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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
June 2006
Massage Relieves Nasal Congestion — Status: Undetermined The following technique to relieve nasal congestion by massaging points on your nose has been widely linked to (especially after getting posted on digg.com). Supposedly this technique will provide immediate relief from congestion. Here's what you're supposed to do: Perform the below routine 3 times: 1. Perform 10 pressures on a cavity at the corner of the nostrils (point 1). You should almost close and open the nostrils when you do the round movement. 2. Perform 10…
Posted: Mon Jun 12, 2006.   Comments (16)

Arômes Artificiels — Status: Fake flavors The latest scandal in the world of French gourmet cuisine: the use of artificial bottled flavors (aka arômes artificiels) to substitute for high-end ingredients such as truffles, wild mushroom, caviar, prawn, crab, shallot, scallop, saffron, and even wine. The London Times reports: in the kitchen, the chefs are spraying an omelette with a truffle-flavoured chemical and injecting fake wild-mushroom drops into a duck filet. Science fiction? No, this is the reality in…
Posted: Sun Jun 11, 2006.   Comments (9)

Frog Salad — Status: Weird News (doesn't seem to be a scam) A few days ago a Burger King restaurant in the Netherlands debuted a new dish: frog salad. The first customer of this dish, a 23-year-old woman named Astrid Roek, had not realized what she had ordered. ABC News reports: "What's happened is that one of our guests Thursday evening found a frog in her salad. She went to the manager and showed him the frog. He saw it was there and that's a fact," said spokeswoman Christine Frey. Dutch newspaper…
Posted: Sat Jun 10, 2006.   Comments (8)

The Extreme Cuisine of Chef Kaz Yamamoto — Status: Hoax Todd emailed me a link to this Phoenix New Times article about rogue chef "Kaz" Yamamoto, whose specialty is creating dishes from "meat, game and vegetation that's considered off limits, immoral or even illegal." We're talking about dishes such as Tenderloin of Bichon Frise, monkey brain stew, Arizona saguaro cactus salad, Yosemite brown bear, rhino genitals, giraffe tongue, Sea World sea lion (supposedly obtained by bribing a Sea World employee), etc. Yamamoto even claims…
Posted: Sat Jun 10, 2006.   Comments (6)


Wild Goose Chase — Status: Weird News I'm not quite sure what's going on in this story, but it's not often that a wild goose chase literally happens, so I thought it was worth posting. Chris Kaye reports for KSL local news in Utah: Officers pulled over a car fitting the description of one allegedly used to swipe a goose from the Utah Botanical Gardens. Sergeant John Spencer says when he looked inside the vehicle, he found everyone inside was obeying traffic laws. "The goose was in the front seat and was…
Posted: Sat Jun 10, 2006.   Comments (3)

SmackBook — Status: Real A video on YouTube shows a MacBook Pro that has supposedly been hacked to rapidly change applications whenever it's smacked on the side. (Thanks to Kathy for sending the link.) I have to admit that when I first saw it, I thought it was fake. I figured the guy was probably pushing a button to make the applications change. However, after reading Erling Ellingsen's description on Medallia blog of how the SmackBook was created, I'm now pretty sure it's real. He writes: Turns…
Posted: Fri Jun 09, 2006.   Comments (8)

Giant Jellyfish — Status: Probably fake Peter Wenker sent along this picture of a giant jellyfish. He doesn't think it's real, and I'd agree. I know that giant jellyfish do exist, such as the ones that recently appeared off the coast of Japan, but those were about the size of a washing machine, not the size of a truck. I've never heard of a jellyfish this big. So is this picture another product of Worth1000? Update: Accipiter found a version of this same photo minus the diver, which would seem to…
Posted: Fri Jun 09, 2006.   Comments (49)

Sheep Thinks She’s A Dog — Status: Case of mistaken identity It's not quite as dramatic as the cases of humans raised with wolves, but it's interesting nevertheless. Rolo the Sheep was raised with collies, and now seems to believe that she's a dog. The BBC reports: Rolo - named after her favourite sweets - competes with sheepdogs to jump through hoops, walks on a lead and herds ducks at her Gwynedd home. Owner Emlyn Roberts says Rolo likes nothing more than watching football on TV after calling up for her food...
Posted: Wed Jun 07, 2006.   Comments (10)

Real Body Found At Fake Crime Scene — Status: Strange but true Here's the scene: a high school criminology class on a field trip to the local park. Their teacher has created fake bodies for them to find. But wait a second. One of those bodies looks awfully real. The AP reports: Truth proved to be stranger than fiction for a high school criminology class investigating a fake crime scene after students discovered a real dead body on a field trip. Teacher Sue Messenger has been planting cardboard skeletons with bullet holes,…
Posted: Wed Jun 07, 2006.   Comments (3)

Prince Philip Worshipped As A God — Status: Strange but true Poor Prince Philip never seems to get that much attention, overshadowed as he is by his famous wife, the Queen. But he can console himself with the knowledge that the residents of Tanna, a volcanic island in the Pacific, worship him as a god. UPI reports: Members of the Yaohahnen tribe have developed their own form of cargo cult, belief systems dating to World War II, when U.S. military planes dropped boxes of supplies by parachute that some Pacific islanders…
Posted: Tue Jun 06, 2006.   Comments (12)

