The Museum of Hoaxes
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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
January 2005
Toilet Paper Rejected By Beatles — Up for sale on eBay is a roll of toilet paper rejected by the Beatles. It supposedly once occupied the toilet in the E.M.I. Abbey Road Studios in 1962 when the Beatles were recording there, but it was removed because the Beatles found it to be too hard and shiny. Plus, it had E.M.I. printed on it, which the Fab Four thought to be a bit strange. Bidding has already reached over £5,000. If you're a Beatles fan it would be a pretty cool souvenir, but my question is how anyone can be sure…
Posted: Fri Jan 14, 2005.   Comments (8)

Waiting for Mr. Tsunami — I found this posted in the alt.folklore.urban usenet group: A while before the catastrophe, a local clerk in one of the countries hit by the tsunamis receives a warning note stating "Tsunami will reach you shortly!" - and, in response, sends a welcome crew to the local airport, to welcome and pick up the mysterious "Mr Tsunami", whom he expects to be an unannounced ministerial visitor or inspector. I don't understand why a clerk would have received a message warning him about the…
Posted: Fri Jan 14, 2005.   Comments (3)

Rats a la Carte — The latest gross-out food email going around involves a Chinese restaurant in Atlanta supposedly caught accepting shipments of rats and mice. These rats would, I guess, be served to people who enjoy rodents as a delicacy. Some photos accompany the email (rats1, rats2, rats3). The email says that: After a full search of the kitchen, authorities found, packaged rats, mice, kittens, puppies and a large frozen hawk... The restaurant has locations off Peachtree Road and Alpharetta near…
Posted: Fri Jan 14, 2005.   Comments (13)

Butt Art — Stan Murmur has a good thing going. He smears paint on his buttocks, smacks his fanny on a piece of paper, and sells the resulting product for hundreds of dollars. Is it really art? Well, no. It's Butt Art. I think this probably qualifies as something that started out as a bit of a joke, but then somehow turned into a real thing for him.
Posted: Thu Jan 13, 2005.   Comments (13)


Stoned Student Tackles Oedipus — This link (warning: Not Safe for Work because of language) ranks high on the stupid meter, but I'm posting it anyway because it reminds me of the days that I worked as a TA in a freshman writing program at UC San Diego. It's supposedly a student essay that some guy wrote while high and then handed in... and despite this sorry excuse for an essay he passed the class, because attendance counted. Is the paper real? That's hardly worth speculating about since there's no evidence either way.…
Posted: Thu Jan 13, 2005.   Comments (17)

Still on Vacation! — I don't know if these pictures are real, in the sense of whether they really show tourists sunning themselves while people try to clean up tsunami damage around them. Maybe the pictures were taken at some other time, in a totally different context. But they certainly look like tourists trying to act as if nothing happened while all around them is a wasteland. Unbelievable.
Posted: Wed Jan 12, 2005.   Comments (47)

Online Gamers Anonymous (Status: Not A Hoax) — I came across the On-line Gamers Anonymous (OLGA) site recently and can't make up my mind whether or not it's a hoax. It's a site "of, by, and for on-line gaming addicts." Some of the stories shared on its message board seem a bit farfetched. Take, for example, the tale of Tommy, a former EverQuest addict. Tommy complains that: Before EverQuest I used to have nearly a perfect life, I was living the american dream if you will. I hade a wonderfull job, a great house, a beautiful and…
Posted: Wed Jan 12, 2005.   Comments (38)

LA Times on Ghosts and eBay — The LA Times has just discovered something that I've been saying for ages: haunted stuff sells well on eBay. As they put it: "Having exhausted bad taste and banality, it appears EBay sellers have moved on to a new marketing strategy — the paranormal. Everything "haunted" is so hot, EBay could launch a new category." But still, the LA Times is only seeing half the story here. What's interesting is not just that people are selling lots of haunted things on eBay. After all, there's always…
Posted: Tue Jan 11, 2005.   Comments (16)

CIA Muezzin School — The Guardian reports that a story has been spreading around Islamic websites about a CIA muezzin school in which the CIA trains agents to pose as muezzins (the men who call Muslims to prayer five days a week times a day from the minaret towers of mosques). Supposedly the CIA feels that muezzins are in a uniquely advantageous position to view everything that's going on in Muslim communities. But in reality, this is another of those satire-mistaken-as-news stories. The story of the CIA…
Posted: Tue Jan 11, 2005.   Comments (9)

Aural Policing — According to an article in the Economist, quoted here by the Washington Monthly blog, a British grocery store chain has been successfully deterring rowdy youths from hanging around their stores by playing classical music. Mozart and Pavarotti appear to be especially potent at warding off juvenile delinquents. The same technique has been working in underground stations. Something about this strikes me as a bit odd. Why would it work? Just because the kids don't like having to listen to…
Posted: Tue Jan 11, 2005.   Comments (26)

