The Museum of Hoaxes
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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
October 2005
Google’s Dentist — Status: HoaxI'm a bit late on this one, but it's odd enough to be worth recording for posterity. It was the blog of Sam Gustard, "Google's first full-time on-site dentist." As the blog explained: After they hear this people usually ask why we need our own dentist, or they roll their eyes about supposed extravagence like the well-known free meals at work and so on. Actually, I'm surprised more companies of their size don't have their own dentist. Just do the math (I had to do some math…
Posted: Mon Oct 24, 2005.   Comments (7)

A Baby Named Google — Status: Seems True Earlier this year there was a story about a couple who named their baby Yahoo, in honor of having met over the internet. That story turned out to be a hoax invented by a Romanian reporter, Ion Garnod. But now there's a case, apparently true, in which a couple decided to name their baby Google. In response to whether he thinks his son will be teased in school on account of his name, the father stated: "not if he is using Google Search engine and he is building new idea…
Posted: Mon Oct 24, 2005.   Comments (12)

Victor the Talking Budgie — Status: In my opinion, a case of parrot pareidolia Victor is (or rather was) a budgie that, according to its owner, could speak in context. In other words, Victor could not only mimic words, as many birds can, but also carry on meaningful conversations. Victor has been a topic of discussion on the internet for over four years. However, I just became aware of him thanks to an email from Gretel Shuvzwichinstov. So here are the basic facts about Victor, as I understand them: Victor…
Posted: Sun Oct 23, 2005.   Comments (42)

World’s Longest Surname — Status: Seems to be true Charles Haberl e-mailed me with a question about the world's longest surname. Here's the main part of his message (it's kind of long): There's an bit of internet lore circulating around that the Guinness World Record for Longest Name in the world belongs to a Mr. Adolph Blaine Charles David Earl Frederick Gerald Hubert Irvin John Kenneth Lloyd Martin Nero Oliver Paul Quincy Randolph Sherman Thomas Uncas Victor William Xerxes Yancy…
Posted: Fri Oct 21, 2005.   Comments (37)


China Invades Japan — Status: Hoax (Fake News Story) A fake news article ruffled a few feathers over in Asia by reporting that China had invaded the Japanese island of Okinawa. In the context of growing tensions between the two countries, this was apparently believable to some people. Though there's no word on how many people fell for it. The hoaxers disguised their fake story as a Yahoo! News page. Usually fake news stories are easily spotted by examining the URL. If it looks like a Yahoo! News page, but…
Posted: Fri Oct 21, 2005.   Comments (21)

Miss International’s Nanny Speech — Status: Probably a hoax Last month Precious Lara Quigaman, Miss Philippines, was crowned as the 2005 Miss International. An email now going around relates a story about her answer to a question asked during the final round: Precious Lara Quigaman, the Miss Philippines who took home the 2005 Miss International crown, was asked during the final round the following question: What do you say to the people of the world who have typecasted filipinos as nannies? Precious Lara replied, “I take…
Posted: Wed Oct 19, 2005.   Comments (8)

Back From The Desert — I wasn't able to post for the past few days since I was out in the Anza Borrego desert (just outside of San Diego), where I spent a long weekend with my wife and parents at the Borrego Valley Inn. I got to see some incredible desert fauna while I was there, including coyotes, jack rabbits, tarantulas, red-tailed hawks, and roadrunners. Thankfully I didn't encounter any rattlesnakes. In the picture to the right I believe that I was looking at a Jumpin' Yuccy. Update: Here's a picture…
Posted: Tue Oct 18, 2005.   Comments (8)

Is The Word ‘Dwarf’ Derogatory? — Status: Not to my knowledge. Since my upcoming book is titled Hippo Eats Dwarf, this brief article in The Sun caught my attention: PANTOS of Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs are being censored — to outlaw the word DWARF. A shocked village drama group sent off for a script and found Dopey and his pals — played by kids — had to be called “gnomes” instead. Ray Lionet, 73, of the Coxheath Players in Kent, said the ban was to avoid offending short people. He said: “It’s madness.” I never…
Posted: Tue Oct 18, 2005.   Comments (36)

CitiKitty: Cat Toilet Training Kit — Status: Controversial. I'm doubtful this could work, but some people swear it does I'm sorry. I refuse to believe it would be possible to train a cat to use a toilet, despite what the CitiKitty company might claim. After all, you can't train cats to do anything. (At least, not my cat.) This is how the CityKitty Cat Toilet Training Kit is supposed to work: The specially designed training seat securely sits on your toilet filled with litter. Your cat naturally uses CitiKitty as its new…
Posted: Thu Oct 13, 2005.   Comments (61)

Marzipan Babies — Status: Not Marzipan I'm a big fan of Marzipan. In fact, I've made several pilgrimages to Lübeck, home of Niederegger, makers of the best marzipan in the world (in my opinion). So I was intrigued by these pictures of tiny babies supposedly made out of marzipan. I don't see why one couldn't make lifelike dolls out of marzipan, but that's not the case with these dolls. They're actually made by the artist Camille Allen out of polymer clay or resin, and they're not edible. Still, in the…
Posted: Thu Oct 13, 2005.   Comments (103)

