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December 2013
Macy's decision to include the cast of the broadway musical Kinky Boots in its Thanksgiving Day parade was criticized by some conservative groups — since Kinky Boots features drag queens, and (so the conservatives argued) this made it inappropriate for the children watching the parade.

But instead of being repentant, Macy's seemed to be doubling-down on its support of Kinky Boots when a flyer started to circulate online announcing that Macy's would be having an event in its kids department hosted by a Santa in kinky boots: "Bring your whole family to see Santa wearing a glittery addition to his traditional outfit!"


Both Harvey Fierstein (who stars in Kinky Boots) and a Broadway news site believed the flyer was real and reposted it, but subsequently deleted their posts when they realized the flyer was a fake. [pagesix.com]
Categories: Pranks
Posted by Alex on Mon Dec 16, 2013
Comments (0)
DUPÉ sells bottled fresh air, as well as other products such as bottled moon light, positive thoughts, and "eco-friendly little rays of sunshine."






The site (and storefront) were part of a spoof campaign launched a few months ago by Yarra Valley Water, providers of tap water to the Melbourne area.

If you try to buy any of DUPÉ's fresh air, you get a message telling you: "Buying bottled air doesn't make sense. It's just like buying bottled water."

(Thanks to Patty on WU for the heads up about this).
Categories: Websites
Posted by Alex on Sun Dec 15, 2013
Comments (2)
A unique way to express frustration at having been conned:

Man conned by fake witchdoctor protests in the nude
standardmedia.co.ke

KENYA: A middle-aged man, in his desperate attempt to stage a one-man protest, stripped in Mlolongo town. This was after it dawned on him that a fake witchdoctor had conned him Sh25,000. The long protracted mid-morning drama left shocked onlookers wagging their tongues...

The money was for some concoction, which he was to collect later and smear it at the door of his shop to attract customers. The initially tickled male spectators began feeling embarrassed at the nakedness of the man. They pleaded with him to dress up, and told him it was embarrassing for him to stage his protest — in the nude — before children and women.
Categories: Scams
Posted by Alex on Sun Dec 15, 2013
Comments (0)
Photos of the Sphinx covered in snow have recently gone viral, on the heels of reports of the first snowfall in Cairo for 112 years.




These photos haven't been digitally manipulated. However, they don't show THE Sphinx in Egypt covered in snow. Instead, what they show is a miniature model of the Sphinx located in the Tobu World Square theme park in Japan. The theme park has miniature models of many other famous attractions from around the world. (You can actually see the Eiffel Tower poking up behind the pyramid in the bottom photo.)

Here's a photo that shows just how small the Tobu Sphinx model really is:


The snow-covered Sphinx photos reminded me of this 1938 April Fool photo of "Skiing in Egypt":


Categories: Photos/Videos
Posted by Alex on Sat Dec 14, 2013
Comments (2)
The Mandela-themed hoaxes continue. Kenyan senator Mike Sonko recently posted to his facebook page a photo of himself posing with Nelson Mandela. It's such an awful photoshop job, that it's hardly even worth debunking. Still, for what it's worth, the original image that he doctored was one of Mandela posing with Muhammad Ali. [telegraph.co.uk]

Categories: Photos/Videos
Posted by Alex on Sat Dec 14, 2013
Comments (0)
Wikipedia defines the martial arts technique of Empty Force as "the expression of force without making physical contact."

This technique claims to harness the power of qi, the "body's vital energy", enabling masters of the art to defend themselves against opponents without making physical contact.

However, "Some proponents of martial arts are skeptical about demonstrations of empty force and dismiss them as tricks."

Recently a Finnish empty-force master, Jukka Lampila, gave a demonstration in Barcelona. So some skeptics decided to put his claims to the test.


So basically, empty force works brilliantly as a method of self defense, as long as your attackers believe in it too. Otherwise, you're in trouble.

Here's another video of Lampila doing his stuff. This time unchallenged.

Categories: Body Manipulation, Scams
Posted by Alex on Sat Dec 14, 2013
Comments (1)
On Thursday, an image purporting to be a death photo of Nelson Mandela began circulating online.


The photo — a greenish-tinged shot of Mandela with his eyes closed — was originally posted on twitter by someone with the username @nQOW_bee.

IOL news reported: "In between tweets about the sign language interpreter at Nelson Mandela’s memorial at FNB Stadium on Tuesday, which is her sexiest body part, and how she can’t stick to a healthy diet, she posted a picture of Mandela with the words 'He is resting'."

The image was soon retweeted, but in response to a massive negative response, the twitter user subsequently claimed that she hadn't taken the picture: "urgh suka! I did not take the pic"... it was "some Indian guy".

Subsequently @nQOW_bee's account was deleted.

By the end of the day, the "death photo" was revealed to be a falsely captioned image of Mandela closing his eyes during an ANC conference in Durban in July 1991. The original photo had been taken by photographer Trevor Samson for Agence France-Presse. The AFP posted the fake death photo and the original side-by-side for comparison.

Categories: Death, Photos/Videos
Posted by Alex on Fri Dec 13, 2013
Comments (0)
These North Omaha homeowners keep signs outside their home advertising fresh meat (squirrel, raccoon, fish, etc.). But no one seems to have ever bought the meat. So are they really selling it? Or are the signs just there to give their home a little curb appeal?

