The Museum of Hoaxes
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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
September 2004
Hoax and Virus Card Game — Computer Beast is the name of the first ever card game based on computer viruses, worms, and hoaxes. I'm not quite sure how you play, but it involves cards that depict famous viruses such as the Sasser virus, or hoaxes such as Bonsai Kitten or the Bill Gates Fortune hoax. The game has been out in Germany for a while, but the English version is set to debut later this year. I'll definitely have to try to get my hands on one of these.
Posted: Thu Sep 30, 2004.   Comments (1)

The Fake Tan Debate — As the presidential candidates gear up for their first debate tonight, the focus of the world is not on what the two men are going to say about the War in Iraq, the rising costs of healthcare, or the erosion of civil liberties, but instead on the real burning issue: did John Kerry get a fake tan? His face definitely does look a little on the over-ripe side, but then I'm sure that Bush also uses tanning aides. Of course, maybe judging candidates by the quality of their tans isn't that…
Posted: Thu Sep 30, 2004.   Comments (5)

Child Art Prodigy — Once upon a time a popular art hoax involved getting critics to praise a work of art, and then revealing that the work was really created by a monkey or a child, thereby proving what poor judgement the critics had. For instance, in the 1960s critics were embarrassed by the cases of Pierre Brassau, the monkey artist, as well as Willie the Painting Worm. But I don't think that kind of hoax would work today because critics seem to be voluntarily lining up to heap praise on works by…
Posted: Thu Sep 30, 2004.   Comments (16)

Pregnant Men — The Pregnant Men website collects together a wealth of information about pregnant men. As the site boasts, "If it pertains to men being pregnant, you can be sure to find it here." It's very odd. Almost like a fetish site with people contributing stories and art about pregnant men. So I'm not sure if it counts as a hoax website because it doesn't claim that any man in particular has gotten pregnant. It just fantasizes about men in general being pregnant.
Posted: Thu Sep 30, 2004.   Comments (36)


Dining in the Dark — True or False: there's a restaurant in Zurich where most of the waiters are blind and all the meals are served in total darkness? It's very strange, but true. The restaurant is called Blindekuh (translated: Blind Cow). Here's its website (translated via Google into English). You choose your meal first, and then you're led into the dining area, which is kept absolutely pitch black. No lights at all are allowed. Not even cellphones or watches. Reportedly (and not surprisingly) it totally…
Posted: Thu Sep 30, 2004.   Comments (5)

Fetal Footprint — I'm late to the party with this image (all the other hoax-related sites have had it up for a couple of weeks), but hey, I was on vacation, and the picture's too good to ignore. Anyway, no one seems to be able to say definitively whether it's real or a fake... or even where it originally came from. It does seem pretty unbelievable that a footprint would be that well defined through the wall of the abdomen. Plus, the foot seems awfully long. And what are those weird bumps in the middle…
Posted: Wed Sep 29, 2004.   Comments (73)

Was That An Earthquake? — This should be filed under perfect timing: yesterday California State University, Monterey Bay had organized an earthquake drill complete with police, rescue workers, and actors to play victims. Five minutes into the drill a real earthquake hit. Reportedly "it didn't appear that anybody who took part in the drill was noticeably frightened by the real quake." Probably because they figured it was all part of the simulation.
Posted: Wed Sep 29, 2004.   Comments (6)

Seal-Hunting Tourism — Is Norway really going to start promoting seal-hunting tourism? Apparently it is, if this article in Aftenposten can be believed (and I don't see any reason not to believe it). Here in San Diego seals are treated pretty much like royalty, and seal-watching is a major tourist attraction, especially in La Jolla (advice for tourists: the seals at seal island are fun to watch, but they stink to high heaven). So the idea of shipping in tourists to hunt seals seems bizarre... a bit like…
Posted: Wed Sep 29, 2004.   Comments (33)

The Free Church of Country Sports — The British government's decision to ban hunting is encountering stiff opposition from pro-hunting groups. While I was over there this issue was constantly on the news (especially when a group of hunting advocates managed to disrupt a session of the House of Commons). But now British hunting enthusiasts have adopted a novel defense of their pasttime. They've formed the Free Church of Country Sports, which is an ecumenical group that views hunting as a form of worship. Therefore, they…
Posted: Wed Sep 29, 2004.   Comments (3)

