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image I have noisy neighbors, so I've often fantasized about a product like this. It's a noisy neighbor revenge CD that plays loud, annoying sounds such as a newborn baby crying, a drill, a domestic squabble, or the phone ringing. Put it in your stereo, point the speakers at the neighbor's house, and have your revenge. A set of earplugs comes with the CD. My neighbors (college-age kids renting the house next door) have been fond of doing things like blasting rap music at midnight, or playing games of wiffleball in their backyard at 3am. I initially tried asking them to shut up, which worked in the short term, but not in the long term because they'd simply be out there doing it again next weekend... or during the week, which was even worse. So now I just call the police whenever they make noise after 10pm. That actually seems to have worked. (via Fun Reports)
Categories: Pranks
Posted by Alex on Fri Aug 05, 2005
Comments (32)
This is pretty cool. Instead of doing a typical obnoxious prank, a senior class in Vermont painted a celestial mural on the ceiling of the main lobby of the school. Normally the rule with pranks is that, to be judged successful, they should annoy, shock, irritate, or poke fun at someone. But I think that surprising people is just as valid a reaction. And what's more surprising than a random act of art?

The class of 2005 painted a large celestial mural on a ceiling in the main lobby of the school during the holiday weekend, Principal Peter Evans said.
Evans said when he returned to school on Tuesday, he looked up at the mural and thought it was an art class project. He soon learned that it was the senior prank, a tradition that usually has a more troublesome impact on the school. About 170 ceiling tiles were painted, he said.
"It's beautiful, I think everyone agrees that it's beautiful. We're enjoying it right now, and we don't plan on removing it or eliminating it," Evans said.
Categories: Art, Pranks
Posted by Alex on Mon Jun 06, 2005
Comments (28)
I'm a little late on this one, but better late than never. On May 4 Caltech students transformed the Hollywood Walk of Fame into the "Illustrious Scientists Walk of Fame": Students literally covered over 500 of the celebrity stars on Hollywood Blvd. with prestigious scientists such as Sir Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking, David Baltimore, Richard Feynman, Madame Currie... The prank was meant to coincide with the Commemorative U.S. Postage Stamp of preeminent Caltech physicist Richard P. Feynman.
Categories: Pranks, Science
Posted by Alex on Mon May 09, 2005
Comments (8)
A group of Caltech students heads to MIT to throw down the prank gauntlet. They spend the weekend handing out t-shirts to prefrosh that read "MIT" on the front and "because not everybody can go to Caltech" on the back. During the night they spell out the letters C-A-L-T-E-C-H on an MIT building using a low-power laser. They also hang a banner on the MIT dome, changing its name from 'Massachusetts Institute of Technology' to 'That Other Institute of Technology.' They now await MIT's response. (make sure to check out the page of pictures of the pranks).
Categories: Pranks
Posted by Alex on Wed Apr 13, 2005
Comments (5)
Richard Brown was under house arrest after posing as a sheriff's deputy in 2002, but even from his home he still managed to get into trouble. The news article describing what he did is a little confusing, but from what I can gather he called up restaurants and told the employees that he spoke to that he was a DJ, and that if they came to his home they could win $50,000. Once they arrived he told them that they had to pass a challenge to win the money. They had to strip naked, then walk out to their car and drive away. He got two people to do this. The third person noticed he was wearing a home detention bracelet. A court has now charged Brown with three counts of criminal confinement and three counts of identity deception. I just find it amazing that he could talk people into doing this stuff so easily.
Categories: Pranks
Posted by Alex on Thu Apr 07, 2005
Comments (7)
image Wikipedia has a brief blurb about the Garden Gnome Liberation Front. This is a political movement dedicated to liberating gnomes from the gardens in which they are imprisoned. Members of the liberation front remove gnomes from gardens and either take them out to the woods to set them loose, or smash them to set their spirit free (personally I think taking them out to the woods sounds like the more humane option). I wonder if they've ever considered taking them to the underwater gnome garden. Anyway, this is an international movement. The American group calls itself Free The Gnomes. The Italian group calls itself MALAG, or the Independent Movement for the Liberation of the Garden Gnomes. One of those days I'm probably going to have to create a new category for gnomes.
Categories: Gnomes, Pranks
Posted by Alex on Thu Mar 31, 2005
Comments (40)
Zug's Credit Card Prank was widely linked to a few years ago. This is the prank as he describes it: Every time you make a credit card purchase, they're supposed to match your signature against the one on the back of your card. Nobody seems to check anymore, so I tried to see how far I could push it with wacky signatures like "Mariah Carey" and "Zeus". Now Zug has posted a sequel to the Credit Card Prank in which he makes his signatures even wackier and tries to discover what he can get away with. He draws pictures of Shamu, diagrams of the large intestines, and musical notes. They're all happily accepted.

