The Museum of Hoaxes
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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
March 2008
Identifying Memoir Hoaxers
Posted by The Curator on Wed Mar 05, 2008
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 Demidenko,…
Categories: Literature/Language Comments (4)
Yet Another Literary Hoax
Posted by The Curator on Tue Mar 04, 2008
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 B. Jones is a pseudonym for Margaret Seltzer, who is all white and grew up in the well-to-do Sherman Oaks section of Los Angeles, in the San Fernando Valley, with her…
The Puppy Over the Cliff Video
Posted by The Curator on Tue Mar 04, 2008
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 broadly. "Oh so cute, so…
Why does the Kremlin want 3200 white mice?
Posted by The Curator on Tue Mar 04, 2008
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 such as the radioactive poison polonium210. This seems plausible. However, the mainstream media is leaning toward the theory that the mice will be fed to the falcons used to keep…
Categories: Animals Comments (4)
Fossil Fools Day
Posted by The Curator on Tue Mar 04, 2008
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…
Categories: April Fools Day Comments (10)
Chicken Plays Billiards
Posted by The Curator on Tue Mar 04, 2008
A lot of people have posted this video to youtube in the past month, but no one identifies where the clip comes from. My question is: How was the shot created? The table looks like it's tilted to help the balls roll towards the pockets. Also, I'm assuming the egg is not real.
Categories: Animals, Photos/Videos, Sports Comments (5)
Gravity Lamp
Posted by The Curator on Mon Mar 03, 2008
About two weeks ago it was announced that a U.S. grad student, Clay Moulton, won second place in a "Greener Gadgets Conference" competition for inventing a floor lamp powered by gravity. The concept was that a person would place a weight (about ten pounds) at the top of a four-foot column. Over the course of the next four hours, the weight would descend down the column, causing a rotor to spin that would produce a gentle light (about the strength of a 40 watt bulb). Moulton's concept generated a lot of interest on blogs, but also a lot of skepticism. People who…
Categories: Technology Comments (10)
Lego Halo
Posted by The Curator on Mon Mar 03, 2008
Rumors have been floating around suggesting that Bungie Software might be coming out with a new game called Lego Halo. It would be the same as the Halo series, except everything would look like it was made out of lego. The rumor is based on a scan of an article from an upcoming issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly which describes this game. There really is a Lego Star Wars game, so there's a precedent for this concept. However, Lego Halo appears to be a hoax. Gaming Today reports:
The Air Poo
Posted by The Curator on Mon Mar 03, 2008 launches with a splash screen that says, "Going to the bathroom used to be... Boring... Quiet... A loss of productivity. Introducing the Air Poo™. Poonovation. Available Summer 2008." Basically the Air Poo is a high-tech toilet. It has a heated seat, a "multi-touch flusher" that allows you to choose between a light or heavy flush, an iPod Dock to listen to music, an integrated surround sound system, and a MacBook Air docking slot. The MacBook Air docking slot is the only feature that confuses me. What is the purpose of docking your laptop as you go to the bathroom? If someone was…
Categories: Technology Comments (1)
Hoax Holocaust Memoir
Posted by The Curator on Mon Mar 03, 2008
The big news in the world of hoaxes, revealed last week (and already posted in the forum), was the revelation that Misha Defonseca's best-selling, non-fiction memoir of growing up in war-torn Europe turns out to be fiction. (Thanks to everyone who forwarded me links to the news.) Defonseca's memoir, Misha: A Memoir of the Holocaust Years (also titled Surviving with Wolves), describes how when she was a young child her Jewish parents were seized by the Nazis, forcing her to wander Europe alone until she was adopted by a pack of wolves in the Warsaw ghetto. The reality is that she wasn't…
Swedish Translator Needed
Posted by The Curator on Sat Mar 01, 2008
Does anyone reading this happen to speak Swedish? I'm looking for someone who could help me translate some material relating to SVT's famous "instant color TV" april fool's day hoax that took place in 1962. SVT has a page with a paragraph discussing the hoax. And the same page links to a video of the hoax itself. I'm hoping to be able to come up with an English transcript of the hoax. Anyone willing to help me out with this, I'd be happy to send them a free signed copy of my latest book. I'll ship it all the way to Sweden, if need be.
Categories: April Fools Day Comments (16)
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