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Sex/Romance
Nyack High School seniors claim their prank got pranked. Their intended prank was to remove all the desks and chairs from the classrooms and line them up in the field behind the school in the shape of a giant "2008." The principal had given them permission to do this. But during the night someone rearranged the desks into the shape of a penis. From lohud.com:

Senior Erin Cummings, 17, said about 100 seniors came to the school at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday and worked for several hours arranging the desks. But it seems another group came out to the field afterward and rearranged the desks in the shape of a penis, leaving the image that way for everyone to find yesterday morning.
"Personally, it was upsetting to see all our hard work turn into a huge penis," Cummings said, though she conceded she was proud her class was able to cause a little chaos for the day.

Of course, the paper just had to interview a student named Cummings for this story.

Creating gigantic representations of the male anatomy on hillsides or in fields is a tradition that goes back thousands (maybe even tens of thousands) of years. The Cerne Abbas Giant in Dorchester is the most famous example of this. It's interesting how, despite the school administration's effort to impose a neutered form of the prank on the students, the old ways reassert themselves. Human nature just doesn't change much.

Surprisingly, I can't find any pictures of the Nyack penis. I felt sure the media would come through with one.

Update: Got a picture! (Thanks, Nyacker)

Categories: Pranks, Sex/Romance
Posted by Alex on Thu Jun 05, 2008
Comments (7)
Another case of an impostor is in the news. A woman in Somerville, Mass. thought she was dating Jeff Turner, a former basketball player for the Washington Seattle Sonics. Turns out she was actually dating an impostor named Ronnie Craven. Craven's cover was blown when the woman became suspicious, tracked down the real Jeff Turner, and called him. Craven admits to the hoax, but says he only did it to impress the woman. In other words, he claims he was only trying to benefit sexually, not financially, from the scheme. However, it appears he had also been telling friends and even his hometown newspaper that he worked for the Sonics. From seattlepi.com:

"I'll admit, it was a hoax," Craven said Monday. "It was all a put-on. But somebody who I met on a dating site is trying to sabotage me. This is some broad that I lied to who said I did identity theft, (and) I am not going to know what hit me. There was no intimacy in the relationship. I never tapped her."...
Craven insisted he would stop lying about his identity. He said this situation would damage his reputation in Somerville. He said he was merely lying to impress a woman, nothing more. But this time his game went too far.
"To be honest with you, this whole thing has already taken its toll," he said.
"I know my credibility doesn't look so great right now. This is embarrassing for me. At this point, I don't know what to do. I will say this is very, very disturbing."

You gotta love how guys like Craven (which is a perfect name for him) rationalize their deception. He figures it was okay to lie to the woman because he hadn't "tapped her."

Impostors often pose as sports stars. Just a few months ago I posted about a guy who, for decades, pretended to be Red Sox's pitcher Bill Henry. Not even his wife knew the truth. (Thanks, Joe)
Categories: Identity/Imposters, Sex/Romance, Sports
Posted by Alex on Thu Jun 05, 2008
Comments (7)
Ai Robotics claim to have developed the "Perfect Woman." Her face is shiny and her movements jerky, but she does housework. From perfect-woman.com:

The company AI ROBOTICS was founded 2 years ago by Etienne Fresse and Yoichi Yamato, both robotics specialists working on developing cutting-edge technologies. During the last 3 years the two founders have dedicated all their time and energy to their project “robot woman LISA” which thanks to the support of numerous foreign investors will be presented to the public on June 11 2008. The company’s philosophy is to enhance the conditions of human life and to give as many people as possible access to new technologies. The company AI ROBOTICS is based in Kobe, Japan.

Also:

Lisa can cook you a meal based on what is in the fridge (visual recognition). She can go shopping, do household work or give you a hydraulic massage, but she can also play chess and video games (over 390 are available) and even learn to do certain sports...
We have designed Lisa to be a true companion. She is there to serve you. She dresses herself and recharges herself automatically. You can talk to her about news, travelling, culture and music. Lisa has an IQ of 130. She is even able to satisfy your desires in the bedroom. For this we have cooperated with a renowned sexologist whose expertise has been integrated into Lisa’s configuration.

