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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Religion
Shroud of Turin Update
Posted by The Curator on Mon Aug 18, 2008
The 1988 radiocarbon results that dated the Shroud of Turin to the Middle Ages have long been a thorn in the side to the True Believers. But they may get the chance to have new tests conducted, thanks to the efforts of John and Rebecca Jackson of Colorado. From the LA Times: Jackson, 62, is getting his chance to challenge the radiocarbon dating. Oxford University, which participated in the original radiocarbon testing, has agreed to work with him in reconsidering the age of the shroud. If the…
Categories: Religion Comments (20)
Pareidolia Roundup
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jul 31, 2008
Once again, it's time to play spot the blurry face resembling the iconic image of Jesus (or the Virgin Mary, or whatever). Cat Fur Jesus The Johnson family of Indiana recently adopted a kitten. To their surprise, they discovered that the fur on its side contains a pattern that looks like the face of Jesus. They admit that people who don't see it "might think we are weird crazy or something," but they're fine with that. I'd say they haven't quite reached the weird crazy stage yet. Maybe just a bit weird cuckoo. Cheesus
Categories: Pareidolia, Religion Comments (12)
The Fishing Lures of Faith
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jul 24, 2008
Not to be outdone by Christian fundamentalists, Islamic fundamentalists have come out with their own anti-evolution treatises. Among the most prominent of these is the Atlas of Creation by Harun Yahya. It's a long work (and more is on the way) consisting primarily of page after page of examples showing that modern-day species can be found in the fossil record. This is supposed to demonstrate that evolution hasn't occurred. Volume 1 contains the example of the Caddis Fly. The illustration in the book shows the modern-day fly in the foreground. Circled in red in the background is the fossil analogue, preserved in amber. (No, they don't look similar to me either).
No tattoos in Jewish cemeteries
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jul 18, 2008
The New York Times debunks the myth that "If you get a tattoo, you can’t be buried in a Jewish cemetery": The eight rabbinical scholars interviewed for this article, from institutions like the Jewish Theological Seminary and Yeshiva University, said it’s an urban legend, most likely started because a specific cemetery had a policy against tattoos. Jewish parents and grandparents picked up on it and over time, their distaste for tattoos was presented as scriptural doctrine. But even if the cemetery thing is a myth, some scholars believe that tattooing itself is against Jewish law:
A Whole Bunch of Pareidolia
Posted by The Curator on Sun Jul 13, 2008
I've been falling behind on my pareidolia updates. So I'm lumping all the recent sightings together in one post: Spumoni Jesus Some patrons of Hatch Family Chocolates in Salt Lake City claimed to be able to see the image of Jesus in a 3-gallon bucket of spumoni ice cream. Me: I can't see it at all. Spumoni Jesus started to melt, so they ate him. (Thanks, Bob!) Face in Log This one has been getting a lot of attention. Ernest Ward, a groundskeeper at Magnolia Cemetery in Maryville, Tennessee, cut a tree limb,…
Categories: Pareidolia, Religion Comments (12)
Rapture Check
Posted by The Curator on Wed May 21, 2008
RaptureCheck.org allows you to check the probability that the rapture has happened -- just in case you look out your window, see no one there, and get worried. Right now the rapture is listed as "Getting Close." Here's how it determines the imminence of rapture: I made an assumption that the people who would regularly check RaptureCheck would be dispensationalist Christians concerned about the rapture. I further assumed that many, if not most, of these people would be raptured when and if the rapture occurred. RaptureCheck tests for the 100 most recent accesses from unique IP addresses of the…
Categories: Religion Comments (6)
Holy Potato
Posted by The Curator on Thu May 08, 2008
Cranky Media Guy wants to know "Who in the press can we implore to PLEASE MAKE THIS NONSENSE STOP?" He's referring to the most recent finding of a holy potato. From thelocal.de: A potato destined for the fryer has become a holy relic to some Berliners after a woman cut it open only to find an image of a cross inside. Birgül Balta, 49, was cutting potatoes for French fries at her home in Berlin's Charlottenburg district when the cross-shaped cavity inside one of the spuds stopped…
Categories: Pareidolia, Religion Comments (11)
Jesus Baking Tin
Posted by The Curator on Wed Apr 09, 2008
Hudson Pace writes: "I was scraping out a baking tin when I discovered this Face of Jesus on the bottom! I thought of putting it on Ebay, but then I thought, I don't need the money, so why not cut out the middleman and send the picture straight to the Museum of Hoaxes? Hope you like it." Very nice. Thanks, Hudson. And it's made me think that I really should create a Pareidolia Gallery to better categorize all these image-bearing baking tins, trees, pieces of toast, etc.
