Hoax Museum Blog Posts: December 2008

Cranial Painting — In 1966, before becoming a regular on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour and before launching his perennial campaign for the US Presidency, comedian Pat Paulsen got into newspapers by pretending to be a "cranial painter". From the March 6, 1966 Mansfield News Journal: USING HIS HEAD -- Artist Pat Paulsen, who shuns more traditional means of painting, demonstrates how he produces masterpieces -- with "cranial painting." The 35-year-old San Franciscan, now appearing at the Ice House in…
Posted: Fri Dec 05, 2008.   Comments (6)

How Man is Made Invisible — Hudson Pace sent this interesting clipping. He writes: Here's a hoax (see attached). Presumably done with double-exposures, but it would be nice to know how many people he fooled and why he did it. It's from 'The Encyclopedia of Modern Wonders for Boys', published by Collins apparently in the 1930s. Googling 'Herbert Winck' gives one reference to the same pictures in 'The Wonder World Encyclopedia' from 1936, also published by Collins. As you'll see from the caption, the pictures…
Posted: Thu Dec 04, 2008.   Comments (7)

Pareidolia Roundup: December 2008 — It's been a while since I've done a pareidolia roundup, so a few of these are a couple months old. Virgin Mary in Salsa Stain "Elvia Alvarez was recently using her blender to make salsa in her kitchen. Some of the salsa splattered onto the wall, creating what Alvarez says is the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Since this happened. Alvaraz says it's a sign that people need to be nicer to each other." Funny. I thought it was a sign she needs to be more careful when making salsa. Jesus…
Posted: Wed Dec 03, 2008.   Comments (12)

The Roofs of Cambridge — Pranksters at Cambridge University recently succeeded in placing a Santa hat on top of two seemingly inaccessible roof spires. Ten firemen and three fire engines spent an hour getting them down. From the Daily Mail: The culprit currently remains a mystery, but it is thought to be a student playing a practical joke. It is also not known how anyone managed to scale the buildings, particularly the spire of Humility, which is thought to be impossible to climb. One suggestion is that the…
Posted: Tue Dec 02, 2008.   Comments (8)


The strongest man in the world — Here's an entertaining example of complete bs. An Arabic TV station interviews a man who claims to be the "Incredible Hulk" of Egypt. He says that he has the strength of 30,000 men! He never sleeps! He has sex 15 times a day with his four wives! And he's so strong that the government doesn't allow him to work, for fear that he might accidentally hurt someone. But the only evidence of his strength that he offers is his ability to tear a coin in half. This, of course, is a well-known…
Posted: Tue Dec 02, 2008.   Comments (7)

Time magazine lists its favorite “geek” pranks — Time magazine offers a roundup of what it describes as "the biggest pranks in geek history" -- limited to pranks perpetrated by MIT and Caltech students. The usual suspects are there: the great rose bowl hoax, Caltech relettering the Hollywood sign, etc. Except, uh, some of the items in the list clearly aren't pranks. For instance, creating a program that allows DVDs to play on any operating system may be a useful hack, but it's not what I would consider a prank. And I don't think MIT…
Posted: Tue Dec 02, 2008.   Comments (0)

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