Zug's prank is amusing, but I think the reality is that signing the card and receipt only secondarily serve the purpose of verifying your identity. The primary purpose of the signatures is to demonstrate that you've agreed to the terms of the contract with the credit card company. As long as you sign something (doesn't really matter what it is), the credit card company can say that you've acknowledged and agreed to the terms of the contract, and therefore you have to pay them back. I found this out a couple of years ago when I got into an argument with a post-office employee who refused to take my credit card that had 'See ID' written on the back of it. Turned out that the post-office employee was in the right. If you haven't signed the back of the card, then technically you haven't finalized your contract with the credit card company, and the card shouldn't be accepted.
Categories: Business/Finance, Pranks
Posted by Alex on Tue Mar 29, 2005
Comments (16)
A video (in quicktime) shows a group of Japanese girls (members of the pop group Morning Musume) watching a video of the horror movie Ringu. There's a lot of shrieking, so definitely turn your speakers down. But wait until the end for the prank that's played on them. The video can also be found on other sites in wmv format.
Categories: Photos/Videos, Pranks
Posted by Alex on Tue Mar 29, 2005
Comments (15)
FamilyFun has a list of thirteen pranks that can be played on family members on April Fools Day. The list includes:
  • Wake the kids up at 3am and tell them it's time for school
  • Sew shut the fly on Dad's underwear
  • Create a fake coffee spill (includes a recipe for doing this: mix together equal parts white glue and brown puff paint and let the mixture dry on wax paper... I have no idea what 'puff paint' is)
  • Fasten a rubber band around the spray attachment on the kitchen sink
Categories: April Fools Day, Pranks
Posted by Alex on Mon Mar 28, 2005
Comments (27)
image Rubber Chicken has posted an interesting account of their experiment in spreading rumors and misinformation via their internet. What they wanted to do was plant one seed of misinformation, and see how far it would spread. As it turned out, it spread quite far.

Their seed of misinformation was this: they made up a rumor that actor John Rhys-Davies, of Sliders fame, was going to provide the voice for General Grievous, the new CGI villain in Star Wars Episode III. They emailed this rumor to Ain't It Cool News, where it was promptly posted as a hot new piece of movie gossip. They then sat back and watched the rumor spread, which it quickly did. Other movie sites quickly picked up the news, and newspapers such as The Guardian even reported it: "Later reports listed IGN and The Guardian - yes, the god damned Guardian - as sources, which effectively meant the news progressively got more reliable. Barely 48 hours after the original announcement, many were already discussing Rhys-Davies' role as if it were confirmed."
Categories: Entertainment, Pranks
Posted by Alex on Sun Mar 27, 2005
Comments (9)
'Billionaires for Bush' placed the American Social Security System up for sale on eBay. Apparently it was quickly pulled, but Billionaires for Bush has archived the auction on their own site:

Due to the surprising failure of carefully staged "conversations" across America to convince the American Public that Privatizing Social Security is a good thing, we have decided to take matters into our own hands. As a favor to President Bush and offered exclusively here to the winning bidder who meets our reserve, (must be a private Brokerage Firm, see details below) Billionaires For Bush can't wait to pull the switch on retirement security by circumventing Congress, the Will of the People, and good sense. Why not cut right to the chase? Concurrent with White House Goals and the Cato Institute, we're AUCTIONING OFF SOCIAL SECURITY!
Categories: Business/Finance, eBay, Pranks
Posted by Alex on Thu Mar 24, 2005
Comments (3)
More news from Ananova, though there's nothing inherently unbelievable in this story:

A burnt rubber doll was mistaken for a badly injured alien and taken to a hospital in Brazil. It happened after people in Aracruz found a burnt 'body' on the ground after seeing a fireball fall from the sky.
A police spokesman told Terra Noticias Populares: "Many people were terrified thinking that an alien invasion was taking place. "They thought the doll was a burnt ET and more than 50 people called the station."
The 'alien' was taken to the local hospital where doctors soon confirmed it was a burnt rubber doll. A hospital spokesman said: "It was obviously a practical joke but we wonder who would do that in such a small and quiet town."

This reminds me of the story of the Great Monkey Hoax.
Categories: Extraterrestrial Life, Pranks
Posted by Alex on Wed Mar 23, 2005
Comments (6)
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