Remote Autographing Device — The novelist Margaret Atwood, having grown tired of attending book signings in cities throughout the world, has invented a strange new device that may eliminate author appearances altogether in the future. It's a remote autographing device. The author sits in the comfort of their home and talks to a tv screen. In a bookstore thousands of miles away a fan talks back. If the fan wants an autographed book, the author simply scribbles something on a tablet. The tablet then transmits this…
Posted: Tue Jan 11, 2005.   Comments (2)

Abstract Expressionism as CIA Plot — I realize some people feel that Abstract Expressionism needs some kind of an excuse for its existence, but the following purported connection between Abstract Expressionism and the CIA seems just bizarre. It comes from a review of Who Paid the Piper: The CIA and the Cultural Cold War by Frances Stonor Saunders One of the most important and fascinating discussions in Saunders' book is about the fact that CIA and its allies in the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) poured vast sums of money…
Posted: Mon Jan 10, 2005.   Comments (15)

Toma Sota Balcu — The latest craze sweeping through LiveJournal, Xanga, and other blogging communities involves people posting this message on their blogs: A girl died in 1933 by a homicidal murderer. He buried her in the ground when she was still alive. The murdered chanted, "Toma sota balcu" as he buried her. Now that you have read the chant, you will meet this little girl. In the middle of the night she will be on your ceiling. She will suffocate you like she was suffocated. If you post this, she…
Posted: Mon Jan 10, 2005.   Comments (409)

Miracle M&M — I, like everyone else, should stop posting about these miracle foods that keep appearing on eBay. It's only encouraging their proliferation. But I just can't stop myself. So here's the latest one: A Miracle M&M. The seller says: Purchasing a handful of M&M from vending machine, I came across this very special M&M that I believe to be a likeness of Jesus with a crown on his head. This has been a life changing event for me. I am hoping that all of you see what I see.
Posted: Sun Jan 09, 2005.   Comments (17)

Message in a Cabbage Patch — When 9-year-old Diamond Robinson found a Cabbage Patch Doll under the Christmas tree, she was in for a rude surprise. Encoded in the serial number on the doll's 'adoption papers' was the message: _UCKME. (I think the missing first letter is an F, but I'm not sure. It could be an S.) The company that made the doll says it's an innocent mistake... a computer randomly generated the serial number. But I'm not so sure. Sounds like something a mischievous employee might have done. Kind of…
Posted: Fri Jan 07, 2005.   Comments (12)

An Interview with Hiroshi Yamauchi — An interview with Hiroshi Yamauchi, former president of Nintendo, has been doing the rounds. It's supposedly published in the February issue of Wired. The interview is quite colorful, to say the least. For instance, at one point Yamauchi claims that during a meeting with Microsoft's Steve Ballmer he said to him, 'hey, Ballmer, why don't you suck my tiny yellow balls.' This was his response to Microsoft's offer to buy Nintendo. The quotation is offered up in bold letters in the sidebar,…
Posted: Fri Jan 07, 2005.   Comments (4)

Kaycee Nicole in Training — Interesting letter in today's Dear Abby: DEAR ABBY: I am a 10-year-old girl who has been playing after school on a Web site for pet lovers. I like to talk to kids older than me — 14- or- 15-year-olds. A lot of the boys I've talked to have asked for my picture, so I went to Google and found a picture of a pretty blond girl around 15 years old. I have been sending this picture to all the people who have asked me for one. So this is what the future holds for us. A whole generation of
Posted: Fri Jan 07, 2005.   Comments (33)

FARTFULL Work Bench — I realize that Ikea gives some of their products strange names. At least, the names sound strange in English. In Swedish I'm sure that they sound perfectly normal. But you would think that somebody in the company would have realized that calling a children's work bench the 'FartFull' wasn't the most astute marketing move. Though kids will probably like the name. I'm pretty sure this isn't a joke because the product is right there on Ikea's website.
Posted: Fri Jan 07, 2005.   Comments (24)

Rent A Midget — What's the one thing sure to liven up any party? How about a midget? That's not the answer that would have occurred to me, but it's the premise behind Rent A Midget, a California company that rents out midgets (or little people) to 'hang out at parties'. Based on their website, this company looks real enough, though the only way to be certain would be to go ahead and try to rent a midget through them. The midget entertainment options range from "Midget Strip Shows, to Christmas Cookie…
Posted: Fri Jan 07, 2005.   Comments (97)

Lawsuit Targets Anti-Aging Creams — A woman has filed suit against the makers of anti-aging creams, accusing them of lying when they say that their products prevent or even reverse aging. Of course, she's right, though I'm sure the companies will argue that they never blatantly say that their products reverse aging. Instead, they claim that they reverse the 'appearance of aging.' I've never studied the issue in any great detail, but my perception is that the high-priced beauty products really aren't any better for your…
Posted: Fri Jan 07, 2005.   Comments (12)

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