The Museum of Hoaxes
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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
April 2008
It’s a cab, innit
Posted by The Curator on Tue Apr 15, 2008
Many British papers have reported the humorous story of a young woman who called the operator trying to order a cab, but instead had a cabinet delivered to her home. Her problem was too much Cockney, and too little Queen's English. From Ananova: the Londoner, 19, wanted a taxi to take her to Bristol airport, and first used the Cockney rhyming slang "Joe Baxi". When the operator told her she couldn't find anyone by that name, the teen replied: "It ain't a person, it's a cab, innit." The operator then found the nearest cabinet shop, Displaysense, and put the…
Kobe Bryant Jumps Over a Car
Posted by The Curator on Fri Apr 11, 2008
The latest viral video going around shows Kobe Bryant jumping over a moving Aston Martin. Is it real? I doubt it, though I can't definitively prove it's fake. Think about it. Why would he risk his career by trying to jump over a car? That's what special effects are for. A better quality version of the video can be seen at Bryant's website.
Categories: Photos/Videos, Sports Comments (47)
Jesus Baking Tin
Posted by The Curator on Wed Apr 09, 2008
Hudson Pace writes: "I was scraping out a baking tin when I discovered this Face of Jesus on the bottom! I thought of putting it on Ebay, but then I thought, I don't need the money, so why not cut out the middleman and send the picture straight to the Museum of Hoaxes? Hope you like it." Very nice. Thanks, Hudson. And it's made me think that I really should create a Pareidolia Gallery to better categorize all these image-bearing baking tins, trees, pieces of toast, etc.
Categories: Pareidolia, Religion Comments (20)
Libraries and the Weight of Index Cards
Posted by The Curator on Wed Apr 09, 2008
Paul Collins has an interesting article in New Scientist about the Mundaneum, a mid-twentieth century effort to create a vast, interlinked archive, like a "proto-internet," using index cards. But what caught my eye was the first paragraph: UNLIKELY as it sounds now, the hottest thing in information technology was once the index card. In the US, for instance, the War Department struggled with mountains of medical files until the newfangled method of card filing was adopted in 1887. Soon hundreds of clerks were transcribing personnel records dating back to the War of Independence. Housed in…
Categories: Urban Legends Comments (17)
Does Bigfoot Use Microwaves?
Posted by The Curator on Wed Apr 09, 2008
Backyard Phenomena has posted an interesting speculation about why some witnesses report receiving telepathic messages from Bigfoot: If we skip the old "they're crazy" idea, then perhaps we can look to science for an answer...strange-but-true science. A newly declassified report released by the U.S. Army under the Freedom of Information Act describes technologies which can induce similar effects to those reported by some Bigfoot witnesses (and some UFO witnesses). What is the technology in question? Microwaves. Some military experiments have shown that microwaves can be used to make a person hear sounds inside their head.…
Categories: Cryptozoology Comments (3)
The Turn Test
Posted by The Curator on Wed Apr 09, 2008
The image shows the silhouette of a woman turning round and round. (She seems to be naked, but I'd say it's safe for work.) The text says: Which way is the woman turning? Clockwise or anticlockwise? After a while, you will be amazed to find that not everyone will agree about which way she is turning! Even more amazingly, some people find that when they ask her, in their mind, to "change", the woman in the image responds by changing direction! I stared at the spinning woman for a while, but I could…
Categories: Psychology Comments (42)
The Lady in the Tree
Posted by The Curator on Mon Apr 07, 2008
More tree pareidolia. But this time, it's not the Virgin Mary. It's a naked lady. In theory, it could be a naked Virgin Mary, but no one has made that claim. The tree, which is over 100 years old, stood on a corner in West Chester, Pennsylvania. It was going to be cut down. After its branches were removed, local residents noticed the woman. It wasn't enough to save the tree. They chopped it down anyway, but the owners are planning on making a statue out of the wood.