Categories: Pareidolia, Religion Comments (20)
Priest investigated for fake exorcisms
Posted by The Curator on Mon Apr 07, 2008
Father Francesco Saverio Bazzoffi, a priest in Florence, is being investigated for fraud for performing "fake exorcisms." From the Catholic News Agency: Prosecutors alleged that Father Francesco Saverio Bazzoffi would “stage shows” before crowds of more than 400 people at the House of the Sainted Archangels, an organization he founded. According to prosecutors, the priest’s associates would “pretend to be possessed by demons” and Father Bazzoffi would allegedly exorcise them using obscure rites. The priest would then offer to heal members of the audience who were sick and solicit donations to his organization. “During Mass, the…
Categories: Religion, Scams Comments (7)
Toast Appears on Jesus Christ
Posted by The Curator on Sun Mar 30, 2008
John Ordover sent this in. He was looking at a picture of Jesus (or rather, an artist's interpretation of what Jesus might have looked like) when he realized a piece of toast had miraculously appeared on it. I think this must be a message from John's toaster! But can we be sure that actually is a piece of toast? It kinda looks like a granola bar to me.
Categories: Pareidolia, Religion Comments (64)
Cheesus and Mary
Posted by The Curator on Tue Mar 25, 2008
Two examples of religious pareidolia have made headlines recently. The first is "Cheesus" -- a Jesus-shaped Cheeto found by Steve Cragg, a youth director at Memorial Drive United Methodist Church in Houston. He actually found it a couple of years ago, but decided to unveil it recently in honor of Easter. The second is the Virgin Mary on an Easter egg. KGBT reports: "Veronica Cervera said she was making "cascarones" by dyeing hollow eggshells on Good Friday when an image suddenly appeared. Cervera is convinced it's the Virgin Mary." I can't see the image at all. It…
Categories: Pareidolia, Religion Comments (9)
Palm Leaf Mary
Posted by The Curator on Thu Mar 20, 2008
And now for your daily pareidolia. (Well, weekly pareidolia, at least.) Manny Duenas of Sacramento was cutting down some old palm leaves in his yard -- on Palm Sunday, no less -- when he happened to look at one of the leaves in his hand and saw an image of the Virgin Mary cradling baby Jesus in her arms. Duenas says: "God is out there and maybe these are one of the messages that they send." Actually, I don't so much see the Virgin Mary figure, but I definitely see an…
Categories: Pareidolia, Religion Comments (7)
Jesus in the Door
Posted by The Curator on Tue Mar 18, 2008
Ten years ago Wendy Divock felt a touch on her cheek. She thought it was her husband touching her, but when she turned around, he wasn't there. What she saw instead was an image of a face in her closet door. Initially Wendy and her husband called the image the "guy in the door," but after doing some research on the internet they decided that it was Jesus. The pastor across the street assures them that the image is "very significant and that it's authentic." The Dovicks have created a site, jesusinthedoor.com, to publicize their door. They're selling 8x10 glossy photos of…
Categories: Pareidolia, Religion Comments (23)
Solar Mary
Posted by The Curator on Tue Mar 11, 2008
According to the website dnaindia.com, 50 people in the Kottayam district of India have lost their vision after gazing into the sun for hours trying to see an image of the Virgin Mary: Though alarmed health authorities have installed a signboard to counter the rumour that a solar image of Virgin Mary appeared to the believers, curious onlookers, including foreign travellers, have been thronging the venue of the ‘miracle’. St Joseph’s ENT and Eye Hospital in Kanjirappally alone has recorded 48 cases of vision loss due to photochemical burns on the retina... There are quite a few people still seeking…
Categories: Pareidolia, Religion Comments (1)
St. Patrick’s Day Moved
Posted by The Curator on Mon Feb 25, 2008
Angela emailed me to ask if it's true that St. Patrick's Day has been moved this year, from March 17 to March 15. Yes, it's true. At least for the Irish. The problem is that Easter falls unusually early this year, which means that the traditional date for St. Patrick's Day, March 17, is going to land in the middle of Holy Week (the week immediately preceding Easter). To avoid this, Church authorities have ordered that religious celebrations for St. Patrick's Day occur instead on March 15th in Ireland. Similarly, in Chicago organizers have moved the annual parade an entire week earlier, to avoid conflicting with Palm Sunday.
Categories: Religion Comments (8)
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