The Museum of Hoaxes
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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
April 2005
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)

Diminutive Male Genitalia Disorder and Hunting — 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…
Posted: Tue Apr 12, 2005.   Comments (15)

Man Arrested For Paying With Two-Dollar Bill — 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…
Posted: Tue Apr 12, 2005.   Comments (30)

Holy Father’s Last Rites Declaration — 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…
Posted: Mon Apr 11, 2005.   Comments (11)

Photo Fiction — 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.
Posted: Mon Apr 11, 2005.   Comments (9)

Perfect Housemate — 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…
Posted: Mon Apr 11, 2005.   Comments (11)

Has Bill Gates Converted To Islam? — 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…
Posted: Mon Apr 11, 2005.   Comments (63)

Bovine Unite — 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)
Posted: Fri Apr 08, 2005.   Comments (57)

Star Wars Fans Line Up… Outside Wrong Theater — 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.
Posted: Fri Apr 08, 2005.   Comments (29)

Is the Pope Incorruptible? — 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…
Posted: Fri Apr 08, 2005.   Comments (43)

Migrant Mother Sheds Her Wrinkles — 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…
Posted: Thu Apr 07, 2005.   Comments (16)

Star 100.7 Becomes Jack 100.7 — Every day when my wife drives home from work (here in San Diego) she tunes in to radio station Star 100.7 to listen to a show called 'The Daily Dirt' (which is basically entertainment gossip). Today she was surprised to discover that the station had abruptly switched to a 'classic rock' format that randomly plays songs from the 80's, 90's, and the present. Plus, it was no longer Star 100.7. It was now Jack 100.7. Even the DJs were different. She thought it might be some kind of belated…
Posted: Thu Apr 07, 2005.   Comments (87)

Stripping For Money Prank — Richard Brown was under house arrest after posing as a sheriff's deputy in 2002, but even from his home he still managed to get into trouble. The news article describing what he did is a little confusing, but from what I can gather he called up restaurants and told the employees that he spoke to that he was a DJ, and that if they came to his home they could win $50,000. Once they arrived he told them that they had to pass a challenge to win the money. They had to strip naked, then walk…
Posted: Wed Apr 06, 2005.   Comments (7)

Michelangelo’s Laocoon — It's already well known that Michelangelo dabbled in art forgery. That's not disputed. For instance, there's his famous forgery of the Sleeping Cupid. However, Lynn Catterson of Columbia University thinks that a much more high-profile forgery should be attributed to him. She believes that Michelangelo forged The Laocoon, which has long been regarded as one of the most important pieces of ancient Greek sculpture in existence. She points out that Michelangelo was present when The Laocoon…
Posted: Wed Apr 06, 2005.   Comments (19)

Latest Fashion Craze — I just received these pictures in my email. The subject line read: Latest fashion craze ---- think I'll pass!!!!!!!!!!!!! YIPES! Looking at them definitely makes me cringe, but I see no reason to think they're not real. They remind me of the sport of meathook dangling that I posted about last year.
Posted: Wed Apr 06, 2005.   Comments (96)

The Nike Swoosh — Was the Nike Swoosh (which is perhaps one of the most famous corporate logos in the world, second only to McDonald's golden arches) really designed by a graphic design student who got paid only $35 for it? It sounds like an urban legend playing off of Nike's use of cheap Asian sweatshop labor. But apparently the story is true. At least, the Nike website confirms it. The swoosh was designed in 1971 by design student Carolyn Davidson, and she did only receive $35 for it. However, in 1983…
Posted: Wed Apr 06, 2005.   Comments (7)

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