The Museum of Hoaxes
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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
May 2008
Panic Buy Carrots — On May 15th thousands of people around the world went to their local grocery store to panic buy carrots. They were members of the facebook group called "On May 15th 2008, everybody needs to go out and panic buy carrots." From northernnews.com: What started out as a prank Facebook group called "On May 15th 2008, everybody needs to go out and panic buy carrots," with just a handful of the creator's friends as members, has exploded online and now has 231,000 worldwide supporters on the…
Posted: Tue May 20, 2008.   Comments (9)

Child Trader — If you're tired of your kid, why not swap him or her for another? Childtrader.com makes this possible. From the site: Child Trader is now the nations 4th largest child exchange network and as such, has brought happiness to more than 1623 American households who otherwise had very few options in creating a more loving family and home life when realizing their child wasn’t the right fit for them. Child Trader Child Exchange Network isn’t about not loving childing [sic]. Its about finding…
Posted: Thu May 15, 2008.   Comments (15)

Malaysian Sea Monster — In an email with the subject "Giant Fish - Caught in Malaysia? Apparently...," Joshua Penley asks: "What the HELL is this?!!?!?!?!?!?!?!" This sounds like a question for Big Gary, the museum's Deputy Curator in Charge of Fish. I would simply note that the guys in the photos don't look particularly Malaysian, making it a case of "real picture, fake caption." The bottom picture reminds me of a picture of a (fake looking) sea monster, taken in 1906 on the beach at…
Posted: Thu May 15, 2008.   Comments (18)

Plant Rights — An ethics panel commissioned by the Swiss government has determined that the arbitrary killing of plants is morally wrong. From The Weekly Standard: A "clear majority" of the panel adopted what it called a "biocentric" moral view, meaning that "living organisms should be considered morally for their own sake because they are alive." Thus, the panel determined that we cannot claim "absolute ownership" over plants and, moreover, that "individual plants have an inherent worth." This means…
Posted: Wed May 14, 2008.   Comments (16)


Organic Tomatoes — Posted recently on Yahoo! News: "A farmer tends organic tomatoes at a greenhouse in Langfang, Hebei province, near Beijing, China, February 6, 2007." It's not photoshopped. It's an example of forced perspective. (via Snapshots from my world)
Posted: Mon May 12, 2008.   Comments (4)

Unreal Beauty — The models in Dove's "Real Beauty" campaign (whose tagline was "we believe real beauty comes in many shapes, sizes and ages") may have benefitted from some "digital plastic surgery." From The Telegraph: Pascal Dangin, a celebrated retoucher of fashion pictures, claimed the Dove women were far from au naturel. In an interview with New Yorker magazine, Mr Dangin, who runs Box Studios in New York, a company which retouches photographs and does regular work for Vogue, and the fashion…
Posted: Mon May 12, 2008.   Comments (25)

Decades-old Donut Prank — Two former Junior High teachers have been giving each other the same donut as a gift for 37 years. From sj-r.com: In 1971, Mrs. Ross, longtime language arts teacher at the junior high, brought a doughnut to school to enjoy on her break in the teacher’s lounge. She and Mr. Nelson already enjoyed teasing each other, but on this day, Mr. Nelson took things to another level. He hid Mrs. Ross’s doughnut. And then the doughnut disappeared. Did he eat it? “I hid the doughnut but I did not eat…
Posted: Mon May 12, 2008.   Comments (6)

Air guitar owned by JFK — You have missed your chance to bid on an "Air guitar owned by JFK": Extremely rare oppurtunity up for auction is the only air guitar known to have been owned by US president JFK President kennedy was under constant stress from political rivals and upsets, so its only natural he would have taken up playing air guitar Many silent and melancholy impromptu jam sessions haunted the air in Kennedy's office as US president it was discovered recently in a cold storage unit in its case
Posted: Mon May 12, 2008.   Comments (8)

Talk To The Dead — Charlotte Paru writes in an email: "Please let's leave the dead be." A fascinating comment turned up on a new web site by Nicole Zapruder, who has been "communicating with the dead since she was 4 years old." People aren't disputing her ability; they're asking her not to share the technique on the internet. http://www.talktothedead.org/ "All peoples of earth posess this natural ability," Nicole counters, adding that her site comes with a detailed warning. ("Do not contact any dead…
Posted: Mon May 12, 2008.   Comments (4)

Operation Knot So Fast — Eighty-three people have been rounded up by federal officials in Florida and accused of participating in sham marriages. A company called All Kind Services was staging fake weddings, complete with props, so that the couples could have photographs of their "wedding day" to show officials. From the Orlando Sentinel: The four-tiered cake the newlyweds were about to cut was plastic. The glasses and plates on the reception table were empty. And the bride wore casual shoes under her wedding…
Posted: Sat May 10, 2008.   Comments (3)