Photos of Pre-Crash Helios Airplane — Status: FakePhotos have circulated purporting to show the Helios Airways airplane that crashed on August 14, 2005 near Athens, as seen from the cockpit of a Lockheed Martin F-16 that intercepted it before the crash. According to Flight International, these photos are fake: Flight International has identified the pictures as high-quality fakes as they show a Helios 737-800, rather than the -300 that crashed. Efforts to disguise this have been made by doctoring the registration to that…
Posted: Wed Oct 12, 2005.   Comments (3)

Santorum Fundraiser at U2 Concert — Status: True, but misleading A Newsmax article that many bloggers are linking to states that: "At a concert of the legendary rock group U2, Senator Rick Santorum will hold a fund-raising event for one night only. The thousand-dollar-a-seat fund-raiser has been put together by Sean and Ana Wolfington, and it will take place at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia in support of Santorum's reelection." The article then goes on to state that Republican Senator Santorum and Bono share…
Posted: Wed Oct 12, 2005.   Comments (6)

Canal Bridge Magdeburg — Status: Real A photo of a "water bridge" is circulating around, accompanied by this caption: Water Bridge in Germany.... What a feat! Six years, 500 million euros, 918 meters long.......now this is engineering! This is a channel-bridge over the River Elbe and joins the former East and West Germany, as part of the unification project. It is located in the city of Magdeburg, near Berlin. The photo was taken on the day of inauguration. To those who appreciate engineering projects.....
Posted: Tue Oct 11, 2005.   Comments (17)

Snakes On A Plane (the movie) — Status: Seems to be real When word got out that New Line Cinema was producing a movie titled Snakes On A Plane, starring Samuel Jackson, some people, assuming that no major studio would actually create a movie that stupid, thought it had to be a hoax. The minimalist plot outline (with bad grammar) added fuel to these suspicions: On board a flight over the Pacific Ocean, an assassin, bent on killing a passenger who's a witness in protective custody, let loose a crate full of deadly…
Posted: Tue Oct 11, 2005.   Comments (11)

MIDI or Virtuoso? — Reverent.org has an interesting quiz that challenges you to tell the difference between music played by a computer and music played by a human virtuoso. Most people will probably find it pretty easy. I, however, scored only 63%. I mistook Rachmaninov for a computer (among other errors).
Posted: Tue Oct 11, 2005.   Comments (8)

$1 Million Bounty for Bigfoot — Status: PR Stunt (I'd wager $1 million it's never awarded to anyone) At the upcoming Bigfoot Conference in Texas, Loren Coleman plans to announce a $1 million prize for anyone who can safely capture a "Bigfoot, Yeti, Lake Monster, Sea Serpent, or other cryptozoological specimen." It's a good bet this money is never paid out. I wonder if Coleman will actually put aside $1 million in an escrow account, or if he'll only worry about coming up with the cash once someone produces a specimen.…
Posted: Mon Oct 10, 2005.   Comments (10)

Is J.T. LeRoy a Hoax? — Status: Yes, he's a hoax J.T. LeRoy is either a) an extremely shy young man who, at the age of 13, while living a life of abuse and prostitution on the streets, met a psychologist who encouraged him to write down his experiences, which he did, thereby propelling him to literary stardom (now in his mid-twenties, LeRoy has three books, one of which has been made into a movie); or b) a woman in her late-thirties called Laura Albert who, for the past eleven years, has crafted an elaborate…
Posted: Mon Oct 10, 2005.   Comments (39)

Killing Fields Cafe — Status: Weird, but true If you've ever wondered what it would be like to subsist on a starvation diet, such as the kind millions of people endured during the reign of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, now you have your chance. A restaurant has recently opened in Phnom Penh called the "Khmer Rouge Experience Cafe." It serves up the kind of watery gruel people actually ate in the killing fields, with a "'theme menu' of salted rice-water, followed by corn mixed with water and leaves, and dove…
Posted: Mon Oct 10, 2005.   Comments (3)

Cillit Bang’s Barry Scott — Status: Fake Person Hoax forum regulars are familiar with Cillit Bang (a brand of cleaner) and its over-the-top advertisements. Now it seems that Barry Scott, the fictional Cillit Bang spokesperson, has materialized in cyber space with his very own weblog. As if that wasn't enough, Barry Scott has also begun leaving comments on other people's weblogs. Tom Coates, of plasticbag.org, reports that after he posted an entry about his father, whom he hasn't seen in over thirty years, Barry…
Posted: Mon Oct 10, 2005.   Comments (15)

Boy With 12 Fingers (and 13 Toes) — Status: True The photos of his hands and feet look like they were photoshopped to add an extra digit (kind of like this ad), but they weren't. Devender Harne was born with twelve fingers and thirteen toes. That seems like it would be pretty useful. It certainly helps him type faster. It may also earn him a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. (via J-Walk)
Posted: Thu Oct 06, 2005.   Comments (63)

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