The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Great New York Zoo Escape Hoax, 1874
The most sacred relic: the Holy Foreskin, circa 800 AD
Samsung invents the on/off switch
September Morn, the painting that shocked the censor, 1913
Fake Fish Photos
Dog wins art contest, 1974
What do the lines on Solo cups mean?
BMW's April Fool's Day Hoaxes
The Great Space Monkey Hoax, 1953
The Hoaxing Hitchhiker, 1941
Intergalactic Personal Ads
image Leave a message on Endless Echoes' answering machine, and for only $24.95 they'll beam it into outer space, where it will theoretically travel forever. They bill it as the perfect way to send a message to loved ones who have died (why dead people would get the message in outer space, I don't know). I think the service would be better targeted at lonely hearts in search of alien companionship (Single White Female ISO Single Green Alien). But the whole thing has a hoaxy feel to it... along the lines of those companies that offer to name a star after you, or sell people plots of land on the moon. Why not just call up a radio station and dedicate a song to someone if you really need to send out a message as a radio broadcast? At least that way someone would have a chance of actually hearing what you say.
Categories: Extraterrestrial Life, Radio
Posted by The Curator on Sun Jun 20, 2004
Comments (7)
My brother named a star after his wife as a wedding gift... are they really not legit?
Posted by Casey W.  in  MS  on  Mon Jun 21, 2004  at  11:20 AM
It's about as legitimate as naming a grain of sand after someone. Sure, you can do it... but really, why would you pay money for this? The big difference is that there are far fewer grains of sand on earth than there are stars in the sky.
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Mon Jun 21, 2004  at  12:56 PM
> My brother named a star after his wife as a wedding gift... are they really not legit?

No, they are not legit. No observatory, planetarium, or any astronomical organization recognizes or use these star naming companies. Only the International Astronomical Union can officially name, or approve the name of any astronomical body. The only astronomical body that can be named after a person (living or dead) is an asteroid. And only the discoverer can choose the name.
Posted by Frederick  in  Sorrento, LA  on  Mon Jun 21, 2004  at  04:08 PM
This is trivially easy to do. All I need is a dish of any description, and a transmitter of any type, and any modulation scheme and bingo! I point it in a random up direction and it is beamed.

I can use a Radioshack 440Mhz radio, feed it to a 10 foot dish I got at a junkyard, use a loop for a feed, and bingo I am beaming to space. The total cost is less than $100.

It would be worth more if the Little Green Men replied.
Posted by fooboy  on  Tue Jun 22, 2004  at  12:29 PM
Who says only one associationh as the right to name stars? what athority gave that right to them? the stars are not of this world so how can one asswociation sit there and claim "only we can name them" that is so conceded
Posted by tim  in  texas  on  Wed Feb 16, 2005  at  04:01 PM
You have the right to name any star you want. Just don't expect anyone else to use the name you choose. The IAU was designated by an international board to assign names to stars to cut down on confusion and help arbitrate disagreements about star names. The designations are voluntarily used by scientists around the world because it makes their jobs a hell of a lot easier when everybody knows what everybody else is talking about.

No other organization is recognized by the international community to do this. These companies could offer to rename Europe "Tim-land" for you and enter it into the Library of Congress for you. But nobody else would give a damn. Plus, you have no way of knowing if they gave the same landmass out to another pigeon who paid them.
Posted by Charybdis  in  Hell  on  Wed Feb 16, 2005  at  05:59 PM
"Who says only one associationh as the right to name stars? what athority gave that right to them? the stars are not of this world so how can one asswociation sit there and claim "only we can name them" that is so conceded".

Why do you think plants and animals are given scientific names? It's so scientists around the world can talk about the same things without confusion. If scientists just used local common names or ad-hoc names for animals, plants or the stars in the sky, imagine the chaos! Why on earth is that conceded? Put some thought behind your questions.
Posted by WD  in  Tim-land  on  Tue Jul 18, 2006  at  12:25 AM
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