The Museum of Hoaxes
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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
November 2004
Superendowed Cheney — I believe that this picture might give me nightmares. Is it fake? Apparently not. It was taken by Dale Guldan, a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel photographer. It ran in the Journal Sentinel on Sept. 11, accompanying this article. The editors claim that they never noticed that strange bulge in Cheney's pants... until readers began pointing it out. So if the picture isn't fake, what could that bulge be? I refuse to believe, as many have jokingly suggested, that Dick is 'superendowed'. So if…
Posted: Thu Nov 18, 2004.   Comments (18)

Lucina Sine Concubitu — Lucina Sine Concubitu translates roughly to 'pregnancy without intercourse.' Here's a site that uses a 'strange book' by this title published in 1772 as a launching-off point to explore the history of the subject. It's full of fascinating and odd details such as medieval church debates about exactly how the Virgin Mary was impregnated by the Holy Ghost: was it "by way of the ear, the gullet, the nose, by way of breathing into her God's breathe, hearing God's word, being Overshadowed by…
Posted: Thu Nov 18, 2004.   Comments (3)

Hometown Tales — Here's a TV show I'd be interested in seeing: Hometown Tales. It's all about various hoaxy/folklore-type things that happen in communities throughout America. The show also has a blog. Unfortunately, I probably won't be able to ever see the program because it's only on public access channels in New Jersey. Well, if they ever make it to the San Diego area I could definitely find some hoaxy things to share with them, such as the landing spot on Mt. Palomar where George Adamski first made…
Posted: Thu Nov 18, 2004.   Comments (1)

The Church of Tom Jones — This doesn't appear to be a church for those that worship Tom Jones. Instead, it's just a church for those who enjoy listening to Tom Jones music (I think the former would have been slightly more interesting). Also, I don't think it's a joke. Or maybe it is, and I don't get it. Pastor Jack, the guy who runs the church, seems to have been spooking around for quite a while. He boasts that in 1997 he was voted Strangest Person in America. That would be something to put on a resume. (via
Posted: Thu Nov 18, 2004.   Comments (10)


Club Med, Croatian-Style — This is probably not a hoax. Just a really bad idea. Croatia is hoping to strike it rich by luring in tourists curious to see what it would be like to spend a couple of days in a hard-labor camp. So they're considering reopening a communist-era prison on a barren island in the Adriatic Sea, and offering it as a tourist destination. They envision "tourists being issued convict uniforms, pounding large stones with a sledgehammer and hauling the pieces on their backs to quarries around the…
Posted: Thu Nov 18, 2004.   Comments (8)

How to Order Comments — A couple of days ago someone mentioned that the comments would be easier to read if they were in chronological order, so that you wouldn't need to go to the bottom of the page to view the start of a discussion. I hadn't thought much about it before, but this seemed logical to me, so I reconfigured the comments to appear in chronological order. But now Razela has noted that the old way, when they were in reverse chronological order, it was easier to see the newest comments. Which is…
Posted: Wed Nov 17, 2004.   Comments (14)

Woman Breastfeeds Puppy — If this story was in some other paper, like the Weekly World News, I'd dismiss it as a tall tale, but the material on stuff.co.nz is usually fairly reliable. They report about a (human) mother who has taken to breastfeeding her puppy. What I find interesting is that the reporter took the initiative to interview an anthropology professor about what this woman is doing (or claiming to be doing), and got this interesting nugget of information: "Victoria University associate professor of…
Posted: Wed Nov 17, 2004.   Comments (25)

Virgin Mary Sandwich — The auction of a ten-year-old grilled cheese sandwich bearing the image of the Virgin Mary has been pulled from eBay. The sandwich was put up for sale by Diana Duyser who claims that in the ten years since she made the sandwich and took one bite out of it (before noticing the face of the Virgin), it has miraculously never grown any mold. eBay pulled the auction because it claims that it doesn't allow joke listings (that's news to me). Looking at the sandwich, I can definitely see a…
Posted: Tue Nov 16, 2004.   Comments (33)

Name Change for I-69 — Is Indiana Congressman John Hostettler really introducing legislation to change the name of Interstate 69 to Interstate 63, because religious groups feel that I-69 is too risque whereas I-63 is more 'moral sounding'? Of course not. But the story has spread pretty far by now. When I first saw the headline linked to on Blogdex, I assumed it was real after glancing at it quickly. I should have known better. After all, the story comes from the Hoosier Gazette, which is becoming well known…
Posted: Tue Nov 16, 2004.   Comments (14)

Robotic Cockroaches — The Times reports on a group of European researchers who are developing a robotic cockroach. This tiny robot, dubbed InsBot, will infiltrate cockroach communities, assume a leadership role, and then lead the insects out into the light (and to their doom). The researchers hope that someday people will use these robo-roaches as a way of controlling roach infestations. This all sounds so bizarre that I'd assume it was a hoax if it wasn't reported in The Times. But I've got to assume…
Posted: Tue Nov 16, 2004.   Comments (7)

