The Museum of Hoaxes
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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
April 2006
Don’t Use Cruise Control In The Rain — Status: HoaxHere's an email that's been circulating around: "A 36-year-old female had an accident several weeks ago and wrote off her vehicle. It was raining, though not excessively, when her car suddenly began to aquaplane and literally flew through the air. She was not seriously injured but very stunned at the sudden occurrence. When she explained what had happened to a highway patrolman, he told her she should never drive in the rain with cruise control activated. If your car begins…
Posted: Thu Apr 13, 2006.   Comments (25)

Missouri Couple Has Sextuplets — Status: Hoax A Missouri couple, Sarah and Kris Everson, have been charged with staging an elaborate hoax to fool people into believing they had sextuplets. Supposedly Sarah gave birth to the six babies on March 8. Stories about the multiple birth ran in local papers, and people who heard about the family's tight financial situation began to organize donations for them. Sarah also supplied the Associated Press with a photograph of herself looking very pregnant, as well as sonograms of…
Posted: Wed Apr 12, 2006.   Comments (14)

Motorcycle Flips Car — Status: Undetermined (but probably true) Alex Palmer forwarded me the following email which is circulating around, consisting of the following text and four pictures: Subject: Picture is worth a thousand words. The Honda rider was traveling at such a "very high speed", his reaction time was not sufficient enough to avoid this accident. Swedish Police estimate a speed of ~250 KM/h (155mph) before the bike hit the slow moving car side-on at an intersection. At that speed, they predicted…
Posted: Wed Apr 12, 2006.   Comments (28)

Donut Maker Sponsors High School — Status: April Fool Prank Students at Hugh McRoberts School in Richmond, British Columbia were stunned when they learned that donut-maker Tim Hortons was going to become an official sponsor of their school. As a result the nickname for the school's team would change from the "Strikers" to the "Dunkers". Also: The school’s Snack Shack had been sold, students were told in a survey that asked which doughnuts they preferred for the new shack’s menu. What’s more, the school was to undergo a…
Posted: Wed Apr 12, 2006.   Comments (11)


$150 McDonald Sandwich — Status: Real (kind of) You've probably heard of the $250 Neiman Marcus Cookie. Now comes word of a $150 McDonald Sandwich. Yes, it's real, but it's not a sandwich from the fast-food McDonalds. It's being sold at Selfridges, a UK department store, and it's named after Scott McDonald, the executive chef at the store. Obviously the name is a little tongue-in-cheek. The sandwich is supposedly worth $150 "because of the Wagyu beef that makes up most of the filling... the 595-gram sandwich…
Posted: Wed Apr 12, 2006.   Comments (19)

Chapstick Lets You Cheat on Scantron Tests — Status: Urban Legend Here's an odd urban legend that I just stumbled across. Supposedly if you smear chapstick down the side of a scantron sheet (the kind used for standardized tests such as the SAT), the grading machine will mark all your answers correct. The theory is that the chapstick will interfere with the scanning light, confusing it into thinking that your answers are correct. Needless to say, this doesn't work. Some guy named Richard Mangahas has written a short article
Posted: Tue Apr 11, 2006.   Comments (37)

Fake Zebras Face Extinction — Status: News Thanks to Big Gary for sending me this story about Tijuana's fake zebras, which are facing extinction. The Tijuana zebras are donkeys painted to look like zebras. Tourists like to get their picture taken with them. It's a decades-old tradition. The Reuters article explains: "It all started in the 1930s when someone decided to paint the donkeys up with stripes so that they'd look better in black-and-white photographs," recalled Jorge Bonillas, a sprightly 75-year-old who…
Posted: Tue Apr 11, 2006.   Comments (8)

Brain Gym — Status: Highly dubious Based on the description on the Brain Gym website, Brain Gym sounds like a pretty good idea. It's "a program of physical movements that enhance learning and performance in ALL areas." The program, which consists of 26 different exercises, is now being used in a lot of schools to help kids learn. Exercise can definitely improve mental acuity, so having kids do something like this would seem to make sense. But as Ben Goldacre revealed in a recent Bad Science column,…
Posted: Tue Apr 11, 2006.   Comments (18)

Plane With Flapping Wings — Status: Undetermined I'm no aeronautical engineer, so I'm not qualified to say if the plane featured on the website of JCR Technology could fly or not, though it sure doesn't look to me like it would ever get off the ground. Apparently it's supposed to fly by means of eight flapping wings, located on either side of the plane. The website is entirely in French, so I can't determine if this is simply some kind of thought experiment, or a real plane that someone is trying to build.…
Posted: Mon Apr 10, 2006.   Comments (28)

Is Katie Holmes Pregnant? — Status: Undetermined Before I saw this picture it would never have occurred to me that Katie Holmes was faking her pregnancy. But now, I don't know what to think. I mean, that has to be a soccer ball beneath her shirt. Right? This picture, taken on April 4, has been doing the blog circuit. The Blog You Love To Hate has some more photos from the same series in which her belly looks less fake. So maybe it was just the camera angle, or something like that. But still, it's kind of…
Posted: Mon Apr 10, 2006.   Comments (17)

