The Museum of Hoaxes
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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
January 2005
An Interview with Hiroshi Yamauchi
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jan 07, 2005
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, so there's no chance you'll miss it. There's also some other equally outrageous stuff. Is any of it real? No. It's a fake interview and a fake Wired…
Kaycee Nicole in Training
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jan 07, 2005
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 Kaycee Nicole Swensons in training.
Categories: Identity/Imposters Comments (33)
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jan 07, 2005
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.
Categories: Advertising Comments (24)
Rent A Midget
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jan 07, 2005
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 Servers or Office Pranks." As shocking and slightly cruel as the idea sounds, I suppose it's no different than what circuses have…
Categories: Entertainment Comments (97)
Lawsuit Targets Anti-Aging Creams
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jan 07, 2005
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 skin than a cheap bottle of sunblock would be. Though, of course, the expensive stuff smells and feels better.
Categories: Body Manipulation Comments (12)
Woman, 59, Admits She’s Not Pregnant
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jan 05, 2005
Frances Harris surprised everyone for a second time. The first surprise was when this 59-year-old woman announced in November that she was pregnant with twins. And it wasn't the result of in-vitro fertilization, like that 56-year-old lady who gave birth to twins late last year. Harris said she just got pregnant. The second surprise (not much of a surprise really) was when she admitted yesterday that she just made up the pregnancy. Why did she do it? Her family is chalking it up to "personal issues that are still being evaluated". But to me the problem is clear. She's suffering from Southcott Syndrome, a medical condition whose name I coined myself. I define this condition as being when…
Categories: Birth/Babies Comments (14)
Actual Headlines From 2004
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jan 05, 2005
I received an email containing this list of THE YEAR'S BEST [ACTUAL] HEADLINES OF 2004! But, of course, these aren't really headlines from 2004. This list has been going around for at least four years. Check out this competition from 2000 in which people created images to match some of these headlines. Plus, I doubt any of these were ever actual headlines either.Crack Found on Governor's Daughter.Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says.Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers.Iraqi Head Seeks Arms!Is There a Ring of Debris around Uranus?Prostitutes Appeal to Pope.Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over.Miners Refuse to Work after Death.War Dims Hope for Peace.If Strike Isn't Settled Quickly, It May Last Awhile.Red Tape Holds…
Categories: Email Hoaxes, Journalism Comments (7)
Turner Nudes Survived
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jan 05, 2005
According to legend all the erotic paintings of the artist JMW Turner were burned in the mid-nineteenth century by the prudish critic John Ruskin. The source of this legend was Ruskin himself, who often boasted that he had burned them to conceal the evidence of Turner's "failure of mind". It turns out Ruskin lied. He couldn't bring himself to burn them. Instead, as researcher Ian Warrell discovered, Ruskin simply misfiled most of the nudes, thereby effectively concealing their existence. Through diligent archival work Warrell realized that "Almost all the hundreds of allegedly missing drawings, which range from close-up detail to blurry colour washes and clearly held a powerful erotic charge for Turner, appear to be safely in the…
Categories: Art Comments (0)
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jan 05, 2005
There's a well known urban legend about the phone number 867-5309. Supposedly phone companies no longer issue this number to customers because of the popularity of that Tommy Tutone song from the '80s, "Jenny (867-5309)", about a guy trying to call a girl named Jenny whose number he sees on a wall. Dan Wiki (not sure if that's really his last name) set out to prove this urban legend wrong. How? By dialing every 867-5309 in the country. He got a list of all the area codes and set to work. The results are posted on his site. He lists in bold the numbers for which someone claiming to be Jenny actually answered. I couldn't resist calling some…
Categories: Entertainment Comments (20)
Tsunami Seen From a High-Rise
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jan 04, 2005
Snopes posted a photo (click to enlarge) that's going around accompanied by this text: Be sure and open the picture for a shock of your life to see what the tsunami looked like just before hitting Puket, Thailand. This picture is not a fake. It appears to have been taken from a hi-rise building window in downtown Phuket Thailand. The power of nature is hard to comprehend, especially the destructiveness of water. Snopes says the status of the picture is undetermined, but I'd have a hard time believing it's real. First of all, is that actually downtown Phuket? I've…
Categories: Photos/Videos Comments (47)
Trainspotting Simulator
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jan 04, 2005
I'm embarrassed to say that I didn't immediately realize this was a joke. I thought, 'Sure. I can imagine a game where you have to identify different types of trains.' Then I looked at the game controls: Wait, Wait, Wait Some More, Blink, Wait, Have a Cup of Tea, Wait, etc. (via Bifurcated Rivets)
Categories: Websites Comments (16)
Real Tsunami, Wrong Ocean
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jan 04, 2005
A few days ago the Calgary Herald ran on its front page this dramatic photo of a tsunami wave crashing over a surprised group of people, along with the headline 'Tsunami death toll could pass 100,000'. The photo soon appeared elsewhere, such as on the start-up page of AOL. The problem is not that the photo itself is fake. It's not. It really does show a real tsunami wave. The problem is that it doesn't have anything to do with the recent Indian Ocean tsunami. As Nicole Bogdas of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel discovered: This is a two-year-old Reuters photo of a tsunami in China. You…
Categories: Photos/Videos Comments (4)
Cremaster Fanatic
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jan 04, 2005
The artwork of Matthew Barney is highly abstract and conceptual. Even for modern art, it pushes the envelope of weird. For instance, his series of films titled The Cremaster Cycle involves, among other things, "a half-vegetable, half-man creature with a fleet of Jacobin pigeons attached to his gonads." Not exactly the kind of stuff to appeal to a mass audience. And yet he has a fan page, Cremaster Fanatic, similar to the kind of fan pages you find devoted to teen stars such as Lindsay Lohan or Hilary Duff. But as an article in yesterday's NY Times reveals, the fan site is actually an elaborate deadpan-style joke: Cremaster Fanatic is a fake.…
Categories: Art, Websites Comments (2)
Is Jim Morrison Alive?
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jan 03, 2005
Most people think the musician Jim Morrison, lead singer for the Doors, died in Paris on July 3, 1971. But Gerald Pitts says that he "discovered Jim Morrison Living on a Ranch in the Pacific Northwest in the summer of 1998." According to him, Morrison is living a quiet life as an American cowboy "away from the Hollywood scene." Even though Morrison evidently engineered an elaborate death hoax to escape publicity, he agreed to appear on film for Pitts. You can buy a copy of this film for only $24.95 (shipping is extra). Pitts' site includes a video comparing the features of Jim Morrison the fifty-something cowboy to Jim Morrison…
Categories: Celebrities, Death Comments (1942)
The Legend of Midgetville
Posted by The Curator on Sun Jan 02, 2005
For Christmas I received a great book, Weird U.S.: Your Travel Guide to America's Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets by Mark Moran and Mark Sceurman. Immediately I flipped through it to find anything about San Diego, and soon came across the legend of Midgetville. Midgetville refers to the legend of a town consisting of scaled-down houses built for little people. Midgetville is said to exist in various places throughout America. As Moran and Sceurman note, the most credible rumor locates such a town in Jefferson Township, New Jersey, on the former estate of circus mogul Alfred T. Ringling. There really is a collection…
Categories: Places Comments (276)
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