Dog in a Shell — At first I thought these were real dogs... like some kind of mutant copy-cat version of Bonsai Kitten. But no, the dogs appear to be models. Still, it's a rather odd idea. I can understand buying a model of a dog (I've bought a few myself). But why stick it in a Philippine Tonna shell? On the other hand, if you're looking for a unique gift, this has unique written all over it. Could make a good wedding gift. (via Sect of Rama)
Posted: Tue Nov 16, 2004.   Comments (29)

Glow-in-the-Dark Deer — Genetiate is a biotech company working on that one thing the world has been crying out for: glow-in-the-dark deer. It's such a bizarre project, that it screams hoax. The amateur quality of its website reinforces this impression. But I think it's real. Genetiate is a division of Geneticas Life Sciences. Those are the same people who, through yet another division, are creating the hypoallergenic cats. But why create a glow-in-the-dark deer? So that it will more easily be seen by…
Posted: Tue Nov 16, 2004.   Comments (20)

Phone Numbers on TV — Normally whenever characters on TV shows or in movies give out phone numbers, they're fake. One of those '555' numbers. But the new trend seems to be to give out real numbers that people can actually dial up. For instance, on Scrubs the surgeon Chris Turk recently gave out his phone number: 916-CALL-TURK. If you call the number, you'll hear a message from one of the characters. Apparently a real number has also been given out on an episode of the Gilmore Girls.
Posted: Mon Nov 15, 2004.   Comments (24)

Santa Rosa Institute — I came across the LiveJournal page of Chris (corourke), on which he ponders the reality of the Santa Rosa Institute of Advanced Genetics. Upon checking it out, the site had me confused for a while also. At first glance it appears to be a legitimate biotech company with two products in development: Genuflex (an anti-aging drug), and Envigor (a drug that decreases the need for sleep). So far, so good. I know there really are companies developing products like this. But then if you do a…
Posted: Mon Nov 15, 2004.   Comments (27)

RoboDump — Here's an ingenious office prank. Kevin Kelm's coworkers were wondering all day about that guy who had been in the bathroom for hours. You could hear him groaning away on the toilet. Was it the CFO? No, it was RoboDump. As Kevin explains: "RoboDump is a robot. Sort of. And it poops. Sort of. Forever. A horrible, never-ending bowel movement complete with straining grunts, horrific gas, splashes, and pee sounds." (via Boing Boing)
Posted: Mon Nov 15, 2004.   Comments (4)

Weird Pillows — Researchers at Carnegie Mellon have developed the latest in long-distance surrogate affection. It's a robotic pillow named The Hug. Katie in Kansas hugs her pillow, which then transmits a signal over the phone lines, instructing another pillow in Florida to start squeezing Grandma. It's meant to bring the sense of touch back to long-distance communication. But for some reason I think I'm going to stick with simple phone calls (I have visions of the pillow malfunctioning and not letting…
Posted: Mon Nov 15, 2004.   Comments (4)

Kerry’s T-Shirt — Here's another political spoof photo that's going around. At least, I'm assuming it's a spoof. Kerry's head looks pasted on, and the words on the t-shirt also look photoshopped... not to mention that it's hard to imagine Kerry really wearing a t-shirt like that. (via J-Walk)
Posted: Sun Nov 14, 2004.   Comments (5)

Win A Book, Contest #2 — I've received a free copy of David Wilton's new book, Word Myths: Debunking Linguistic Urban Legends, courtesy of Oxford University Press. So I'm having a contest to give it away. The book has just been published. I'm not sure it's even out in stores yet, but you can get a copy here... if you win the contest. First, what's the book about? Wilton debunks all those stories about where words come from, such as 'is GOLF really an acronym for Gentlemen Only, Ladies Forbidden?' or 'does…
Posted: Fri Nov 12, 2004.   Comments (143)

John Titor and the Election of 2004 — In late 2000 a man calling himself John Titor began posting messages on internet discussion boards, claiming that he was a time traveler from the year 2036 (his time travel machine was a 1967 Chevrolet). His mission had been to journey back to the year 1975 and make contact with his grandfather, who was a member of the engineering team developing the IBM 5100, but somehow he ended up in 2000 instead. The tale of John Titor is pretty familiar internet lore by now, and I'm surprised that…
Posted: Fri Nov 12, 2004.   Comments (42)

New Anti-Spam Feature — About five days after I decided to have non-member comments be moderated, I've changed my mind. From now on there will be no moderation (it was a pain for me to do, plus it disrupted the spontaneity of comments). Instead, I've put in place a high-tech anti-spam feature in which people who submit comments have to first type in a word displayed in a box. Members won't have to do this. Hopefully the spammers won't be willing to do this. If they do it'll be a complete waste of their time…
Posted: Thu Nov 11, 2004.   Comments (6)

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