The Museum of Hoaxes
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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
April 2007
Museum of Hoaxes Curator in a Box
Posted by The Curator on Mon Apr 30, 2007
I've been out of town recently. My wife and I drove up to Santa Barbara last weekend, where she had a work-related event to go to. While she was busy at that, I decided to check out Santa Barbara's used bookstores. I was browsing at The Book Den, when a student photographer approached me and asked if I would be willing to participate in a project she was working on. She was taking pictures of people in the bookstore, posed in various ways, and then digitally inserting them into a box. She had me climb a ladder. She just sent me the resulting image, and I think it looks pretty cool. It seems like something that's crying…
Categories: Miscellaneous Comments (22)
Quick Links: Peace Bomb and Fake Snakes
Posted by The Curator on Fri Apr 20, 2007
Peace Bomb Colin Barnett thought a good way to promote his art might be to place one of his vases outside the National Gallery of Victoria with the phrase "Peace Bomb" written on it. The police disagreed, and now Barnett is spending three months behind bars. I guess his publicity stunt backfired. Fake Snakes "Austrian officials fed up with motorists stopping to urinate by the roadside have put up fake snake warnings to scare them into using toilets... Of course there are no snakes but they don’t know that." So what happens when the Austrian authorities really…
Quick Links: Honesty, Graffiti, Hindu Goddess, and Mozart
Posted by The Curator on Tue Apr 17, 2007
Brits flunk honesty test A credit-card protection firm, Affinion International, conducted an experiment in which they left items such as mobile phones, key, and wallets in city centres (Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, London, and Manchester). All the items were clearly marked with the owner's contact number, but most were never returned. Not surprising. Obscene messages end graffiti experiment Officials in Louisville tried to give graffiti artists a legal place to practice their craft, but abandoned the experiment after the concrete walls simply became filled with obscene messages. The walls will now be painted beige... and will doubtless soon be covered with illegal graffiti. Man from…
Categories: Art, Psychology, Religion Comments (5)
Did Mary Shelley Write Frankenstein?
Posted by The Curator on Tue Apr 17, 2007
A book coming out next month, The Man Who Wrote Frankenstein, by independent scholar John Lauritsen, argues that Mary Shelley did not write Frankenstein. Instead, Lauritsen argues, the credit should go to her husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley. Why? For one, Lauritsen suggests Mary was too young and inexperienced as a writer to have penned a classic like Frankenstein. (She was nineteen at the time.) Lauritsen also suggests that the language of Frankenstein sounds like something Percy would have written. The Sunday Times reports: He says some of the language,…
Categories: Literature/Language Comments (16)
White Peacock
Posted by The Curator on Tue Apr 17, 2007
It may look like something out of a fairytale, but it's definitely real. Plus, it's a pretty cool photo. Here's a different picture of a white peacock on Wikipedia. (via Reality Carnival)
Categories: Animals, Photos/Videos Comments (14)
Controlling Traffic Lights
Posted by The Curator on Mon Apr 16, 2007
Here's a couple of YouTube videos on the subject of controlling traffic lights. The first video is for pedestrians. It claims that by clicking the walk button in a special way you can cause the traffic light to change in your favor. This secret code is: 3 short clicks, 2 long, 1 short, 2 long, and 3 short. Sounds like total baloney to me. Of course, if you live in New York City, many of the walk buttons have no effect whatsoever on the signal because they were disconnected decades ago. This second video claims that it's possible to…
Categories: Technology Comments (36)
Centrifuge Growth Treatment
Posted by The Curator on Mon Apr 16, 2007
Why do people fall for stuff like this? A woman is suing a Tokyo-based chiropractor over pricey but ineffective treatments that involved spinning her in a centrifugal device to make her taller... The chiropractic center told her the treatments using centrifugal force would make her taller at a cost of 1.05 million yen per 1 centimeter gained... According to the suit, the center said her leg bones had grown by a little over 3 cm, showing X-rays taken before and after the treatments. The woman argues the center allegedly manipulated the X-rays and that its explanations lack medical credibility. I think…
Fake Sewage Workers Go Door-to-Door
Posted by The Curator on Sun Apr 15, 2007
Here's an odd story reported in the Mainichi Daily News: A tablet given to a local woman by a group of men posing as sewage workers who told her to swallow it if her tap water became dirty, has proven to be an chemical pipe cleaning agent, investigators said.... Several men visited the home of the victim in the Nagata Sannodai district of Minami-ku, Yokohama on Thursday morning, and handed a blue and white tablet to the resident, bureau officials said. "We're carrying out sewage works…
No-Poop Dog Food
Posted by The Curator on Sun Apr 15, 2007
A Dutch company called Energique claims to have developed a type of dog food that has the pleasant side effect of drastically reducing what comes out the other end. Basically, the company claims that if you feed your dog this stuff, your dog will barely poop at all: Energique has also been working on the many complaints about dog excrement. With the body absorbing almost 90% of the food intake, only 10% is excreted. On the entire dog population, that saves 55 million kilograms of dog excrement in the Netherlands alone. An Ananova article gives some more details: "They claim…
Categories: Food Comments (17)
Magic Faucet
Posted by The Curator on Sat Apr 14, 2007
A picture of an actual scene -- nothing has been digitally manipulated or removed. A lot of people are familiar with this illusion. My wife, for instance, took one look at it and told me that not only did she know what the trick was, but that it's also possible to buy table-top versions of it. But for those who haven't seen it before, it is kind of cool. The trick is that the pipe supplying the water (and holding the faucet up) is concealed by the stream of water. I'm not sure where this picture was taken.