Marinated Money Scam — A novel twist on the money-multiplying scam. From Reuters: A Vietnamese man in Norway lost around 35,000 dollars after he was led to believe that mixing the cash with a special liquid would double its value, Norwegian media reported Saturday... The victim of the con, who was not identified, was reportedly told by the Frenchman to leave a mixture of real cash with blank bills to marinate in a special liquid overnight, and the next morning he would have double the amount of cash at his…
Posted: Sat May 10, 2008.   Comments (8)

FairDeal Homeopathy — FairDeal Homeopathy promises it won't lie to its customers. They only guarantee that their remedies are "as effective as all other homeopathic remedies." They also won't promise that their products can help you if you're ill. Although they do note that if you believe in their remedies they might help, because of the placebo effect. But they caution that if you're "actually ill" you shouldn't expect their products to cure you. "Homeopathy of any sort," they note, "is not a medical…
Posted: Sat May 10, 2008.   Comments (10)

Holy Potato — Cranky Media Guy wants to know "Who in the press can we implore to PLEASE MAKE THIS NONSENSE STOP?" He's referring to the most recent finding of a holy potato. From thelocal.de: A potato destined for the fryer has become a holy relic to some Berliners after a woman cut it open only to find an image of a cross inside. Birgül Balta, 49, was cutting potatoes for French fries at her home in Berlin's Charlottenburg district when the cross-shaped cavity inside one of the spuds stopped her…
Posted: Thu May 08, 2008.   Comments (11)

Carrollton Mayor’s Questionable Singing Career — Becky Miller, Mayor of Carrollton in Texas, claims that she once sang backup for Linda Ronstadt and Jackson Browne, and was once engaged to Don Henley. Problem is, none of these people have ever heard of her. She also claims that her brother was killed in Vietnam. However, her father says that her brother is still alive in Maryland and was never in the service. And Western Kentucky University can't find any record of her attendance, despite her insistence that she was a student there.
Posted: Thu May 08, 2008.   Comments (11)

Placebo Walk Buttons — I've previously posted about the issue of placebo walk buttons -- that is, the widespread suspicion that the walk buttons at intersections don't have any effect on traffic lights. (There's also a separate theory that you can control the traffic lights by pushing the button in a special way.) An article on canada.com addresses the issue of placebo buttons at some length. They insist the idea of placebo buttons is a myth (at least for the city of Victoria), and they interview a traffic…
Posted: Thu May 08, 2008.   Comments (11)

Fake Road Signs — Fake road signs have been popping up around Frankston, Australia, amusing some and outraging others. The signs are said to be the work of a "mystery artist." From the Frankston Leader: The mystery Frankston signs have been carefully made to look like official road signs. Drivers have reported seeing them in Cranbourne-Frankston Rd, Langwarrin. Some think they are funny while others - and officials - aren't laughing... Although VicRoads' media department thought the signs were "very…
Posted: Wed May 07, 2008.   Comments (3)

Colorful Coastal Village — This looks like it would be a great place to visit. It's Cinque Terre in Italy. Unfortunately, it's not quite so colorful in real life. (via City Comforts)
Posted: Wed May 07, 2008.   Comments (6)

Missing Child Experiment — Local 6, an Orlando news station, recently conducted a "missing child experiment." They plastered posters all over a mall claiming that 8-year-old Britney Begonia was missing. Then they had Britney herself sit down alone a few feet from some of the signs. The question was: would anyone notice the poster and offer to help Britney? The predictable result: Of the hundreds of people who walked past and saw the posters, only two stopped to ask Britney if she was OK. Many people, questioned…
Posted: Tue May 06, 2008.   Comments (11)

Milfs Appalled by Racy Books — Heraldnet.com (the newspaper of Snohomish County) recently ran this story: Mom appalled at racy books in store for teens at Alderwood mall By Scott Pesznecker Herald Writer LYNNWOOD -- Marci Milfs went to Urban Outfitters to find clothes for her teenage son. She was surprised to find sexually charged books that she believes have no place in a clothing store for teens and young adults. On one end of the spectrum was "Porn for Women," a photo book showing men doing housework. On the…
Posted: Tue May 06, 2008.   Comments (10)

Zoo Text Message Prank — Officials at the Houston Zoo report that they're being inundated with thousands of phone calls as a result of a prank text message circulating via cell phone. From click2houston.com: "It's an enormous annoyance," zoo spokesman Brian Hill said. Thousands of people have received a message that someone has been talking about them. Some of the messages read: "Hey y is someone calln me and lookn for u n askn me where r u at n where u live heres tha # 713 555 650 tell then to stop calln me"
Posted: Tue May 06, 2008.   Comments (2)

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