Check out this video of "Lisa" on YouTube:



I would call Lisa "creepy" rather than "perfect." I would also call her "an actress pretending to be a robot" rather than a "robot."

The absence of google ads on the perfect woman site suggests to me that it's some kind of art project. The site is registered to Etienne Fresse, so he, at least, might be real. (via dvice.com)
Categories: Sex/Romance, Technology, Websites
Posted by Alex on Thu May 29, 2008
Comments (18)
Eighty-three people have been rounded up by federal officials in Florida and accused of participating in sham marriages. A company called All Kind Services was staging fake weddings, complete with props, so that the couples could have photographs of their "wedding day" to show officials. From the Orlando Sentinel:
The four-tiered cake the newlyweds were about to cut was plastic. The glasses and plates on the reception table were empty. And the bride wore casual shoes under her wedding gown. Those were among the clues that caught the attention of Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials after they searched the offices of Winter Garden-based All Kind Services U.S.A. in August 2005. In a back room were the cake, the fake reception hall and a rack with several wedding dresses.
"The cake is the first clue," said Mark Garrand, assistant special agent in charge of ICE in Orlando. "It's not real. The glasses [on the table] are not filled. And the running shoes are a nice touch, too." Investigators soon realized that the photos and props were identical in many of the 25 marriage cases they were probing.

(Thanks, Joe)
Categories: Scams, Sex/Romance
Posted by Alex on Sat May 10, 2008
Comments (3)
Heraldnet.com (the newspaper of Snohomish County) recently ran this story:

Mom appalled at racy books in store for teens at Alderwood mall
By Scott Pesznecker
Herald Writer
LYNNWOOD -- Marci Milfs went to Urban Outfitters to find clothes for her teenage son. She was surprised to find sexually charged books that she believes have no place in a clothing store for teens and young adults. On one end of the spectrum was "Porn for Women," a photo book showing men doing housework. On the other was "Pornogami: A Guide to the Ancient Art of Paper-Folding for Adults," a guide for making anatomically correct artwork. "When I saw it, I was shocked," Milfs said... Milfs was so appalled that she is preparing to file a complaint with the city of Lynnwood, and has already aired her frustrations to State Rep. Norma Smith, R-Clinton, and organizations including Morality in Media, Concerned Women of America and the American Family Association.

When I saw this story I assumed either it had to be a joke, or the reporter had fallen for a prank. Kind of like when reporters are tricked into quoting "Haywood Jablome" as a source.

A "MILF" (for anyone unfamiliar with the term) is popular internet slang for any attractive older woman. By internet standards, that means any woman over the age of 25. It stands for "Mom I'd like to f***".

So a story about "Marci Milfs" being appalled by racy books has to be a joke. Right? Apparently not. It's just another example of an unfortunate last name. Marci Milfs seems to be a real person.
Categories: Literature/Language, Sex/Romance
Posted by Alex on Tue May 06, 2008
Comments (10)
Marilyn Monroe seems to attract hoaxes, in the same way that Hitler, Bigfoot, and Paris Hilton do. I guess it's because any news about Marilyn is guaranteed to get attention, which is what many hoaxers are looking for.

The latest Marilyn news is that a sex tape starring her was sold for $1.5 million to an anonymous wealthy businessman, who swore he would never make it public. The tape is said to be a copy of a film that has been kept classified by the FBI.

The promise of the businessman to not market the tape sounds very noble, but nobility probably has little to do with it. The tape is probably being kept from the public because it doesn't exist.

Defamer, with the help of Marilyn Monroe expert Mark Bellinghaus, has put all the pieces of this story together. (If I'm a "hoax-pert," does that make Bellinghaus a "Monroe-xpert"?)

The key point, as Defamer argues, is that the sale to the anonymous businessman was brokered by Keya Morgan "whose main objective is to promote himself and the Monroe documentary that he is working on." Defamer argues that "What Keya Morgan is promoting equates to questionable stories generated simply to sell another book or push another cheesy documentary." Some of the questions that Defamer and Bellinghaus raise:

· The film was supposedly made of Marilyn Monroe as a starlet. If filmed in this time period of Monroe's life, why would the feds have cared about the activities of a young starlet, considering that Marilyn Monroe had not reached the heights of fame at the time this footage was claimed to have been filmed?

