The Museum of Hoaxes
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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
September 2008
It’s Right-Sizing, not Down-Sizing
Posted by The Curator on Thu Sep 11, 2008
Media Agency Carat recently decided to lay off some of its employees. PowerPoint and Word documents somehow leaked out detailing how management planned to inform employees and clients of the decision. They offer an example of corporate b.s. at its finest. Details include: • The agency wasn't going to be down-sizing. Instead, the documents repeatedly described the moves as a "right-sizing" of the agency. • Clients were to be informed of the "staffing change" with this script: "Mary Smith will be moving off your business. Now that we understand your business better, we are replacing her with someone whom we feel will be a better partner for you." • The remaining…
Will one be wanting fries with that?
Posted by The Curator on Thu Sep 11, 2008
This is obviously fake. For a start, the smoothness of the arms don't match the age of the face. And then there's the more obvious clue. Still, I thought it was amusing. I think it first appeared a month ago on the b3ta message boards.
Categories: Photos/Videos Comments (14)
Darwin Smudge Draws Evolutionists
Posted by The Curator on Wed Sep 10, 2008
I couldn't resist linking to this piece from The Onion: A steady stream of devoted evolutionists continued to gather in this small Tennessee town today to witness what many believe is an image of Charles Darwin—author of The Origin Of Species and founder of the modern evolutionary movement—made manifest on a concrete wall in downtown Dayton... Despite the enthusiasm the so-called "Darwin Smudge" has generated among the evolutionary faithful, disagreement remains as to its origin. Some believe the image is actually closer to the visage of Stephen Jay…
Categories: Pareidolia, Science Comments (6)
Do hoaxes tell us anything about the character of their victims?
Posted by The Curator on Wed Sep 10, 2008
On the New York Times opinion page Stanley Fish recently offered some thoughts about the Wine Spectator hoax, comparing it to the Sokal hoax of the 1990s. After musing about the two hoaxes, he draws this lesson about hoaxes in general: a hoax that is sufficiently and painstakingly elaborated can deceive anyone if the conditions are favorable. This means that the success of a hoax reflects on the skill of the hoaxer and says nothing about the substantive views of those who were fooled by it. One can relish and even admire the cleverness of…
Categories: Psychology Comments (8)
Real Shark Surfing
Posted by The Curator on Wed Sep 10, 2008
A few months ago I posted a phony video showing a guy on a surfboard being towed by a shark. It now looks like that video was a case of satirical prophecy, because a guy in Australia is reporting that something similar happened to him in real life. From A SURFER says a large shark towed him out to sea like a "powerful jet ski' after it became entangled in the leg rope of his surfboard. John Morgan said the thrashing animal dragged him more than 50m after it became ensnared in the rope linking his ankle…
Categories: Sports Comments (2)
Hoax Photo Database: Recent Additions
Posted by The Curator on Tue Sep 09, 2008
I've been a bit lazy about posting on the blog for the past few days, but that doesn't mean I haven't been working on the site! I've actually been adding lots of content to the Hoax Photo Database. Here are a few of the photos I've added recently: The Vanishing Belly Button Back in 1964 the LA Times ran an ad for Scandinavian Airlines showing a blonde model posing on top of a rock. Strangely, the Times felt the need to remove the model's belly button... because a belly button might have been too provocative for its readers!
Categories: Photos/Videos Comments (6)
The Telegraph’s Memorable Photo Fakes
Posted by The Curator on Tue Sep 09, 2008
The Telegraph recently came out with a list of "20 memorable picture fakes." And the Museum of Hoaxes is listed as one of the sources they used to do their research... along with a few of the other usual suspects. It strikes me as a bit of a random list. They leave out some classics, such as the Surgeon's Photo (which I would think would be in the top 10 or 20 on any list of famous picture fakes) as well as National Geographic's cover on which they moved the pyramids, but they include photos that I wouldn't think would make the top 200 let alone top 20, such as "Karl…
Categories: Photos/Videos Comments (3)
Big Footprint Found
Posted by The Curator on Thu Sep 04, 2008
Harold Jackson, a resident of Cookeville, Tennessee, found an indentation on a rock on his property. It looks vaguely like a footprint... a very big footprint. 11 inches across and 15 inches long. The article says he took it home. (I assume he must have made a cast of it and taken that home.) The surprising thing is that he doesn't think it's a Bigfoot print, though his friends do. He thinks it's a footprint of a Native American. So how tall would this Native American have been if his feet were 15-inches long? According to WikiAnswers, a person's foot…
Categories: Cryptozoology, Pareidolia Comments (28)
Fleeing Purse Snatcher Drops Breast
Posted by The Curator on Thu Sep 04, 2008
Police in Port St. Lucie are on the lookout for a cross-dressing purse snatcher who accidentally dropped a condom filled with water after grabbing a 74-year-old woman's purse. He had been using the condom as a fake breast. That's weird enough. What I can't understand is why he was using a water-filled condom. Wouldn't a regular balloon have worked better? Though questioning the fashion decisions of a cross-dressing purse snatcher is surely an exercise in pointlessness.
Caps for Charity
Posted by The Curator on Wed Sep 03, 2008
Another case of the Collecting Junk for Charity hoax. Aleta Brace of Parkersburg, West Virginia collected 20,000 bottle caps, believing that the caps could be redeemed for money which would aid cancer patients. And she wasn't alone. Churches, schools, businesses, and individuals throughout West Virginia have been collecting the bottle caps all summer. The caps would all have gone to waste, but now the Aveda skin care company has announced it'll take the caps and recycle them into new caps for its products.
More photoshopped Palin pics
Posted by The Curator on Wed Sep 03, 2008
This one is titled "Caribou Barbie". I wouldn't label it fake based on the content (seems totally believable to me), but if you enlarge it you can see that Palin's head is far more pixellated than the rest of the picture, indicating it was cut-and-pasted in. This Vogue cover was created by "Ishmael Melville" of the Kodiak Konfidential blog back in Dec 2007. Palin really did appear in Vogue, but wasn't on the cover. However, apparently a couple of news sites believed this photoshop creation was the real thing.
Categories: Photos/Videos, Politics Comments (6)
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