The Museum of Hoaxes
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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
February 2008
Fireball Dodging
Posted by The Curator on Fri Feb 22, 2008
Here's another photo series I found in an old issue of Life Magazine (April 26, 1937). I had to kill some time in the UCSD library this morning, which is why I was looking through old magazines. The photos were titled "South Carolina Negroes Play 'Fireball Dodging'". Here are the captions for the five photos (complete with the racist language characteristic of the 1930s): 1) A new game invented by the Negroes…
Categories: Sports Comments (12)
Head-Swallowing Trick
Posted by The Curator on Fri Feb 22, 2008
I found this series of photos in an old issue of Life Magazine (Dec. 7, 1936). It was titled "Tricks of Paris Season" and had this caption: Patrons of a Paris nightclub are being entertained with this spectacle of one man swallowing another's head. M. Nicol pries open M. Martin's mouth, lowers his head, rams it in until the spectators see it disappear. Only the cold sober feel cheated by this act. I assume the method of the trick is obvious enough not to require explanation.
Categories: Photos/Videos Comments (3)
Man mistakes Madonna for Monroe
Posted by The Curator on Thu Feb 21, 2008
Everyone dreams of finding a painting by Van Gogh or Picasso in their attic. In Lawrence Nicastro's case, what he found -- so he thought -- was a rare picture of Marilyn Monroe posing as a naked hitchhiker. The BBC reports: He and his wife Phyllis then spent four months researching the photograph. Mr Nicastro suspected it had been left by a customer at his service station in New York city in 1962. The couple brought in Monroe expert Chris Harris, who confirmed it was a genuine, exciting find. Harris scheduled a…
Categories: Celebrities, Photos/Videos Comments (14)
Woman Marries Blow-Up Bob
Posted by The Curator on Thu Feb 21, 2008
Remarries, to be exact. From Yahoo! News: Sheila Smith's husband, Bob, had to go away on business and couldn't make the Valentine's Day recommitment service at Grove City United Methodist Church. So friends brought a life-size inflatable doll to serve as a stand-in. They dressed Blow-up Bob in dress pants, a shirt and tie, and taped on a head-shot photo of the real Bob Smith. There's definitely an emerging trend of cardboard or inflatable spouses. Usually it involves military spouses who are stationed abroad. For instance, back in Dec. 2005 I posted about the
A minor change
Posted by The Curator on Wed Feb 20, 2008
Sorry if I caused anyone vertigo. I decided to move the sidebar over to the left side of screen since, visually, I think it makes more sense to have it lined up beneath the museum banner. Nothing else has changed. It should only take a few moments to regain your bearings. Update: Ignore what I said above.
Categories: Miscellaneous Comments (22)
LaMa on the Evening News
Posted by The Curator on Wed Feb 20, 2008
Long-time forum regular LaMa (aka Marco Langbroek) has made it onto the news in the Netherlands! Thankfully, it's not for anything bad. He was interviewed in his capacity as an amateur satellite tracker (in Dutch a "satellietspotter") about that satellite the pentagon is planning to shoot down. Marco writes: Been on the Dutch 10 pm TV news by our National broadcaster NOS today. Had a cameraman and reporter visiting me for that early this evening. It concerns an item about the spy satellite USA 193 that the US navy is…
Categories: Miscellaneous Comments (18)
Capsizing Boat
Posted by The Curator on Wed Feb 20, 2008
A series of photos of a ship being capsized by a large wave and then righting itself is doing the rounds. (That's a bit of a pun.) The photos are real. According to an article in the Mad Mariner (mirrored here), they were taken in California's Morro Bay Harbor by Gary Robertshaw on Dec. 4, 2007. The boat is a Coast Guard vessel on a training mission. From the Mad Mariner: In a sequence of 10 photographs, reprinted here with Robertshaw's permission, a towering wave tosses the boat high atop its crest, and then swallows it entirely. And for a…
Categories: Photos/Videos Comments (7)
Why do we encourage children to be gullible?
Posted by The Curator on Wed Feb 20, 2008
Tom Bell, in the Agoraphilia blog, asks an interesting question. Why does children's fiction promote credulity as a virtue? Children's fiction employs this trope so often that it fits a formula. A wise character tries to convince the protagonist that something wonderful will happen if only he or she will earnestly believe an improbability. Consider, for instance, how Yoda tells Luke to cast aside all doubt if he wants to levitate his x-wing from the swamps of Dagobah. "Do, or do not. There is no try," Yoda explains. Following the usual script, Luke resists, courting disaster, before he finally…
Tah—In the Flesh!
