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Ok, I'm out of here on holiday, so most likely there shan't be forum roundup posts for the next couple of weeks. They'll be picked up when I get back.

Alien Abduction Caught On Film In Dickinson, North Dakota (Emidawg)
A video has come to light of an alleged alien abduction. Well, when I say ‘come to light’, I mean more that the gentleman involved has sent said film to the director of HBCC UFO Research.
Highlights of the video are said to include a ‘spiraling thing’ and ‘entities’ which remove his blankets. I’m looking forward to the forthcoming release of the film…

Wrestler’s Murder-Suicide of Family (Tah)
Over the course of last weekend, WWE wrestler Chris Benoit tragically murdered his wife and son, then hung himself. The bodies of the family were not found until around 2pm on Monday. However, a little after midnight on Monday morning, someone updated Benoit’s Wikipedia page stating he’d missed a match on Saturday “stemming from the death of his wife Nancy”.
Authorities were looking into this curious incident throughout this week. On Friday, the anonymous user who had made the edits admitted to the changes. He said that the edit was not made with knowledge of the crime, and was based on rumours and speculation. [Entry corrected to say "son" instead of "daughter."]

Evolution of Beauty (Bok)
A short video showing the transformation of a woman from as she naturally is to made-up, photoshopped, altered billboard model.

Japanese toymaker to sell “Air-Guitar”! (David B.)
Takara Tomy Corp are now marketing gadgets to make playing air-guitar just that bit more realistic. The toy can be hooked up to speakers, attached to an MP3 player, or strapped to the wrist to allow music to go along with the motions of playing in a rock band. The item is programmed with ten songs, and will play just as long as the air-guitaring continues.
Categories: Advertising, Celebrities, Extraterrestrial Life, Law/Police/Crime, Photos/Videos, Technology
Posted by Flora on Fri Jun 29, 2007
Comments (5)
Like with the iPhone (story below), I sincerely doubt I have to tell you who Paris Hilton is. I'm not sure, however, any of us could say what exactly it is she does for a living. Well, I've read that she charges Big Bucks to appear at people's parties, but what do you write on your tax forms in the box that says "Occupation" if that's what you do?

The "hoax" I'm referring to here, though, is her alleged conversion to--what? Christianity? Zoroastrianism? Scientology? Whatever sect she's aligning herself with now, she's turned over a new leaf after her stint in Oz. Sure, in the Olden Days, a person might have to rot on Devil's Island for years before deciding that there is a Controlling Entity in the Universe that one should respect, but in our accelerated age, apparently 23 days of wearing an unflattering orange jumpsuit can have the same effect on a person.

I note with interest that the New Improved Paris is wearing either no makeup or less obvious makeup since her brush with Fashion Hell. Sorry for being cynical, P.H., but I think the New You is more attributable to New P.R. than an epiphany.

UPDATE:

According to this story, bodog.com took bets on whether or not Paris would talk about God during her Larry King interview Wednesday night.
Categories: Celebrities, Religion
Posted by Cranky Media Guy on Thu Jun 28, 2007
Comments (16)
In the past few days, several hoaxes have been circulating on the internet about Paris Hilton. The first claims that she was stabbed in jail. The second suggests that she committed suicide. The appearance of these hoaxes was rather predictable, given the media circus surrounding her time in jail. The method of operation of both hoaxes was to disguise themselves as credible news sites. The "Paris Hilton was stabbed" story disguised itself as a CNN webpage. The "Paris Hilton committed suicide" one disguised itself as Australia's ABC. I'll have to add these to my page about celebrity death hoaxes.
Categories: Celebrities, Death
Posted by Alex on Wed Jun 13, 2007
Comments (10)
image One of the stranger rumors I encountered in the course of writing Elephants on Acid was the suggestion that Hillary Clinton participated in a menstrual synchrony study while she was a student at Wellesley College during the 1960s. Stranger still, I haven't been able to disprove this.

Here are the facts. In 1968, Martha McClintock, while a senior at Wellesley College in Massachusetts, convinced all 135 of her dormmates to participate in a study of the phenomenon of synchronous menstruation. She recorded the date of onset of their menstrual cycles three times during the academic year. Her hypothesis was that their cycles would synchronize as the year progressed, and this is what her data showed. She published an article about her study in a 1971 issue of Nature (1971, 229: 244-245). It remains a highly regarded study.

