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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
April 2004
Best and Worst April Fools, 2004 — After having had a few days to consider this year's crop of April Fool's Day hoaxes, I've picked a personal favorite, which would be NPR's news story about the "portable zip codes" program. This program, inspired by the new FCC ruling that lets you take your phone number with you when you move, would supposedly allow people to take their zip code with them when they move. I like the story because, unlike most of the hoaxes this year, it's actually semi-believable. Absurd, of course, but…
Posted: Tue Apr 06, 2004.   Comments (2)

Fake Vacation Photo Generator — Inspired by an entry I wrote last year about a growing trend in Italy of taking fake vacations (i.e. people can't afford to go anywhere, so they just tell everyone they went away, while they really spend the whole time at home), Michaela Eaves has created this Fake Vacation Photo Generator, to help people embellish their fake vacation stories with fake vacation photos. Thanks, Michaela. This will come in handy on my 'trip' to Hawaii later this year.
Posted: Mon Apr 05, 2004.   Comments (2)

Did Lynne Cheney really write a racy novel in her youth? — Over at whitehouse.org (which is not the website of the whitehouse), there's a page describing a novel, titled Sisters, written by the notoriously prudish Lynne Cheney back in 1981. This must have been in Lynne's wilder days because the book is apparently a sexy tale set on the American frontier involving brothels, attempted rapes, and lesbian love affairs. According to this news report, a publisher was going to reissue the book, but was blocked from doing so by Ms. Cheney. 'Goo' sent…
Posted: Mon Apr 05, 2004.   Comments (6)

Born to be Wild — When the 'Green' brothers were found living in the wilderness outside of Vancouver, they claimed that they had been living there, in that condition, their entire life. News reports of the Wild Boys of Canada (or 'Bush Boys of Vernon') soon followed. But now it turns out that the pair weren't so wild after all. They were really born and raised in Sacramento, California, until they ran away from home last year and found their way into the Canadian wilderness.
Posted: Mon Apr 05, 2004.   Comments (0)


Stories that sound like jokes, but aren’t — Every year on April 1 reporters test our wits by mixing in a few joke stories with the real ones. But then there are also the stories that are real, but sound like jokes. These stories challenge us to keep our skepticism under control. This year, the biggest example of that was Google's Gmail announcement that had many people swearing it must be a joke. Then we also had an article released by the British National Archives describing a bizarre WWII plan to place chickens inside of…
Posted: Fri Apr 02, 2004.   Comments (3)

Thorax Cake — Apparently this was made for a pumpkin carving party (Halloween, I assume), but it would work great as an April Fool's Day food prank as well. It's easily one of the most disgusting food creations I've ever seen, and yet it's just cake. (via Sore Eyes)
Posted: Thu Apr 01, 2004.   Comments (6)

April Fool’s Day Roundup — Apple Announces iPod V Portable Video Player from iPodLounge (would have been cool if true). The iShave: An attachment to turn your iPod into an electric razor. (iPod jokes seem popular this year). DeadJournal: The alternative to LiveJournal. Bob Carroll, creator of the Skeptic's Dictionary, announces he's seen the light and abandoned skepticism. L-plates for yum cha carts (But what's a yum cha cart?) Kids Fly Free on RyanAir (for as long as they can hold on) Theatre-goers weighed…
Posted: Thu Apr 01, 2004.   Comments (4)

Oprah Becomes 4th Member of Holy Trinity — The major Christian denominations have jointly agreed to make Oprah Winfrey the fourth member of the Holy Trinity, thereby broadening its appeal and making it less gender-biased. "Along with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the popular talk show host will be recognized as one person in the sacred and indivisible unity of the Godhead--or Quadhead, as the updated Trinity will now be called."
Posted: Thu Apr 01, 2004.   Comments (2)

TV on your Mobile — In an update of the Instant Color TV prank from 1962, Sweden's largest newspaper, Dagens Nyheter, is reporting that mobile phone users can watch movies on their phone screens, simply by pointing the phones at a tv and punching in the appropriate access code.
Posted: Thu Apr 01, 2004.   Comments (0)

Opening Belch — The Motley Fool reports a mishap at the New York Stock Exchange today. Russ Cooper, CEO of Farmland Enterprise Associates, misread the instructions and thought the invitation to ring the opening bell at the exchange asked him instead to emit the opening belch. He performed as he thought he was required.
Posted: Thu Apr 01, 2004.   Comments (0)

