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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
December 2005
Giving Santa the Bird
Posted by The Curator on Wed Dec 21, 2005
Status: Undetermined Here's a picture that's doing the rounds. I have no idea how long it's been circulating. Anyway, it's possible that the little girl's finger has been photoshopped in. But my guess is that the picture is real enough. Though who can tell anymore. I have no clue where the picture originally came from. Click the image to read the accompanying text. (It's another one of those 'priceless' parodies.)
Categories: Photos/Videos Comments (9)
Man Fulfills Short Life Prediction
Posted by The Curator on Wed Dec 21, 2005
Status: Self-fulfilled prophecy When Sandeep was born, an astrologer predicted that he would have a short life. Recently another astrologer, on TV, seconded this prediction. In despair (whether because of the second prediction, or for some other reason, is not clear), Sandeep took his own life, thereby fulfilling the prophecy. This isn't the only self-fulfillment of a death prophecy that I'm aware of. The more famous case was the prediction of the 16th century astrologer Girolamo Cardan, who foretold that he would die in 1576. Sure enough he did, though it seems probable he took his own life to insure the accuracy of his prophecy. Seems like an extreme way to prove a prophecy correct.
Categories: Death, Future/Time Comments (5)
Who Should Win the Caption Contest?
Posted by The Curator on Tue Dec 20, 2005
I said that I would decide who should win the caption contest today. But I'm having a tough time making a decision because there are a number of good entries. So I've decided to make the contest more democratic and let the winner be decided by a vote. I've selected my top eight choices. Pick your favorite, and cast your vote. I'll let the voting run for a day or two. Update: As of Dec. 23, Kieran won the vote . Congratulations!
Categories: Miscellaneous Comments (14)
Monkey Art Fools Expert
Posted by The Curator on Tue Dec 20, 2005
Status: Art hoax Dr. Katja Schneider, director of the State Art Museum in Moritzburg, has been embarrassed by mistaking a painting done by Banghi, a 31-year-old female chimp, for a work by the late Ernst Wilhelm Nay: The director of the State Art Museum of Moritzburg in Saxony-Anhalt, Katja Schneider, suggested the painting was by the Guggenheim Prize-winning artist Ernst Wilhelm Nay. "It looks like an Ernst Wilhelm Nay. He was famous for using such blotches of colour," Dr Schneider confidently asserted. The canvas was actually the work of Banghi, a 31-year-old female chimp at the local zoo. While Banghi likes to paint, she is not able to build…
Categories: Animals, Art Comments (18)
Status: Hoax A news report has been doing the rounds concerning a student at UMass Dartmouth who was visited by Department of Homeland Security agents after ordering the official Peking version of Mao Tse-Tung's Little Red Book via interlibrary loan. The student needed the book for a research paper on communism, but apparently the book is on some kind of government watch list, and thus the visit. However, over at Boing Boing, suspicions have been raised that the story is a hoax. Apparently a second version of the story is floating around that places the student at UC Santa Cruz. Also, people find it suspicious that the student is unnamed, and therefore the story is…
The Three Magi
Posted by The Curator on Tue Dec 20, 2005
Status: Fake Yes, that's Tony Blair on the left and President Bush on the right. In the middle is the Duke of Edinburgh. They're dressed up as the three magi. It's pretty obvious that the picture is fake. Bush and Blair didn't really don these costumes. But it's not fake in the sense of being photoshopped. These are actually dummies (wax dummies, specifically) that appeared in a nativity scene at London's Madame Tussauds last Christmas. (Victoria and David Beckham served as Mary and Joseph.) Church leaders protested the scene, and it was soon shut down after being vandalized. But this picture still seems to be circulating around.
