The Museum of Hoaxes
hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive
   
Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
March 2008
Padded Lampposts Protext Text-Messagers — A few weeks ago a story was going around about a street in London where the lampposts had been padded in order to protect text-messaging pedestrians. Neo posted about it in the forum. The story sounded pretty ridiculous, and sure enough it turns out to have been a publicity-stunt hoax. The padding was placed on the lampposts by a pr firm, and it was only there for a day and a half. The Press Gazette reports: Journalists across the world reported that Britain’s first “safe text” street…
Posted: Tue Mar 18, 2008.   Comments (4)

Sperm For Tickets — Donate your sperm and get a ticket to a music festival. That's the deal offered by Sperm for Tickets. Or rather, that was the deal. If you visit their site now, they state that the response far exceeded expectations, so they're temporarily calling a halt to the invitation. But I'm pretty sure the offer never was for real. Not that the idea of giving tickets in exchange for sperm is that outlandish. Instead, it's the delivery method that seems bogus. The site claimed donors could send…
Posted: Mon Mar 17, 2008.   Comments (1)

How To Make Fake Gold Bars — Recently the national bank of Ethiopia discovered that much of the gold in its possession was fake. It was simply gold-plated steel. It found this out after it sent a shipment of gold to South Africa, which promptly sent it back. Theo Gray, writing for popsci.com, points out that it's incredible that a national bank fell for a fraud like this, since simply by picking up the gold bars someone should have noticed that they were too light to be real -- gold being much heavier than steel.
Posted: Sun Mar 16, 2008.   Comments (15)

Dr. James Barry, aka Margaret Bulkley — Stephanie Pain has an interesting article in this week's New Scientist about Dr. James Barry, a nineteenth-century British doctor who may have been a woman. She writes: MYSTERY, intrigue, romance... the story of Dr Barry has them all. The tale is so compelling it's been told countless times, yet no one has ever solved the central mystery: who was Barry, the pint-sized physician with the sandy curls and squeaky voice? The doctor was both caring and quarrelsome, dainty yet dashing. He…
Posted: Wed Mar 12, 2008.   Comments (19)


Animal Candidates — The "I Can Has Happy" blog has posted a list of animal candidates. That is, animals (and one plant) who have been nominated as political candidates. The list includes Tião, a "bad-tempered chimpanzee" who was a candidate for mayor of Rio de Janeiro in 1988; Junior Cochran, a black lab who is mayor of Rabbit Hash, Kentucky; Bosco, a black Labrador-Rottweiler who was mayor of Sunol, California for ten years; Molly the Dog, who is currently running for President of the United States; and…
Posted: Wed Mar 12, 2008.   Comments (4)

Mysterious Creepy Gnome — A "creepy gnome" was recently captured on film by teenagers in Argentina. The Sun reports: Teenager Jose Alvarez - who filmed the gnome - yesterday told national newspaper El Tribuno that they caught the creature while larking about in their hometown of General Guemes, in the province of Salta, Argentina. He said: “We were chatting about our last fishing trip. It was one in the morning. “I began to film a bit with my mobile phone while the others were chatting and joking. "Suddenly we…
Posted: Tue Mar 11, 2008.   Comments (18)

Snow Tower — My sister forwarded me this photo. It comes with the caption: Ottawa last weekend...this is NOT a fake photo.  he has been building it for a while. Well, if the caption says it's not fake, then it must be real! But seriously, I'm labeling this one undetermined. It could very well be real, but on the other hand, I can't locate its original source. So who knows! Similar photos:Car buried in snowRoad through the snow Update: It's real. The tower is the creation of Luc…
Posted: Tue Mar 11, 2008.   Comments (10)

Solar Mary — According to the website dnaindia.com, 50 people in the Kottayam district of India have lost their vision after gazing into the sun for hours trying to see an image of the Virgin Mary: Though alarmed health authorities have installed a signboard to counter the rumour that a solar image of Virgin Mary appeared to the believers, curious onlookers, including foreign travellers, have been thronging the venue of the ‘miracle’. St Joseph’s ENT and Eye Hospital in Kanjirappally alone has…
Posted: Tue Mar 11, 2008.   Comments (1)

Webster’s Condom — In the city of West Hartford there's a statue of the lexicographer Noah Webster. For years, it was a tradition among local high-school students to place a condom on the statue's pointing finger. But then someone removed the finger. West Hartford resident Nan Glass, who's written a book about the statue, says that "One myth about the finger is that it was broken off by high school students, or that it was broken off by police officers who were tired of taking condoms off of it." It…
Posted: Tue Mar 11, 2008.   Comments (3)

Do casinos pump in oxygen? — Do casinos pump extra oxygen into the air in order to make gamblers feel more energized? I've heard this rumor quite often. The Betfirms.com blog uses some common sense to debunk it: According to my Captain at the local Fire Department, “pumping oxygen into a casino would be a tremendous fire hazard that would greatly increase the flammability of all other objects. Any small fire, anywhere in the hotel, would be fanned and magnify itself by pumped oxygen.” As for the risk/reward…
Posted: Mon Mar 10, 2008.   Comments (9)

