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The Hoax Museum Blog
Hoaxes, mischief, and misinformation throughout history
Kenyan men like women with large hips. So Kenyan women eager for male attention are flocking to beauticians who are selling artificial hips. The hips consist of foam padding held on by skin-tight bike shorts and covered by cotton fabric. The Kenya Standard reports: Ready-made shape boosters (not their original name) go for as much as Sh250. Those who bring their own bikers pay Sh100 for hips only and Sh150 for all that goes on the backside. However, the hips do have some potential problems:
Posted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 Comments (5)

Small, round, orange stickers are appearing on objects all over downtown Appleton, Wisconsin. The stickers are stamped with the phrase "art object" and a price (ranging from one cent to $10,000). They're appearing on park benches, fire hydrants, store windows, etc. No one seems to know who's responsible for the stickers or what their purpose is. From the Appleton Post-Crescent: Police Lt. Steve Elliott said putting stickers on public or private objects without the owner's consent falls under the same local ordinances governing graffiti. "Definitely, it is against city ordinances. If…
Posted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 Comments (2)

Reuters has posted an article claiming that some Olympic volleyball players are wearing glasses with no lenses during games. It's all about money, of course: beach volleyball players at the Olympics took to the court wearing frames with no lenses. "The lenses fog up because of the humidity, so you can't wear the glasses without popping out the lenses," U.S. men's volleyballer Phil Dalhausser told reporters on Monday. High humidity is a regular feature of the weather in Beijing at this time of year. Several beach volleyball players wear glasses at night to reduce the glare of floodlights or…
Posted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 Comments (4)

Most people, when they lose their dog, put up flyers around the neighborhood. When Dov Charney, founder of American Apparel, lost his dog recently, he placed two billboards at Sunset and Alvardo in LA to let people know. The billboards showed his dog, HedKayce, dressed in American Apparel fashions. This made everyone suspicious that the billboard was some kind of publicity stunt. In fact, there were rumors that his dog may have been missing since April. But as of yesterday, the billboard has been altered to say "Found Dog." So that's the end of the story, I guess. But it still doesn't…
Posted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 Comments (4)


On Friday Aug 15 a press conference is scheduled in Palo Alto to present evidence suggesting that the corpse of a Bigfoot has been found in Georgia. DNA evidence and photo evidence will be presented. (Thanks to everyone who emailed me about this.) I'd just like to go on record before the press conference to predict that it's going to be a hoax. Bigfoot hasn't been found. Why? Because if a Bigfoot species existed in North America, it would have been found long ago. To remain hidden this long, the Bigfoot species would need to have supernatural abilities. The evidence that's been leaked so…
Posted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 Comments (49)

Desperate for free porn A man entered an adult novelty store, told the clerk that he was a detective with the Longmont Police Department's "age verification unit," and demanded that the clerk provide him with pornographic videos so that he could verify the ages of the actors in them. The Longmont Police have no age verification unit. The clerk turned him away, and then the manager called the real police. (Thanks, Bob!) Cheesecake Box Bomb A man entered a movie rental store, placed a box on the counter, and told a clerk it was a bomb that he would detonate unless he was given cash. The clerk refused and the man…
Posted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 Comments (4)

1) The school child who walked at the front of the Chinese team during the opening ceremonies (he was a survivor of the Sichuan earthquake) was carrying an upside-down Chinese flag. Why is debatable. Maybe it was an innocent mistake, or maybe it was a coded message of "great distress" (as upside-down flags mean in nautical convention). Whatever the reason, the Chinese media cropped the upside-down flag out of the photos they showed Chinese audiences. 2) The opening ceremonies included a massive fireworks display. But what was shown to television audiences was a pre-recorded, computer-generated shot of…
Posted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 Comments (6)