Health Officials Worry Rabbit And Squirrel Meat Are Being Sold Illegally
kptm.com

Fish, raccoon, and squirrel are now on the menu, but who's buying it? "It hasn't come from a USDA approved plant to where it's been processed properly, stamped and inspected," Gaube said.
Neighbors said the homeowners have lived there for years and the signs have been there just as long. "They're really good people and nice and all that," neighbor James Jones said.
But no one has seen anyone buy the meat. "Have you ever bought the meat or has your grandmother ever bought the meat? No ma'am, not that I know of. No? Do you know of anybody in the neighborhood that's maybe bought from them? Um...not that I know of."
Categories: Food
Posted by Alex on Thu Dec 12, 2013
Comments (0)
It doesn't seem that the 'fake sign language guy' (Thamsanqa Jantjie) at Mandela's memorial service was a prankster, as some speculated. Instead, it looks like he was a poorly qualified guy who cracked under the pressure and started signing nonsense.

Or perhaps he was communicating with extraterrestrials.

From the BBC:

the man's signing seemed to have no grammatical base and kept repeating sign patterns when it was clear that the speaker was not using repetitive words. UK deaf news blog The Limping Chicken said the sign language interpreter had a "strange repetitive rhythm to his movements", and "the structure of his hand and body movements didn't seem to change no matter what the speaker was saying".



Categories: Literature/Language
Posted by Alex on Thu Dec 12, 2013
Comments (0)
I doubt that the 1969 "Naked Came The Stranger" literary hoax was the first collaborative novel, but it certainly popularized the genre, inspiring a long line of homages, all of which nod to the original by including the phrase "Naked Came The..." in their title.

Examples include Naked Came the Manatee, Naked Came the Phoenix, and Naked Came the Sasquatch.

The latest one is "Naked Came the Post-Postmodernist," which is a collaborative novel by 13 undergraduate students at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, N.Y. The idea to create the novel was the idea of their writing teacher, Melvin Bukiet. [newsobserver.com]

The plot summarized:

Who killed Eric Davenport? A senior mathematics professor at Underhill College has been found dead in his office, the victim of murder. At Underhill, a small liberal arts college with a pricy tuition and a pampered student body, all of the students are close to their professors. But at least one loved Eric Davenport in a deeply inappropriate fashion. Some hated him. And then there is the faculty at war with itself. And the idiotic administration. And the twin boys who live next to campus. And what’s with all those praying mantises?
Categories:
Posted by Alex on Tue Dec 10, 2013
Comments (0)
Abduction hoaxes are very common (in which a person runs away and then claims they were abducted), as are hate-crime hoaxes (in which a person falsely claims to have been a victim of a hate crime), but this is the first potential superglue hoax that I've heard of.

The details: a woman was found glued to a toilet seat in a Georgia mall, and police now suspect she must have glued herself to the seat, because they reviewed the mall's video footage and didn't see anyone else who had recently entered the restroom within enough time to have done it. [Augusta Chronicle]
Categories:
Posted by Alex on Mon Dec 09, 2013
Comments (1)
Satire mistaken as news. Outrage in the Twitterverse as twitterers react to Kanye West claiming to be the "next Nelson Mandela." Full quotation: "I am the next Nelson Mandela. I'm only 36 years old, and when I look at everything I've accomplished, it's the only comparison that makes any sense. By the time I'm 95, I'm going to be a bigger hero than he ever was."

But West never said this. The quotation comes from the The Daily Currant, which is a humor site akin to the Onion.

Categories: Celebrities
Posted by Alex on Sun Dec 08, 2013
Comments (1)
Paris Hilton vehemently denies that she tweeted, "RIP Nelson Mandela. Your 'I Have A Dream' speech was so inspiring."

According to Gossip Cop, the screenshot of this fake post first appeared on a Twitter account named @DeletedTweets.

Categories: Celebrities
Posted by Alex on Sun Dec 08, 2013
Comments (0)
Game.co.uk is selling something they call "Christmas Tinner," which it describes as "the ultimate innovation for gamers across the nation who can’t tear themselves away from their new consoles and games on Christmas Day."


It's an entire Christmas Day meal, from morning to night, conveniently layered into one tin:

Layer one – Scrambled egg and bacon
Layer two – Two mince pies
Layer three – Turkey and potatoes
Layer four – Gravy
Layer five – Bread sauce
Layer six – Cranberry sauce
Layer seven – Brussel sprouts with stuffing – or broccoli with stuffing
Layer eight – Roast carrots and parsnips
Layer nine – Christmas pudding

However, the product is listed as "SOLD OUT — Check Back Christmas 2014." But it seems that it's always been "Sold Out," which makes it a near certainty that Christmas Tinner is a joke product.

It reminds me of those stories of gamers who use pee pots so that they won't ever have to move from in front of their computer.
Categories: Food
Posted by Alex on Sun Dec 08, 2013
Comments (1)
I recently posted about how the imaginary girlfriend business is booming, with plenty of companies eager to help guys who want to pretend that they have a girlfriend. But Japanese photographer Keisuke Jinushi has some strategies for the more DIY-minded. On his Facebook page, he's been posting photos that appear to show him interacting with his girlfriend, but, in reality, are all self-portraits. And, for those who might want to imitate his techniques, he also shows how he created the photos. [via CNN]







Categories: Sex/Romance
Posted by Alex on Sat Dec 07, 2013
Comments (1)
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