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|•||Pretend chef on five morning TV shows 03/04/2014|
|•||Image of "Aurora from Space" going viral is a hoax 02/28/2014|
|•||Supposed Ghost Caught on Securtiy Cam at Britain Pub 02/22/2014|
|•||Anyone up for a challenge? 02/20/2014|
|•||Bruno Gröning Documentary Film 02/15/2014|
|•||Science, Pseudoscience, and Crap 02/04/2014|
|•||Fake Snow 02/03/2014|
|•||Tapeworms ≠ Weight Loss 02/01/2014|
|•||NASA sued for failing to investigate Martian Fungus 01/30/2014|
|•||Jan. 25th--A Room of Ones Own Day 01/25/2014|
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Are you constantly swatting away mosquitoes as you work at your computer? Here's your solution: anti-mosquito software. A Thai computer programmer named Saranyou Punyaratanabunbhu developed it about two years ago, and it proved so wildly successful that he soon came out with version 2.0, that also promised to repel cockroaches and rats. It drives away the nasty critters by making your computer speakers emit high-pitched frequencies. But does it actually work? Well, I wouldn't bet on it. As the pest control experts at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln note in their Cockroach Control Manual, "There is no scientific evidence to suggest that cockroaches (or any other insects) respond negatively to ultrasonic sound waves." Still, this hasn't stopped a South Korean phone company, SK Telecom, from offering anti-mosquito software that you can download to your cellphone. (Thanks, Steve)
Residents of Gahanna, Ohio have worriedly been following reports about a lion loose in their vicinity. Police have fanned out to search for the creature, but with no luck. Now some are beginning to suspect that the lion sightings were just a prank, perhaps engineered by local college seniors. Ohio is, of course, no stranger to non-existent wild beasts on the loose. Those with a long memory might remember the Paulding County Hyena that terrorized people back in 1858. But the greatest escaped-animal prank of all time was the Central Park Zoo Escape of 1874. On the other hand, the Gahanna Lion might suddenly turn up. Here in Southern California we have to deal with mountain lions wandering around all the time. (Thanks, Rita)
If you can't make it down to the pet store, then just order a pet by mail. This seems to be an April Fool's day joke created by a Philadelphia radio station, as is revealed when you click on the 'order here' button.
Recently a four-eared cat named Lilly has been in the news. Lilly and her four ears are quite real. They're the result of a genetic defect. By contrast, the four-eyed kitten shown in the thumbnail to the right doesn't seem real at all. The top set of eyes is exactly identical to the bottom set of eyes, indicating a cut-and-paste job. (Thanks to Alicka for the picture).
If spiders scare you, then definitely look no closer at this picture of some spiders that a soldier in Iraq found in his sleeping bag. Yes, despite their size and ugliness, they're real. They're Camel Spiders.
I just heard about this early April Fool's Day fumble on the part of the BBC. As the Times of London reports: "Declan Curry, the intrepid television hack, broke the embargo on a fascinating British Waterways study that revealed that ducks living on canals weigh, on average, about a pound more than those living on rivers. The slow-moving canal water, so the story went, provides less opportunity for the ducks to swim and as a result they piled on the pounds. Mr Curry and the BBC should have taken note of the embargo date. April 1. The name of the academic quoted, Olaf Priol, is an anagram of April Fool." Unfortunately I can't find a link for this.
At the beginning of March a news story about a three-headed frog found in England swept around the internet. Experts warned that the appearance of such a mutation could be a sign of impending environmental problems. But science journalist Ray Girvan thinks we shouldn't be jumping to conclusions. To him the three-headed frog actually looks like three separate frogs clasping together, engaged in a well-documented frog mating behavior called multiple amplexus. He points out that the frog heads are different colors, which is not what you would expect if this was one frog with three heads. Not a hoax, I suppose, but a misinterpretation. Unless you consider that the frogs were hoaxing the humans.
If your cat has been feeling a little down lately, then you may need to hire the services of Confuse a Cat, Ltd., the world leaders in feline bewilderment. One of their highly trained technicians will come to your house and proceed to bewilder your cat, thus restoring it to its former self.
I don't know what it is about oversized domestic cats that's so endlessly fascinating, but I've got to admit that, as the owner of a rather corpulent kitty, I'm just as intrigued by this subject as everyone else seems to be. So anyway, first there was Snowball. Then along came Munchkin. And now the latest tubby tabby to do the email rounds is Scrappy, the Super-Sized Cat. This email comes with the subject line: Why you shouldn't feed your cat table scraps. I don't know if it's real or not, but at the risk of putting my reputation as a hoax expert on the line, it kind of looks real to me.
Update: A visitor pointed out that for more tubby cats it's worth visiting tubcat.com.
Update: A visitor pointed out that for more tubby cats it's worth visiting tubcat.com.
Quite a few people have received this picture in their email showing a man holding up a giant (dead) mountain lion. According to the accompanying text, the lion was shot by the man near Leon, Kansas while he was out deer hunting, though different versions of the email list different locations. Is the picture real? It is. But the accompanying text is incorrect. According to this article on Buckmasters.com, the lion was actually shot near Seattle, Washington. The picture first appeared in Fair Chase magazine, published by the Boone and Crockett Club, before it spread to email.
Newspapers are reporting the story of Charlie, a parrot that is 104 years old, once belonged to Winston Churchill, and still swears at the Nazis. When I read about Charlie, I figured it couldn't be true. First of all, could a parrot really live that long? Well, apparently in rare cases they can. So that part of the story might be true. But there is a lot of doubt about whether Charlie ever belonged to Churchill. Churchill's family is denying that Winston ever owned a parrot. Charlie might simply be a parrot that somebody once taught to swear at the Nazis. Oh, and Charlie is a girl.
Why own a living, breathing dog that you have to feed every day, when you can own a RealDog instead?