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|•||Is this a coincidence? Tesla sales ban in New Jersy from April 1st 03/12/2014|
|•||Pretend chef on five morning TV shows 03/04/2014|
|•||Image of "Aurora from Space" going viral is a hoax 02/28/2014|
|•||Supposed Ghost Caught on Securtiy Cam at Britain Pub 02/22/2014|
|•||Anyone up for a challenge? 02/20/2014|
|•||Bruno Gröning Documentary Film 02/15/2014|
|•||Science, Pseudoscience, and Crap 02/04/2014|
|•||Fake Snow 02/03/2014|
|•||Tapeworms ≠ Weight Loss 02/01/2014|
|•||NASA sued for failing to investigate Martian Fungus 01/30/2014|
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This is an old site, but I hadn't seen it before. It pretends to be the homepage of a lobbying group called 'Citizens for a Murder-Free America' who are campaigning for passage of 'Precrime' legislation that will help stop murders before they happen. In reality, the site is part of the publicity campaign for Steven Spielberg's movie Minority Report, which was about a future society where the police use psychics to see into the future and tell them about murders before they happen (based on a Philip K. Dick short story). It was a pretty good movie.
On Monday illusionist Derren Brown performed a seance live on Britain's Channel 4, successfully channeling the spirit of 'Jane,' the victim of a mass suicide. Only after the show did he admit it was all a hoax... an attempt to debunk seances by showing how easily people can be manipulated into believing that they're real. Still, the show managed to attract more complaints than almost any other show in British history, although most of the complaints were lodged before the show aired (evidently because those complaining... church groups mostly... had seen into the future and knew they wouldn't like it before they saw it). Darren Brown is the same guy who pretended to play Russian Roulette on British TV back in October 2003. But for my money, it doesn't sound like Brown's faux-seance quite rivalled the drama of 1992's Ghostwatch Halloween seance.
UKTV has come up with the ultimate reality TV show: Watching Paint Dry. As the name suggests, viewers get to watch the thrilling spectacle of paint drying, broadcast live, 24 hours a day. And viewers can vote for their favorite paints: Matt, Gloss, Silk, Satin, etc. UKTV notes that, "Every other reality show is full of boring drips so we thought that we would go one step further." Is this real? Well, sort of. UKTV feels watching paint dry is "too boring" for TV, so it's only going to be broadcast on the internet. (via J-Walk)
Sky News has been reporting that Rapper Ice-T has decided to produce a new rap album by his LA neighbor, David Hasselhoff (of Baywatch fame). The article quotes Ice-T as saying, "He's gonna come out as Hassle the Hoff... The Hoff will surprise people with his rap skills and humour." When I read this article I got really scared, because I figured that if such a thing were to happen, it would definitely be a sign that the end was near. But thankfully it appears to be a hoax. On his website, Hasselhoff denies the reports that he's making a rap album. Thank God for that.
Musicians will appreciate this. It's a little known instrument, popular back in the Middle Ages, known as the Tromba Da Gamba, or Knee Trumpet. According to Virgilanti (who managed to acquire one of these rare instruments): "It was gaining a lot in popularity by the start of the 17th century but encountered a bit of a PR problem in 1619 when, according to the story, the pope (presumably Pope Paul V) saw the instrument being played by a woman. He was shocked at the suggestiveness of the performance and made his displeasure very apparent. It wasn't long before most of the upper class throughout Europe regarded the instrument as crude and vulgar." (Thanks, Virge)
To be honest, the whole American Idol thing has completely passed me by. I've never watched a single episode of it (though I have spent some time listening to William Hung... I don't know why). But it didn't surprise me to read that American Idol's voting system is essentially a sham, highly vulnerable to manipulation by gamblers.
In case you were confused, here's what you need to know about what badgers eat. According to Jeff, who sent me the link, the site derives from an episode of The Simpsons (one that I haven't seen). I guess you could also figure out the Simpsons connection from the logo at the bottom of the screen.
Lady Heather is a professional dominatrix, and this is her website. When she says 'My command is your wish,' you know she means it. Actually, she's a recurring character on CSI, which is one of my favorite shows though I haven't had a chance to see it in a while. Unfortunately you can only view her site for about two seconds before you're automatically redirected to the main site for CSI. Which is a pity. I think they should develop Lady Heather's Box a little more. (Thanks, Jeff)
Allied Chemical (motto: "It's a better world through chemicals") is the maker of fine food products such as Farmer Fred's Happydale Ham Spread, Farmer Fred's Happydale Ham Spread Loaf, and Farmer Fred's Happydale Ham Squeezy Spread. Oh, and they also make products for the military, but those are top secret. Definitely check out their mouth-watering recipes such as Farmer Fred's Pigriffic Pasta. Actually, Allied Chemical seems to be the faux front page for a music download service that represents independent artists.
What would you be willing to do for a brief shot at fame? Would you embarrass yourself on national TV? Of course, who wouldn't nowadays. But would you lock yourself in a lab and allow yourself to be exposed to all manner of infectious diseases? That sounds a bit dodgy, but this was the premise of the new reality TV show, Quarantine, recently advertised in the Daily Mirror. Remarkably, hundreds of people applied to be on it, and the applications are still rolling in. Thankfully the whole thing was a hoax, an experiment "to discover just how far people will go in their pursuit of fame." (Thanks, 'Ed the doc').
Greg Atkins (or someone calling themselves Greg Atkins) has created a website, truthaboutlochness.com, in order to expose an incident he claims occurred on the loch during filming of Werner Herzog's upcoming movie, The Enigma of Loch Ness. He says that one of the production company's boats was rammed by something in the water (could it have been Nessie!!!), resulting in the death of two of the crew. All this has been hushed up, of course, which is why there were no news reports of these deaths. He also has video footage on his site of a large creature moving beneath the surface of the loch. Cynics are speculating that his site is simply yet another hoax website created by a movie studio in order to create buzz about Herzog's film, in the same vein as the Blair Witch Project. Probably is. But I have a softspot for Nessie (I'm rooting for her to be real), so in this case I'm happy to play along with the site, even if there are some obviously hoaxy things about it.
You may know Stephen Hawking as the brilliant theoretical physicist and best-selling author of A Brief History of Time. But did you also know that in his spare time the man is a gangsta rapper? Perhaps you're familiar with his album, A Brief History of Rhyme. Hawking's other career as a 'lyrical terrorist' is lovingly explored on this fan site, MC Hawking's Crib. Yeah, it's a hoax, but it's amazingly detailed, even including MP3 samples of Hawking's songs. (And thanks to Bill Boldt for gently pointing out to me my initial misspelling of 'Mic').