Fast for George W. — Since I fall into the demographic group of cynical, urban, over-educated, non-church-goers, when I saw this site urging people to 'Fast for George W' I chuckled and assumed it had to be some kind of joke. But no. It doesn't seem to be a joke. The aim of the site is to organize people "to fast and pray for the holiness of President George W. Bush." Okey Dokey. It even urges people to "please take this seriously" (they must get a lot of people like me snickering at them). As weird as the…
Posted: Wed Sep 29, 2004.   Comments (8)

Truthful Phone Message — Customers who called up NTL (a British cable company) to report a problem were greeted by this bluntly truthful message: "Hello. You are through to NTL customer services. We don't give a f**k about you. We are never here. We just will f**k you about, basically, and we are not going to handle any of your complaints. Just f**k off and leave us alone. Get a life." The message was yanked, of course, as soon as NTL management realized what was going on... But really, I think I'd prefer the…
Posted: Wed Sep 29, 2004.   Comments (8)

The Childhood Goat Trauma Foundation — Do you suffer from irrational fears, unexplained twitching, or insomnia? If so, then the root of your problems may be childhood goat trauma, probably experienced at a petting zoo. The Childhood Goat Trauma Foundation exists to help you. Their site contains a wealth of information. For instance, did you realize that some malicious goats have learned to climb trees and drop down onto unsuspecting people? Or that there have been reports of roaming urban goats at large? Personally I can't…
Posted: Tue Sep 28, 2004.   Comments (5)

Anne Rice on Amazon — Did Anne Rice really post an angry, rambling message on Amazon slamming those who have written negative reviews of her latest book, Blood Canticle? The post in question (you may need to scroll down a bit to find it... it's the one posted by 'Anne Obrien Rice') appeared on Sep. 6, and it truly is a piece of work. It starts off by denouncing the "sheer outrageous stupidity" of the negative reviews, then informs the reviewers that they're simply projecting their own limitations onto her…
Posted: Tue Sep 28, 2004.   Comments (10)

Breast-Enlarging Ringtones — Ringtones are no longer just for alerting you to an incoming call. Now a Japanese inventor has developed a ringtone that "promises to increase the breast measurements of those who listen to it." Incredible. The company offering this ringtone is Mediaseek, and they report that it's one of their top sellers. The inventor, Hideto Tomabechi, notes that "Most would think it's a lie, but the techniques involved in the process have been known for some time and are the result of research I…
Posted: Tue Sep 28, 2004.   Comments (15)

Office Pranks — This Portuguese message board has a nice collection of pictures of office pranks including the Chia Keyboard, the Keyboard Through the Desk, and the Newspapered Cubicle (via Red Ferret):    
Posted: Mon Sep 27, 2004.   Comments (1)

Flashing Fonts — A message posted on the microsoft.public.word.printingfonts news group: When I print out flashing fonts they do not flash. I have tried a color laser printer but even so they do not flahs. Do I need to update my printer soft ware. or is is it a problem with my printer? THANK YOU I bet this guy was constantly being sent to the store when he was young to pick up some striped paint, sweet vinegar, or straight hooks. (via J-Walk)
Posted: Mon Sep 27, 2004.   Comments (0)

Express Mode in Elevators — Here's an interesting rumor. It seems that if you simultaneously press the 'door close' button and a floor button in an elevator, the elevator will go into 'express mode' and proceed directly to the selected floor without stopping at any other floors. Could be a useful trick if true, but I can't imagine that it actually works. I don't even think repeatedly hitting 'door close' would prevent an elevator from initially opening at a floor. I've written to the Otis elevator company to see…
Posted: Mon Sep 27, 2004.   Comments (20)

CBS and the Bush Memos — Looks like while I was on vacation I missed the riveting spectacle of CBS News falling flat on its face and humiliating itself by falling for an obvious hoax involving President Bush's service (or lack of it) in the National Guard. A lot of ink has already been spilled over this (especially about the difference between Microsoft Word-produced fonts and typewriter-produced fonts), so I won't repeat the whole sorry episode. But I did notice that many commentators have pointed out that…
Posted: Mon Sep 27, 2004.   Comments (0)

Double-Sided Laptop Display — The eBay seller of this
Posted: Sun Sep 26, 2004.   Comments (9)

Back Home — I've finally made it back to San Diego. The vacation was great, but it's good to be back home. I'm also glad to see that the site wasn't completely overrun by spammers in my absence. Here's a few snapshots from the trip: Posing with Nessie in Drumnadrochit. The relatives I was staying with in Gloucester had a weird, mutant goldfish swimming around in their backyard pond. I dubbed it Nessie. Later we learned that the poor fish was suffering from dropsy and had to be put down…
Posted: Sun Sep 26, 2004.   Comments (19)

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