Get MOH Blog Posts by Email
Recent Forum Posts
|•||Authorities are leaning more toward zero tolerance of teenagers 05/06/2013|
|•||Lady Light 05/06/2013|
|•||ET's Visit Earth, aid US Government 05/05/2013|
|•||Happy Birthday, Robin Bobcat! 05/03/2013|
|•||Very tiny robot uprising 05/02/2013|
|•||Return of the living not-really-dead! 05/02/2013|
|•||A Belated Happy Birthday To Accipiter! 05/01/2013|
|•||World's Smallest Movie 05/01/2013|
|•||UFOs now available in blue and yellow 05/01/2013|
Advertising | Animals | April Fools Day | Art | Bad Excuses | Birth/Babies | Body Manipulation | Books | Business/Finance | Celebrations | Celebrities | Con Artists | Conspiracy Theories | Crop Circles | Cryptozoology | Nessie | Death | eBay | Education | Email Hoaxes | Entertainment | Exploration/Travel | Extraterrestrial Life | Fashion | Folklore/Tall Tales | Food | Free Energy | Future/Time | Gnomes | Gross | Hate Crimes/Terror | Health/Medicine | History | Identity/Imposters | Journalism | Law/Police/Crime | Literature/Language | Magic | Mass Delusion | Military | Miscellaneous | Music | Paranormal | Pareidolia | Photos/Videos | Places | Politics | Pranks | Products | Pseudoscience | Psychology | Radio | Religion | Scams | Science | Sex/Romance | Social Networking Sites | Sports | Technology | Urban Legends | Videos | Websites
May, 2013 | April, 2013 | March, 2013 | February, 2013 | January, 2013 | October, 2012 | September, 2012 | August, 2012 | July, 2012 | June, 2012 | May, 2012 | April, 2012 | March, 2012 | February, 2012 | January, 2012 | December, 2011 | November, 2011 | October, 2011 | September, 2011 | August, 2011 | November, 2010 | April, 2010 | January, 2010 | December, 2009 | November, 2009 | October, 2009 | September, 2009 | August, 2009 | July, 2009 | June, 2009 | May, 2009 | April, 2009 | March, 2009 | February, 2009 | January, 2009 | December, 2008 | November, 2008 | October, 2008 | September, 2008 | August, 2008 | July, 2008 | June, 2008 | May, 2008 | April, 2008 | March, 2008 | February, 2008 | January, 2008 | December, 2007 | November, 2007 | October, 2007 | September, 2007 | August, 2007 | July, 2007 | June, 2007 | May, 2007 | April, 2007 | March, 2007 | February, 2007 | January, 2007 | December, 2006 | November, 2006 | October, 2006 | September, 2006 | August, 2006 | July, 2006 | June, 2006 | May, 2006 | April, 2006 | March, 2006 | February, 2006 | January, 2006 | December, 2005 | November, 2005 | October, 2005 | September, 2005 | August, 2005 | July, 2005 | June, 2005 | May, 2005 | April, 2005 | March, 2005 | February, 2005 | January, 2005 | December, 2004 | November, 2004 | October, 2004 | September, 2004 | August, 2004 | July, 2004 | June, 2004 | May, 2004 | April, 2004 | March, 2004 | February, 2004 | January, 2004 | December, 2003 | November, 2003 | October, 2003 | September, 2003 | August, 2003 | July, 2003 | June, 2003 | May, 2003 | January, 2003 | November, 2002 | October, 2002 | September, 2002 | August, 2002 | July, 2002 |
Taco Sauce Pranksters Strike
Fifteen masked men entered an Indiana Taco Bell and returned 25,000 packets of taco sauce that, so they said, had been accumulating in the trunk of their car for the past three years. It required 40 trash bags to carry all the packets of sauce into the store. Maybe they thought that if they saved up enough packets of sauce they could win a free Liberty Bell.
Unwise Grenade Opening Technique
Reuters reports that "A Brazilian man died Tuesday when he tried to open what police believe was a rocket-propelled grenade with a sledgehammer in a mechanical workshop on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro." Big Gary notes: "The Darwin Awards have a new emblem."
