The Museum of Hoaxes
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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
April 2005
Rent A Dildo — I've commented on weird rental services before, but this is easily the weirdest yet. It's Rent a Dildo. It's like Netflix for sex toys. Not something many people would want to use second-hand. The site is very well designed and professional looking (though the topic itself makes it not safe for work). However when you try to sign up you read that "Though we are not yet signing up paying customers, we are testing the service with a limited number of beta users." This is code for "This is…
Posted: Tue Apr 19, 2005.   Comments (15)

Phony Seal Hunt — The latest nugget of fake news from the world of journalism concerns a seal hunt that never took place. A Boston Globe writer, Barbara Stewart, described the slaughter of baby seals off the coast of Newfoundland in great detail. What she didn't know was that the hunt had been delayed, and so hadn't begun yet. Oops.
Posted: Mon Apr 18, 2005.   Comments (12)

Pope Chicken Breast — The latest 'face seen in food' on eBay is the Pope Chicken Breast. The seller even has their own website devoted to it already. The real question is how much Golden Palace is going to pay for this thing. Here's the description of the item: As I was about to dig into my usual lunch of my dorms "baked chicken," I quickly stopped in my tracks as my eyes met this wonderful relic. I have the utmost respect for Pope John Paul II and I could not believe the resemblance I saw between my piece…
Posted: Mon Apr 18, 2005.   Comments (19)

No Pretty In Pink Sequel — There's a rumor going around that a sequel to the '80s movie Pretty In Pink will come out next year, starring all the original cast: Molly Ringwald, John Cryer, and Andrew McCarthy. It will supposedly revisit the characters from the original movie twenty years later, to find out where they are now. I know the rumor must have spread pretty far because I heard it from my wife last week, and she thinks she heard it on the radio, or somewhere like that. However, the rumor is just a hoax.…
Posted: Sun Apr 17, 2005.   Comments (15)


Fake Sports Reporter — As a representative of Westchester Cable Services, Mark Sabia has been allowed into press boxes at sports games for years. The one problem is that Westchester Cable Services doesn't exist. The teams finally figured out he didn't belong there (but it was a good scam while it lasted): Sabia, who lives in Ossining, was arrested Monday when he showed up to cover Opening Day at Shea and was charged with scamming season passes for almost all of New York's professional teams, as well as for…
Posted: Sun Apr 17, 2005.   Comments (5)

Gnome Defense — Big Gary sent me this story, knowing that it would be a suitable contribution to the fast-growing Garden Gnome Wing of the museum (one of these days I'll actually get around to creating a gnome category): LONDON - A grandmother stopped an intruder from entering her home by lobbing a heavy garden gnome at him, police said Friday. Jean Collop was woken early on Tuesday morning by the sound of an intruder on the roof of her home in Wadebridge, southwest England. "I grabbed the first…
Posted: Sun Apr 17, 2005.   Comments (10)

Upgrade My Wife — What is it with this thing about begging for money to pay for plastic surgery? It's become the new online phenomenon, as if the most deserving people in the world are those who need a tummy tuck or boob job. As it happens the guy who created Upgrade My Wife is hoping to get both those surgeries for his wife. And he wants internet surfers to pay for them. He writes: I created this web site because my wife has been considering a tummy tuck and breast augmentation for quite a few years,…
Posted: Sun Apr 17, 2005.   Comments (14)

Fake Smiles and Women’s Intuition — A study conducted by Professor Richard Wiseman of the University of Hertfordshire and the Edinburgh International Science Festival has found that women may not be as intuitive as they think they are. In fact, men may be more intuitive than women. Study participants "were asked to look at ten pairs of photographs showing smiling faces. One of the smiles in each pair was genuine and the other was fake, and people had to spot the genuine smile." You can take this fake-smile test yourself…
Posted: Sun Apr 17, 2005.   Comments (31)

Keep Your City Clean — Big Gary pointed out this AP photo to me. I don't doubt the photo is real, but the caption explains the irony of the scene: A car bomb explodes, detonated by U.S. troops after it was discovered at the scene of the double car bombing in Baghdad, Iraq Thursday, April 14, 2005. The initial attack killed 18 and wounded three dozen, but no one was injured in this controlled explosion. The sign at left reads 'Keep Your City Clean' in Arabic.(AP Photo/Samir Mizban)
Posted: Fri Apr 15, 2005.   Comments (4)

Automatic Paper Generator — A group of MIT students wrote a computer program capable of creating "random Computer Science research papers, including graphs, figures, and citations." They then used this program to create a paper that they submitted to an academic conference: the World Multi-Conference on Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics, which sounds like a thrill a minute. The paper was accepted, which isn't really surprising since as the students point out conferences such as this are really 'fake'…
Posted: Fri Apr 15, 2005.   Comments (5)

