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The Hoax Museum Blog
Hoaxes, mischief, and misinformation throughout history
If your cat has been feeling a little down lately, then you may need to hire the services of Confuse a Cat, Ltd., the world leaders in feline bewilderment. One of their highly trained technicians will come to your house and proceed to bewilder your cat, thus restoring it to its former self.
Posted: Tue Mar 16, 2004 Comments (4)

Lex Cusack is in jail for selling love letters supposedly written in 1961 by JFK to Marilyn Monroe. The problem is that the letters contained zip codes, and zip codes only came into use in 1963. Now the FBI wants to destroy all the letters, and Cusack is crying foul. He argues that even if the letters are fake (he continues to claim they're real), they're still his property and the government can't just destroy them.
Posted: Sun Mar 14, 2004 Comments (2)

Bobby Mason, former professional football player for the Wolverhampton Wanderers, was quite a celebrity in Southbourne. Problem is, Bobby Mason wasn't really Bobby Mason. He was an imposter who had been posing as the football player. The real Bobby Mason was quite shocked to learn that someone had been living as him for so long.
Posted: Sun Mar 14, 2004 Comments (0)

I didn't think there was anyone left who hadn't heard this joke already. It's the one about the dangers of dihydrogen monoxide, a chemical found in many toxic substances and often used as an industrial solvent. Sounds scary, but dihydrogen monoxide is, of course, simply the scientific name for water, or H2O. Apparently the city council of Aliso Viejo, California hadn't heard the joke before, because they were about to ban the use of styrofoam cups because dihydrogen monoxide was used in their production. Luckily someone clued them in before they embarrassed themselves even more. Their one comfort is that they're not the only ones to fall for this joke. Last year disc jockeys in Olathe, Kansas warned…
Posted: Sun Mar 14, 2004 Comments (3)


In 1953 Bernard Kettlewell performed a set of experiments that proved that predation by birds was responsible for the peppered moth population changing from mostly white to mostly black. The reasoning was that industrial pollution had caused the barks of trees to turn dark. Therefore black moths resting during the day on the darkened trunks of trees had a selective advantage over white moths, because the birds could see the white moths more easily and prey on them. Kettlewell released both white and black moths into the wild and demonstrated that the black moths survived at a higher rate in the polluted areas. Now you can duplicate Kettlewell's experiment with the
Posted: Fri Mar 12, 2004 Comments (4)

Tadeusz, writing from the Netherlands, asked my opinion on whether this product is real or fake: The Breast Pillow (safe for work). It's supposed to prevent women from getting "wrinkling of the cleavage area" as they sleep, especially women who have breast implants. I don't know if it actually works, but I see no reason why it wouldn't be a real product. My wife tells me that some women wear bras to bed for this very reason.
Posted: Fri Mar 12, 2004 Comments (2)

It seems like there have been quite a few articles lately on the growth of hoax photography wrought by photoshop. Now the New York Times has chimed in with an article on the subject.
Posted: Fri Mar 12, 2004 Comments (0)

Because April Fool's Day is fast approaching, I revamped my list of the top 100 April Fool's Day hoaxes of all time. I juggled around the top ten a bit to better reflect the popular favorites. Most significantly, I added Sweden's 1962 classic 'Instant Color TV' hoax into the list, placing it at number three. Plus, by using pMachine I added the capability for readers to add comments to any one of the April Fools.
Posted: Fri Mar 12, 2004 Comments (0)

Kingdom Hospital. It's the 'Hospital that brings out the best in you.' From its website you would think that it's a real hospital, until you start poking around it a bit. Then it gets creepy. It's a tie-in, of course, with ABC's Kingdom Hospital miniseries. But it's pretty well done. (submitted by Brian Flynn).
Posted: Wed Mar 10, 2004 Comments (3)

It's become popular to give party guests little tags to put around their wine glasses so they always know which glass is theirs. Now the same concept has been extended to boyfriends. It's Boyfriend Marker. (via J-Walk)
Posted: Wed Mar 10, 2004 Comments (7)

In a recent survey nearly half of Australian workers admitted to taking fake sick days. I assume this means that the other half were still lying about not taking them.
Posted: Wed Mar 10, 2004 Comments (1)

Liars and chronic excuse-makers now have a new weapon of deception at their disposal. SounderCover will add fake background noises to a cellular call. So if you're sleeping in late, but you want your boss to think that you're stuck in traffic, just play the sound for background traffic while you lay happily in bed. You can even create and use your own sounds. Ingenious.
Posted: Wed Mar 10, 2004 Comments (0)

If you missed the chance to bid on the Scottish Castle that was being sold on eBay, don't worry. You have another chance. The first auction was cancelled after it was flooded by hoax bidders, including a guy living in a two-bedroom flat in Ohio who bid a cool £8 million. Why do people even bother auctioning these high-ticket items on eBay? They attract hoax bidders like a dog attracts fleas.
Posted: Wed Mar 10, 2004 Comments (0)

Apparently in a bid to secure the title of 'Stupidest Criminal Ever,' a woman, Alice Regina Pike, handed a clerk at WalMart a $1,000,000 bill and asked to cash it. The clerk refused, so then Ms. Pike tried to buy $1,675 worth of merchandise with the bill. Still no luck. Finally the cops were called in and the woman was taken away. She probably would have had more luck if she had tried with monopoly money, or perhaps one of those $200 George Bush bills.
Posted: Wed Mar 10, 2004 Comments (0)

Dear Abby answered a letter from a woman who described the following situation. Her brutish, insensitive husband gave her a bowling ball for her birthday fitted to his own hand size. She retaliated by taking up bowling as a hobby, but soon met a man at the bowling alley and fell in love with him. So what should she do? Dear Abby advised trying to save the marriage, but an alert newspaper editor realized that the letter actually described an episode of the Simpson's in which this exact situation happened to Marge. The letter was pulled before it had a chance to appear in papers
Posted: Wed Mar 10, 2004 Comments (0)

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