Categories: Photos/Videos Comments (22)
Is it possible to cut glass with scissors?
Posted by The Curator on Fri Apr 13, 2007
A YouTube video claiming that it's possible to cut glass with scissors by placing the glass underwater has been attracting some skepticism. Geekologie suggests that the guy in the video is swapping out pieces of glass with other pieces of glass as he pretends to cut it. Hmm. I'm no expert on this subject, but after some quick googling, I'm inclined to believe that it is possible to cut glass with scissors by holding the glass underwater., which appears to be a commercial glass company, addresses the claim on their site (though not with specific reference to the YouTube video). They say that the trick…
Categories: Photos/Videos Comments (20)
Giant Italian Skeleton
Posted by The Curator on Fri Apr 13, 2007
The photos show a giant skeleton lying on display in a town square, recalling that photo of a giant skeleton supposedly unearthed in Saudi Arabia that circulated around a few years ago. (It was actually an image from a Worth1000 photoshop contest.) In this case, the giant skeleton is not a product of photoshop. It's a real skeleton, in the sense that it's something that one can really go and see. However, it's not real in the sense of being an actual archeological artifact. It's a piece of art created by the Late Gino De Dominicis. It's titled "COSMIC MAGNET." It's currently on display in Milan, and then will tour throughout Europe.
Categories: Art, Cryptozoology Comments (2)
Elephants On Acid Put To Bed
Posted by The Curator on Fri Apr 13, 2007
Wow! It's been almost a month since I posted. Last time I posted, I thought that work on my next book was winding down. That turned out to be overly optimistic. I still had a lot of work to do, but now it truly is all done. The manuscript has been sent to my publisher. Meanwhile, thanks to Flora for keeping this place running while I took a leave of absence! As proof that I really have been working on a book, the book itself -- Elephants On Acid: and Other Bizarre Experiments -- is now listed on Amazon, although it…
Categories: Miscellaneous Comments (14)
Dead Fairy
Posted by Boo on Thu Apr 05, 2007
This website shows a ‘dead fairy’, along with the story of how it was found in the Derbyshire countryside. It claims that the police and a local ‘paranormal expert’ had examined the fairy, and that the barrow it was found in contained over 20 bodies. The site also features an update posted on April 1st, which explains that no, it is not a real fairy, and that it is a piece of art. According to one of the people who wrote to us about this story, some people refuse to believe it’s not a real fairy, and are…
Categories: Art, Cryptozoology, eBay Comments (14)
Google April Fool’s Day Jokes 2007
Posted by Boo on Tue Apr 03, 2007
Google Introduces TiSP Google TiSP (BETA) is a fully functional, end-to-end system that provides in-home wireless access by connecting your commode-based TiSP wireless router to one of thousands of TiSP Access Nodes via fiber-optic cable strung through your local municipal sewage lines.Gmail Paper For those who like the features of Gmail, but aren’t so keen on email. Google Maps Trick This trick produced by Google Maps staff allows you to position one of a number of customisations on a map. (Thanks to all who…
Categories: Pranks, Websites Comments (12)
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