The Museum of Hoaxes
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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
April 2004
Taiwan’s Fake Election Results — On March 20, tv viewers in Taiwan got to see real-time election results flashing across their screens as the votes were counted for the Presidential election. But it turns out now that the election results viewers were seeing didn't actually bear any relationship to reality. The tv stations were just making them up. For example, some stations were reporting 3 to 6 million votes already counted and opposition candidate Lien Chan taking a strong lead, when actually the election commission…
Posted: Mon Apr 26, 2004.   Comments (1)

Will the real Ella Schultz please stand up? — Ella Schultz, an elderly black woman living in Kentwood, Michigan, is quite the emailer. Over the past year she's been shooting off emails to teachers, school administrators, and even a few journalists. But it turns out that Ella isn't actually real. The person actually sending those emails was Edward Kape, a Kentwood Board of Education member (who has now resigned). Or at least, he was one of the people using 'Ella Schultz' as their nom de plume. He insists there were others, though…
Posted: Mon Apr 26, 2004.   Comments (5)

Overhauled the Site — I just updated the blogging software that the site runs on. I've been working on this the past few days (that's why I haven't posted much). I'm sure there are some bugs in it, but hopefully I'll iron them out over the weekend. I moved from pMachine to Expression Engine (which is actually a revamped edition of pMachine). Unfortunately this means that many of the links on the site have changed. For instance, if you read this site through an RSS reader, you'll have to resubscribe using the…
Posted: Sat Apr 24, 2004.   Comments (0)

Fake Marriages Legally Binding — Saying that you were just pretending is now no longer an option. Luisa Holden-Cardozo tried to argue that her marriage should be annulled since the 100-guest ceremony was just a sham done for the sake of her boyfriend's (husband's) sick mother. The judge didn't buy this excuse, ruling that "if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck and looks like a duck, it's a duck." This verdict might put a damper on the mock wedding craze.
Posted: Tue Apr 20, 2004.   Comments (1)


Banana Guard — JL wants to know if Banana Guard is real or a hoax. But first, what is the Banana Guard? From the website, it's a "unique, patented device [that] allows for the safe transport and storage of individual bananas letting you enjoy perfect bananas anytime, anywhere." In other words, it stops your banana from getting bruised. It's available in a variety of colors such as Mellow Yellow and Glow in the Dark. So to answer JL's question: Yes, JL, there is a Banana Guard. It was invented by two…
Posted: Tue Apr 20, 2004.   Comments (4)

Who is the Hot Abercrombie Chick? — If you're a regular reader of Blogdex, as I am, then you'll recognize the name Hot Abercrombie Chick (aka Amanda Doerty). For some reason her weblog keeps rising to the top of Blogdex's index. I've never been able to figure out why. Her posts just don't seem that interesting or relevant. To be honest, I find them boring. Apparently other people have had the same thought, because now she's being accused of gaming Blogdex. But that's not all. Julia Set reports receiving an inside tip…
Posted: Tue Apr 20, 2004.   Comments (4)

Spacey’s Faux Mugging — Kevin Spacey has recanted on his claim that he was mugged in a London park at 4 am and had his cellphone stolen. What he meant to say was that he voluntarily handed over his phone to someone who asked if they could use it to call their mother, but instead ran away with it. Then Spacey tripped over his dog and cut his head. Not quite the same. But saying you were mugged sounds a little more respectable than admitting you fell for what is, quite literally, the oldest con in the book (the…
Posted: Mon Apr 19, 2004.   Comments (3)

The Way Things Were: Overpriced Web Host — BoingBoing linked to this webpage, 1c4.net, advertising a 1995 web-hosting service. Back then you could apparently get a website hosted for the bargain price of $250 a month. That may seem a lot, but when you figure that you got a whopping 3mb of storage space with that, it suddenly seems more reasonable. Times sure have changed, but actually I don't think that this overpriced web host was ever real. First of all, did they have .net suffixes in 1995? Maybe they did, but I don't remember…
Posted: Mon Apr 19, 2004.   Comments (9)

The Rogue Employee Tin — For almost a century Huntley & Palmers biscuit tins have been seen on the tea tables of well-to-do Brits. What few of those Brits realized is that the tins contained a surprise... not in the biscuits themselves, but in the illustration on the outside of the tin. Apparently a rogue employee, early in the twentieth century, hid various sexually explicit scenes in the illustrations. For instance, a tin now up for sale at Lawrences Auctioneers in Somerset shows two dogs having sex in the…
Posted: Sun Apr 18, 2004.   Comments (24)