Hillary Clinton (then Hillary Rodham) was also a senior at Wellesley in 1968. This raises the possibility that she participated in McClintock's study. There were about 400 students in the senior class, which make the odds pretty good that Hillary participated in the study. (A third of the class participated.) The question is: Did the two women (Rodham and McClintock) live in the same dorm?

In her autobiography, Clinton writes, "During my junior and senior years, Johanna Branson and I lived in a large suite overlooking Lake Waban, on the third floor of Davis." McClintock, however, has never revealed what dorm she conducted her study in. I emailed her and asked, thinking that maybe she could say that she didn't conduct the study in Davis, even if she couldn't reveal where she did conduct it. She simply replied, "I cannot answer this question due to privacy regulations."

This leaves open the possibility that Hillary did participate in McClintock's study. I emailed the Clinton campaign, but they never responded to me. My hunch, however, is that she didn't participate in it. It seems like the kind of thing that would be more widely publicized if it were true.

Of course, it doesn't really matter whether she did participate in the study or not. Although if she did, it would be interesting as a piece of biographical trivia. Hillary Clinton herself would seem to be the only person who can confirm or deny the rumor.
Categories: Birth/Babies, Celebrities, Science
Posted by Alex on Wed May 09, 2007
Comments (7)
The Japanese poodle scam - wherein thousands of gullible buyers were sold lambs instead of the dogs they were expecting - was first reported in UK Sun newspaper. The story went that rich women were buying cut-price poodles from a company named Poodles For Pets, and were astonished to find later that they were sheep.

The story itself was immediately dubious (aside from being in The Sun, which tends to be somewhat lax in the fact-checking department), when you consider snippets like:

The scam was uncovered when Japanese moviestar Maiko Kawamaki went on a talk-show and wondered why her new pet would not bark or eat dog food.
She was crestfallen when told it was a sheep.

Then hundreds of other women got in touch with police to say they feared their new "poodle" was also a sheep.
One couple said they became suspicious when they took their "dog" to have its claws trimmed and were told it had hooves.

The story unravelled when police in Sapporo, where the company was claimed to be based, said they had never heard of the scam. The talk-show story was not as it seemed, either. It appears that Kawakami had told a story about a lamb being sold instead of a poodle. However, she'd said that it had happened to a friend of hers.

It seems that nobody had heard of the scam - it hadn't been reported in any Japanese newspapers.

The final nail in the coffin? The original article claims that the scam "capitalised on the fact that sheep are rare in Japan, so many do not know what they look like."
In fact, Sapporo has had a sheep farm since 1848.

Forum thread here.
Categories: Animals, Business/Finance, Celebrities, Folklore/Tall Tales
Posted by Flora on Wed May 02, 2007
Comments (5)
image
Statue of Jesus Shoots Sparks
Visitors to the Liverpool Academy of Art have claimed that a sculpture of Jesus has shot sparks from its eyes. 'Cleansing of the Temple' by Brian Burgess is a steel and bronze statue. Some visitors have also apparently gone into a trance whilst kneeling at the base of the sculpture. The artist says: "I worked on the piece for about a year but I never saw any sparks apart from those coming from the welding torch."
Forum thread here.
(Thanks, Madmouse.)

Snorkeler Mistaken for Rodent
John William Cheesman was shot in the face whilst diving when a 60-year-old man mistook him for a nutria - a type of water-dwelling South American rodent. The shooter, William Roderick, has been charged with assault, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and possession of methamphetamine and marijuana.

Bald Hall of Fame
This website features a gallery of celebrities. Bald.
Categories: Art, Celebrities, Law/Police/Crime, Religion
Posted by Flora on Tue Feb 13, 2007
Comments (7)
Nerve.com has compiled a list of classic and contemporary celebrity rumours.

Many, many people love a good gossip about celebrities, and celebrity rumours are often used as a way to make oneself feel better - "They may be rich and attractive. They may be loved by millions, but..."

We've covered celebrity rumours ourselves before (check out our 'celebrities' category), but this list seems to be pretty comprehensive, covering everything from the Richard Gere gerbil rumour to the celebrity death hoaxes which keep floating around. Royalty to Z-listers, sexual rumours to identity rumours... the obvious truth is that if you make your living in the public eye, it's very likely that at some point, someone will be making up extravagant stories about you.