· "You see instantly that it's Marilyn Monroe - she has the famous mole." This is a quote by Keya Morgan, which is one of the flimsiest pieces of evidence ever presented. Just because this alleged film has a person with a mole, it's instantly Marilyn Monroe?

· Essentially Morgan is claiming that this is a bootleg copy of a classified FBI film. So if an original is classified, why would the FBI allow this public brouhaha in the press and not stop this sale from taking place? Why would this film copy not be destroyed?

Keeping key pieces of evidence hidden (such as the tape itself!) is the classic modus operandi of hoaxers. So I'm definitely with Defamer on this. It smells like a hoax.
(Thanks Bob and Joe!)

Related Posts:
Man mistakes Madonna for Monroe
The JFK-Marilyn Monroe Correspondence

Update: The Smoking Gun has conducted research that also casts doubt on Morgan's claims.
Categories: Celebrities, Sex/Romance
Posted by Alex on Thu Apr 17, 2008
Comments (23)
57-year-old Gene Morrill was charged with soliciting 13-year-old boys over the internet. He pleaded guilty, but in his defense noted that he himself had been molested as a child -- by Bigfoot! The Free Lance-Star reports:

Morrill told an investigator preparing his pre-sentence report about being sexually assaulted by the legendary Bigfoot, a North American folklore character said to be between 7 and 10 feet tall, and covered in dark brown or dark reddish hair. Patton [his defense attorney] said Morrill really believes the assault happened.

It was probably a strategy to get a reduced sentence due to mental incompetence, but it didn't work. He was sentenced to twenty years.

Quite a few people, men and women, have claimed over the years that they were abducted and molested by Bigfoot. The most famous was the Canadian prospector Albert Ostman, who said that Bigfoot abducted him and held him prisoner for six days for breeding purposes. Brian Helme submitted a haiku to the site a few years ago inspired by this theme:

Bigfoot, he saw me.
Grabbed me and ran far away.
I’ll be his boy toy.
Categories: Cryptozoology, Sex/Romance
Posted by Alex on Sun Mar 30, 2008
Comments (10)
Remarries, to be exact. From Yahoo! News:

Sheila Smith's husband, Bob, had to go away on business and couldn't make the Valentine's Day recommitment service at Grove City United Methodist Church. So friends brought a life-size inflatable doll to serve as a stand-in. They dressed Blow-up Bob in dress pants, a shirt and tie, and taped on a head-shot photo of the real Bob Smith.

There's definitely an emerging trend of cardboard or inflatable spouses. Usually it involves military spouses who are stationed abroad.

For instance, back in Dec. 2005 I posted about the Husband Mannequin -- Suzy Walker's stand-in for her husband serving on the USS West Virginia.

Then in Sep. 2006 there was a story going around about Flat Daddys and Flat Mommys -- cardboard cutouts of deployed service members that the military was providing to families. (There are posts about it in both the main blog and the forum.)

I'd be curious to know how old this practice is. Did women back in World War II create husband mannequins?
Categories: Identity/Imposters, Sex/Romance
Posted by Alex on Thu Feb 21, 2008
Comments (4)
Guy convinces girl he's a vampire-werewolf hybrid
An unusual, but apparently effective pickup strategy. The guy was later charged with statutory sexual assault since he was 19 and she was 15. To prove to police that he was a genuine vampire/werewolf, he showed them his canine teeth. The police pointed out to him that "all mammals, including humans, have canine teeth."

German museum discovers its Monet is a fake
The clues: a retraced signature, it was painted over a drawing that was clearly not a Monet, and a "colourless substance" had been applied to make the painting look older.

Boston man receives postcard from 1929
Could this be the work of the Lost Postcard Rescue Department?

Kid who spotted the Titanic hoax photos nominated for journalism award
I posted about the hoax Titanic photos back in Aug 2007. It's nice for the kid to get an award.
Categories: Art, Sex/Romance
Posted by Alex on Thu Feb 14, 2008
Comments (11)
Restaurant removes fake surveillance camera from bathroom
"A fake surveillance camera pointing into a bathroom stall of a Second Cup restaurant was taken down Monday after it sparked concerns from the chain's executives and the Quebec government. Second Cup franchisee Francois Turgeon recently installed the decoy camera in his downtown cafe hoping to ward off heroin users who reportedly left dirty needles in the men's bathroom."