Worms in Salad — Here's a recent example of what I call the "gross things found in food scam." The Post Tribune reports: Tiffany Vance of Merrillville and her dinner date, Christopher Egnatz of St. John, tried to make a scene Tuesday night after dining at Applebee's, but it didn't play out as the pair had planned. Servers at the crowded restaurant let the couple walk out on a $57 meal after Vance loudly complained she had found worms wriggling in her salad after the two had almost finished eating, a…
Posted: Mon Mar 10, 2008.   Comments (5)

Malawi Ousts Fake AIDS Healers — Lawmakers in Malawi have decided to crack dawn on quacks peddling phony cures for AIDS. The "cures" generally involve having sex with a virgin, an albino, or a disabled person. The legislation is only in draft form right now, but if passed it will require traditional healers to register with the health ministry. I'll have to ask my sister what she knows about this, since she's been in Malawi for the past four years working on promoting AIDS education. That's why I visited Malawi last…
Posted: Sun Mar 09, 2008.   Comments (9)

NYC’s 23rd Annual April Fool’s Day Parade — The New York April Fools' Committee has announced that, once again, the city will host a parade on April 1st. But for those planning to attend, please note that "the parade route has changed temporarily due to construction in Washington Square Park. This year the parade will detour east across Fourteenth Street to Union Square where the post-parade festivities will begin." This year, floats will include Michael Vick "taking bets on his Dog Fight Float with caged, snarling pit bulls,"…
Posted: Sun Mar 09, 2008.   Comments (4)

Holding the Sun — Pretending to hold the sun is one of the most popular tricks in amateur photography, because it's so easy to do and the results can look pretty cool. Teen/Nerd has collected together some of the best examples of the "holding the sun" trick from Flickr. A few are reproduced below.
Posted: Wed Mar 05, 2008.   Comments (3)

Viagra-Inspired Food — Trifter.com has collected examples of foods that have either been made to look like Viagra, or have been renamed after it. The list includes Viagra Gelato, Viagra ice cream, Viagra spam mousse, Viagra cake, and Viagra musubi. The Viagra spam mousse seems particularly appropriate, since the drug is such a favorite topic of spammers.
Posted: Wed Mar 05, 2008.   Comments (2)

Identifying Memoir Hoaxers — Margaret Soltan makes an interesting observation on her blog about all the recent memoir hoaxers. She writes: Consider these author photos of a few (there are many more) recent memoir hoaxers.  What do they have in common?  They all say:  Look directly at my big sad eyes.  I have deeply suffered. Perhaps we can ask legitimate writers to assume a different pose.  That way we can identify the hoaxers. The authors shown are, from left to right, Margaret Seltzer, Norma Khouri, Helen…
Posted: Wed Mar 05, 2008.   Comments (4)

Yet Another Literary Hoax — One week after Misha Defonseca confessed that she didn't really grow up with wolves, as she claimed in her memoir of her childhood in war-torn Europe, another literary hoax has surfaced. Love and Consequences, by Margaret B. Jones, purports to be a non-fiction memoir of the author's life "as a half-white, half-Native American girl growing up in South-Central Los Angeles as a foster child among gang-bangers, running drugs for the Bloods." In reality, as the NY Times reports: "Margaret…
Posted: Tue Mar 04, 2008.   Comments (9)

The Puppy Over the Cliff Video — Many of you have probably already seen the "puppy being thrown over a cliff" video that's been all over the internet in the past week. If you haven't, here it is, but be warned. It's disturbing. The Honolulu Advertiser offers this description of it: Two Marines are seen in combat gear smiling as one holds a white-and-black puppy by the scruff of its neck. The dog seems to be about 8 weeks old and is motionless as it is held. "Cute little puppy, huh?" says one Marine as he smiles…
Posted: Tue Mar 04, 2008.   Comments (40)

Why does the Kremlin want 3200 white mice? — Russia's Federal Guard Service (the Russian equivalent of the American Secret Service) has apparently placed an ad on a government website for 3200 "white, female, laboratory mice... between sixteen and eighteen grams" to be delivered by the end of the year. This ad has generated a flurry of international media speculation. Why, everyone wants to know, does the Russian Guard Service want these mice? One theory is that the mice will be used for experiments -- perhaps to test substances…
Posted: Tue Mar 04, 2008.   Comments (4)

Fossil Fools Day — The International Rising Tide network has declared this April 1, 2008 to be Fossil Fools Day. It's urging pranksters to target the fossil fuel industry on April 1st. They write: "Find a fossil fool in your community and pull a prank that packs a punch." Some of the pranks they suggest: Consider such tactics as blockading the entrance to a gas station, locking down to gas pumps, or having a die-in in front of the gas station. It is quite easy to gain access to the roof for a banner…
Posted: Tue Mar 04, 2008.   Comments (10)

Page 1 of 3 pages  1 2 3 > 
All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.