Push-Button Bugles —
The military has a problem: not enough bugle players to play taps at all the military funerals. Therefore, they came up with the solution of bugles implanted with electronic chips that contain a recording of taps. No skill is required to play them, beyond being able to flip a switch. Now a group is protesting the use of the fake bugles, and is calling on bugle players throughout the nation to assist at military funerals: www.buglesacrossamerica.org
The Solomon Stone —
Scientists puzzle over the mystery of the Solomon stone found in Israel. As the London Times puts it: it "is either a state-of-the-art hoax or an ancient Hebrew inscription - more than 2,000 years old - confirming the Biblical account of Solomon's temple." Many people would dearly want this to be true. So in such cases the burden of evidence should be set even higher, to counter the wish-fulfillment impulse.
Recently the controversy surrounding Clonaid's claims that they've created a clone has been the big thing in the world of hoaxes. I got quoted in this Washington Post article about the situation.
Applebees e-mail hoax —
A lot of people have been getting this e-mail in their inboxes:My name is Bill Palmer, founder of Applebees. In an attempt to get our name out to more people in the rural communities where we are not currently located, we are offering a $50 gift certificate to anyone who forwards this email to 9 of their friends. Just send this email to them and you will receive an email back with a confirmation number to claim your gift certificate. Sincerely Bill Palmer Founder of Applebees…
More on the Reverse Sokal Hoax —
Regarding the Reverse Sokal Hoax described below: apparently the two brothers supposedly involved in it have denied that it was a hoax (see their statement pasted below). So the mystery continues.
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN It was with the greatest astonishment that we have discovered that 2 members of the Ecole Polytechnique and 2 members of the University of Tours were the sources of an incredible rumor meant to validate the ideathat our papers were purposly written in serious journals…
Reverse Sokal Hoax —
There is an e-mail going around detailing a so-called 'reverse Sokal hoax.' I'm not sure if the circumstances it describes are real or not. But here's the text of the e-mail verbatim: Sometime ago Alan Sokol et al wrote a completely meaningless article on quantum gravity which was accepted by a leading, refereed "deconstructionist journal". Physicists laughed because the hoax was at the deconstructionists' expense. But now there is is an inverse Sokol hoax in which, apparently, two…