Man complains that sex doll lost its moan
"Consumer officials in Romania have upheld a complaint from a man who said his inflatable doll had lost its moan... The man had also complained that the rubber doll deflated too quickly, local media said."

Masked robber forgets to keep mask on
Brian Waltermyer walked into a bank wearing a hood. "He handed a teller a note demanding money, and the teller told him to remove the hood. He did, giving the bank surveillance cameras a crystal-clear view of his face." He was arrested soon after.

Grandma hides cocaine in bra
Big Gary writes: "The only reason this is mildly interesting is it shows the Brassiere Brigade tradition is still alive in Florida."
Categories: Law/Police/Crime, Sex/Romance
Posted by Alex on Wed Feb 06, 2008
Comments (2)
Dave, the forecasting pig
"'Darke County Dave,' a local hog, will opine -- or oswine -- on America's economic outlook on Friday, the Ohio treasurer's office said. In his inaugural outing, Dave will choose between a trough of sugar or one of sawdust to gauge the the economy's future course at the event in Greenville, Ohio, northwest of Dayton." (Thanks, Gary)

How to say "Mr. Rose Apple Nose" in Thai sign language
"Sign language interpreters in Thailand have run afoul of some ruling party supporters by holding their noses to refer to the new prime minister." Big Gary comments: "Here's another of those 'awkward translation' stories, this one apparently true. I didn't know what a 'rose apple' is, so I looked up a description. Frankly, I don't see a resemblance between the pictures of the fruit I could find and the Thai PM. I remember that when Helmut Kohl was Chancellor of Germany, the opposition called him 'The Light Bulb' because his head resembled one. It seemed to me that his real name, which could be translated 'Helmet Cabbage,' was silly enough."

Woman marries five men
"Officials arrested Shauna Keith last week. They said the 27-year-old woman married five men, all members of the military. She is also accused of having five social security numbers."
Categories: Future/Time, Literature/Language, Sex/Romance
Posted by Alex on Fri Feb 01, 2008
Comments (8)
Last week this story was EVERYWHERE. A pair of twins in Britain, who had been adopted into different families, met and fell in love... without realizing they were twins. They then got married, only to discover the terrible secret they shared. Their marriage was promptly annulled.

When I first read about this, it sounded pretty fishy to me -- very much like an urban legend being reported as news -- but on a cursory reading of the story I also got the impression that there were officials involved who knew about the case but couldn't disclose the identity of the twins. So I accepted the news as true. I think the paragraph in the BBC report linked to above that got me was this one:

Mo O'Reilly, director of child placement for the British Association for Adoption and Fostering, said the situation was traumatic for the people involved, but incredibly rare.


To me, this sounded as if Mo O'Reilly actually knew about the case first-hand. Unfortunately, I didn't read the article closely enough. Apparently the only person who knew about the case was Lord Alton who used it as an example during a House of Lords debate on the Human Fertility and Embryology Bill. Lord Alton had heard about the case "from a judge who was involved." In other words, the source is a FOAF (friend of a friend), one of the classic signs of an urban legend.

Jon Henley of the Guardian summarizes the situation:

Here's the thing: it all came from a single remark more than a month ago by the vehemently anti-abortion Roman Catholic peer and father of four, Lord Alton, in favour of all children having the right to know the identity of their biological parents.
He had heard about this particular case, he said, from the judge who handled the annulment. Or perhaps (he later admitted) a judge who was "familiar with the case". Britain's top family judge, Sir Mark Potter, has never heard of the story. And, as the excellent Heresy Corner blog notes, the whole thing is statistically improbable, procedurally implausible (for 40 years, adoption practice has been to keep twins together) and based on the equivalent of a friend in the pub saying, "Hey, I heard the most amazing story the other day."


So it looks like this piece of news needs to be categorized as an urban-legend-reported-as-news until proven otherwise. (Thanks, Joe)
Categories: Birth/Babies, Journalism, Sex/Romance, Urban Legends
Posted by Alex on Tue Jan 15, 2008
Comments (15)
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