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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
December 2013
Tail Lights for Horses—a case of satirical prophecy — On April 1, 1961, Milan's La Notte newspaper reported that city authorities had passed a new law making it mandatory for horses to be outfitted with signaling and brake lights while being ridden through the streets or neighboring countryside. Back then, quite a few people in the area still rode horses, so the law was going to have quite a broad impact. And, so the story goes, many people subsequently brought their horses into car mechanics to have them outfitted with the necessary…
Posted: Sat Dec 07, 2013.   Comments (0)

Things keep looking worse for that New Jersey Waitress — I posted yesterday that Dayna Morales (the "I received a homophobic note and no tip" woman) had been suspended from the restaurant where she was working. Now, the consumerist reports that someone got the idea of checking to see if she actually donated the money she received to the Wounded Warrior Project, as she promised she was going to. The news (kinda predictably) is that no donation was given under her name, or from the zip code where she lives, or from the restaurant. So unless she…
Posted: Thu Dec 05, 2013.   Comments (1)

Stop and Kiss — Satire mistaken as news. Gawker reports that an obviously satirical Onion video about a nonexistent NYPD "stop-and-kiss" policy has sparked some real-life outrage — from people who apparently have never heard of the Onion. (Thanks Bob!) "Stop and kiss ? NYPD need to chill," tweeted one of the many rock-dwellers who took to social media to actually protest a parody video about a fake protest. "i dont understand the stop and kiss program..its taking it a little too far," tweeted another…
Posted: Thu Dec 05, 2013.   Comments (0)

Another Zero-Tip Receipt — Forrest Swan, a 22-year-old waiter and Auburn fan, says he got stiffed by a customer who was an Alabama fan. The customer also wrote a note on the receipt: "don't talk about being proud of Auburn to an Alabama Fan!" Naturally a photo was quickly snapped of the offending receipt and uploaded to twitter. [huffpost] Mr. Swan hasn't revealed what restaurant this happened at. So details are impossible to verify. But I have a hunch that this case actually is real, unlike the other recent…
Posted: Wed Dec 04, 2013.   Comments (0)


Waterstones Introduces Owl Delivery — This is their response to Amazon's recent announcement that by 2015 it hopes to be using drones to deliver packages within 30 minutes of being ordered. Drone-delivery seems to be the hot new thing. Less than two months ago, I posted about an Australian textbook rental service that hopes to soon be using drones to deliver books. But as I pointed out then, drones have also been a popular theme in the world of hoaxes. For instance, there was TacoCopter (drones delivering tacos) as well…
Posted: Wed Dec 04, 2013.   Comments (0)

Hyperrealistic iPad portrait of Morgan Freeman — This isn't a photo. It's a painting. Or so claims UK artist Kyle Lambert who says he made it using a fingerpainting iPad app called Procreate. He's posted a video showing the creation of the painting from start to finish. Lambert based the painting on an existing photo (below) of Morgan Freeman. This has led skeptics (of which there are many) to suggest that Lambert simply traced over the photo, which doesn't take a lot of skill. But Lambert denies this. He sent an email to Gizmodo…
Posted: Wed Dec 04, 2013.   Comments (2)

Cat Drinks From Bottle — There's not a lot of info on where this photo comes from. It's listed on the website of the French National Library as having been created in 1911 by the "Agence Rol." photo agency. For 1911, it's a pretty good example of photo fakery. Also included in the same series is "Cat peers through binoculars" and "cat looks through a telescope." Found these over at retronaut.com.
Posted: Tue Dec 03, 2013.   Comments (0)

Soviet Pilot Flies Under Bridge, 1965 — This image shows Soviet pilot Valentin Privalov flying a MiG-17 under the central span of the Communal Bridge over the River Ob in Novosibirsk on June 4, 1965. The story goes (as much as I can piece it together) that Privalov did this on his own initiative, as a stunt. The shore of the river was filled with vacationers, among whom were officers from the district headquarters, when suddenly the MiG came roaring out of the sky. Afterwards the crowd spontaneously started to applaud, but…
Posted: Tue Dec 03, 2013.   Comments (1)

The Paul Walker Reverse Death Hoax — Celebrity death hoaxes have become such a pervasive part of the internet that when a celebrity really dies, particularly a young celebrity, people legitimately wonder if the news is real or fake. And that's exactly what happened after actor Paul Walker died in a car crash on Nov. 30. Adding to the uncertainty was the manner of his death. A lot of death hoaxes feature death-by-car-crash (that's the way Paul McCartney supposedly died back in 1966), so when the news came in that Walker…
Posted: Mon Dec 02, 2013.   Comments (0)

Help Save the Blondes — Assuming this story is true, it sounds like this woman has fallen for that urban legend about the gene for blonde hair being driven out of existence due to the greater percentage of dark-haired people in the world. According to the legend, the World Health Organization has predicted that in 200 years there will be no blondes left. THIS ANGOLAN LADY WALKS AROUND LONDON CAMPAIGNING TO SAVE BLONDE PEOPLE vice.com Say hello to Maria de Jesus-Lucungo... Maria has made it her life goal to…
Posted: Sun Dec 01, 2013.   Comments (2)

Starting Gate for Sprinters? — I'm not sure whether or not this was an April Fool's Day joke. I found it in the Mar 31, 1934 issue of the Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung, which contained quite a few April Fool spoof articles, such as the "Loch Ness Monster Captured" article that I posted about recently. But this feature about a new starting gate for sprinters... I just don't know. I've never heard of such a thing before. But on the other hand, it sounds kinda plausible. In fact, some googling revealed that the…
Posted: Sun Dec 01, 2013.   Comments (3)

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