The Museum of Hoaxes
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April Fool's Day is usually the day when this site gets the most visitors. In the past this has caused the site to crash... so if nothing on the site seems to be working on April 1st, it's not me playing a prank. It's just the server melting down. Though hopefully that won't happen this year since I upgraded to a better server.

April Fool's Day is also a time when this site gets some media attention (because I don't think any other site on the web has as much info about April Fools). Big Gary told me he saw something about the site a few days ago in the Dallas Morning News (aka the Boring Snooze). I also did an interview with Andrew Jacobs of the NY Times this morning. His article should appear in the Times on Thursday or Friday. The Times of India is publishing a summary of the top 5 of my Top 100 April Fools. The Toledo Blade will have an article about the site (that includes a picture of me) on Friday. Family Circle Magazine was supposed to have something about the site in their April issue, but I haven't heard from them in a few months so I don't know what became of that (and I don't read Family Circle so maybe it is there and I don't know about it). Finally, I did a one-hour radio interview last night with Morgan White, Jr. on WBZ radio (out of Boston), and I'll be on BBC Radio on April 1st (4 pm London Time) being interviewed by Vanessa Feltz.

Oh, and then there's the off chance something might appear in USA Today, though I have no idea what (I'm very curious to see if they do print anything). That's all the stuff I know about, but sometimes papers print things about the site without telling me (like the Dallas Morning News did), so there may be more.
Categories: Miscellaneous
Posted by Alex on Tue Mar 29, 2005
Comments (19)
I just received this request from USA Today. I'm not sure how to respond to it. Any suggestions?

We are doing a story on 10 great places that have fools in their name. Do
you have any handout photographs of the exterior or interior of the museum?
Thanks so much,
Life Picture Desk
Categories: Miscellaneous, Photos/Videos
Posted by Alex on Mon Mar 21, 2005
Comments (48)
You may have read his posts here as Cranky Media Guy, but in real life he's also known as Bob Pagani, and he's going to be on TV in a few days. Here's the info, straight from the horse's mouth:

I just got information about when the TV show I taped back in November in L.A. will air. The show is Lie Detector and it will air on March 8th at 9 PM on the Pax network.

They put me through a lie detector test (as the show's name implies) and you'll see my reaction as I'm told the results of the test on the air. I had to sign a non-disclosure agreement so I can't tell you how the test comes out; you'll just have to watch to see, I guess.

It wasn't the first episode they taped but it's going to be the first one aired for this series. That's usually a sign that the producers think that it's a good show; they want to air one they think is strong first so that viewers will come back next week.

Congratulations, Bob. Unfortunately I don't seem to get Pax TV on my cable network here in San Diego. So you'll have to let me know what happened with the lie detector test after the show airs.
Categories: Miscellaneous
Posted by Alex on Thu Mar 03, 2005
Comments (22)
image The following has nothing to do with hoaxes. It's a public service announcement:

UC San Diego grad student Jeff Butterworth and his girlfriend A.K. Basenberg are going to be bicycling across America this summer to help spread awareness of retinal diseases such as Retinitis Pigmentosa, Macular Degeneration, and Usher Syndrome. They'll be starting off in Yorktown, Virginia and ending up in Oregon, and they're hoping to use their journey to help raise $15,000 for the Foundation Fighting Blindness. So donate some money to help them reach their goal. All donations go directly to the FFB. Read more about the trip and what inspired it on Jeff's website (this is also where you'll find the link to donate). It's a good cause so I promised I would do whatever I could to help by plugging it here on my site (and I'll be putting a link to his site in a sidebar). Even if you don't feel like pledging any money, check out his site to learn a little bit about what the FFB does. The FFB also has a brief blurb about Jeff and A.K.'s upcoming trip on its site.
Categories: Miscellaneous
Posted by Alex on Thu Feb 17, 2005
Comments (4)
Looks like the site is back... at last. I'm definitely not going to change servers again in a hurry. Uploading files, checking folder permissions, and trying to understand how to get a mysql database to do what I want it to do is not my idea of fun. Anyway, everything on the site seems to be functioning, except for the forum. Go figure. Something had to break during the move. The pages for each individual topic in the forum are working, but the main page for the forum itself won't load. I have no idea why not, and I'm too tired to worry about it right now.
Categories: Miscellaneous
Posted by Alex on Mon Jan 24, 2005
Comments (9)
The Museum of Hoaxes will soon be moving to a new home at a different web hosting company (pMachine hosting). This may cause a slight disruption in service (fewer posts) over the following week as I make the switch. At the very least it might mean that the site will temporarily be at a new url (one of those urls that are just a string of numbers) until the internet domain name servers reassign to the new web host.