Lonely Heart Calls Operator 37,760 Times
A Japanese man has been arrested for repeatedly calling information hundreds of times a day just to listen to the voices of the telephone operators. He called so often, 37,760 times to be exact, that it began to creep the operators out. In his defense the man said, "When I made a complaint call once, the operator dealt with it very kindly, so I wanted to hear these women's voices." This guy really needed an Imaginary Girlfriend. (Submitted by Alex from Colombia)
Fake Hearse Scam
The latest scam in New Zealand is to reduce your car registration by up to two-thirds by claiming your car is a hearse. "The scam ... came to light last in July when a woman told a radio station she justified her action by saying she carried dead chickens home from the supermarket." I assume she drove her car home slowly in honor of the frozen chickens in the back.
North Korean Defector Sells Fake Aphrodisiacs
A North Korean defector now living in South Korea has been charged with selling unlicensed aphrodisiacs. He claimed that Kim Jong Il had been a user of them. This is where the story gets a little weird: "The stimulants were sold to blind people, most of them owner of massage centers." Huh? How many blind massage center owners can there be? But this is the part I like: The police said, "Some who took the stimulants suffered from swelling." So I assume the stimulants actually worked.
Status: Dumb criminalGerman police report an encounter with a master criminal who, when caught in the act of stealing a computer, tried the old "pretend you're dead" act to elude capture: Maybe he thought that if it works for opossums, it might work for him.
Status: Public Service VideoA highly informative Beginner's Guide To Faking Your Death On The Internet can be viewed on YouTube. It was created by satirist and internet scholar Luke Lewis. Some of the points it covers:
→ Interest in your death (or the death of your alter-ego) can be measured by Heinstein's 2nd Law of the Internet, which states: I = H x W x C. Or rather, INTEREST in your character equals their HOTNESS times their camWHORE factor times the CRAZINESS of the community in which you're posting (measured in LJs or LiveJournals). "The higher the I value, the more ego strokage you'll get from faking your death."
→ Also, terminal illness is generally a better way to depart this world than a car crash. Car crashes are too abrupt and not unusual enough.
→ Finally, "a post without an OMG is a post incomplete."
Lewis notes that "He is currently working on the sequel: 'A Beginner's Guide To The British', due for release in late July." Personally, I think the sequel should be a beginner's guide to faking someone else's death on the internet.
Status: Undetermined (I refuse to give him the benefit of the doubt)Ken Lay was reported dead on Wednesday. The medical examiner ruled the cause of death to be severe coronary disease. But almost as soon as word of his death hit the internet, the conspiracy theories started. Scott Adams summed up what many were thinking in his Dilbert Blog: Reality Rule 16.1 from Hippo Eats Dwarf seems appropriate here: For some, death is merely a career move.
The timing of Lay's death is what makes it so suspicious. It's not just that he died before serving any time. He died before the appeals process was completed and before being sentenced. Therefore, his convictions could be erased, severely complicating efforts to seize his assets. As the New York Times reports: In other words, Lay picked the perfect time to die. Of course, this doesn't mean he faked his death. It just makes his death seem awfully convenient for him (if he's still alive) and his family. (There's also a theory that he was murdered... or perhaps he could have committed suicide by using drugs to induce heart failure. I believe there are drugs capable of doing this.)
Lay isn't the first multi-millionaire to be suspected of faking his death. In 1932 billionaire Swedish businessman (and mega-swindler) Ivar Kreuger apparently committed suicide by shooting himself. But a rumor soon spread that he had actually faked his death and fled to Indonesia. Supposedly Kreuger's tobacconist later received from Sumatra a large order for custom-made Havana cigars. The tobacconist said that Kreuger was the only person who would have known how to place that order.
There's also the case of Michael de Guzman, geologist for Bre-X, and perpetrator of one of the greatest mining frauds in history. In March 1997 de Guzman supposedly committed suicide by jumping from a helicopter into the Indonesian jungle. But his corpse could never be positively identified, and last year one of his widows claimed that he had recently sent her money. So he might very well still be alive. Perhaps he's hiding out somewhere in an Indonesian resort with Ken Lay.
Oh, and this photo of Ken Lay's tombstone that's doing the rounds is obviously fake (1964-2006??? That would have made him 42). Last year the same picture was used to represent Johnnie Cochran's tombstone.
Status: Weird, but realChristophe Thill sent me a link to Huggable Urns (they're teddy bears that hold cremains) along with the message: "This has to be a hoax? Right? Right?" Sorry, Christophe. I don't think so. The Huggable Urns look real enough, and if you click on the 'Buy Now' button on the products page, it takes you to a PayPal payment page, which is usually a good sign that a product is real.
