Hoax Museum Blog Posts: November 2007

What’s in a name — Qamar Mohammed Malik, a Pakistan-born engineer, submitted his CV to the Amec Group construction company, but was told that the company had no suitable vacancies. He then submitted a similar CV with inferior qualifications, but using a fake Welsh name, Rhyddir Aled Lloyd-Hilbert. This time he was told there was a job vacancy and was offered an interview. Malik has now filed a lawsuit against the Amec Group, accusing the company of racism. The company defends itself, saying that, ""Mr…
Posted: Tue Nov 06, 2007.   Comments (7)

Insulting Surnames — The Vancouver Sun reports that linguistics researchers believe that many common surnames began as insults. For instance, centuries ago a guy might have been nicknamed "John the Bastard," and the insulting epithet would become his last name, adhering to all his descendants (until someone eventually changed it): there is a whole category of names that are believed to have been given to children abandoned to orphanages - including the French name Jette (meaning "thrown out"), the Italian…
Posted: Tue Nov 06, 2007.   Comments (18)

75 Homeless Gnomes — Last month 75 gnomes suddenly appeared on the front lawn outside of a house in Springfield, Oregon. The police don't know where the gnomes came from, but they assume they were gnome-napped from other houses around town. It is one of the largest cases of gnome-napping anyone can remember. The gnomes are currently being housed in the police station, although the police have warned that can only be a temporary arrangement: “We need to get them out of here,” Springfield Capt. Richard…
Posted: Sun Nov 04, 2007.   Comments (6)

What does an elephant on acid look like? — One of the things that's interested me with the recent flurry of articles about Elephants On Acid, is how the artists who illustrated the articles chose to depict an elephant on acid. So here's a small collection I've put together of artistic depictions of elephants on acid. The two popular options are either to show an angry-looking elephant, or a psychedelic one. (left) from the cover of my book; (right) from an album by Tusko Fatale, a Virginia-based band. (left) from the Daily…
Posted: Thu Nov 01, 2007.   Comments (4)


Elephants on Acid Publicity — I received a couple of emails this morning along the lines of: Hey, the Guardian just published a list of the top ten weirdest experiments of all time. It sounds a lot like your list of the top 20 most bizarre experiments. They're not ripping you off, are they? It's nice that people are concerned, but there's no need to worry. I haven't been ripped off. After I posted my top 20 list back in September, New Scientist contacted me asking if I would like to create a shortened version of…
Posted: Thu Nov 01, 2007.   Comments (6)

Helium Balloons Lift Car — In this video some guys from New Zealand attach helium balloons to a car until it floats away. Unfortunately, no one is in the car when it floats away. (Though that would have been a good update on the legend of Lawnchair Larry.) Of course, the video is fake. TV3.co.nz reports that it was digitally edited to remove a crane, which is what actually causes the car to rise into the air. Also, the video turns out to be a viral ad created by Ford "aimed at selling Ford cars to generations X and Y."
Posted: Thu Nov 01, 2007.   Comments (6)

Hawk Attacks Poodle — The Sacramento Bee reports that a strange event occurred at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center in Carmichael -- a hawk swooped down from the sky and snatched a woman's toy poodle. At least, that's what the woman claims: To hear publicity coordinator Betty Cooper tell it, an employee was walking the center grounds when he was flagged down by the hysterical woman, who claimed a hawk had made off with her toy poodle. And though it's a story straight out of the friend-of-a-friend-told-me…
Posted: Thu Nov 01, 2007.   Comments (10)

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