7.9% of Japanese Men Over 40 Are Virgins — Status: Undetermined Apparently the movie 40 Year-Old Virgin should have been set in Japan, if the new study ("Male and Female Life and Awareness") by the Japan Family Planning Association is to be believed. It found that "7.9% of the men in the 40-45 age segment claimed they have yet to experience sex." That seems like an awfully high figure, and without knowing any details about the study (how were the questions phrased, how many people were questioned, etc.) it's difficult to know…
Posted: Tue Jun 06, 2006.   Comments (15)

Fake Happy Families Sell Homes — Status: Strange, but true California realtors have devised a new way to sell homes. They're hiring actors to play "happy families" during open houses: Attractive film and stage actors are cast in the roles of cheerful-looking parents and their angelic children, recreating scenes of domestic bliss that they hope will impress prospective buyers... With Hollywood just down the road, there is no shortage of photogenic and unemployed actors, for whom the alternatives are normally bit parts…
Posted: Tue Jun 06, 2006.   Comments (9)

Huichol Labor Pain Relief Custom — Status: Probably Real An anonymous contributor sent me a link to this image depicting an ancient Huichol Indian labor pain relief technique. The text reads: Huichol Indians are descendants of the Aztecs, and live in the mountains of North Central Mexico. During traditional childbirth, the father sits above his labouring wife on the roof of their hut. Ropes are tied around his testicles and his wife holds onto the other ends. Each time she feels a painful contraction, she tugs on the…
Posted: Tue Jun 06, 2006.   Comments (22)

Jaleel White Commits Suicide — Status: Hoax The latest false celebrity death rumor going around concerns Jaleel White (best known for playing Urkel on Family Matters). Supposedly he committed suicide by shooting himself in the head. This rumor is old. It was first posted on my site over half a year ago (in the comments to my post titled 'Is this Jaleel White?'). It's no truer now than it was then. I have no idea why it's begun circulating again, but here are the main highlights from the hoax AP report: LOS ANGELES,…
Posted: Mon Jun 05, 2006.   Comments (237)

Victorian Rock Music — Status: True Most people think rock music got its start as an identifiable genre in the 1950s with artists such as Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, and Elvis Presley. Not so. As Paul Collins points out in the current issue of The Believer, there was a thriving tradition of rock music during the nineteenth century. In fact, rock music was invented in 1785 by a retired sailor named Peter Crosthwaite in the Lake District village of Keswick. Of course, the nineteenth-century version of rock music…
Posted: Mon Jun 05, 2006.   Comments (8)

Potato Used As Silencer — Status: Urban Legend The Miami Herald reports the case of a man who threatened to shoot the mother of his child with a gun silenced by a potato. He never fired the gun, but did explain to her how the potato would silence the shot, insuring that no one would hear what happened. The police had this to say about the man's knowledge of acoustics: The vegetable, while rich in carbs, does not make an effective silencer, police say. The myth dates back to mob murders of the 1920s and has…
Posted: Mon Jun 05, 2006.   Comments (18)

Giant Ball Crashed Into Building — Status: Photoshopped Here's a picture that's going around, just in time for the upcoming World Cup. Apparently this was created a couple of years ago for a Nike campaign in Mexico. However, the image is just a concept piece created by the JWT agency (i.e. it's photoshopped). This was never done in real life. Pity. It would be a pretty cool piece of urban art if it were real. (via Coolzor)
Posted: Sat Jun 03, 2006.   Comments (11)

Alan Abel Videos — Status: Public Service Announcement I just discovered a whole stash of clips of Alan Abel hoaxes on YouTube (uploaded, I assume, by his daughter, Jenny). There's Omar's School for Beggars, the fake lottery winner, Ban Breast Feeding, the mass fainting on Donahue, and many more. It's a good twenty minutes worth of entertainment. Enjoy.
Posted: Sat Jun 03, 2006.   Comments (3)

Stock Performance Tied To Ease Of Pronouncing Company’s Name — Status: Unusual Research There's nothing hoaxy about this story. It's just another example of how non-rational people can be... especially investors in the stock market. Two Princeton researchers, Adam Alter and Danny Oppenheimer, have discovered that the ease with which a company's name and its ticker symbol can be pronounced has a strong short-term effect on the performance of its stock. In other words, "a stock with the symbol BAL should outperform one with the symbol BDL in the…
Posted: Fri Jun 02, 2006.   Comments (4)

BioPerformance Goes to Court — Status: Pyramid scheme unravels Thanks to Joe for sending along some links about the ongoing downfall of BioPerformance, Inc. (discussed in the hoax forum in this thread about fuel additives). To summarize briefly: BioPerformance seems to be a classic case of a pyramid scheme. The people at the top of the pyramid were convincing suckers to pay for the privilege of selling little green pills that supposedly, when placed in a car's gas tank, yielded "vast improvements in mileage,…
Posted: Fri Jun 02, 2006.   Comments (33)

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