The Museum of Hoaxes
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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
October 2004
Was the eBay Wedding Invitation Auction a Hoax? — Last week this was the big thing on the internet: some guy in Scotland was selling invitations on eBay to a wedding he didn't want to go to. He said that the groom was a former mate of his, but the bride was a "dog." Bidding on the tickets reached £400, and that was with strict controls to make sure all the bids were genuine. But last night Twinklydog (as the guy called himself) cancelled the auction, admitting that the bride was his former girlfriend and that he was still in love with…
Posted: Tue Oct 26, 2004.   Comments (2)

Real-Life Truman Show — According to the Guardian, RTL2 TV in Germany is constructing an entire fake town outside of Hamburg which will provide the setting for their version of the Big Brother Reality TV show. It'll be just like a real-life version of The Truman Show. Residents of the artificial town will be filmed 24 hours a day, every day of the year. In addition, fans of the show will be able to visit the town "to see the residents just as if they were visiting a zoo." The German broadcasters say that the…
Posted: Tue Oct 26, 2004.   Comments (10)

Halloween Banned As Offensive to Witches — ABC News reports on a Washington State school district that has banned Halloween celebrations this year, in part because "Halloween celebrations and children dressed in Halloween costumes might be offensive to real witches." Now it's great that the school district wants to teach the kids to be respectful of different beliefs, etc... but in this case their decision seems a bit confused because witches are not, in fact, real. A real witch, historically speaking, would be someone who…
Posted: Mon Oct 25, 2004.   Comments (34)

70-Year-Old Reservist Called Up to Serve — Ted Wallace thought it was a little odd when he received orders to report for duty at Fort Irwin. Odd, because Ted is 70 years old. Everyone knows that the army is relying heavily on reservists to fight the war in Iraq, but has the situation really become so desperate that they're rounding up the septuagenarians? But Ted was ready to go. He only asked that his call-up be deferred until after his knee-replacement operation. Luckily for Ted, he won't be shipped out to Iraq. The orders
Posted: Mon Oct 25, 2004.   Comments (4)


Ashlee Simpson Does a Milli Vanilli — I haven't watched Saturday Night Live in years, so I didn't witness Ashlee Simpson's 'Milli Vanilli moment' live when it happened, but I did see the clips which are downloadable from a number of sites (and check out this Benny Hill remix of it). Oddly enough, her record company is claiming that the goof-up (Ashlee's voice coming out of the speakers before she started singing) was not evidence of lip-synching or any other kind of vocal aid. They say what happened was simply a computer…
Posted: Mon Oct 25, 2004.   Comments (17)

Afro Ninja — Here's a video of a guy trying out for a part in an action movie... but things don't go well for him at all. The guy performs so badly that you'd suspect the scene was staged, but apparently it's a real audition tape. Waxy.org did some detective work and discovered that the man in the video seems to be stuntman Mark Allen Hicks, and the video shows him auditioning for a Nike commercial with Allen Iverson and Jim Kelly. Reportedly Hicks left the audition with a bloody nose, and the next…
Posted: Mon Oct 25, 2004.   Comments (6)

Man Sells Wife’s Kidney — Here's an odd spin on the old urban legend about sharing a drink with a stranger at a bar and then waking up the next morning in a bathtub full of ice, without a kidney. How about, instead of just sharing a drink with that stranger, you also get married to him, and then he sells off your kidney. According to the Daily Times, Ashfaq convinced Zohra to undergo surgery so that the couple could have children, but instead had one of her kidneys removed and sold for Rs.200,000. Having no…
Posted: Fri Oct 22, 2004.   Comments (5)

Vote Cindy Brady — Cindy Brady is running for office. Cindy was born in Milton, Florida on November 10, 1960. She is the daughter of Bob and Mary Melton. Although not born in Alamance County, both of Cindy’s parents were raised here. After her father retired from the Navy in 1974, the Melton family relocated permanently to Alamance County... Wait a second, wasn't her dad supposed to be an architect? And what about her five siblings?
Posted: Fri Oct 22, 2004.   Comments (2)

Before and After Makeup — Here's an interesting series of pictures of models before and after makeup is applied (one, two, three, four, five, six, seven). To see the pictures you can also go to the main page of the Yossi Bitton Makeup School site and navigate through to the 'before and after' gallery, but beware of the annoying music. The after pictures have to be photoshopped. There's no way that makeup alone could conceal skin imperfections that perfectly.
Posted: Fri Oct 22, 2004.   Comments (89)

Do Mobile Phones Make You Smarter? — There's an urban legend that's been floating around for years claiming that the radio waves from mobile phones can cause brain cancer. Actually, I wouldn't be willing to fully put the 'urban legend' stamp on that claim... it seems like there may be a few elements of truth to it. But anyway, now some people are going to the opposite extreme, arguing that not only do mobile phones not cause brain cancer, but that they actually help the brain work better and make you smarter. How? Because…
Posted: Fri Oct 22, 2004.   Comments (5)

