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|•||Chilis Narrowly Avoids Funding Anti-Vaxxers 04/08/2014|
|•||Dutch April fools jokes 04/02/2014|
|•||Japanese stem cell breakthrough exposed as a fabrication 04/02/2014|
|•||April First - April Fools Day 04/01/2014|
|•||Cloned dinosaurs? 03/31/2014|
|•||US ‘psychic’ Cynthia Miller jailed for $1.2 million fraud 03/29/2014|
|•||Test of intelligence. Person calls police to report their cannabis plant stolen 03/25/2014|
|•||Malaysia air disaster 03/22/2014|
|•||Fred Phelps is gone 03/21/2014|
|•||Iran building fake aircraft carrier 03/20/2014|
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$3 Million Bounty For Elvis
Seen Elvis lately? If you have you might be eligible for a $3 million reward. Filmmaker Adam Muskiewicz "is offering $3 million to anyone who can provide legitimate proof that The King didn't die." It's a publicity stunt for a movie about Elvis he's releasing next year. For details check out his website: elviswanted.com. I believe that LaMa has been lobbying for quite some time to add an Elvis Sighting Report Page, interfaced with a Google earth map, to the Museum of Hoaxes. Maybe it's time to do it. We'll track him down and win that $3 million!!!
David Copperfield Finds Fountain of Youth
David Copperfield claims to have found a spring on his private resort in the Bahamas that brings dead leaves, bugs, and insects back to life. He thinks it can also vanish away wrinkles. I think it sounds like he's cooking up a scheme to vanish away people's money.
Woman Sues Weather Forecasters
The weather forecast said it was going to be sunny. Instead it rained during Alyona Gabitova's camping trip. That's as good a reason as any to sue.
SlimCam Helps You Shed Weight
The new HP Photosmart R727 digital camera has a "slimcam" setting that allows people to pretend to be skinnier than they really are: "The 'slimcam setting' on the gadget uses high-tech digital trickery to shave a few inches off its subject. Marketed at women, the feature squeezes the picture in the middle, so the main object in focus looks thinner - but its surroundings are left unchanged." Yet another excuse not to diet (as if any more were needed).
Status: HoaxThe latest false celebrity death rumor going around concerns Jaleel White (best known for playing Urkel on Family Matters). Supposedly he committed suicide by shooting himself in the head. This rumor is old. It was first posted on my site over half a year ago (in the comments to my post titled 'Is this Jaleel White?'). It's no truer now than it was then. I have no idea why it's begun circulating again, but here are the main highlights from the hoax AP report: Like I said, this was all posted on my site over half a year ago. Which means that when people did a Google search for info about Jaleel White committing suicide, my site was one of the first they found. Because of this, my page about Jaleel White started to receive huge amounts of traffic. So much traffic that it was not only slowing the entire site down, but was also slowing other sites that were located on the same server at my web host. Nevin, the technical guy at my web host, has been exchanging emails with me about it all day. What we've done to try to ease the strain on the server is to automatically route people visiting the comments for that old Jaleel White thread to my page about false celebrity death rumors (which is a static page and therefore uses less of the cpu).
Status: UndeterminedBefore I saw this picture it would never have occurred to me that Katie Holmes was faking her pregnancy. But now, I don't know what to think. I mean, that has to be a soccer ball beneath her shirt. Right?
This picture, taken on April 4, has been doing the blog circuit. The Blog You Love To Hate has some more photos from the same series in which her belly looks less fake. So maybe it was just the camera angle, or something like that. But still, it's kind of freaky. Even if she were having twins, I don't think her belly would stick out that far.
Status: FalseI'm posting this despite my belief that discussing, or even thinking about, the entity known as Paris Hilton can be dangerous to one's mental health. Apparently an Indian filmmaker known as T. Rajeevnath wants to cast Paris Hilton as Mother Teresa in his biography of the nun that he will begin filming next year. He claims that Paris's facial features closely resemble those of Mother Teresa, and that Paris has "expressed delight" at being considered to play the nun.
