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Death
image I've noted before how popular celebrity death hoaxes have become. In fact, it's kind of like a weird sign of status for a celebrity to have their death falsely reported. It shows people care, in a sick and twisted way. Britney still leads the pack, having been killed in car crashes many times, but now American Idol anti-star William Hung has joined this elite group of prematurely-reported-dead celebrities. Reports of his death via heroin overdose have been spreading all around the internet. They originated from a faux-news piece on Broken Newz. His suicide note was particularly touching: "I have no reason of living... my art which is my importance to the best everybody laugh to... I make end here... goodbye world of cruel." (via David Emery's Urban Legends and Folklore)
Categories: Celebrities, Death
Posted by Alex on Sat Aug 14, 2004
Comments (89)
Margaret Thatcher isn't dead, despite what this elaborate mock-up of The Guardian claims. Nor is Stephen Hawking now going to speak in her voice.
Categories: Death, Politics
Posted by Alex on Thu Aug 05, 2004
Comments (6)
I should never have doubted that Andy Kaufman wouldn't return. He's now back from the dead (or the faux dead), and he's started a weblog. Among the things he's learned while away: alien abductions are a hoax, and he's Ann Coulter's twin. (via J-Walk)
Categories: Celebrities, Death
Posted by Alex on Mon May 17, 2004
Comments (0)
Today's the day Andy Kaufman is supposed to return from the dead... twenty years to the day after his 'death.' But it's only 5 pm here in California. He has a couple of hours left to make an appearance.
Categories: Celebrities, Death
Posted by Alex on Sun May 16, 2004
Comments (0)
image I should create a category for things that sound fake, but are actually real. In that category I would place LifeGem. According to their website, a LifeGem is "a certified, high quality diamond created from the carbon of your loved one as a memorial to their unique and wonderful life." Or, to put it more plainly, it's a diamond made from cremated human (or animal) remains. Actually, I'm just assuming it's real because it seems to have received quite a bit of publicity from places like the BBC and NPR. But the obvious con to watch out for would be that after someone pays all that money they would then receive a diamond that wasn't actually made from the remains of their loved one. How would anyone ever know the difference?
Categories: Death
Posted by Alex on Tue May 11, 2004
Comments (7)
image Some say Andy Kaufman died on May 16, 1984. Some say he didn't. But whatever the case may be, Kaufman said that if he did fake his death, he would return 20 years later, and May 16, 2004 will be the 20th anniversary of his 'death.' In honor of this, Comic Relief will be holding an 'Andy Kaufman: Dead or Alive' show at the LA House of Blues on May 16. Perhaps Andy himself will put in an appearance. (Thanks, Julie)
Categories: Celebrities, Death
Posted by Alex on Tue Apr 27, 2004
Comments (1)
As Gawker reports, a great 'take-this-job-and-shove-it' email has been making the rounds recently. It's penned by Bob Rubenstein, a publicist for a record label, who lost his job soon after the lead singer of the band he was supposed to promote, Pre)Thing, died of a heart attack. Bob, embittered for being fired, dishes some dirt on the company he was canned from, revealing how they brought in a psychic to talk with the departed spirit of the singer to see if he'd be willing to do any interviews with music journalists, via the psychic, from beyond the grave. But it turns out there's more to this story than Gawker realized. Rolling Stone reveals that the Bob Rubenstein email is actually a hoax created as an ingenious viral marketing campaign in order to get the word out about Pre)Thing, since their lead singer really did die recently and therefore really can't do publicity. (via BoingBoing)
Categories: Advertising, Death, Entertainment
Posted by Alex on Tue Apr 27, 2004
Comments (0)
Despite the claims of this faux news story, Michael Jackson isn't dead.
Categories: Celebrities, Death
Posted by Alex on Fri Apr 16, 2004
Comments (1)
Kelli wrote in with a question about this strange photo showing a woman impaled by a long, yellowish-looking stick.

The photo comes with an explanatory caption:
This unfortunate woman was found dead on parkland in Yorkshire, England. She's believed to have been pierced by a shaft of frozen urine which had fallen from a leak in a toilet facility of an overhead plane.

Kelli wants to know if it's real. Well, of course it's not. This photo has actually been floating around the internet for quite a while. As explained over at the Darwin Awards, it comes from a spoof news program aired in Britain called The Day Today.
Categories: Death, Photos/Videos
Posted by Alex on Wed Apr 07, 2004
Comments (7)
image New York artist 'Shishaldin' has announced her intention to marry the French poet, Isidore Ducasse. The one catch is that Ducasse has been dead for 134 years. But in France the President is allowed to approve marriages between the living and the dead thanks to a law that was passed following a case where a woman's fiancee died right before they could get married and the grief-stricken woman pleaded with the President to allow the marriage to proceed anyway. My one question here is that, okay, say Shishaldin gets married to the dead poet. What if she later changes her mind? How does she then go about getting a divorce? I mean, most of the time you're no longer considered married once your spouse dies, but if you marry your spouse after they're dead, surely the situation is different. Of course, before this marriage proceeds President Chirac would have to approve it, and I'm guessing that the chances of that happening are slim.
Categories: Death, Sex/Romance
Posted by Alex on Tue Apr 06, 2004
Comments (0)
A British theater group is auditioning actors for a part in its next production. But there's one catch. They're only interested in people who can promise that they'll die before the play begins its run. Your body, if you get the part, will then lie lifeless on stage. Evidently it's not a speaking role. It's hard not to suspect that this is all a big publicity stunt and that when the time comes there will be no body on stage. Wouldn't you need a license for something like that? It reminds me of Hell on Earth's Suicide Stunt from last September.
Categories: Death, Entertainment
Posted by Alex on Thu Mar 25, 2004
Comments (0)
image The folks over at SeeMeRot.com have engineered something rather unusual: a webcam set up inside a coffin so that you can see their friend's body decompose. At least, that's what they claim. The 'webcam image' appears simply to be an animated gif that cycles between a blurry and an in-focus image to simulate how a real webcam might behave. Plus, they have rather odd sponsors for a project of this kind... sponsors offering 'live sexy girl cams'. I suppose the logic is that once you get tired of watching the dead girl (they say it's a woman in the picture), you can head over and watch some live sexy girls. The site is registered to someone at 7985 Santa Monica Blvd. in West Hollywood. No suite number is given, so it's impossible to tell which business there registered it, but most of the stores in that area are in the 'adult entertainment' business. I suspect that SeeMeRot.com is a weird promotional gimmick dreamed up by someone selling porn. In other words, it's fake.
(By the way, the idea of a decomposition cam isn't unique to seemerot.com. Joey Skaggs included this concept in his FinalCurtain.com cemetery hoax. Skaggs's fantastical cemetery theme park was going to include a grave constructed by an artist named Joseph Sullivan that would show Sullivan's decomposing body on an above-ground monitor.)
Categories: Death, Websites
Posted by Alex on Wed Feb 04, 2004
Comments (28)
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