New Atlantic Tunnel — The new Atlantic Tunnel will open in September 2009. It's being built by the Atlantic Tunnel Corporation (who else?). Check out their website to learn all about this amazing feat of engineering. You can even enter a competition to win a trip on the first train through the tunnel. There's a rumor that the London ad agency TBWAGGT is also somehow involved in this.
Posted: Thu Apr 01, 2004.   Comments (9)

ThinkGeek Hunger Eliminator — The folks at ThinkGeek have zeroed in on why people get fat: because they eat too much. Scientifically speaking it's called the ETM (eat too much) Syndrome. Their solution: the Gastron(tm) Remote Controlled Hunger Eliminator. "you can easily control your exact hunger level at any time. Simply swallow the tiny non-digestible Gastron base station and use the remote to adjust your personal hunger level. The base station inflates to fill your stomach, giving you that satisfied full feeling…
Posted: Thu Apr 01, 2004.   Comments (2)

BMW Offers New Way to Cook — BMW has announced a cutting-edge innovation for commuters that allows them to prepare dinner, while driving home in the car. It's called SHEF, which stands for Satellite Hypersensitive Electromagnetic Foodration. Basically all your oven controls are built into the dashboard of your car, and they communicate wirelessly with your actual oven back in your home. You can monitor the progress of your meal via a built-in oven-cam.
Posted: Thu Apr 01, 2004.   Comments (1)

Google Copernicus Center — Google has announced that they're now hiring for their new 'lunar hosting and research center': Copernicus Center. Applicants must be "capable of surviving with limited access to such modern conveniences as soy low-fat lattes, The Sopranos and a steady supply of oxygen."
Posted: Thu Apr 01, 2004.   Comments (2)

Google Launches Gmail — Google has announced a new email service called Gmail, that will give each user one gigabyte of free storage. Strangely, the press release is dated April 1, leading many to speculate that it's an April Fool's Day joke. Maybe it is, but if so it would seem a very odd one. Usually April Fool's Day jokes involve a certain minimum level of wit, and you should feel foolish for believing them once you find out they're a joke. But if someone were to tell me that Gmail is a joke, I wouldn't…
Posted: Thu Apr 01, 2004.   Comments (11)

iPod Muggings — There have been tales going around recently of iPod owners being targeted by muggers who then demand their iPods. For instance, there's this recent story of an iPod mugging in the British West Midlands, as well as a story from a month ago. Apparently it's the white color of the headphones that are making the owners prominent targets. About which an Apple representative reportedly said, "There are guys who�d rather be robbed than change the colour of the headphones." Now Engadget is…
Posted: Thu Apr 01, 2004.   Comments (3)

BBC Ducks the Issue — I just heard about this early April Fool's Day fumble on the part of the BBC. As the Times of London reports: "Declan Curry, the intrepid television hack, broke the embargo on a fascinating British Waterways study that revealed that ducks living on canals weigh, on average, about a pound more than those living on rivers. The slow-moving canal water, so the story went, provides less opportunity for the ducks to swim and as a result they piled on the pounds. Mr Curry and the BBC should…
Posted: Thu Apr 01, 2004.   Comments (2)

WiFi - SM — Are you guilty about living a life of comfort while others around the world suffer? Do you want to 'feel their pain'? Now you can, thanks to the WiFi-SM. This is a wireless device that "automatically detects the information from approximately 4,500 news sources worldwide updated continuously and analyses them looking for specific keywords such as death, kill, murder, torture, rape, war, virus etc.. Each time the text of the news contains one of these keywords, your WiFi-SM device is…
Posted: Thu Apr 01, 2004.   Comments (1)

Christian Science Monitor: Historic Hoaxes — If it weren't for the inconvenient fact that no one has a clue who I am, I'd almost feel famous, because I was interviewed not only by Wired, but also by the Christian Science Monitor, for this article. My mother always says that she could have had a son who was a doctor or a lawyer, but instead she gets a son who's a hoax expert. Well, it may not pay much, but at least I get interviewed a lot once a year, every April 1st.
Posted: Thu Apr 01, 2004.   Comments (1)

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