Although Paris Hilton would seem to be a natural choice for the role, she has denied seeing any similarity between her face and Mother Teresa's. She also doesn't seem very keen to play the role. So Rajeevnath must be spreading the rumor just to create controversy and publicity.
Status: HoaxAn announcement of actor Will Ferrell's death in a paragliding accident was briefly posted on the wire service iNewswire today, before the service caught wind of it, realized Will Ferrell wasn't dead, and yanked it. The release read, in part:
Los Angeles -- Actor Will Ferrell accidentally died in a freak para-gliding accident yesterday in Torey Pines, Southern California. The accident apparently happened somewhere near the famed paragliding site after a freak wind gush basically blew Ferrell and his companion towards a wooded area where they lost control before crashing into dense foilage. (Click here to see the whole obituary.)
My wife works very close to Torrey Pines, so I'm sure I would have heard from her if something like this had happened. E-online has some more details about the hoax, including that Ferrell's publicist confirmed the actor was still alive and filming a movie in Montreal, and that Ferrell has actually never paraglided anywhere, at any time in his life.
As for who is responsible for the hoax: "iNewswire tried, but failed to find the source of the bogus Ferrell story. The trickster, a non-paying customer, used a proxy server--the ISP address can't be traced, Borgos explained. All that's known about the anonymous user is that he or she tried, but failed to post about 10-15 other press releases on the site Tuesday, he said, including one that clarified that 'Will Ferrell is not really dead.'"
I've already added this hoax to my growing list of fake celebrity obituaries. (Thanks to Brad Wulff for forwarding me the email.)
Status: Fake HillaryA lot of people don't like Hillary, but I do. But then, I'm nostalgic for the 90s. Anyway, here's something else to add to the list of strange hyperreal objects. it's Hillary Clinton in wax, recently unveiled at Madame Tussauds:
The Clinton statue, crafted at the original Tussauds museum in London, takes its place in a wing dedicated to presidents and other public figures known as "the gallery." There, the likeness of the Democratic senator joins statues of Presidents Bush, Reagan, Kennedy, and her husband, Bill Clinton.
I'll leave it to you to determine which is the real Hillary in the two photos below.
Status: Fake (in the sense of being a doll), Real (in the sense of really being sold)I think this Princess Di doll, created by Texas-based Time Capsule Toys, is an example of what Umberto Eco would call hyperrealityfakes whose fakeness (or kitchiness, or strangeness) makes them interesting in their own right. The likeness of Princess Di isn't actually very good, but its makers have tried to make it more true-to-life by having it say various melancholy phrases that Princess Di said, such as "I sit here in sadness," or "There's far too much about me in the newspapers, far too much," or "I'd like to be a queen of people's hearts." For some reason, they're calling the doll the "Princess of Whales." I don't know if that's a misspelling, or a feeble attempt to avoid using Princess Di's name.
The Brits don't like the doll at all. The Mirror has declared it "probably the most tasteless, tackiest-ever tribute to Diana." Another Mirror columnist wrote: "She has bandy legs, a huge behind, hair like a crash-helmet, wild make-up, a hooked nose, no chest and ankles that make her look like she's got two club feet. Still, if you could blow the doll up, most men would choose to have sex with it before Camilla."
Status: Tall TalesI don't know when the Chuck Norris facts first appeared on the internet. Many of you might already be aware of them. But just in case you're not, they're worth a look. Here's a few of the facts:
• Chuck Norris does not sleep. He waits.
• The chief export of Chuck Norris is pain.
• If you can see Chuck Norris, he can see you. If you can't see Chuck Norris, you may be only seconds away from death.
Chuck Norris is aware of these "facts" being spread about him. So far, he has generously allowed their authors to live.
Images purporting to show Saudi Arabian versions of Mariah Carey's album covers have recently appeared on the web. Mediabum.com says that "Because of the laws over there her album covers had to be touched up to be made less sexy." Maybe. It sounds like something that would be done in Saudi Arabia. However, the lack of a clear source for these images makes me suspicious. They could equally well have been created by somebody playing around with photoshop. (And why is there no arabic script on these Saudi Arabian covers?) (And incidentally, I just read that Mariah Carey has 17 Number One singles, tying the number that Elvis had. This is odd because I'm unable to name a single song by her. With 17 #1 songs, I figured I'd know at least one of them.)
