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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
May 2005
Wal-Mart Advertisements
Posted by The Curator on Tue May 10, 2005
There's an interesting Q&A in today's Stuart Elliott column in the NY Times: A Reader Asks: I have a question regarding Wal-Mart's advertising. Do you know if Wal-Mart actually uses employees in its ads or does it hire actors? I've wondered about this myself. Are there really all these happy people working at Wal-Mart? Elliott's response: The people appearing in the television commercials and print advertisements for Wal-Mart Stores are actual employees, according to Wal-Mart and its agencies. Such ads have been appearing more frequently as part of efforts by Wal-Mart to counter critics who charge the company does not offer its employees adequate health care or other benefits.
Categories: Advertising Comments (41)
The Reel in a Rock
Posted by The Curator on Tue May 10, 2005
Stop The Presses! The Creationists have disproven evolution! How? Because they found a fishing reel in a rock. The 'reel in a rock' seems to have been around for quite a while, but I've only heard of it now. What a treat I've been missing. Dan Jones says that he found this thing twenty-five years ago while trout fishing. It was lying right out in the open. It's a chunk of Phyllite rock with an old fishing reel embedded in it. It's pretty obvious that someone has drilled a few holes in order to insert the reel into the rock, but the…
Categories: Religion, Science Comments (34)
The Black Spider Club
Posted by The Curator on Tue May 10, 2005
The Black Spider Club bills itself as "the worlds most exclusive club". "We are not listed on any search engine, and we do not publicise ourselves, for you to have found this site means you were referred by one of our illustrious members." I haven't been able to find any info about what this 'club' actually is. It indeed doesn't appear in any search engines. So maybe it's really a club, or maybe it's an alternative reality game. I don't know. But if it is a club, I'm pretty sure they wouldn't accept me as a member. (thanks to Steve Combe for the link)
Categories: Websites Comments (13)
Trompe l’oeil Murals
Posted by The Curator on Tue May 10, 2005
Some photos of the mural paintings of Eric Grohe have been doing the rounds. The coolest ones, I think, are the ones where people are standing and looking at the paintings, and you can't quite tell if the people are part of the painting or not.
Categories: Art Comments (9)
Satellite Map Oddity
Posted by The Curator on Tue May 10, 2005
I got an email from Mike Scofield asking about this odd thing that can be seen via Google's satellite map out in the middle of the desert around Nevada. Mike writes: Assuming I did the link right, you should see a giant triangle with concentric circles in it. I did some poking around and it looks like this symbol is ~near~ Area 51. This leads me to think it's one of two different hoaxes. One is that it's a very good photoshop someone slipped into the satalite map that Google is referencing or, two, that it is a symbol out there in the desert someone did that isn't related to Area 51.
Categories: Photos/Videos, Places Comments (64)
Lion vs. Midgets
Posted by The Curator on Mon May 09, 2005
A faux BBC news article describing a match between one lion and 42 unarmed midget fighters has been linked to by a lot of sites. However, the article is now clearly labelled as a fake. Apparently what inspired the article was a debate some guy was having with his friend about who would win in a hypothetical fight between one lion and 40 weaponless midgets. He created the fake BBC piece in order to convince his friend that the lion would win. Personally, I don't think it matters if it were 40 midgets or 40 pro-basketball players. The lion would still win, because a lion has claws and sharp teeth, and people don't. Plus, the lion…
Categories: Animals Comments (29)
The Dominion of Melchizedek
Posted by The Curator on Mon May 09, 2005
On my next vacation I'm going to the Dominion of Melchizedek. It looks lovely. But actually, I might have trouble finding a flight there since there's no such place. I found it mentioned in a book I was browsing through, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Frauds, Scams, and Cons. The author of this book, Duane Swierczynski, says that the Dominion of Melchizedek "was solely the invention of an American swindler, who created it as a front for a multitude of scams. If you're near a computer, go log on to, and you can tour the entire nation, made up of Pacific islands. Fairly realistic, huh? That's what those 300 investors thought, too."
Categories: Places Comments (1)
Scientists Walk of Fame
Posted by The Curator on Mon May 09, 2005
I'm a little late on this one, but better late than never. On May 4 Caltech students transformed the Hollywood Walk of Fame into the "Illustrious Scientists Walk of Fame": Students literally covered over 500 of the celebrity stars on Hollywood Blvd. with prestigious scientists such as Sir Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking, David Baltimore, Richard Feynman, Madame Currie... The prank was meant to coincide with the Commemorative U.S. Postage Stamp of preeminent Caltech physicist Richard P. Feynman.
