The Museum of Hoaxes
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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
April 2005
Caltech Vs. MIT
Posted by The Curator on Tue Apr 12, 2005
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 response. (make sure to check out the page of pictures of the pranks).
Categories: Pranks Comments (5)
Stomach Sucked In
Posted by The Curator on Tue Apr 12, 2005
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)
Politics and Photoshop
Posted by The Curator on Tue Apr 12, 2005
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 photoshop--though, of course, Matts says that the two views he's expressing are entirely reconcilable. (Thanks to Andrew for the link)
Categories: Photos/Videos, Politics Comments (5)
Mt. St. Helens at Sunrise
Posted by The Curator on Tue Apr 12, 2005
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 recent history.) What forms the "smoke rings" is the air flowing over the mountain getting pushed up higher as it goes up and over the top. The moisture content…
Categories: Photos/Videos, Places, Science Comments (34)
Wife For Sale
Posted by The Curator on Tue Apr 12, 2005
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. I've been using the internet since a few weeks ago now. I've…
Categories: eBay, Sex/Romance Comments (12)
Diminutive Male Genitalia Disorder and Hunting
Posted by The Curator on Tue Apr 12, 2005
The Diminutive Male Genitalia Disorder Research Organization (DMGDRO) "is a team of New Orleans, Louisiana-based scientists interested in the study of male sexual disorders and dysfunction." Their most recent research study, released on March 29, has found the "Long-Suspected Link Between Hunting and Small Penis Size". The press release elaborates: "Like much folklore, it appears that, certainly in this case, there is a foundation in fact. This is the first time that research has been conducted on men who hunt, and it shows quite definitively that the link between what we are calling ‘the thrill of the kill' and a smaller-than-average penis is statistically significant." Of course, none of this is true. It was created by…
Categories: Sex/Romance, Sports Comments (15)
Man Arrested For Paying With Two-Dollar Bill
Posted by The Curator on Tue Apr 12, 2005
The Baltimore Sun reports on the case of Mike Bolesta, who was recently arrested for the crime of paying a bill with $2 bills. This seems to be an example of an urban legend come to life--the urban legend being the one about a clerk in a store who doesn't realize that $2 bills are legal money and reports a customer who uses them to the police. In the case of Mike Bolesta, he did use A LOT of $2 bills, 57 of them in all, to pay a bill at Best Buy. But still, there doesn't appear to have been any good reason for the store to have him hauled away to the police station for this.…
Categories: Business/Finance Comments (30)
Holy Father’s Last Rites Declaration
Posted by The Curator on Mon Apr 11, 2005
An email is going around that contains what is said to be John Paul II's "last rites declaration" made on April 2, 2005. Here's what he supposedly said: "The unforgiveable sins this earth must confront and overcome are Nationalism, capitalism, and hoarding. The idea of every nation should be forgot, price should be struck from the commons, and princes should be seen for the devils they are. The sins include our church, secret societies, and other religions which make of the spirit of God a divide." That would be a pretty remarkable statement for the Pope to make since it seems to promote a form of socialism. It certainly wouldn't square…
Categories: Religion Comments (11)
Photo Fiction
Posted by The Curator on Mon Apr 11, 2005
Photo Fiction is a site that shows you various photos and lets you vote on whether they're real or fake. In other words, it's basically like a hoax photo test, only it never tells you the right answer. You only get to see the voting results, which is a bit frustrating. Most of the images I recognized (a number of them obviously come from my site). But there were a few I had never seen before, such as this one of the ship on its side. I voted that it was fake.
Categories: Photos/Videos Comments (9)
Perfect Housemate
Posted by The Curator on Mon Apr 11, 2005
This craigslist ad posted by a man searching for a roommate has been doing the rounds. The man starts off sounding kind of weird when he describes himself as a Beverly Hills plastic surgeons whose staff "is somewhat dubious of my methods", but then he progressively begins to sound weirder and weirder as he lists the rules that his "perfect housemate" must follow: "You must brush your teeth at least twice a day", "On every third-Tuesday of the month I request that you vacate the house between the hours of 4 pm - 11:45 pm while I upholster various pieces of antique furniture", "No newspapers or magazines", "if you speak either French, Urdu, or Afrikaans, I kindly request…
Categories: Advertising Comments (11)
Has Bill Gates Converted To Islam?
Posted by The Curator on Mon Apr 11, 2005
I got an email asking me if it's true that Bill Gates has converted to Islam. Seems like an odd question, but doing a google search uncovers that this rumor has been going around. Over at the Ultimate Bill Gates site you can find lots of people asking if the rumor is true (scroll down to the comments section), and the Gates of Vienna site reports getting lots of search-engine traffic from people searching for the phrase 'Bill Gates converts to Islam'. I think I've found the source of the rumor. Over at, someone posted a screenshot of an arabic-language website that supposedly has a story about Bill Gates' Islamic conversion. I don't…
Categories: Religion Comments (63)
Bovine Unite
Posted by The Curator on Fri Apr 08, 2005
The cows are plotting something. They're meeting in secret COWncils. They're even keeping blogs. I'm not sure what it's all about, but it seems that 05.05.05 is the date when the cows will show their hand (or hoof, as it may be). (via Metafilter)
Categories: Advertising, Animals Comments (57)
Star Wars Fans Line Up… Outside Wrong Theater
Posted by The Curator on Fri Apr 08, 2005
Diehard Star Wars fans have already begun lining up outside Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood for the opening of Star Wars: Episode III -- Revenge of the Sith. The problem is, Star Wars won't be playing at the Chinese Theater. It'll be playing a few blocks away at the ArcLight. But the fans are waiting at the Chinese anyway. Why? Because they suspect the studios are lying when they say it won't play at the Chinese, and also they get more publicity by waiting in line on Hollywood Blvd.
Categories: Entertainment Comments (29)
Is the Pope Incorruptible?
Posted by The Curator on Fri Apr 08, 2005
The question that seems to be on everyone's mind is what's going on with the Pope. Why isn't his body showing signs of decomposition? He's been dead for almost a week now, and most bodies at this stage would be putrefying. But not the Pope. Has he been embalmed? The Vatican says no. But the experts seem to think that some kind of embalming, if only partial, must have occurred. Could it be that his body is being kept chilled? If so, the cooling apparatus is pretty well concealed. Or is his body 'incorruptible', meaning that it will never decompose as is said to be the case with the bodies of saints? I'm going…
Categories: Death, Religion Comments (43)
Migrant Mother Sheds Her Wrinkles
Posted by The Curator on Thu Apr 07, 2005
I'm still coming across April Fool's Day hoaxes from this year. This one ran in Popular Photography Magazine. The editors of the magazine took a series of classic photographs by masters such as Dorothea Lange and Walker Evans, and then asked (supposedly in all seriousness) 'Can these photos be saved?' They then proceeded to photoshop the images to make them more like what you'd find in modern fashion or entertainment magazines (smoothing out wrinkles, etc.). In the process they transformed Lange's Migrant Mother from a woman burdened down by Depression-era worries into some kind of smooth-faced suburban soccer mom. Readers were outraged. Popular Photography reports receiving hundreds of letters from indignant readers demanding to know how they could…
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