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The Hoax Museum Blog
Hoaxes, mischief, and misinformation throughout history
Polite Practical Jokers
Posted by The Curator on Tue Sep 30, 2003
A columnist for the Cleveland Plain Dealer complains that modern practical jokes just aren't funny any more because they're too well-mannered and polite. In particular he's talking about flash mobs... the new fad (which is already old) in which crowds suddenly appear somewhere, having arranged to meet via text-messaging or email, do something nonsensical, and then disappear. I agree about the lameness of flash mobs. He also gives David Blaine's newest stunt a thumbs down. I'd have to agree again.
Categories: Pranks Comments (0)
Skyhigh Airlines
Posted by The Curator on Tue Sep 30, 2003
Here's a new hoax website that's making the rounds: Skyhigh Airlines. It's motto is 'Flying More. Caring Less.' I love their Challenge Seating Innovation. You fight with other passengers for the seat you want. Also check out the list of cities they fly out of. Where else can you get a roundtrip ticket from Araz Stage Stop, CA to Smeltertown, TX? The site appears to have been created by Alaska Airlines, as part of a new humor-themed advertising campaign. There are accompanying TV and radio ads for Skyhigh Airlines (that reveal themselves to be ads for Alaska Airlines before they're over).
Stu Magazine
Posted by The Curator on Tue Sep 30, 2003
Bob Pagani (aka the cranky media guy) gave me a heads up about a recent Canadian media hoax. It was the launch of Stu, a new 'lad' magazine in the style of Maxim. Stu was the magazine 'for the adequate man.' Articles included advice on how to score with hot-girl's less-than-hot friends, as well as how to find great free merchandise by dumpster diving. The new magazine managed to get quite a bit of press coverage, even though, as it turned out, there was no Stu magazine. Only a press kit.
Categories: Journalism Comments (0)
Primate Programming
Posted by The Curator on Tue Sep 30, 2003
From the company's website: "Primate Programming Inc. is dedicated to the advancement and gainful employment of non-human great apes within the United States information technology sector."
Categories: Animals, Technology, Websites Comments (0)
Across Loch Ness
Posted by The Curator on Tue Sep 30, 2003
Lloyd Scott plans to walk across Loch Ness... beneath the water. Everyone is hoping he'll bump into Nessie.
Categories: Cryptozoology Comments (0)
Single Black Female Looking for Love
Posted by The Curator on Tue Sep 30, 2003
An email has been making the rounds that appears to be a personal ad from a 'single black female' who's looking for love. Daisy, as the mystery female calls herself, promises that she loves to play and, if she finds the right man, will be willing to wait at home for him 'wearing only what nature gave me.' Thousands of men have called up the number listed in the email, only to find themselves connected to the Atlanta Humane Society. Daisy is, of course, a black Labrador. Here's the text of the email: SINGLE BLACK FEMALE seeks male companionship, ethnicity unimportant. I'm a very good-looking girl who LOVES to play. I love long walks in the woods, riding…
Categories: Email Hoaxes, Sex/Romance Comments (4)
George Plimpton (1927-2003)
Posted by The Curator on Fri Sep 26, 2003
George Plimpton, creator of Sidd Finch (which came in at number 3 on my list of the greatest April Fool's day hoaxes of all time), has died. He was 76 years old.
Categories: Death, Sports Comments (0)
Mickey Mouse Goes to University
Posted by The Curator on Thu Sep 25, 2003
A British reporter filled out a university application with info for Mickey Mouse, and Mickey was accepted. But to be fair to the university, instead of using the name 'Mickey Mouse,' which would have been a giveaway, he wrote Michael Mouse. That sounds like it really could be someone's name.
Categories: Journalism Comments (0)
Edible Outdoor Gear
Posted by The Curator on Thu Sep 25, 2003
Here's a strange hoax website (sent in by Stuart Jacobson). It's Eastern Active Technologies (EAT), retailers of edible outdoor gear and equipment. Now when you set off on a weekend hiking trip, laden down with tent, sleeping bag, and backpack, you can return completely empty handed... and well fed.
Categories: Food, Websites Comments (0)
The Collect-Trash-for-Charity Hoax
Posted by The Curator on Wed Sep 24, 2003
Schoolchildren in Gloucester, England were fooled by a hoax, versions of which have been around for decades. They received an email message telling them that if they collected 3 kilograms of empty Walker chips packages, then Walker Chips would pay for the treatment of a child born without an arm. The kids collected all the packages of chips, only to learn that Walker Chips had never made such an offer. Like I said, versions of this hoax have happened many times before. They often involve the collection of bottle caps, empty boxes of matches, or other junk, all, so it is said, to support some good cause. Curtis MacDougall, in his classic study of hoaxes, records an example…
Categories: Con Artists Comments (0)
The Truth About the Abominable Snowman
Posted by The Curator on Wed Sep 24, 2003
The Abominable Snowman, or Yeti, is really just a legend derived from stories about the Himalayan Brown Bear, says this Japanese researcher. He found that 'meti' means brown bear in the language of the indigenous people around the Himalayas. But in one region they say 'yeti' instead of 'meti.' Thus the tales about the Yeti.
Categories: Cryptozoology Comments (3)
The Nature of Reality
Posted by The Curator on Wed Sep 24, 2003
Interesting discussion of the nature of reality. Posits three positions: 1) Reality is hidden and unknowable; 2) Reality is attainable; 3) We can't agree about reality. (via RealityCarnival).
Categories: Religion Comments (0)
Beta-7 and Sega ESPN NFL Football
Posted by The Curator on Wed Sep 24, 2003
I don't have much time to examine this fully, but a visitor (Rocketboy_X) just alerted me to a possible hoax involving a guy named 'Beta-7' who claims to have been a beta tester for one of Sega's new video games, ESPN NFL Football, until he began to experience blackouts during which he would engage in unpredictable behavior (such as randomly tackling people). On his website (or rather, a website devoted to publicizing his claims), Beta-7 claims that the game (which was just released a few weeks ago) causes this reaction in a small percentage of people, and that Sega knows about this and is trying to cover it up. Of course, this all smells like it's a controversy engineered…
Categories: Technology Comments (2)
Joseph Papp and his Submarine
Posted by The Curator on Wed Sep 24, 2003
Infinite Energy, 'The Magazine of New Energy Science and Technology,' has devoted its entire current issue to analyzing the work of Joseph Papp, the Hungarian inventor who claimed to have built some kind of fusion-powered engine that used noble gases as fuel (i.e. we're talking 'free-energy' technology here). In the 1960s he also claimed to have built a submarine that could travel at 300 mph, and in a test run of this craft he said that he travelled from Canada to France in 13 hours (the airplane ticket that was later found in his pocket debunked this claim). Infinite Energy has one sample article about Papp on its website. I've also got some pictures of Papp's submarine on…
Categories: Free Energy Comments (0)
Laze’s Diet System
Posted by The Curator on Wed Sep 24, 2003
Laze's Diet System: Here's a diet system that promises fast results. It seems to involve sucking your stomach in.
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All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.