The Boonville Beer — Status: Tall-tale creature I've found another beer to add to my list of hoax-themed beers: Boonville Beer. Its label shows a picture of a bear with antlers. I was having a bottle of this beer (the outmeal stout) out on the patio this afternoon, saw the antlered bear, and got curious. A quick internet search revealed that the creature isn't actually a bear. The Anderson Valley Brewing Company website explains: It's not a bear. Bears don't have antlers. Of course not. Who ever heard…
Posted: Sun Apr 09, 2006.   Comments (2)

Dead Man Runs For New Orleans Mayor — Status: Joke campaign Twenty-five people are campaigning to be mayor of New Orleans. One of them is legendary rhythm-and-blues musician Ernie K-Doe. His wife insists that he deserves to be mayor because "He gets the job done. The guy has soul." He also happens to be dead, which, I suppose, makes him perfect for the job (resistant to corruption-- especially if he was embalmed). Unfortunately he's not actually on the ballot, so his supporters will have to stage a write-in campaign. Though…
Posted: Sun Apr 09, 2006.   Comments (0)

Dorset Naga: The Hottest Chili In The World — Status: True (I think) A British mail-order chili firm, Peppers by Post, claims that it has developed the hottest chili in the world. Its website states: We – Michael and Joy Michaud – grow chillies and sell them by mail order to customers throughout Great Britain... One of the items in our catalogue is Dorset Naga, an exceptionally hot variety that we developed from a Bangladeshi chilli known as Naga Morich. In 2005 we collected a sample of this chilli, and had it tested for heat by…
Posted: Sun Apr 09, 2006.   Comments (33)

MIT vs. Caltech, Cannon Prank — Status: Prank Last year in April a group of Caltech students pulled off a series of pranks at MIT, including handing out t-shirts to prefrosh that read "MIT" on the front and "because not everybody can go to Caltech" on the back. The gauntlet was thus thrown down, and this year MIT responded by stealing the 130-year-old, 1.7 ton, Spanish-American War Fleming cannon from the Caltech campus and transporting it all the way to MIT, where it can now be seen "pointed toward Pasadena and…
Posted: Sat Apr 08, 2006.   Comments (3)

Cy the Creationist Kitten — Status: News Cy the one-eyed kitten, whom many people refused to believe was real, has found a permanent home at the Lost World Museum, a creationist museum that will be opening later this year in Phoenix, NY. John Adolfi, owner of the museum, will use Cy to support his argument that mutations can not be the driving force of evolution because "The mutations I have seen, like Cy, are either neutral or negative." Evidently Adolfi has never bothered to read a Biology textbook (or he only…
Posted: Sat Apr 08, 2006.   Comments (8)

Welcome to Detroit — Status: Prank Columnist Tom Greenwood of the Detroit News reports that a sign has been spotted "attached to an authentic Michigan Department of Transportation post on southbound Interstate 75 at the Oakland/Wayne county line." It reads: Welcome to Detroit. We hope you survive. There's no word on how long this has been up, or for how long. Of course, fake road signs have been a popular prank for quite some time. There's the fake road sign project in Lyons, France, in which "105 street…
Posted: Sat Apr 08, 2006.   Comments (5)

Cryptozoological Collectibles — Status: Stuff to buy I've asked my wife to buy me these footprint impressions from a crippled Sasquatch for my birthday. (I'll be 38 in June.) I think they would look great hanging on the wall in my office, across from my jackalope, and above my magicshelf. I also like the fact that one gets "Research documentation by Dr. Krantz included at no additional charge." I found the link to the Sasquatch footprint casts via The Proceedings of the Athanasius Kircher Society, a fascinating site…
Posted: Fri Apr 07, 2006.   Comments (5)

Ballymena Boots Hang From Power Line — Status: Prank Power company workers in Ballymena (Northern Ireland) were amazed to discover five pairs of shoes hanging from a power line along the road between Larne and Ballymena. Ballymena Today reports: Electricity engineers could only look skyward in bemusement at the bizarre sight of the shoes and boots hanging from the line, baffled as to who, why and how this was done. The inspiration for the prank may have come from the fantasy film Big Fish. In the film, the most memorable…
Posted: Thu Apr 06, 2006.   Comments (14)

Paris Hilton To Play Mother Teresa — Status: False I'm posting this despite my belief that discussing, or even thinking about, the entity known as Paris Hilton can be dangerous to one's mental health. Apparently an Indian filmmaker known as T. Rajeevnath wants to cast Paris Hilton as Mother Teresa in his biography of the nun that he will begin filming next year. He claims that Paris's facial features closely resemble those of Mother Teresa, and that Paris has "expressed delight" at being considered to play the nun.
Posted: Thu Apr 06, 2006.   Comments (16)

Twenty Phobias — Status: Bogus fears The BBC invited its readers to tell them what their greatest fears were, and has posted a selection of 20 of the responses. Some of them are hard to take seriously. Especially this one: The letter Y: "M phobia is all about the letter . Ever time I tr to press it on the ke board, it makes me want to cr . I know it seems sill to ever one else, but it all started when I was a bab , and I swallowed a magnetic letter. At least that's what My mumm and dadd told me an wa…
Posted: Thu Apr 06, 2006.   Comments (21)

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