Book Millionaire — Want to be a best-selling author making millions of dollars? Then sign up to be on Book Millionaire and your dreams could become reality! Here's your chance to finally become America's next Best Selling Author and Reality Show TV Celebrity!  We are scouting for the next group of candidates for America's hottest new reality show. Act now. Picture yourself featured on national television sharing your story, writing, book-to-be or book with millions of people showing you have what it…
Posted: Thu Apr 14, 2005.   Comments (16)

Naked But Wearing Clothes — More pictures from my inbox. The pictures themselves aren't fake. I'm pretty sure of that. But they show a hoax of a kind. This is the caption that accompanies them: This woman is actually walking down the street with no "real" clothes -- only those painted on her. The passersby didn't give her a second look because the paint looked so much like clothing. YES, she is naked! I'll give links to the photos, not thumbnails, so that I can continue to claim this site is only 'R' rated.…
Posted: Thu Apr 14, 2005.   Comments (31)

BIOPRO EMF Harmonization Chips — Cranky Media Guy sent me a link to this interesting product: BIOPRO Chips. BIOPRO describes itself as a leader in the field of EMF harmonization devices. You see, you may not have realized it but, as BIOPRO tells you on their website, virtually all electronic devices emit dangerous electromagnetic frequency (EMF). Phones, microwaves, computers... You name it. So what's a person to do? Simple. Get some BIOPRO Chips. These amazing chips are designed to defend against EMF. Apply some of…
Posted: Wed Apr 13, 2005.   Comments (75)

M’azing Commercials — The TV commercials for a new chocolate bar called M'azing show people doing amazing things in order to earn a bar of M'azing chocolate. In one commercial a guy balances a washing machine on his jaw. In another one a girl twists her legs all the way around her body in a way that really doesn't look possible. You can see all the ads here (quicktime and wmv format). Someone wrote in to Stuart Elliott's advertising column in the NY Times asking if the movie with the girl doing the thing…
Posted: Wed Apr 13, 2005.   Comments (33)

Octopus Camouflages Itself — Luc emailed me a link to this clip of an octopus camouflaging itself, wondering if the footage is real. The camera approaches what looks like an underwater bush, and then out of nowhere this octopus appears, squirts ink, and races away across the ocean floor. I actually remember this clip doing the rounds a year or two ago, and although the octopus's camouflage seems to be some kind of Hollywood special effect, I believe that it's real. According to a version of the clip that can be…
Posted: Wed Apr 13, 2005.   Comments (32)

Caltech Vs. MIT — A group of Caltech students heads to MIT to throw down the prank gauntlet. They spend the weekend handing out t-shirts to prefrosh that read "MIT" on the front and "because not everybody can go to Caltech" on the back. During the night they spell out the letters C-A-L-T-E-C-H on an MIT building using a low-power laser. They also hang a banner on the MIT dome, changing its name from 'Massachusetts Institute of Technology' to 'That Other Institute of Technology.' They now await MIT's…
Posted: Tue Apr 12, 2005.   Comments (5)

Stomach Sucked In — The question here is whether the woman is sucking her stomach in, or has the picture been photoshopped? I'd vote for photoshop. Definitely. It reminds me of the 'too skinny' photos I posted a year or so ago (one of which may not be 'safe for work'). (via slowdown)
Posted: Tue Apr 12, 2005.   Comments (62)

Politics and Photoshop — A Tory candidate, Ed Matts, in Dorset South (Great Britain) is being criticized for doctoring a photo. In the original photo he's shown attending a rally trying to prevent the deportation of an asylum-seeker. But in the version of the photo he placed on his website the sign he's holding has changed to apparently support a different (anti-immigration) position. The crowd has also disappeared. Seems like a strange attempt to rewrite history (and one's stance on an issue) by…
Posted: Tue Apr 12, 2005.   Comments (5)

Mt. St. Helens at Sunrise — I got this picture in my email, sent by Edna who's wondering if it's real. It looks real to me. The picture is accompanied by the following text, which also sounds accurate to me (as a non-meteorologist): MT. St. Helens, which sits about 30 miles from Vancouver, as the crow flies, continues to spew ash, while it is forming a lava dome in the crater and still having minor tremors. In this sunrise shot, she appears to be blowing smoke rings (and anything so benign is welcomed, given…
Posted: Tue Apr 12, 2005.   Comments (34)

Wife For Sale — Another internet entrepreneur hoping to strike it rich. But he would probably get more takers if his wife had a birthmark that looked like the Virgin Mary, or something like that. From the site: Well I think much people are wondering what this site is all about. I've got a very interesting offer for you all. I've been married 23 years with my wife Petra. Our relationship isn't anymore what it's used to be. She starts complaining when I look at younger girls or if I come home drunk.…
Posted: Tue Apr 12, 2005.   Comments (12)

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