The reason for the move is that over the past few days all of the server-intensive functions of the site (such as being able to post and edit entries) froze up, apparently because of increased traffic. I'm not sure what the cause of the traffic spike was. Looking at my referrer logs it seems that the vast majority of the traffic is coming from the google and yahoo search engines.

Anyway, the server couldn't handle the load... or rather my web host restricted the amount of server queries my site could make, so that my site wouldn't hog the server's cpu... which meant I suddenly was having trouble posting entries. It all gets a bit technical. The long and short of it is that the site has evidently outgrown the server it was on, so it's time to move to something a bit more robust.

I'll keep everyone posted about how the move is going.
Categories: Miscellaneous
Posted by Alex on Sun Jan 23, 2005
Comments (10)
Merry Christmas to everyone who celebrates it. I'm not at home this Christmas. Instead I'm in Phoenix, Arizona. So having now received (I think) almost all of my gifts, I'd have to say that the strangest one I got this year was Elephant Dung Paper from Malawi. It says on the info that comes with the paper that "The elephant dung is first collected from Liwonde National Park and then beaten and mixed with recycled waste paper to produce the pulp from which it is made." It actually looks like very high quality paper (in case you're wondering). Of course, I still have to go over to my Great Aunt's house (she's the one who's into all the alternative medicine stuff), so I may yet get a stranger gift. She has, in fact, already promised to channel my Reiki energy while I'm there.
Categories: Miscellaneous
Posted by Alex on Sat Dec 25, 2004
Comments (12)
I've created a year-end list of the top hoaxes of 2004. Actually, I've chosen ten hoaxes that I think might be worthy of making the list (my basic criteria was the hoaxes that received the most media and public attention), but I haven't ranked them yet. Instead, I'm opening it up to voting. I think that's a more democratic way of doing it. Check out the list and vote here.

Categories: Miscellaneous
Posted by Alex on Sun Dec 19, 2004
Comments (0)
There was a very nice blurb in today's issue of The Guardian about the Museum of Hoaxes. Does this mean I can now tell my mother that I'm famous?

Categories: Miscellaneous
Posted by Alex on Mon Dec 06, 2004
Comments (10)
image The UK publisher of the Museum of Hoaxes just sent me a picture of what the paperback edition of the book will look like when it comes out over there (click image for a larger version). It looks quite colorful and fun. But I'm especially proud of the fact that it has a picture of Hamster Viagra right at the top of it. Nothing says quality non-fiction quite like Hamster Viagra. As for why the UK edition says 'edited by Alex Boese' instead of just 'by Alex Boese,' I have no idea. I'm trying to find out why.
Categories: Miscellaneous
Posted by Alex on Sun Nov 28, 2004
Comments (14)
It was pointed out to me that once people register as a member the 'notify of new comments' button suddenly becomes selected by default whenever they post a comment. That's a little annoying. I've managed to change this for people who register in the future, so that it won't be selected by default. But for existing members, if you don't want that option selected by default, you're going to need to change it yourself in your individual member preferences (you may not have realized there even were individual member preferences). Here's what you do:

  • Click login on the menu above.

  • Then click on the 'My Account' link at the top-right of the login screen

  • Next click 'email settings'

  • Finally, unclick the 'enable email notification by default' button

And that'll do it.
Categories: Miscellaneous
Posted by Alex on Wed Nov 24, 2004
Comments (1)
Here's a cute little quiz to waste five minutes of your life on: Which urban legend are you? I'm the classic tale of the gator in the sewer (because everyone knows I'm full of crap, but they keep talking about me anyway).
Categories: Miscellaneous, Urban Legends
Posted by Alex on Tue Nov 23, 2004
Comments (19)
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