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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Entertainment
Xenacate
Posted by The Curator on Wed Dec 07, 2005
This is a request for help. The proofreader has been going through the manuscript of Hippo Eats Dwarf looking for errors. This is the final check that the book receives before it goes to print. After this, nothing can be changed. Anyway, in the final chapter of the book (about death), I include the following definition: Xenacate, v.: To kill a TV or movie character off so completely that no chance remains of bringing her back from the dead. Inspired by the TV show Xena: Warrior Princess. Its occurrence usually indicates that the actor playing the character has lost her job under unpleasant circumstances and has no hope of being rehired. The…
Categories: Death, Entertainment Comments (88)
The CSI Effect
Posted by The Curator on Tue Nov 29, 2005
Status: Fiction mistaken for reality I've included many definitions of hoax-related terms in Hippo Eats Dwarf. One of these terms is the CSI Effect. I define it as "The belief that all criminal cases are solved using the high-tech, forensic science seen on TV crime shows such as CSI. Lawyers have noticed that the lack of such high-tech evidence can seriously prejudice a jury against a prosecutor's case. A manifestation of the if-it's-not-like-what-we-see-on-TV-then-it-can't-be-real mentality." And now the Star Tribune reports on a recent occurrence of the CSI Effect: Dakota County authorities thought their felony case against a driver charged with criminal vehicular operation was solid. But jurors knocked it down to a…
Thalidomide: the Musical
Posted by The Curator on Thu Nov 17, 2005
Status: Real I've been compiling a list of odd (but real) musicals. So far I have: Fight Club, the Musical An opera based on the Strunk & White style guide Men are from Mars, Woman are from Venus (the musical) Jerry Springer, the Opera A musical based on the Labour Party's 1997 election manifesto (unconfirmed) To this short list I can now add Thalidomide: the Musical. It's described as "A PC-free musical with a short-armed punch. Set against the 60s thalidomide drug scandal this is a love story with show tunes, love songs and monster baby Tangos."…
Categories: Entertainment Comments (19)
Space Cadets
Posted by The Curator on Thu Nov 17, 2005
Status: Reality TV Show The premise of a new UK reality TV show, Space Cadets, will be to fool a group of contestants into believing they've been blasted into space. To achieve this goal the show's producers have outfitted an old airbase in the UK to look like a Russian base. As for simulating the space flight itself: Their shuttle will be a Hollywood creation, made originally for the film Space Cowboys. A giant custom-built screen positioned just outside the shuttle will, it is hoped, provide the illusion of a view of Earth from space including a hurricane over Mexico and a glimpse of the UK on one day when cloud cover parts... The…
Categories: Entertainment Comments (26)
Strunk & White: The Opera
Posted by The Curator on Thu Nov 03, 2005
Status: Real Most people, I assume, are aware of Strunk & White's Elements of Style. It's hard to get through high school without being exposed to it. Now, at long last, that classic grammar and style guide has been put to music. Composer Nico Muhly created an operatic song cycle based on the book. He calls it "The Elements of Style: Nine Songs," and it was performed last month at the New York Public Library. When I first heard about this I thought it was some kind of early April Fool's Day joke. But no. It's quite real. The songs have titles such as "Be Obscure Clearly!", "Overly Over," and "Hyphens." A Newsweek reviewer who…
Categories: Entertainment Comments (7)
Snakes On A Plane (the movie)
Posted by The Curator on Tue Oct 11, 2005
Status: Seems to be real When word got out that New Line Cinema was producing a movie titled Snakes On A Plane, starring Samuel Jackson, some people, assuming that no major studio would actually create a movie that stupid, thought it had to be a hoax. The minimalist plot outline (with bad grammar) added fuel to these suspicions: On board a flight over the Pacific Ocean, an assassin, bent on killing a passenger who's a witness in protective custody, let loose a crate full of deadly snakes. The hoax theory got a further boost when New Line decided not to launch an official website for the film. But now
Categories: Entertainment Comments (11)
David Manning Settlement
Posted by The Curator on Wed Sep 14, 2005
A week or two ago papers were reporting the final verdict in the class-action suit against Sony stemming from the David Manning phony critic case. Sony got slapped with a $1.5million fine that was supposed to compensate moviegoers who felt defrauded by the fake ads. But William Booth of the Washington Post did some research and found out that not all was as it seemed with the payout: News of the settlement created a stir in cyberspace and the entertainment press, with visions of tens of thousands of chagrined rubes lining up around the studio with their palms outstretched. Like, right on! Multiplexers unite! We did some follow-up and learned that Sony paid out…
The Mozart Effect
Posted by The Curator on Sun Jul 31, 2005
