The Museum of Hoaxes
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What do the lines on Solo cups mean?
The Olympic Underwear Relay, 1956
The boy with the golden tooth, 1593
Bonsai Kittens, 2000
Samsung invents the on/off switch
The Nobody For President Campaign, 1940 to Present
Bizarre pictographs of Emmanuel Domenech, 1860
Brief History of Triple-Decker Buses
Burger King's Left-Handed Whopper Hoax, 1998
Rare planetary alignment decreases gravity, 1976
Divining Rods for Bombs
Despite major bombings that have rattled the nation, and fears of rising violence as American troops withdraw, Iraq’s security forces have been relying on a device to detect bombs and weapons that the United States military and technical experts say is useless.
The small hand-held wand, with a telescopic antenna on a swivel, is being used at hundreds of checkpoints in Iraq. But the device works “on the same principle as a Ouija board” — the power of suggestion — said a retired United States Air Force officer, Lt. Col. Hal Bidlack, who described the wand as nothing more than an explosives divining rod. Still, the Iraqi government has purchased more than 1,500 of the devices, known as the ADE 651, at costs from $16,500 to $60,000 each.
Link: NY Times

The high price is probably part of the marketing psychology that helps sell these things. Buyers figure that, at that price, they must work.
(Thanks, Bob!)
Categories: Military, Technology
Posted by The Curator on Thu Nov 05, 2009
Comments (4)
I think you've put your finger on at least part of it, Alex. People see the high price and think, "Who would have the balls to charge that much if they didn't work?"

As long as we're on the subject of divining rods, I've seen the local People's Utility District (yes, that's the official name for it) using a divining rod to find a water line under the street. This was in Pacific City, Oregon, about a hundred yards or so from the beach. You might think that the World's Largest Body of Water so close by might throw the divining off, but apparently not. Funny how that "works," huh?
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Thu Nov 05, 2009  at  03:30 AM
Wasn't there a similar device being sold to police forces and schools? Herew in the states?
Posted by mario  in  new joysey  on  Thu Nov 05, 2009  at  11:51 PM
Are you thinking of the Sniffex, Mario?
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Fri Nov 06, 2009  at  06:15 AM
All I can say is the secret ascension otherwise he would probably sue them for stealing the central idea of his book "Time Out Of Joint" and it's protagonist Ragle Gumm, who was a human diving rod for atomic attacks.

Oh, "The Secret Ascension" is the title of the book by Tim Powers that was origiabnlly called "Philip K Dick Is Dead, Alas" until the executors of PKD's estate got upset about it.
Posted by D F Stuckey  in  Auckland New Zealand  on  Tue Nov 10, 2009  at  04:17 AM
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