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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)
If you feel like adopting a baby, but can't for some reason, just give the folks at Black Market Babies $50,000 and they'll steal someone's baby and give it to you. They also offer black market pandas and black market tigers for sale. Unfortunately their online form for submitting orders is 'temporarily' out of order. (Link via Entensity.net, who linked to me. Warning: their site is not safe for work).
Categories: Birth/Babies, Websites
Posted by Alex on Mon Aug 18, 2003
Comments (13)
Enter the Win-Toilet-Paper sweepstakes, and the toilet-paper delivery man could soon be knocking on your door. I'm not sure if this is for real or not. I don't feel like supplying them with my email address to find out.

Update: Apparently it's real. Strange, but real.
Categories: Business/Finance, Websites
Posted by Alex on Mon Aug 11, 2003
Comments (2)
Here's a new hoax website: meatshake.com. It claims to be the homepage of the MeatShake Corporation, operators of the Meat Shake chain of fast food restaurants. You guessed it, MeatShake offers meat lovers the chance to quench their carnivorous appetites with ham, beef, and turkey shakes. Let there be no doubt. This is meat put in a blender and sipped through a straw. Their corporate vision is simple, "Meat. Lots of Meat." (Thanks to Jeff Whealton for pointing the site out to me).

In reality, the MeatShake website is the creation of a band from Long Beach called Ugly Duckling. Their latest album, "Taste The Secret," tells the story of the MeatShake restaurant and it's battles against the rival chain Veggie Hut. The three members of the band claim to have met while working at a MeatShake restaurant.

Need more proof that MeatShake is a hoax? Well, if you examine the images on the site, you'll discover that whoever created them forgot to change the hidden preview file attached to the images, and this preview file shows what the images looked like before they were photoshopped. Thus, we discover that:


meat shake  meat shake before photoshop

The Meat Shake sign (left) was originally a sign for Champion Burgers (right)

taste the secret  for lease

and the Meat Shake store with a 'Taste the Secret' banner (left), is actually an abandoned store with a 'For Lease' sign (right).
Categories: Entertainment, Food, Websites
Posted by Alex on Sat Aug 02, 2003
Comments (0)
The team of developers on this website claim to be creating a game called '911 Survivor' that allows you to simulate being inside the burning World Trade Center. Reacting to this, quite a few people have immediately speculated that it must be a hoax. But looking through the site, I suspect it isn't. Instead it seems to be some kind of art project designed to make people question the boundaries drawn between real-reality and media-reality.
Categories: Hate Crimes/Terror, Websites
Posted by Alex on Mon Jul 28, 2003
Comments (0)
Here's the Unofficial Daria Movie Rumor Page. I'll let its creator, Barry Edelman, describe it in his own words:
I just finished your book and I loved it. I had to check out the site,
which is also good. Since you have a section on hoax sites, I had to submit
mine. My brother and I, annoyed by bad Hollywood movies based on television
shows (and bad Hollywood movies in general), for a few years maintained a site
called The Unofficial Daria Movie Rumor Page. The premise is that the MTV
cartoon series _Daria_ has been turned into a movie starring Jennifer Love
Hewitt in the title role. (The title role, being an intelligent, sarcastic
loner with a monotone voice, is probably the last character Hewitt would be
cast to play.) Although the page is explicitly labeled a parody (see the
bottom of the page) and some of the rumors reported are rather improbable, many
people have written in to express their outrage at the movie industry doing
such a thing, or, occasionally, to submit their own rumors. (Interestingly,
the actual writing of the page was disrupted by a hoaxer on a Yahoo! club, who
repeatedly submitted fraudulent news articles, which produced a few interesting
plot twists in the rumors.) Enjoy.
Categories: Entertainment, Websites
Posted by Alex on Sat Jul 26, 2003
Comments (1)
Is the weight from your sins hanging heavy on your shoulders? Just visit Absolution Online, home of the Virtual Confessional, and your burden shall be lifted.
Categories: Religion, Websites
Posted by Alex on Wed Jul 23, 2003
Comments (2)
Here's another hoax website: Hooty Corp. It's the creation of a visitor to my site (a young one, I suspect). Hooty Corp might be a little unpolished, but it's all the more endearing for being so. I particularly like the Hooty shop where you can buy products such as the Clothes Desmellerizer and a book titled How to Drive a Laidlaw Bus in 12 Simple Steps. You get a nice, subtle message if you click on the 'buy' button to purchase any of these products.
Categories: Business/Finance, Websites
Posted by Alex on Fri Jul 18, 2003
Comments (0)
Metallica sues the band Unfaith for unsanctioned usage of the chords E and F. I saw this story yesterday and thought it was strange. But then I figured, well it is Metallica, after all. So it's probably true. I should have known better. Today it's revealed to be a hoax concocted by Unfaith's singer/songwriter Erik Ashley (if you've never heard of Unfaith before, join the club. I hadn't either). Quite a good hoax. Believable enough to seem true at first, but in hindsight you kick yourself for having fallen for it. Plus, it makes fun of someone worth making fun of.
Categories: Entertainment, Websites
Posted by Alex on Fri Jul 18, 2003
Comments (0)
For some reason I've been getting a lot of email lately about Bonsai Kittens. I can't figure out why, since that hoax is almost three years old now. But I guess interest in some hoaxes just never dies (unlike those poor kittens in the jars).
Categories: Animals, Gross, Websites
Posted by Alex on Tue Jul 15, 2003
Comments (12)
Last week everyone was linking to this spoof about the missing Weapons of Mass Destruction. It even managed to become the first item displayed if you typed in 'Weapons of Mass Destruction' on Google (though Google has since changed that). In the same spirit, here's a spoof page about Jayson Blair and the New York Times.
Categories: Journalism, Websites
Posted by Alex on Thu Jul 10, 2003
Comments (0)
David Emery, of About.com's Urban Legends and Folklore page, found out that the Baby Ink tattoo parlor was an April Fool's day joke created by a couple of San Diego DJs. The DJs boast about the prank on their website (you need to scroll about halfway down to find the reference).
Categories: Birth/Babies, Websites
Posted by Alex on Thu Jul 10, 2003
Comments (0)
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