The Museum of Hoaxes
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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
December 2004
He’s Still an Atheist — A flurry of news stories last week announced the news that a famous atheist, 81-year-old Antony Flew, had changed his mind. Apparently he now believed that there was a God, of some sort. Except that it looks like the media jumped the gun a bit. In this article in Rationalist International Flew rebuts the rumors, reassuring everyone that "I'm Still an Atheist!" He then proceeds to explain how all the confusion happened, but unfortunately his explanation succeeded in confusing me even…
Posted: Tue Dec 14, 2004.   Comments (9)

Overpriced Amazon Items — How much would you pay for a one-page pdf file discussing the delayed launch of Sony's PlayStation Portable in North America? What about $750. That's the price it's going for on Amazon. But maybe it's worth it, because it has received quite a few five-star reviews. For instance, D.C. McKinney says that it's "Definately a good read and well worth the price of admission! This gem of a find is a must for anyone with even the slightest bit of interest in delays in the world of Sony…
Posted: Tue Dec 14, 2004.   Comments (10)

Self Selection of Diet by Infants — Is it true that infants have an innate sense of what food is good for them? That if left to their own devices they will naturally eat the food that their body needs? Well, in my admittedly limited experience young kids naturally gravitate towards a diet consisting exclusively of ice cream and cheerios. However, there apparently is an urban-legend-like tale floating around about a scientific experiment in which a doctor placed samples of food (of varying nutritional quality) in front of…
Posted: Mon Dec 13, 2004.   Comments (30)

Wine Bottle Dimple Theory — Is it true that there's a relationship between the depth of a dimple in the bottom of a wine bottle, and the quality of the wine inside the bottle? Does a deeper dimple mean better wine? Australian wine expert Martin Field says that this is just a myth. But Itchy Squirrel (don't know his real name) decided to test the dimple-wine-quality theory for himself. Armed with a depth gauge he went to his local supermarket and recorded the price of a sample of wines as well as the depth of their…
Posted: Mon Dec 13, 2004.   Comments (20)


You’ve Won A Bench — What is it about park benches that some people find so funny? True, their comedic potential doesn't rival that of garden gnomes. But still, there definitely is an odd tradition of park-bench prankery. For instance, there's the time that legendary prankster Hugh Troy "stole" a park bench from Central Park. And now we have 'Congratulations You have Won a Bench', in which two guys knock on the doors of random people and inform them that they've won a bench. Bewilderment ensues.
Posted: Sun Dec 12, 2004.   Comments (5)

Bonsai Kitten Christmas Tree Ornaments — Sure you can get a Bonsai Kitten in a glass jar... Or, you could be the envy of all your friends by getting your very own Bonsai Kitten Christmas Tree Ornament. "Notice the splendid use of the tail to form a hanger. Imagine how this will look gracing your yule tide tree. Kids love to watch em blink when they poke at them. And no mess to clean up! The ornament is its' own kitty litter box." If someone were to actually make these (you know, minus a real cat inside... just a picture of…
Posted: Fri Dec 10, 2004.   Comments (37)

Near Collision — Here's a picture that's doing the email rounds. The picture is real (no digital manipulation). The only fake part about it is that the perspective of the shot makes the two planes look like they're about to hit each other, while in reality they're 750 feet apart. The photo was taken at San Francisco Airport on August 15, 2004. The photo can be found on Airliners.net. The photographer, Ben Wang, has added this note to it: "The two planes appear to be touching! The 757 is on final for 28L…
Posted: Fri Dec 10, 2004.   Comments (24)

The Leg Shocker — The Leg Shocker is an add-on device for PlayStation 2, specifically for the games EA Sport's FIFA 2002 and FIFA World Cup 2002. Using this device allows you to feel the game, so to speak. It's a modified shin guard with a built-in hammer that bangs your shin if your virtual player on the screen gets tackled, tackles someone else, etc. There's a movie of the Leg Shocker in action. It's not clear to me if this is an actual working device, or just an art-project concept.
Posted: Fri Dec 10, 2004.   Comments (8)

Atlantis Found — A lot of people lately seem to be finding the lost city of Atlantis. Back in June a researcher said he located it off the southern coast of Spain by studying satellite images. Then last month US researchers said they found the city off the coast of Cyprus by using sonar technology. But my favorite is the discovery of Atlantis announced yesterday by the Hawaiian Phonics tutor Dennis Brooks. He's studied the issue deeply and has concluded that Atlantis is, in fact, Tampa, Florida. He…
Posted: Fri Dec 10, 2004.   Comments (9)