The 77 Water Street Roof Runway — Is there really a building in New York City that has an airplane runway on its roof, with a biplane sitting at the end of the runway? Yup. It's the 77 Water Street Building. Here's a fuzzy satellite image. However, the biplane isn't real. It's just a mock-up. Metafilter has a thread on this unusual landmark. (via Things Magazine)
Posted: Fri Oct 22, 2004.   Comments (5)

Foreskin Face Cream — Is there really a face cream that's made from the discarded foreskins of circumcised infants? It sounds like some kind of freakish urban legend, but the correct answer would be yes, there is such a product. It's called TNS (tissue nutrient system) Recovery Complex. However, I don't think they grind up the foreskins and mix them right into the face cream. Instead, I think the ingredients in the cream have somehow been bio-engineered from foreskins. Still, it might be a little bit…
Posted: Thu Oct 21, 2004.   Comments (24)

Bee Update — The exterminator came today and got rid of the bees in my wall. The good news is that the bee hive turned out to be nowhere near as big as he had first estimated when he examined my wall last week. I think it only clocked in at around 30lb. The bad news is that it was nowhere near as big as he estimated (since I was secretly hoping to be able to brag about a 300lb honeycomb in my wall). Here's a photo I snapped of part of what he removed. There was more in the wall above, from which…
Posted: Thu Oct 21, 2004.   Comments (17)

Banana Straightener — German artist Karl-Friedrich Lentze has applied for a patent on his new invention: a banana-straightening device (thanks to Hairy Houdini for posting this in the hoax forum). Obviously this is just what the world needs. Basically Lentze's idea is to chop off the bent bits and then seal the banana back up with a "biologically safe plaster." Here are some of Lentze's other projects: He asked the Bonn City Council whether it would be possible for him to be buried with an inflatable sex…
Posted: Thu Oct 21, 2004.   Comments (3)

Top 15 Most Bizarre Reasons for Calling in Sick — According to this press release from Career Builder, over one-third of U.S. workers take fake sickies (sick days when they're not really sick). Personally I think that number is too low. The real number should be closer to 90 or 100 percent, because I don't know anyone who hasn't taken a fake sick day at some point. But then again, maybe all my friends and family members are slackers. The same press release also offers the 15 most bizarre reasons that people have offered for taking a…
Posted: Wed Oct 20, 2004.   Comments (11)

Wakerich Asylum for the Criminally Insane — This one almost had me believing that it was real. It's Wakerich Asylum for the Criminally Insane. It all looks very official and real, right down to the phone numbers, staff bios, and maps to the asylum. It only starts to become fishy when you notice that the complete records of all the patients are accessible online. The supposed explanation for this is that "Patient information is being made available to the public after a ruling by The New York State Appellate Court in a Freedom of…
Posted: Wed Oct 20, 2004.   Comments (9)

Extreme Kidnapping — If you're searching for unusual thrills, why not try getting kidnapped? Extreme Kidnapping promises that it will allow you to "customize your own kidnapping!" Yup. For the right price, women in fishnet stockings will show up unannounced at your door, whisk you away, and keep you bound and gagged in their basement for a few days. As weird as this sounds, I actually think it's real, mainly because I've heard of this before. Back in 2002 a guy called Brock Enright was in the news for…
Posted: Wed Oct 20, 2004.   Comments (12)

Lost Pet Scam — Occasionally you see news stories like this one about lost cats who are found hundreds of miles from home, having got themselves locked into moving vans by accident. But watch out. If you lose your cat, then later get a call from movers who say they've found your pet in their van, it can be a scam. As the Crimes-of-Persuasion site details, it's known as the Catastrophic Lost Pet Scam. Those movers don't really have your pet. They're just con artists trying to get you to wire them 'gas…
Posted: Wed Oct 20, 2004.   Comments (3)

O-Yes and Cherry OS, Real or Vaporware? — Last week programmers were all abuzz when a Hawaiian company announced that they had developed software, which they called Cherry OS, that would allow people to run Mac software on PCs. But programmers were also very suspicious, especially since the company has been reluctant to release trial versions of the software. Now it looks like Cherry OS may not be all it was cracked up to be, at least according to this website which claims that it's little more than a fraud. And in a similar…
Posted: Wed Oct 20, 2004.   Comments (5)

Shallow American Roads — While browsing through the alt.folklore.urban usenet group, I noticed a debate raging over the question of how deep American roads are. Apparently (so the urban legend goes) American roads can only be built to a fairly shallow depth in order to make the land under them more easily reclaimed for farming. By contrast, European roads are built to a much deeper depth. As a consequence, European roads are much more durable than American roads and need fewer repairs. The usenet group didn't…
Posted: Tue Oct 19, 2004.   Comments (13)

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