Hoax Museum Blog Posts: May 2008

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: Sun May 11, 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: Sun May 11, 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: Sun May 11, 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: Fri May 09, 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: Wed May 07, 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: Tue May 06, 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: Tue May 06, 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)

Hitler Doll — About two weeks ago a story started going around alleging that an Adolf Hitler doll, marketed to children, was being sold in the Ukraine. From the Daily Mail: One saleswoman said: "It is like Barbie. Kids can undress fuhrer, pin on medals and there's a spare head in the kit to give him a kinder expression on his face. "He has glasses that are round, in the manner of pacifist Jon Lennon". The doll will also come with accessories like a miniature Blondi, Hitler's faithful Alsatian who…
Posted: Sun May 04, 2008.   Comments (10)

Shark Surfing — In this video a surfer hitches a ride behind a shark, after getting the shark to swallow some chunks of meat attached to a fishing line. It looks like it was shot in southern California, and we do get some big sharks around here occasionally. Just last week a guy was killed off the coast of San Diego by a great white. But this video looks obviously fake. As many of the youtube comments point out, you can see the wake of a boat off camera in front of the shark fin. I don't have any…
Posted: Sun May 04, 2008.   Comments (13)

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