The Museum of Hoaxes
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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
April 2012
Study finds that chivalry at sea is a myth. Men survive shipwrecks at much higher rate than women. — If you're a woman, don't expect much help from men during a shipwreck. In fact, the men are likely to be shoving the women out of the way in their eagerness to save themselves. That's the general message of a new study by Swedish economists Mikael Elinder and Oscar Erixson, "Every Man for Himself! Gender, Norms and Survival in Maritime Disasters." Women fare worst on British ships — contrary to the tradition of British chivalry. The one exception to this rule was the Titanic, where…
Posted: Sat Apr 14, 2012.   Comments (0)

Setting The Clock Back — A nice example of the forced perspective illusion. Photo taken October 28, 1960. (found on eBay) "Careful placement by photographer gives illusion that Aileen Gallagher is setting clock on tower of Chicago's Wrigley Building as Illinois and other sections of nation prepare for return to Standard Time from Daylight Saving Time at 2 A.M. this coming Sunday. Aileen, Trans World Airlines hostess, is standing on ledge about two blocks from clock."
Posted: Fri Apr 13, 2012.   Comments (0)

The Car Switcheroo Prank—this couldn’t be done today! — Marjorie writes in again, with a story told to her by an Aussie friend (in his words). What I love about this story is that it's set in a time and place where people actually left their cars unlocked, with the keys on the front seat, expecting that the cars would still be there when they returned. I was living in Hobart in 1977 and, driving home, I noticed a friend's car parked outside the corner store at the bottom of my street. I was expecting her to come visit later that afternoon…
Posted: Thu Apr 12, 2012.   Comments (2)

Those French beaches look great, because they’re really in Hawaii — France's tourism agency has been embarrassed after it's been revealed that a whole series of photos it's been using to promote French beaches don't actually show French locations at all. They're stock photos, taken in Hawaii and South Africa, in the background of which the tourism agency sometimes photoshopped sections of French coastline. It seems stupid since France has some great scenery, but the tourism agency was apparently too cheap to hire a photographer to take photos of any of…
Posted: Thu Apr 12, 2012.   Comments (0)


Russian Girl Floats Up Into The Air — Either it's a hoax, or a muggle wandered across a wizarding lesson. (via HuffPost)
Posted: Wed Apr 11, 2012.   Comments (1)

Scammers vs. lawyers vs. bankers — It's kinda hard to know who, if anyone, to feel sympathy for here. (Thanks, Bob!) Lawyer falls for Nigerian e-mail scam, sues Wells Fargo bizjournals.com An Edina law firm that lost nearly $400,000 in a Nigerian wire-fraud scam is claiming that Wells Fargo, which handled the fund transfers, should cover its losses. The Star Tribune reports on the lawsuit by Milavetz, Gallop & Milavetz, which three years ago received an e-mail from someone purporting to be a Korean woman who needed the…
Posted: Wed Apr 11, 2012.   Comments (0)

Tube of Liquor Hidden in Prohibition Boot — These shoes were quite popular during the prohibition era. You could buy them in many shoe stores. They don't look like they were very comfortable.
Posted: Wed Apr 11, 2012.   Comments (2)

The Maureen Dowd Plagiarism Defense, or ‘I thought I was copying my friend, not you!’ — Craig Silverman has coined a term for a new kind of excuse popular with writers caught plagiarizing. It's the Maureen Dowd Plagiarism Defense. He explains: In 2009, Dowd used close to 50 words from a John Marshall post on Talking Points Memo. She didn't offer any attribution. The words were presented as her own, and that led to accusations of plagiarism, and to a correction being issued. The Dowd Defense emerged when she reached out to a variety of websites to explain how it happened.…
Posted: Tue Apr 10, 2012.   Comments (2)

Martian Pareidolia: An Elephant in Lava Flow — An image released by NASA last week, taken by the Mars Reconaissance Orbiter, shows ancient lava flow on the surface of Mars, in the Elysium Planitia region. Some are saying that the shape of the lava flow looks like an elephant. Hmm. It looks like Jesus to me. (link: space.com)
Posted: Tue Apr 10, 2012.   Comments (2)

Jennifer Love Hewitt’s Breasts Disappear Before Our Eyes — In an ad that ran in Entertainment Weekly, Jennifer Love Hewitt's breasts were noticeably smaller than they were in the same ad that ran just about everywhere else (including, briefly, on this site). I suspect this was done by some marketing person in order to give bloggers an excuse to write about Jennifer Love Hewitt's breasts, and post comparison photos. I fell for the ruse. (via Huffington Post)
Posted: Tue Apr 10, 2012.   Comments (4)