Posted by The Curator on Wed Feb 20, 2008
Two weekends ago I got a chance to meet John Baker -- better known in the Hoax Forum as the moderator Tah. He was in San Diego with his family on vacation. We had lunch and then took the ferry across San Diego harbor. I had a great time. John's back home now and emailed me this snapshot of the two of us posing in front of the San Diego skyline. (I'm the short one — and I'm six-feet tall!) Our wives and John's daughter are out of view behind the camera. The only negative is that it was early February so I, thinking…
Categories: Miscellaneous Comments (12)
Joe Herrick of Gutterman Research
Posted by The Curator on Wed Feb 20, 2008
Following the release of a company's quarterly earnings report, analysts get a chance to participate in a conference call with the company's management. When I briefly worked in a pr firm, years ago, I had to listen to quite a few of these calls. I thought they were usually mind-numbingly dull. But it sounds like someone has figured out a way to have some fun with them. The Wall Street Journal Reports: At least seven times just the past three weeks, a mystery caller has cleverly insinuated himself into the normally well-manicured ritual of the quarterly calls. As top…
Categories: Business/Finance, Pranks Comments (5)
Watson’s Living Curiosities
Posted by The Curator on Wed Feb 20, 2008
This poster for "S. Watson's American Museum of Living Curiosities", which dates from 1885, can be found at the British Library site. All the exhibits seem like pretty standard stuff for a 19th-century museum: the stoutest lady in the world, the two-headed marvel, snake charmer, etc. It's the "Australians" exhibit that puzzles me. They don't really look like Australians. Are those outfits something that Aussies often wear?
Categories: Advertising Comments (10)
Touch Illusions
Posted by The Curator on Mon Feb 18, 2008
A recent paper (available as a pdf file) by Vincent Hayward in Brain Research Bulletin lists more than twenty types of tactile illusions that can be experienced using very simple equipment available in any hardware store. Some of the descriptions of the illusions unfortunately are rather technical, but here's a summary of a few of them: The Aristotle Illusion: Cross your fingers and touch your nose. You may feel two noses. (It didn't work for me.) The Comb Illusion: Lay your finger on top of the teeth of a comb. With your other hand, run a pencil back and forth against the teeth. You should…
Categories: Science Comments (9)
Quick Links: Stupid Criminals
Posted by The Curator on Mon Feb 18, 2008
Fake blind man caught driving A 70-year-old Italian man had been claiming to be blind for 40 years in order to get an invalid's pension. He was caught when police stopped him in his car at a routine road check. When they checked his record, they noticed it listed him as being 100 percent blind. (Thanks, Joe) Underwear on face fails to disguise "A robbery suspect tried to hide his face with a pair of underwear but the disguise didn't fool witnesses." Fleeing husband spotted in film 45-year-old shop owner Martino Garibaldi took £37,000 out of his family's savings and ran away with his mistress.…
Categories: Law/Police/Crime Comments (2)
Faking pregnancy as a shoplifting technique
Posted by The Curator on Mon Feb 18, 2008
Detectives in Sarpy County, Omaha are warning local stores of a new shoplifting technique being used by a group of women. The women enter a store, fill up a cart with items, and then walk out. If stopped, they claim that they're giving birth. KETV reports: Detectives said that on Dec. 13, three women walked into the Bellevue Wal-Mart, filled a cart with items, then started to leave. Surveillance video shows a store officer stopped them at the door and asked for a receipt. That's when one of the women said she…
Woman claims to be 120
Posted by The Curator on Mon Feb 18, 2008
Mariam Amash, who lives in the village of Jisr a-Zarka in Israel, claims that she is 120 years old. Her claim recently surfaced when she applied for a new Israeli identity card. She might be telling the truth. Apparently she has a birth certificate issued by Turkish authorities, who ruled Jisr a-Zarka back in 1888 when Amash says she was born. She also has eleven children, the eldest one being in her late 80s. So assuming that her children aren't lying about their ages, Amash would have to be at least over 100 years old. If Amash really is 120, that would make her the…
Categories: Death, Health/Medicine Comments (2)
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