Yet Another Solution for the World’s Power and Energy Needs — The GMC Holding Corporation sure isn't bashful about what it believes to be the potential market value of its new technology. According to this press release, its technology will solve the world's energy needs, providing pollution-free power to any kind of motorized product (car, boat, golf cart, etc.). And here's the best part: "The overall market value is expected to exceed a trillion dollars over the next 10 years and these estimates are more than likely to be low." Wow! A trillion…
Posted: Thu Dec 09, 2004.   Comments (32)

1954 Home Computer Claims Victim — There should be an award like the Darwin Awards, except instead of being given to people who die in stupid ways it would be given to people who display extreme gullibility. If there was such an award, Scott McNealy, CEO of Sun Microsystems, would be this week's candidate for it. During the keynote address at the Oracle OpenWorld Show he displayed a picture, supposedly from 1954, of what the RAND Corporation imagined that a home computer would look like in 2004 (see the thumbnail: click…
Posted: Thu Dec 09, 2004.   Comments (8)

Imaginary Friends — In a recently published study, researchers at the Universities of Washington and Oregon have reported finding that two-thirds of children invent imaginary friends. I, of course, never had an imaginary friend as a child. That ten-foot-tall rabbit who lived in my closet was very real.
Posted: Wed Dec 08, 2004.   Comments (26)

Most Dubious News Stories — Alan Caruba, Founder of an organization called The National Anxiety Center, has published a list of the 'Most Dubious News Stories of the Year'. Some of the entries include: The University of Szeged in Hungary announcing that mobile phones may damage men's spermReuters reporting that tens of millions of people in America may drown when a volcano in Africa cataclysmically collapses into the sea (though scientists only think this will happen 'sometime in the next few thousand years')The…
Posted: Wed Dec 08, 2004.   Comments (19)

Mister Marbles — It's Mister Marbles, the life-size prop dead cat. The attention to detail that's gone into the creation of this thing is amazing: "Mr. Marbles is a cat who turns up dead, floating in a swimming pool. The prop is a jointed cloth construction, with pieces of plastic tubing to keep the limbs rigid, and filled with small air bladders to make it buoyant. The skull was cast in insulation foam in a silicone mold of an actual cat skull. The eyes and teeth are from a taxidermy supply company."
Posted: Wed Dec 08, 2004.   Comments (11)

Meteorite Strike or Hoax? — Wayne Pryde believes that he has taken the first photograph ever to capture the image of a meteorite striking the earth. He was taking pictures of clouds when he happened to get this photograph of what might be a grain-of-sand-sized meteorite hitting the Earth. But meteor experts aren't so sure. They're not yet crying hoax (Mr. Pryde swears that he hasn't digitally altered the photo), but they don't think the photo shows a meteor impact. However, they have no idea what else it might…
Posted: Wed Dec 08, 2004.   Comments (15)

End of World Causes Bank Failure — Numerous bad loans to a polygamist sect that believes the end of the world is nigh has caused the 99-year-old Bank of Ephraim in Utah to go under. The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (a small Mormon sect a small splinter sect of the Mormon church, unaffiliated with the main church) was spending money like the end of the world was around the corner... because they thought the end of the world actually was around the corner. And happily funding this spending…
Posted: Wed Dec 08, 2004.   Comments (5)

The ESP Game — Do you think you have ESP? Test your skills with the ESP game. It's a bit addictive. You're paired with a random partner on the internet, then you're both shown a series of images. You each have to guess what word the other person is typing to describe the image. I ranked as a novice.
Posted: Tue Dec 07, 2004.   Comments (2)

Have You Forsaken Baby Jesus? — Lots of people are linking to this floating Baby Jesus head that squeaks plaintively, occasionally moans 'WHY', and constantly demands 'WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME?' One look at the URL told me that it was a spoof, because it's part of the Objective: Christian Ministries (O:CM) site, probably the most elaborate anti-fundamentalist parody site on the internet. But apparently not everyone is aware of O:CM, so they're getting creeped out thinking the floating Baby Jesus head is supposed to…
Posted: Tue Dec 07, 2004.   Comments (7)

PhotoBlocker Spray — The makers of PhotoBlocker spray claim that their product will make your license plate invisible to photo radar, red light cameras, and infrared and laster cameras. Special crystals in the spray will reflect back the flash (or light source) used by these cameras, making your license look like a bright blur. Would this actually work? Would it be legal if it did? They say that the spray is invisible to the naked eye, which means that it won't be of much use if a cop pulls you over.…
Posted: Tue Dec 07, 2004.   Comments (222)

Ghost Cane Sold for $65,000 — So goldenpalace.com, the same online casino that shelled out $28,000 for the Virgin Mary Grilled Cheese Sandwich last month, has now bought the haunted walking cane for $65,000. It occurs to me that this casino is rapidly building a Museum of Hoaxes all of its own. They're becoming the P.T. Barnum's of the 21st Century.
Posted: Tue Dec 07, 2004.   Comments (14)

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