Shroud of Turin — BBC News has a good summary of the Shroud of Turin controversy, in light of the second face that was discovered on the backside of it. "Does this mean it is real after all? Or does it mean it's an even better hoax than was previously thought?" The answer: no one really knows. I noted in my book that the debate about the shroud rages on and likely will for the foreseeable future. The emergence of new evidence has simply made that more true than ever.
Posted: Sun Apr 18, 2004.   Comments (24)

Petition to Stop the Godsend Institute — I talked about the Godsend Institute (the website of a cloning lab that's really a promo for an upcoming movie of the same name) a few days ago. I said that I really didn't think the site was that convincing. But maybe others have been fooled by it because someone started an online petition to ban the Godsend Institute. Of course, I'm not above suspecting that the petition was started by the movie studio itself as a way to generate faux controversy. This was a favorite ploy of P.T.…
Posted: Sun Apr 18, 2004.   Comments (1)

Virtual Trader — Wired News has an article about a guy, Julian Dibbell, who almost succeeded in making a living from trading in imaginary goods, namely virtual items from the game Ultima Online. Of course, it doesn't seem that extraordinary to me that someone could earn a good living from trading imaginary things. After all, isn't there a trillion dollar industry devoted to just this... i.e. the financial derivatives market? I mean, options and other financial instruments may have real value to people,…
Posted: Sun Apr 18, 2004.   Comments (1)

Ground Control to Major Abacha Tunde — The Register has posted a great Nigerian Bank Scam email that it received. I get these emails all the time, and typically they come from people claiming to be either relatives of (or bankers of) deposed third world leaders who have huge amounts of money trapped in a bank account somewhere. They need your help to move the money out of the country. But this email that the Register received claims to come from a relative of a Nigerian astronaut trapped in space. He has a huge amount of…
Posted: Sun Apr 18, 2004.   Comments (0)

Celebrity Look-Alikes — Fake Faces is a UK look-alike agency that represents a huge number of celebrity impersonators. It's kind of fun to browse through its catalog. As John Robinson of Sore Eyes notes, some of the look-alikes are really, really bad. But some are surprisingly good. For instance, would you be able to tell if that's really Joanna Lumley (of Ab Fab fame) in the thumbnail? It's not. (via Sore Eyes and I Love Everything)
Posted: Sat Apr 17, 2004.   Comments (2)

Hot Furniture-on-Furniture Action — I guess this site really isn't a hoax since it delivers exactly what it promises: furniture porn. Still, when you think of porn this isn't what most people have in mind. Very safe for work, unless images of pieces of furniture posed provocatively offend you. (Thanks, Goo)
Posted: Sat Apr 17, 2004.   Comments (2)

Jackson isn’t dead, nor is he touring Namibia — Sam Nujoma, President of Namibia, eagerly waited for the arrival of Michael Jackson, whom he believed was launching a 12-day tour of Africa in his country. Unfortunately, he waited and waited, and Jackson never showed up. In fact, Jackson never had any plans to visit Africa. Nujoma was the victim of misinformation. Jackson isn't even allowed to travel abroad until the case against him is settled.
Posted: Sat Apr 17, 2004.   Comments (0)

Michael Jackson Isn’t Dead — Despite the claims of this faux news story, Michael Jackson isn't dead.
Posted: Fri Apr 16, 2004.   Comments (1)

Paris Hilton’s Pubic Hair — Celebrity body parts seem to be the thing to sell on eBay. A few weeks ago George Best's liver was up for sale. Now we have Paris Hilton's pubic hair. According to the description on the auction, "This bundle of Pubic Hair was taken from Paris Hilton's bathroom sink at one of her hotels when she visited Australia late last year, Surprise!!!!!!!!!!!!! She isn't a natural blonde!!!!!!!!!!!!" The auction was yanked by eBay soon after it was put up, confirming that it was almost definitely…
Posted: Fri Apr 16, 2004.   Comments (8)

Million-Dollar Phone Number — The phone number 135 8585 8585 recently went up for sale on the Chinese internet auction site EachNet.com, and fetched the staggering price of $1.1 million. The appeal of the number is apparently that when spoken in Chinese it sounds similar to the phrase "let me be rich be rich be rich be rich." Well, whoever shelled out that much for the number is going to be a little bit poorer now (though it looks like the phrase worked for the previous owner). But you have to suspect that it was a hoax bid.
Posted: Fri Apr 16, 2004.   Comments (1)

Japanese Magnetic Fan — Kohei Minato, a Japanese inventor, has built an incredible new kind of magnet-powered electric motor. As this article on Japan.com explains, "Minato's motors consume just 20 percent or less of the power of conventional motors with the same torque and horse power. They run cool to the touch and produce almost no acoustic or electrical noise. They are significantly safer and cheaper (in terms of power consumed), and they are sounder environmentally." Sounds really great. Until you read…
Posted: Fri Apr 16, 2004.   Comments (2)

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