Categories: Pranks, Science Comments (8)
Runaway Bride Stuff on eBay
Posted by The Curator on Fri May 06, 2005
eBay has become like the internet's funhouse mirror for popular culture. Any widely reported event immediately gets reflected back in the form of strange eBay auctions. So with the Runaway Bride being the latest story in the news, it was inevitable that Runaway Bride stuff would soon show up on eBay. Here's a round-up of the most prominent of it: Runaway Bride on Toast Jennifer Wilbanks found on my morning breakfast toast. I still think her fiance did it !!! This is the one and only Toast Depicting The Scam Artict of the year Jennifer Wilbanks. Look at the eyes its…
Categories: eBay, Sex/Romance Comments (11)
Dead Husband Hoax
Posted by The Curator on Thu May 05, 2005
A woman has been sentenced to 20 years in prison after faking her husband's death (with the help of her husband). The two of them dug up a corpse from a grave, put it in their car, and lit it on fire. The police weren't fooled. Apparently the husband had been sentenced to jail, and the scheme was an elaborate way to get out of having to go. Now they're both going to jail. So the plan really didn't work. My impression is that forging a death certificate is, by far, the easiest way to fake your death. Staging an accident with a substitute corpse is pretty hard because the police have much better ways of identifying bodies…
Categories: Death Comments (3)
Coin Stacking
Posted by The Curator on Thu May 05, 2005
I never realized that coin stacking was a sport, nor that people could create such intricate stacks. Some of these things really seem to defy gravity. But I see no reason to believe that any of the images aren't real. It reminds me of rock balancing, which I posted about last year. Check out some of the other coin stack pictures here. (via Reality Carnival)
Categories: Sports Comments (11)
A New Kind of Moisturizer
Posted by The Curator on Thu May 05, 2005
Ananova reports that an entrepreneur down in Mexico has started selling a line of semen moisturizer: Porn star Lyn May, who is in her sixties, is behind the company producing the cream. Mrs May swears that the Semen moisturizer is capable of erasing wrinkles and leaves skin soft. She told Las Ultimas Noticias: "I select attractive young man and pay them for their semen that is mixed with honey and oats to create the moisturiser." Okay, despite the fact that it's gross to be selling this stuff, I believe that it's an urban legend that semen would work as a moisturizer. A quick google search reveals that someone…
Categories: Gross, Sex/Romance Comments (26)
Cow Urine
Posted by The Curator on Thu May 05, 2005
Apparently cow urine is the hot new drink in India. I'm not sure what people believe to be the health benefits of it, but there's a brisk market in sales of the stuff. The only problem is the nasty smell: A few suppliers even have suggestions for battling the odour. "You can kill the smell if you add some essence while consuming it. But if you store it in a bottle again, the odour returns," says Lakshmanananda of another ashram in Gandipet, on the outskirts of the city. Demand is so strong that it's even spawning a market for fake cow urine: As cow urine does booming business,…
Categories: Animals, Food Comments (15)
Snake in Breakfast Food
Posted by The Curator on Thu May 05, 2005
Seems like people are suddenly finding all kinds of things in their food. A boy in England just found a two-foot long snake in the box of his breakfast cereal: Ms Willett, who was eating breakfast with her son at the time, said she first thought the snake was a free gift. Describing the incident, she said: "My lad, he went to open his cereal and luckily enough I was behind him because a snake popped out. "I just screamed. I grabbed the box off him and found some Sellotape." ... An expert called in to examine the corn snake, which is non-venomous and feeds on mice and birds, said he…
Categories: Animals, Food Comments (2)
Coalition for Traditional Values
Posted by The Curator on Tue May 03, 2005
Laura Bush has been getting rave reviews for her comedy routine at the White House Correspondents' Dinner, but not everyone was pleased. The Coalition for Traditional Values issued a press release (pdf file) denouncing her performance. We saw our President undermined, mocked and emasculated by his own wife on the most public of stages, and at a time when his manliness is already under attack. We saw the leader of the free world seemingly unable to lead his own family. Mr. President, as God's elected represented here on earth, you owe it to every American to live your life as an example to us. And that example extends to the behavior of your wife,…
Categories: Politics Comments (15)
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