To read more about celebrity death hoaxes, try our page on False Death Reports
Categories: Celebrities
Posted by Flora on Thu Dec 14, 2006
Comments (15)
imageJon-Erik Beckjord has taken photographs that show images of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson, as well as OJ Simpson, he claims. The photos were taken at the scene of the murders, and Beckjord believes that the images are an accusation from beyond the grave. He says that the photographs show OJ's face alongside those he was acquitted of murdering, and his theory is that the spirits of Goldman and Simpson are making a statement.

Beckjord is a keen observer of the strange. "He acts as perhaps a psychic “lightening rod” for anomalies, since he has filmed Nessie, filmed UFOs at Area 51, photographed strange beings in crop circles and also has recently photographed a ten foot tall Bigfoot in the Sierras."

UPDATE: Chuck has noted that Beckjord is selling these images on ebay for a minimum bid of $100, 000. I can't see anyone paying that much for fuzzy images that can be barely be interpreted as faces at all, let alone any specific faces.
Categories: Celebrities, Death, Paranormal, Pareidolia, Photos/Videos
Posted by Flora on Sun Nov 26, 2006
Comments (26)
imageGiant Pawprints Puzzle Couple
Mr and Mrs May, of Ipswich, are mystified by a set of large pawprints, seemingly of an animal with claws or toes, which have appeared in their garden.
Maybe it's Bernard.

Drivers Buy Fake Emblems
Increasing numbers of car owners are going to dealers, or to eBay, to buy emblems to make their cars look like more expensive versions.

Fake Breastfeeding Picture of ABC Anchor
Elizabeth Vargas was disappointed that the magazine Marie Claire photoshopped her head onto a picture of a model breastfeeding at the anchor desk. The photograph was to illustrate an article on balancing work and motherhood.
Categories: Animals, Birth/Babies, Celebrities, Entertainment, Identity/Imposters, Technology
Posted by Flora on Mon Nov 20, 2006
Comments (8)
False Lobster
Maine Senator Olympia Snowe is lobbying to remove the pelagic crab known as "langostino lobster" from restaurant menus in Maine.
The issue came to light after a California-based restaurant chain, Rubio's Fresh Mexican Grill, was sued last year by customers for using the less expensive langostino instead of lobster in its "lobster burrito."

"Rubio's decision to put cheaper and inferior langostino meat on its menus as 'lobster' is a material fraud uniformly affecting hundreds of thousands of California consumers," plaintiff lawyer Ray Gallo wrote in court documents.

Pine Cone 'Help' Hoax
A careful 'help' was spelt out in pine cones at a junction of two roads in Oregon, complete with an arrow pointing out into the woods. After a nine-person, six-hour search, it was deemed to be a hoax.
Categories: Animals, Birth/Babies, Celebrities, Food, Pranks
Posted by Flora on Mon Oct 09, 2006
Comments (14)
Police Threaten Arrest Over Gnome
Police are unamused by Gordon MacKillop's glowing garden gnome. Apparently it is offensive to his neighbours.

Table of Condiments That Periodically Go Bad
A joke site that has pretty much what the title suggests.

Priest Confesses to Madonna Threat
"A 63-year-old Dutch priest has confessed to calling in a phony bomb threat last week before a pair of Madonna concerts in Amsterdam in a last-ditch effort to stop the singer from staging her mock-crucifixion act, officials said Friday."
Categories: Celebrities, Food, Gnomes
Posted by Flora on Mon Sep 11, 2006
Comments (7)
imageDaniel Edwards, creator of the controversial statue of Britney Spears giving birth on a bear-skin rug, has gone one step further with his new sculpture.
Entitled Suri's Bronzed Baby Poop, it is a homage to Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes' new baby, and her... well, poop.

The Suri stool isn't for real but gallery officials insist Edwards' latest creation is more than a publicity stunt. In a statement, they write: "It's partially a statement on modern media that celebrity poop has more entertainment value than health, famine or other critical issues facing society and governments today."
The piece is set to be auctioned on Ebay, to raise money for charity, but the auction appears to have been taken down.

(Thanks, Jen.)
Categories: Art, Birth/Babies, Celebrities
Posted by Flora on Sun Sep 03, 2006
Comments (8)
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