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

Hidden Messages in Water — I got an email from Enio asking me: I would like to know your opinion about Masaru Emoto's "Crystal Water Photos". First, some background. Masaru Emoto's book The Hidden Messages in Water is currently #66 in sales rank on Amazon. That means A LOT of people are buying it. Here's the blurb from the cover that pretty much explains what Masaru Emoto and his crystal water photos are all about: The Hidden Messages in Water is an eye-opening theory showing how water is deeply connected to…
Posted: Wed Apr 06, 2005.   Comments (123)

Sonic Stain Remover — Would this thing actually work? It's described as an ultrasonic stain remover that "will remove virtually any clothing stain, no matter how stubborn." The fact that the ad copy keeps repeating the phrase 'utilizes ultrasonic technology' without actually explaining how or why it's supposed to work makes me skeptical. I guess the ultrasonic sound waves are somehow supposed to break up stain particles? If it did work as advertised, it would be useful. (via Red Ferret)
Posted: Wed Apr 06, 2005.   Comments (28)

Mickey’s Gala Premiere — In September 1939 the fledgling BBC television service was shut down because of the start of World War II. According to legend, transmission was ended in the middle of a broadcast of a Disney cartoon called "Mickey's Gala Premiere." When transmission resumed six years later an announcer came on the air and said, "Well now, where were we?" The Disney cartoon then began to play from the exact spot in which it had left off all those years ago. Is this story true? Almost, but not quite.
Posted: Wed Apr 06, 2005.   Comments (7)

More 2005 April Fools — Here are a few more April Fools that I missed on Friday:What April Fools prank should you play? (This is actually a quiz, not a hoax. It told me that based on my personality type I should play the stink bomb prank).The MINI Always Open Contract: a detail in the contract requires owners of the MINI Cabrio to always keep the top down, no matter what the weather conditions are. MINI Pullman Edition: MINI also announced the release of a special new model "adapted to ride on all domestic…
Posted: Tue Apr 05, 2005.   Comments (28)

The Great Toothing Hoax — About a year ago 'Toothing' was the hot new thing everyone was talking about (well, okay, that a few people were talking about). It was the idea that people were using bluetooth-equipped mobile phones to find sexual partners in public places such as commuter trains. Toothers would beam messages to other people with mobile phones, 'Hey, wanna hook up?'... and if the answer was affirmative then off the two would go. This practice got a lot of media attention, but it's turned out that it…
Posted: Tue Apr 05, 2005.   Comments (20)

Mushroom Licenses — Are you soon going to need a license to pick wild mushrooms in Illinois? That was what an email press release that circulated around last week stated. The email claimed that mushroom hunters would have to get a license from the same vendors that sell hunting and fishing licenses, and that revenue from the license sales would benefit biological and archaeological research in Illinois. The email prompted dozens of people to call the Illinois Natural Resources Department to complain. Today…
Posted: Tue Apr 05, 2005.   Comments (4)

The Erotic Diary of George Wendt — Here's a strange faux-celebrity blog that delves into the imagined sex life of George Wendt, who played the character Norm on Cheers. Includes posts such as: Crying yourself to sleep doesn't get you sympathy sex if you're alone. Need to remember that.That's one of the tamer posts. (Not safe for work because of language)
Posted: Tue Apr 05, 2005.   Comments (1)

Do Baseball Players Pee on Their Hands? — Given that I've posted periodically about various forms of urine therapy, I was intrigued to come across this slate.com article alleging that many professional baseball players regularly pee on their hands in the belief that the urine will toughen their skin: "In a recent interview with ESPN's Gary Miller, Chicago Cubs outfielder Moises Alou revealed that during baseball season he urinates on his hands to toughen them up. Alou, one of the few major leaguers who doesn't wear gloves…
Posted: Mon Apr 04, 2005.   Comments (27)

Springtime in Arkham — This should appeal to all H.P. Lovecraft fans. It's Springtime in Arkham, a collection of scents inspired by the world of Lovecraft. For only $155 you can buy the entire set, sold together as the 'Gibbering Madness Pack: More eternal evil than you can shake a stick at'. The fact that these are only available from April 1 to June 1 makes it all seem a little like an April Fool's day joke, but I think they're quite real. I'm actually tempted to buy the CTHULHU scent: A creeping, wet,…
Posted: Mon Apr 04, 2005.   Comments (20)

Penile Weight Lifting, Part 2 — Last month I posted about a man in Hong Kong who claims that he was able to lift a dumbbell weighing 165lbs with his penis. What I didn't know then was that there's an entire martial art based around penile weight lifting. It's called Jiu Jiu Shen Gong. For only $56.95 you can get a video that will teach you the secrets of this ancient skill. The video is titled Iron Crotch: "You heard the stories, now experience the reality! Iron Crotch is the most talked about ancient Chinese…
Posted: Mon Apr 04, 2005.   Comments (29)

Google April Fools — It's an entire search engine devoted entirely to April Fools. Put in a word and it pulls up every page related to April Fool's Day that contains that word. The Museum of Hoaxes seemed to figure prominently in the results for the few words that I picked at random, which I thought was cool. For a second I thought this was something that Google itself had created, but then I noticed the small disclaimer at the bottom: "This parody by Philipp Lenssen is unrelated to the real Google".
Posted: Mon Apr 04, 2005.   Comments (2)

Last Resort Retrieval — A few of you have noticed the strange ad that is now running on my site (in the left-hand column) for a company called 'Last Resort Retrieval' that claims to specialize in recovering stolen art. Yes it is a hoax site, or rather it's part of a marketing campaign for a product other than a company that recovers stolen art. But that's about all I can say about it, because I'm supposed to keep the secret (since they're paying me to put the ad there). The thing is, I really don't think it…
Posted: Sun Apr 03, 2005.   Comments (12)

April Fools 2005 — I'll try to post about April Fools Jokes here as I find out about them. Already I've found a few: Residents of Melbourne arrive at the beach to help save 'needle-nose dolphins' washed ashore, only to learn needle-nose dolphins are syringes.A Taiwanese university student posted a fake story alleging that China had launched a 'decapitation strike' against Taiwan. Taiwanese authorities don't find it funny.UnderGoos: Google underwear search engine (Google parody)Bare Bones Software…
Posted: Fri Apr 01, 2005.   Comments (49)

Wageningen Liberation Monument — Here's a strange story. I'm not sure whether or not it's a joke. Supposedly the Dutch village of Wageningen commissioned the construction of a war memorial shaped like "a giant copper obelisk that rises and falls depending on the level of sunlight, and spurts flames out of the top during important festivals." Only after they built it did they realize it looked exactly like a giant penis and hastily decided to scrap it. There are two reasons I'm skeptical about this. First, the source is…
Posted: Fri Apr 01, 2005.   Comments (22)

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