The Great Pingpong Hoax of 1974 — The Akron Beacon Journal tells the story of the Great University of Akron pingpong hoax: Local history: Fake pingpong team pulls off hoax at University of Akron in 1970s ohio.com The University of Akron table-tennis team created a national sensation in the 1970s by compiling a winning record without playing a single game. Submitting articles about a pingpong team that didn't exist, UA students pulled off an outrageous hoax against the Buchtelite newspaper... The writers peppered their…
Posted: Tue Apr 10, 2012.   Comments (0)

Ridiculously Photogenic Guy vs. Gorgeous Guy — If you follow internet memes at all, you're going to be aware of 'Ridiculously Photogenic Guy'. The title has been attached to 25-year-old Zeddie Little of New York. A picture of him was taken while he was running a 10k race in South Carolina. He seemed to look upbeat and well-composed, while everyone else looked like they were suffering. Someone uploaded the picture to reddit, with the comment, "My friend calls him 'Mr Ridiculously Photogenic Guy'". The image and title promptly went…
Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2012.   Comments (0)

UK Legal Urban Legends — Another list of urban legends from the BBC. This time it's legal urban legends. All the following laws, though frequently repeated, are NOT TRUE: It's illegal to die in Parliament. It's illegal to put a stamp on upside down. It's illegal to eat a mince pie on Christmas Day. It's legal to kill Welsh people in the town of Chester. It's legal for a man to urinate in public, as long as it's on the rear wheel of his car and his right hand is on the vehicle. And pregnant women can legally…
Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2012.   Comments (4)

Part-Worn Human For Sale — Part worn human! Brighouse Echo A PRACTICAL joke landed Brighouse engineer Paul Pattinson in hot water with mighty online retailer ebay. Describing Paul as 'a part-worn human, in need of a good home', the ebay notice sought bids for the 45-year-old employee at Flow Technology Ltd. Within days hundreds of people had viewed the item and more than 35 had put in bids, the highest being for £82. But on Tuesday ebay removed the item, only 24 hours before the bidding was due to close, because…
Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2012.   Comments (0)

The Turd in the Olympic Ring — Brian Chapman reports the start of an interesting Olympics 2012 rumor on his Legends & Rumors blog: Enormous Olympic rings have started popping up in London. There's a set at St Pancras, another recently floated down the Thames, and a third set will be suspended at Tower Bridge. We're told that there's something special about one of the rings. Someone involved in their construction had a bit of a downer on the whole Olympics in London thing. So he took a shit inside one of the rings.…
Posted: Sat Apr 07, 2012.   Comments (1)

How To Make A Psychic Omelette — E.J. Gold describes himself as a "psychic cook". Or, at least, he briefly kept a blog on which he described himself in this way and offered various psychic recipes. His recipe for a psychic omelette starts off in a pretty standard way, but once the eggs have begun to harden in the frying pan, the psychic part kicks in: 8. It's at this point that you begin chanting "OM MANI PADME HUM" until the omelette has cooked to your satisfaction on the topside. Then with a deft scoop of the…
Posted: Sat Apr 07, 2012.   Comments (0)

Myths of the Titanic — The BBC has an interesting article about myths associated with the Titanic. The five myths they list, summarized, are: The unsinkability of the Titanic: "the White Star Line never made any substantive claims that the Titanic was unsinkable - and nobody really talked about the ship's unsinkability until after the event"The band played Nearer, My God, To Thee: The band probably did play on deck as the ship sank, but there's no good evidence that their final song was 'Nearer, My God, To…
Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2012.   Comments (3)

The Patriarch’s Expensive Gold Watch — Sloppy Photoshopping: The Russian Orthodox Church recently posted a picture on its website of Patriarch Kirill during a 2009 meeting with Vladimir Putin. The photo wouldn't have caused any controversy — except that bloggers noticed a difference between the Patriarch's arm and the reflection of the arm on the shiny surface of the table. The reflection showed an expensive watch on his wrist. Oops. The watch was a gold Breguet watch valued at $30,000. Links: BBC, ABC News. (via Accipiter…
Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2012.   Comments (0)

The Pulling Up Piccadilly Prank — I recently received the following email from Marjorie: In the late 50's, on the morning of April 1, a group of Sydney City Council workers went with jackhammers and other machinery and started an approved excavation in the middle of George St. (the main drag). Hoaxers from Sydney University called the police and warned them that a group of Uni Students dressed as Council workers were tearing up George St. They simultaneously went to the site and warned the workers that a group of…
Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2012.   Comments (0)

The Japanese Moon Melon — This picture and caption has been circulating around the internet recently: This a Moon Melon , scientifically knows as asidus. This fruit grows in some parts of Japan , and it's known for it's weird blue color. What you probably don't know about this fruit, is that it can switch flavors after you eat it. Everything sour will taste sweet, and everything salty will taste bitter, and it gives water a strong orange-like taste. This fruit is Very expensive. It costs about ¥16000 JPY…
Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2012.   Comments (3)

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