25, 2012
Without knowing the context, I would have guessed this picture had been digitally manipulated in some way. But it turns out it wasn't. NPR explains: it's a single image from a single place and time — the hills of western Hungary, six months after a devastating industrial accident. In late 2010, the waste reservoir of a Hungarian aluminum oxide plant burst, releasing millions and millions of gallons of caustic red sludge. The meter-high toxic mudslide quickly moved downhill through two nearby villages, burying buildings, poisoning fields and killing 10 people. Soldiers and volunteers shoveled the muck into trucks and hosed down the streets, but where the sludge had been, every…
Categories: Photos/Videos Comments (3)
Esoteric Breast Massage
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jul 23, 2012
Serge Benhayon is the creator of "Esoteric Breast Massage" (EBM). He describes this as a healing technique that offers many benefits, such as possibly preventing cancer. Serge Benhayon Despite what you may be thinking, EBM is not just an excuse for him to massage lots of women's breasts. Far from it. In fact, he never does the massaging. He emphasizes that only women can perform EBM on other women. This made it a little awkward for him to teach the technique, back when he was the only person who knew how to do it. From an interview in Spa Australasia magazine (pdf): I have never performed an…
Categories: Health/Medicine Comments (3)
The Giant Egg Hoax of 1986
Posted by The Curator on Sun Jul 15, 2012
On April 13, 1986, at 5:15 AM, Douglas Arling of Warwick, Rhode Island went out to the chicken coop in his yard and checked on his 9-year-old Araconda chicken. To his astonishment, he found she had laid a massive egg measuring 5x3 inches, and weighing half-a-pound. As he watched, the chicken tumbled to the floor, apparently exhausted by the effort she had just gone through. Ruth Arling (Douglas's wife) with the giant egg and the chicken she thought laid it When word of the giant egg reached the press, it made national news. But the egg wasn't all it was cracked up to be. Two weeks later,…
Categories: Animals, Food Comments (1)
Samsung Monitor’s amazing energy-saving feature
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jul 11, 2012
It's hard to believe this energy-saving feature on the Samsung SA200 monitor is as revolutionary as their marketing team makes it out to be. After all, isn't it just an ON/OFF switch?
Categories: Advertising Comments (8)
The Mystery of the Burnley River Skull
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jul 11, 2012
Back in May, a Lancashire couple, Mick and Elaine Bell, found a human skull in a shallow section of the Burnley River while out walking their dogs. They gave the skull to the police, who initially suspected that rain had washed it down from a nearby cemetery. But as forensic experts examined it, they grew puzzled. The features of the skull indicated the person had been a man who was either an Australian aboriginal or from a South Pacific Island. How had he ended up buried in Lancashire? Elaine Bell with the skull Carbon dating the skull produced no results. Initially the scientists thought this was because the…
Categories: History, Science Comments (5)
The Coke Bag Hoax
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jul 10, 2012
Recently a video began circulating that appeared (despite suspiciously poor production values) to be an advertisement by Coca-Cola announcing a new "Coca-Cola-Bag." The idea was to do away with selling Coke in bottles and switch to biodegradable plastic bags made "in the unique Coca-Cola bottle shape." The video claimed the idea came from Central America where many consumers supposedly already buy Coke in plastic bags in order to avoid paying the bottle deposit. Gizmodo, Digital Journal, and WKMG Orlando were among those who posted about the video. But Just-Drinks.com now says it has received confirmation from the Coca-Cola…
Categories: Advertising, Food, Videos Comments (4)
The Origin of the Word Quiz
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jul 10, 2012
'Quiz' is a relatively new word. It first came into use in the late 1700s, making it a little over 250 years old, and there's a curious story about how it came into being. The tale goes that it emerged from a wager made in 1791 by Richard Daly, manager of the Theatre Royal in Dublin. Daly bet his friends that within 48 hours he could make a nonsense word be spoken throughout Dublin — specifically, a word having no meaning nor derived from any known language. His friends took him up on the bet. So Daly sent out his employees to write the word "QUIZ" in chalk on doors, windows, and walls throughout Dublin.…
Categories: Literature/Language Comments (0)
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