Status: Art ProjectThe website of the SMA (Silent Movie Actress) Archive claims that:
We are a small and dedicated organisation based in Baltimore, USA. Our aim is the ‘resurrection’ of actresses from the Golden era of silent cinema. To do this we are securing a large body of quality genetic material from a variety of sources which is subjected to rigorous testing to ensure its validity. Samples range from small tissue and blood samples to full bones and several preserved organs.
Is this real? Well, the site it's located on, bonetrade.gregorywhitehead.com, is so elaborate that it would be easy to believe it was real. It delves into all kinds of bizarre aspects of "corporeal memorabilia," which is the trade in the body parts of dead celebrities. Now, I realize there definitely is a market for body parts of famous people (see Rasputin's penis). However, the elaborate corporeal memorabilia of the SMA Archive and everything else on bonetrade.gregorywhitehead.com is fictitious. It's the creation of artist Gregory Whitehead. He wrote a short movie called The Bone Trade about Walter Sculley, a (fictional) dealer in corporeal memorabilia. In the movie, Whitehead plays Sculley. (Also check out this mp3 file of Whitehead interviewing Sculley.) The website about corporeal memorabilia appears to be an outgrowth of the movie. For more weirdness by Whitehead, you can read his article in Nth Position Magazine about bibliovoria (people who love to eat books). (via The Presurfer)
Status: HoaxA press release that appeared during the past week on pressbox.co.uk declared that Tom Cruise would be delivering a series of four lectures at a scientology centre in Los Angeles on "topics related to 'The Modern Science of Mental Health.'" The press release turned out to be a hoax, getting a stern response from Cruise's lawyer: "It's totally phony... Tom is not giving any lectures... I'm going to look into it, because, in my view, it's forgery, wire fraud and apparently committed on an interstate basis. So, if I can find out who did this, I certainly intend to pursue every remedy I can find." The press release has now been removed from pressbox, so in the interest of posterity, here it is:
Continuing his vigorous advocacy for Scientology's solutions to mental health problems, Tom Cruise will deliver a series of four lectures on topics related to "The Modern Science of Mental Health" beginning next month. Co-sponsored by the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, the lectures will be held at Scientology's Celebrity Centre International in Los Angeles. All lectures will be free to the public. Due to limited seating at the Celebrity Centre, tickets will be available only to Scientology parishioners and selected members of the press, but the lectures will be simulcast on the web, and a live video feed will be available for broadcasters who wish to cover these highly informative presentations.
The first lecture, set for October 15, is titled "How Psychiatry Invented Schizophrenia, and What Scientologists Can Do About It".
The second lecture, tentatively scheduled for October 22, is on "Handling Sexual Dis-Orientation: Out of the Closet and Into the Auditing Room".
The topic of the third lecture, in early November, will be "Diagnosis and Treatment of So-Called Clinical Depression with the Hubbard Mark Super VII Quantum Electropsychometer".
The fourth lecture is "Neuroanatomical Changes Resulting from Chronic Methamphetamine Abuse: Can Narconon's Sauna and Niacin Treatment Program Help?"
Transcripts of each lecture will be made available after the broadcast.
(via A Socialite's Life)
Status: UncertainThis is my second post about Ashton Kutcher in as many days. I'm not sure what that signifies (except that my standards are probably slipping), but the celebrity-gossip-lover in me couldn't resist. The story here is that newspapers have reported Moore and Kutcher tied the knot over the weekend. But now rumors are spreading suggesting the wedding was faked to prank the media and help publicize the new season of Kutcher's MTV show, PUNK'D. Though maybe Kutcher's publicist is spreading the faux-wedding rumor in order to stir up media interest. In which case, the publicist is also probably behind the AshtonHacked website I posted about yesterday. Either way, Kutcher gets publicity and wins.