Actually, although the huggable urns seem a bit ghoulish and tacky, they're not that bad an idea. They're better than many alternatives. For instance, my mother-in-law's ashes have been sitting in a plastic urn above the washing machine in our garage for the past two years. We just can't figure out what to do with her. So there she sits. And the award for the worst thing to do with someone's ashes has to go to Sandi Canesco of Australia. I write about her in Hippo Eats Dwarf. She had her husband's ashes injected into her breast implants. She said that "that way I'd never really have to part with him at all." I guess you could say that Sandi has her own unique version of Huggable Urns.
Status: Urban LegendA recent ad for Kellogg's Frosted Flakes shows a blond-haired kid dancing around singing "They're going to taste great!" I think this is a British ad. At least, I've never seen it here in America. And all the references to it I've found occur in the British press. For instance, David Whitehouse writes in the Guardian: Evidently this is the kind of ad that people love to hate. And this dislike has inspired a rumor that the kid in the ad is dead. (Google 'Frosties Kid' and you pull up page after page of rumors of his death.) There are two versions of the rumor:
1) That the kid committed suicide on account of the bullying he received since the ad aired.
2) That the kid was a cancer patient whose dying wish was to star in a Frosties ad.
I don't know who the Frosties Kid is in real life. So I can't prove that he's alive. But there's absolutely no evidence to support the claim that he's dead. Plus, the 'Frosties Kid Is Dead' rumor seems to be a new variation of the 'Death of Little Mikey' rumor (which alleged that Mikey, of the Life Cereal commercials, died after eating Pop Rocks). So I think it's safe to assume that the Frosties Kid is still alive. (Thanks to Dave Tolomy for telling me about the rumor.)
Update: As Dead-Eric noted in the comments, Scott Mills of BBC Radio 1 recently discussed the 'Frosties Kid Is Dead' rumor on his show. Mills received the following official statement from Kelloggs about the rumor: You can listen to an mp3 clip of this portion of the Scott Mills show here.
Status: Prank Gone WrongOne of the rules of pranking is that you should do no harm. This means no harm to others, nor to yourself. The two Russian soldiers who thought lying down across the highway would be a funny prank, should have given more thought to this rule. As reported by MosNews.com: I think these guys are good candidates for Darwin Awards.
Status: Strange NewsI note in Hippo Eats Dwarf that if you fake your death, you need to remain dead, which means staying under the radar. Ronald Wayne Blankenship hasn't followed that advice. Instead, after allegedly faking his death backin 1990, he's now decided to run for sheriff in Jefferson County... which is a good way to bring himself to the attention of the police who now want him to come in and have his fingerprints checked. Blankenship, meanwhile, is maintaining his innocence, insisting that he's not the same Blankenship who once faked his death: Well, this guy's explanation seems totally believable. But what's really strange is that he received 25.9% of the votes. (Thanks to Joe for the story)
Status: Strange but trueHere's the scene: a high school criminology class on a field trip to the local park. Their teacher has created fake bodies for them to find. But wait a second. One of those bodies looks awfully real. The AP reports: Reality has a strange way of doing that, intruding on our make-believe games. But I predict that it's only a matter of time before this particular event gets refictionalized as part of the storyline of a TV crime drama (probably CSI).
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: HoaxEarly last month a number of British papers ran pieces about a Norfolk farmer selling execution equipment to dictatorships. For instance, this is from the Scotsman (May 12): Now we learn that Mr. Lucas's gallows trade is nothing more than a hoax. At least, so says his business partner. UPI reports: I suppose this is an example of gallows humor.
Status: ObituaryGeorge Lutz of Amityville Horror fame has given up the ghost. He died of a heart attack in Las Vegas on May 8. George and his family lived in the house in Amityville, New York for four weeks in 1975 before supposedly being driven out of it by repeated paranormal occurrences (weird sounds and voices, green slime dripping from the ceiling, etc.) They left the house in a hurry, but weren't so scared that they weren't able to return and hold a garage sale. Personally I think the Amityville Horror story is complete baloney, but reportedly George Lutz always swore what happened was real. But then, he had so much invested in the tale (both emotionally and financially) that he would swear it was real. (Thanks to Joe for the link.)