Categories: Pareidolia Comments (12)
Man overuses fake funeral excuse
Posted by The Curator on Mon Apr 07, 2008
I'm guessing there's at least one guy like this in every company. The Mainichi Daily News reports: A tax inspector has resigned after being punished for telling bosses that relatives had died in order to claim compassionate leave on 11 occasions, officials said... His bosses discovered the scam when he told them in September last year that his grandmother's funeral was being held at a funeral hall, which was found not to exist. It was learned that he'd taken 10 more days off between 2004 and 2007, falsely claiming a relative had died each time. Moreover, it…
Categories: Business/Finance Comments (5)
Priest investigated for fake exorcisms
Posted by The Curator on Mon Apr 07, 2008
Father Francesco Saverio Bazzoffi, a priest in Florence, is being investigated for fraud for performing "fake exorcisms." From the Catholic News Agency: Prosecutors alleged that Father Francesco Saverio Bazzoffi would “stage shows” before crowds of more than 400 people at the House of the Sainted Archangels, an organization he founded. According to prosecutors, the priest’s associates would “pretend to be possessed by demons” and Father Bazzoffi would allegedly exorcise them using obscure rites. The priest would then offer to heal members of the audience who were sick and solicit donations to his organization. “During Mass, the…
Categories: Religion, Scams Comments (7)
Real Book, Fake Author
Posted by The Curator on Mon Apr 07, 2008
The novel Charm has already sold more than 100,000 copies. It debuted at No. 13 on the New York Times best-seller list. However, its author, Kendall Hart, isn't real. Hart is a character on the ABC soap opera "All My Children." As this NY Times article puts it: "It has Kendall’s name on the cover but the name of the actual writer is being kept secret." This is why writers get depressed. They work hard to produce good books, which end up in remainder bins. Meanwhile, people flock in droves to buy a book just because it has the name of a soap opera character slapped on the front cover. These kind…
Categories: Literature/Language Comments (8)
Eiffel Tower Observation Deck
Posted by The Curator on Fri Apr 04, 2008
Pictures have been circulating showing an expanded observation deck that is supposedly going to be added to the Eiffel Tower, transforming it into something resembling a giant mushroom. An article in the Guardian stated: Serero Architects of Paris has won the competition to redesign the structure's public viewing platform and reception areas. The winning design (above), which will be 276 metres (905ft) above the ground, will not require any permanent modification of the existing structure. It will double the capacity of the public viewing area on the tower's top floor...
Categories: Photos/Videos, Places Comments (4)
April Fools Day 2008 - The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Posted by The Curator on Thu Apr 03, 2008
Some more reports from April 1st: the good (or at least midly amusing), bad, and plain ugly. The Good List Universe posted the Top 10 Bizarre Genetically Modified Organisms. I saw this today, without realizing it was an April Fool's Day joke, and it had me going for a while. My favorite on the list was the paper tree which "grows square leaves that, when dried, are already usable as writing paper." • ThinkGeek wrote about a strange new Nintendo Wii game: Super Pii Pii Brothers. The point of the game: "A series of toilets are presented on screen and the challenge is to tilt your body to control a never-ending stream…
Categories: April Fools Day Comments (9)
April Fools Day, 2008
Posted by The Curator on Tue Apr 01, 2008
Happy April Fools! I'm not going to attempt to catalog every April Fools prank that happens. Other sites have that covered, such as and wikipedia. But I'll list a few of what I think are the better ones: • The BBC has captured footage of flying penguins. As reported by "Camera crews discovered a colony of Adélie penguins while filming on King George Island, some 750 miles south of the Falkland Islands." • YouTube UK has rickrolled its visitors. Clink on any of the featured videos and you'll be sent to the infamous Rick Astley video. • Google…
Categories: April Fools Day Comments (18)
April Fools Email - Not My Doing
Posted by The Curator on Tue Apr 01, 2008
Someone pasted part of my April Fools list into an email, and this is circulating around Europe. It has the subject line: Top 100 April Fool's Day Hoaxes of All Time. Whoever is responsible for doing this, used my email address in the "From" field. I know this because I'm being swamped by bouncebacks from people who are not in their office, or whose server is rejecting the message. I'm hoping the email doesn't have a virus attached to it, but my fear is that it does. There's a link at the bottom of the email inviting people to "Read all the other Doaxes," and this link leads to a suspicious-looking document hosted on…
Categories: Miscellaneous Comments (4)
Margarine Invitation
Posted by The Curator on Tue Apr 01, 2008
From Pakistan comes a report of an elaborate stunt that seems to have been an early April Fool's day prank... though it didn't happen on April 1st, so it can't count as one. Around 300 people were conned by fake margarine salesmen into showing up for what was supposed to be a free breakfast. From the Pakistan Daily Times: Around 300 students were fooled on Sunday into going to Model Town Park for a free breakfast supposedly arranged by a well-known margarine brand. On arrival however, students found there was no breakfast or officials of the margarine brand. Students…
Categories: Pranks Comments (5)
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