Categories: Photos/Videos, Religion Comments (4)
Narnia Walks Out of WTO Meeting
Posted by The Curator on Tue Dec 20, 2005
Status: Hoax In a dramatic move, the representatives of the state of Narnia have walked out of the WTO meeting in Hong Kong. AFX News issued this news release: AFX News Limited WTO MEETING - Narnia walks out of talks; says tired of EU, US 'bullying' 12.18.2005, 07:16 AM HONG KONG (AFX) - The independent state of Narnia has walked out of trade negotiations here, citing pressure from the European Union and the US to enforce liberalization of its garment-related sector. Narnian spokeswoman Susan Aslan said in a statement that delegates 'were tired of bullying by EU and US delegations and would be returning immediately to their state capital at…
Elephant Loose in St. Petersburg
Posted by The Curator on Mon Dec 19, 2005
Status: Hoax Ananova reports that an elephant is on the loose in St. Petersburg: The animal, which was being transported through Russia by an unnamed Finnish company, escaped from its container by smashing through its walls. There have been a number of sightings around the city but no one has tried to catch the elephant yet. But it appears that Ananova has done its usual thorough job of fact-checking, because the Moscow Times reports that the elephant was probably a hoax: St. Petersburg police were looking for a mystery phone caller on Thursday after spending much of the night looking for an…
Categories: Animals, Journalism Comments (5)
Man Celebrates Christmas Every Day
Posted by The Curator on Sat Dec 17, 2005
Status: Probably a hoax Andy Park claims that he celebrates Christmas every day: Since "becoming Mr Christmas" in 1993, the 45-year-old electrician has eaten 109,500 sprouts. He devours 25 of them with a full roast-turkey dinner daily before watching a recording of the Queen's speech, sherry in hand... So deep is his love for Christmas that, over 12 years, he reckons he has consumed 4,380 turkeys (one a day), 87,600 mince pies (20 a day), 2,190 pints of gravy (half a pint a day), 26,280 roast potatoes (six a day), 30,660 stuffing balls, 219,000 mushy peas, 4,380 bottles of…
Categories: Folklore/Tall Tales Comments (18)
Skaggs Strikes Again
Posted by The Curator on Sat Dec 17, 2005
Status: TV show gets hoaxed (but claims it hoaxed first) Hoax master Joey Skaggs has issued a press release describing the latest deception he's been involved in. I can't find the release posted online, so I uploaded the pdf file he emailed to me. I've also excerpted the main part of the release below: Skaggs was contacted by producer Ben Sinden of ITV Factual, about a 90-minute special called "Danny Wallace's Hoax Files," to air in prime time Monday, December 19, 2005, on SkyOne throughout the UK. Sinden said Danny Wallace wanted to speak with the all-time great hoaxer Skaggs to see if he could teach him anything. In Skaggs' experience, producers…
Categories: Identity/Imposters Comments (9)
Caption Contest
Posted by The Curator on Fri Dec 16, 2005
And the winner of the 'contest to pick a contest idea' was... ME!!! Yeah, apparently my proposal to have a caption contest was the overall favorite. So I'll be keeping the copy of the book (at least for now... I'll probably give it away later). Anyway, now on to the real contest. I've selected an image. The challenge is to think up a caption or accompanying text for the image. Or, if you're so inclined, you can photoshop the image. I don't mind. Just do something creative with it using whatever tools you have at hand (either words or an image editor). But if you photoshop the image, you'll need to upload it to a web…
Categories: Miscellaneous Comments (54)
Animatronic Chimp Head
Posted by The Curator on Thu Dec 15, 2005
Status: Fake chimp I'm posting this in honor of Monkey Day. The Sharper Image is selling a life-size animatronic chimpanzee head. It's the perfect gift for those hard-to-buy-for people on your list, if you don't mind shelling out $150 for it: "Alive" Chimpanzee can see, hear and feel in ways that allow him to interact intelligently with you, your family, your guests...and with baffled strangers. Soulful eyes track movements using infrared "radar" vision; his ears have stereoscopic sound sensors; his skin reacts to contact with touch sensors all around. Four distinctive emotional moods include "Curious," "Happy," "Fearful" and "Feisty."
Categories: Animals, Technology Comments (16)
Holy Bottled Water
Posted by The Curator on Thu Dec 15, 2005
Status: Real water, but it's not holy This is an odd marketing gimmick. This company is selling Holy Bottled Water. Of course, the label could easily be mistakenly read as Holy Water Bottled. But it's not holy water (in the sense of water that's been blessed by a priest). It's just regular old bottled water. The closest they come to explaining why their water is holy is this cryptic claim: From the River of Living Water flows 'Holy Bottled Water Inc.' Produced by man under the inspiration of God. They also make the strange claim that "WATER IS…
Categories: Food, Religion Comments (4)
Digital Plastic Surgery
Posted by The Curator on Thu Dec 15, 2005
Status: Online tutorial For those who still don't realize that all those beautiful models you see in magazines have benefitted from the aid of photoshop, the Swedish Ministry of Health and Social Affairs has created an online tutorial to demonstrate exactly how photo editors manipulate appearances. They write: The media world is becoming increasingly fixated on appearances. And the number of tricks used to achieve the increasingly exaggerated ideals is growing. Many models have plastic surgery and even more are retouched so they appear to have bigger breasts, smaller stomachs or fuller lips. We wanted to show how easy it is…
Categories: Body Manipulation Comments (10)
A Contest To Think of Contest Ideas
Posted by The Curator on Wed Dec 14, 2005
I'm having a contest. The challenge is to help me think of contest ideas. I posted the full details in the Hoax Forum (but then it occurred to me that only registered members can post responses there, so I'm posting a brief announcement here too so that comments/ideas can be left in either place.) The basic challenge is to think of contest ideas. The one condition is that the contest has to generate responses, the best of which can be used as sidebar material somewhere in my archive of famous hoaxes throughout history. Like I said, full details are in the Hoax Forum.…
Categories: Miscellaneous Comments (32)
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