It's been the feel-good story in the news during the past few days: 93-year-old Lorna Page was living in a retirement home small apartment until she secured a large advance for her thriller, A Dangerous Weakness. Amazingly, it was her first book! The money has allowed her to buy a five-bedroom house, and she's invited some of her friends from the living in a retirement home to come live with her. But Ray Girvan of Apothecary's Drawer Weblog asks a good question. Where did this huge advance come from, given that AuthorHouse is a self-publishing firm? They don't pay huge advances.…
Posted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 Comments (7)

Police responded to an emergency call to find 26 cheerleaders stuffed inside an elevator: The group of 14- to 17-year-olds was inspired to test an elevator’s maximum capacity while attending cheerleading camp at the university, The Dallas Morning News reported. When the elevator stalled en route from the fourth to the first floor, several girls panicked. The girls “managed to wiggle a few cell phones free to call for help,” the paper reported. Police and fire crew responded, but it took an elevator repairman 25 minutes to extricate the squad. The fad of telephone booth stuffing (which this…
Posted: Mon Aug 11, 2008 Comments (8)

Customers at Apple's online iPhone store recently had the opportunity to buy a program called "I Am Rich." True to its name, it cost $999.99. The program, created by Armin Heinrich, a German software developer, displayed a large red ruby on the iPhone's screen. And that's it. Nothing else. The product description read: "The red icon on your iPhone always reminds you (and others when you show it to them) that you were able to afford this. It's a work of art with no hidden function at all." Eight people actually purchased the program before…
Posted: Mon Aug 11, 2008 Comments (13)

The story of the Montgomery County (Texas) Bulletin Plagiarism scandal, so far: 1) A reader pointed out to Slate.com writer Jody Rosen that an article he had written about Jimmy Buffett had been plagiarized by Mark Williams, a writer for a small weekly Texas paper, the Montgomery County Bulletin. 2) Rosen contacted the editor of the Bulletin, Mike Ladyman, who pretty much blew him off. 3) Rosen did some more investigating and realized that Mark Williams had plagiarized almost EVERYTHING he wrote for the Bulletin. And a substantial amount of the rest of the content of the Bulletin also came from plagiarized sources. 4) Rosen published
Posted: Sun Aug 10, 2008 Comments (8)

Killer whales do eat penguins, but I'd say this has been photoshopped. For a start, if you look closely it appears that the killer whale already has something in its mouth. I have no information about who created the photo or where the original images came from.
Posted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 Comments (16)

The Associated Press reports that the FBI has started cracking down on a widespread insurance scam in which hospitals fill up their beds with homeless people posing as patients, and then charge government programs for the costs. Hospitals in Los Angeles and Orange counties submitted phony Medicare and Medi-Cal bills for hundreds, perhaps thousands, of homeless patients — including drug addicts and the mentally ill — recruited from downtown's Skid Row, state and federal authorities allege. While treating minor problems that did not require hospitalization, such as dehydration, exhaustion or yeast infections, the hospitals allegedly kept homeless patients…
Posted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 Comments (2)

The internet was already home to dogcondoms.com, which I posted about back in 2005. But for someone out there, one version of the joke was not enough, because there is now also doggycondoms.com (registered in May 2008). It's the exact same joke, just more elaborately fleshed out. It looks like it's the creation of the humor website DailyContempt.com, which is also responsible for a slew of other hoax sites including (but not limited to) puppybeef.com, puppyprofits.com, and childtrader.com (which I posted about a few months ago).
Posted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 Comments (1)

Visitors to New York's Coney Island amusement park now have the opportunity to try the "Waterboard Thrill Ride." As the sign outside proclaims, "It don't Gitmo better!" According to Reuters: A man with a black hood pours water on the face of a prisoner in an orange jumpsuit strapped to a table... The scene using robotic dolls is an installation built by artist Steve Powers to criticize waterboarding, a simulated drowning technique the United States has admitted using on terrorism suspects, but that rights group say is torture... The public can peek through window bars and feed a…
Posted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 Comments (4)

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