The Mozart Effect is the term for the idea that listening to classical music will improve your intelligence. The idea is baloney, and yet it enjoys wide belief. Check out MozartEffect.com, where Don Campbell sells a variety of products that will supposedly help people use music to improve their minds and bodies. The Skeptic's Dictionary has a good article debunking the phenomenon. Now Stanford researcher Chip Heath and his colleague Adrian Bangerter have published research tracking the evolution of the idea of the Mozart Effect. They trace The concept back to a 1993 experiment that found college students experienced a slight rise in IQ when listening to classical music (other researchers were never able…
Categories: Birth/Babies, Entertainment Comments (38)
Star Wars is Satan’s Tool
Posted by The Curator on Fri May 20, 2005
I went to see Star Wars last night. I hadn't planned to. The plan was that I wasn't going to see any movies until my book is done, which should be in early June (hopefully). But I was at the mall with my wife, and I noticed it was playing, so I couldn't resist. I talked her into seeing it. It turned out that there was absolutely no line, and no wait of any kind. We bought our tickets one minute before the movie started, walked in, and pretty easily found seats. (and we got a matinee price because it was only 5:30!). I was surprised. I…
Categories: Entertainment, Religion Comments (21)
Waiting For Star Wars
Posted by The Curator on Wed May 18, 2005
Jeff Tweiten has been waiting in line outside the IMAX theatre in Seattle, Washington for FIVE MONTHS to see Star Wars Episode III. Some suspect this must be a publicity stunt, perhaps engineered by the Star Wars publicity department itself. I would agree. I've also noticed a lot of stories on the news about how much money businesses are going to lose on the opening day of Star Wars because of employees cutting work to see the movie. I also suspect that story is being fed to the media by the Star Wars people. (via AdRants)
Categories: Entertainment Comments (26)
No Pretty In Pink Sequel
Posted by The Curator on Sun Apr 17, 2005
There's a rumor going around that a sequel to the '80s movie Pretty In Pink will come out next year, starring all the original cast: Molly Ringwald, John Cryer, and Andrew McCarthy. It will supposedly revisit the characters from the original movie twenty years later, to find out where they are now. I know the rumor must have spread pretty far because I heard it from my wife last week, and she thinks she heard it on the radio, or somewhere like that. However, the rumor is just a hoax. There is no sequel. The source of the rumor was an April Fool's Day hoax perpetrated by ComingSoon.net. From there it got picked up by the
Book Millionaire
Posted by The Curator on Thu Apr 14, 2005
Want to be a best-selling author making millions of dollars? Then sign up to be on Book Millionaire and your dreams could become reality! Here's your chance to finally become America's next Best Selling Author and Reality Show TV Celebrity!  We are scouting for the next group of candidates for America's hottest new reality show. Act now. Picture yourself featured on national television sharing your story, writing, book-to-be or book with millions of people showing you have what it takes to be America's next Best Selling Author and Book Millionaire. John Ordover brought this to my attention, noting that it looks like a scam, and I have to agree with him. On…
Star Wars Fans Line Up… Outside Wrong Theater
Posted by The Curator on Fri Apr 08, 2005
Diehard Star Wars fans have already begun lining up outside Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood for the opening of Star Wars: Episode III -- Revenge of the Sith. The problem is, Star Wars won't be playing at the Chinese Theater. It'll be playing a few blocks away at the ArcLight. But the fans are waiting at the Chinese anyway. Why? Because they suspect the studios are lying when they say it won't play at the Chinese, and also they get more publicity by waiting in line on Hollywood Blvd.
Categories: Entertainment Comments (29)
Mickey’s Gala Premiere
Posted by The Curator on Wed Apr 06, 2005
In September 1939 the fledgling BBC television service was shut down because of the start of World War II. According to legend, transmission was ended in the middle of a broadcast of a Disney cartoon called "Mickey's Gala Premiere." When transmission resumed six years later an announcer came on the air and said, "Well now, where were we?" The Disney cartoon then began to play from the exact spot in which it had left off all those years ago. Is this story true? Almost, but not quite. According to imdb.com, "Mickey's Gala Premiere" was the last thing shown on the BBC in 1939 and the first thing it aired when it started back up in 1946. However the…
Categories: Entertainment, History Comments (7)
Easy Millionaire Question
Posted by The Curator on Wed Mar 30, 2005
I'm a pretty loyal 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire' viewer. It usually comes on after I'm done with dinner and I'm too lazy to get up, so I just sit there watching it. I've seen some viewers get some very easy questions wrong on the show, but I'd find it hard to believe that anyone would really need help on this question. I'm guessing that either the question has been changed in this screenshot, or answer B has been altered to make it the obvious choice.
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