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I've mentioned Larry Adams's book before, Fraud in Other Words, but I was reading through it again tonight and thought it deserved another mention. The book is an exploration of the language of fraud. Adams has collected together all the jargon and terminology of the culture of fraud, and as you flip through the book you come across one devious scam and ploy after another. For instance, I've always thought it was annoying how those subscription cards fall out of magazines when I'm reading them. I never realized that the cards are designed to fall out. They're called 'Drop Outs.' According to Adams:
If the recipient has to bend over and pick up a card, they are more likely to read it. A drop out is a commonly used gimmick used to attract curiosity in fraudulent and legitimate mail advertising.
Some other definitions:
Suck the Mop: To be left sucking the mop is to be left helpless and hopeless. The victim of any trick. To be left at a complete disadvantage.
Joe Soap: A foolish or a gullible person.

You can read more about Larry's book (and order a copy) at his website.
Categories: Con Artists
Posted by Alex on Sat Sep 06, 2003
Comments (0)
Crop circles are appearing in soy bean fields in Adams County, Ohio.
Categories: Crop Circles
Posted by Alex on Sat Sep 06, 2003
Comments (0)
An accountant fakes cancer in order to avoid a five-month prison term. Gets found out, and is now looking at the possibility of a 50-year term instead.
Categories: Con Artists
Posted by Alex on Sat Sep 06, 2003
Comments (0)
Crawford County police were alarmed when they discovered leg bones sticking out of a pair of work boots that were standing on the bank of Lake Shepherd Springs in Arkansas. They launched a massive investigation, until they realized the bones came from an animal. They warn that whoever is responsible for the hoax will be prosecuted for committing a crime.
Categories: Law/Police/Crime
Posted by Alex on Sat Sep 06, 2003
Comments (2)
Croydon residents can rest easy. Signs alerting them to the danger of a crocodile inhabiting a local pond were just a prank.
Categories: Animals, Pranks
Posted by Alex on Sat Sep 06, 2003
Comments (0)
Here's one to add to the list of 'eerie patterns that people see in random objects' (already on the list would be the 666 forming on the Alamo, and the Virgin Mary appearing on a hospital in Boston). A woman who lives in Hertford County, North Carolina claims that an image of an Indian chief has appeared in her wooden door over the past three months (she's had the door for seven years). The appearance of the face is attracting the usual gaggle of curious visitors. I've been looking at the picture of her door that accompanies the story, and I just can't make out the face.
Categories: Paranormal
Posted by Alex on Sat Sep 06, 2003
Comments (0)
microsoft 1978 Does this photo that's been circulating through email really show the management of Microsoft as they looked back in 1978?
Categories: Business/Finance, Photos/Videos
Posted by Alex on Fri Sep 05, 2003
Comments (2)
Check out this site dedicated to the art of Johann Dieter Wassmann, a university lecturer/sewerage engineer/artist who lived and worked in Germany from 1841-1898. It's incredibly elaborate, including his life history and samples of his work. And nowhere on the site does it suggest that the entire thing is a hoax, that Johann Dieter Wassmann never existed. You only find this out if you click on the link at the bottom of the page that says 'Next Show: Melbourne International Arts Festival, 12-25 October, 2003.' This takes you to the website of the Melbourne Festival itself where it admits that, "The Wassmann Foundation and artist Johann Dieter Wassmann are constructions created by American-born installation artist Jeff Wassmann and Australian curator/writer Kirsten Rann." Thanks to John Plutt for telling me about this site.
Categories: Art, Websites
Posted by Alex on Thu Sep 04, 2003
Comments (1)
blackout snoopy A visitor sent me this photo of the Real East Coast Blackout of 2003. It definitely represents an improvement over that phony blackout picture that was circulating last week.
Categories: Photos/Videos
Posted by Alex on Wed Sep 03, 2003
Comments (1)
ek It's a spectacular (and by now quite famous) photo. Two elks stand in a river as an inferno rages behind them. But is the picture real?
Categories: Photos/Videos
Posted by Alex on Tue Aug 26, 2003
Comments (0)
Recently a company called Infinium Labs announced that it would soon be coming out with a high-powered game console called 'Phantom' that it promises will revolutionize the gaming industry. You can check out their very slick website to find out more about the console. But rumors have began to spread suggesting that there is no Phantom Game Console, that the whole thing is a hoax. The rumors started when someone paid a visit to the company's headquarters and discovered that the headquarters consisted of nothing more than a "100ft x 100ft room with a desk and two phones." Why would anyone perpetrate a hoax like this? One theory is that it's all a publicity stunt put together by Advanced Studios, LLC, the graphic design company that put together Infinium's really slick website. Of course, Infinium is loudly insisting that the Phantom Game Console is real, and a few journalists claim to have seen working prototypes of the console. So we'll have to stay tuned to see how this plays out.
Categories: Technology
Posted by Alex on Tue Aug 26, 2003
Comments (4)
Here's a guy that should be running for Governor of California. He's wasted on Crouch Hill ward.
Categories: Politics
Posted by Alex on Sun Aug 24, 2003
Comments (0)
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