The Hoax Museum Blog

Christian Debt Removers — I got spammed today by Christian Debt Removers, an organization which advertises itself as a debt elimination service "based on Christian principles." Whatever that means... your guess is as good as mine. The only thing I could figure out was that they've slapped a few proverbs up on their site and this somehow makes them 'Christian.' Of course, the one Christian phrase that's conspicuously absent from their site is the line from the Lord's Prayer: "forgive us our debts, as we also…
Posted: Wed May 26, 2004.   Comments (14)

Paranormal Potato Chip Gallery — "Found a Nixon in your bag of Barbecued? Spotted an Elvis in your Salt 'n Vinegar?" Then send them in to the Paranormal Potato Chip Gallery. Actually, I'm not sure if the chips currently on display are real or not. Surely with finds of this magnitude they should have recorded the time, date, and place of discovery. (via Liquito)
Posted: Tue May 25, 2004.   Comments (3)

Has Rumsfeld Banned Camera Phones in Iraq? — Lots of media outlets have been reporting that Rumsfeld has decided to ban camera phones in Iraq, in the wake of the photos of prisoner abuse coming out of Abu Ghraib. For instance, the story is on Yahoo! news, the Washington Times, and The Sydney Morning Herald. The Register, at least, points out that there are doubts about the story, while also noting that it would be almost impossible to actually enforce such a ban. But what's the source for this news. The Sydney Morning Herald
Posted: Tue May 25, 2004.   Comments (1)

Spanking and the Christian Parent — Sometimes I really have no clue what to make of a site. Is it serious, or just a joke? That's the puzzle that fatherly.org presents. It bills itself as a forum "made up of fathers who believe in a traditional, conservative, and practical approach to effective parenting and child discipline." Or, as it states more bluntly later on, it's promoting the message that "Christian parents know that the Word of God advises parents to use spanking as a form of punishment with their children."
Posted: Tue May 25, 2004.   Comments (4)


4-Wheel Segway Coming Soon — Rumors are flying that the next generation model of the popular Segway will one-up the original by adding an extra set of wheels to the vehicle, thereby producing the 4-wheel 'p-series' Segway. The platform will also be lengthened so that two people can stand on it at once. Of course, as Gizmodo points out, this completely defeats the purpose of the thing since "the whole point of the Segway is that it balances itself on two wheels." But it sure sounds good. (via Gizmodo)
Posted: Tue May 25, 2004.   Comments (1)

Get GodStopper — Are you tired of religious spam filling up your inbox day after day? Then GodStopper may be what you need. It's the "ultimate in religion blocking software from the company that brought you SimJihad." It works to block faith-promoting messages from all the major religions: christianity, judaism, buddhism, islam, etc. But the real question is, will it work against the Church of SpongeBob Squarepants?
Posted: Tue May 25, 2004.   Comments (1)

Emily Chesley Reading Circle — Emily Chesley was a "speculative fiction writer of the late Victorian period (who lived for some time in the London, Ontario region), who has been long-overlooked by Canadian literature." She was also a "poet, social activist, explorer, aviatrix, and 92-year-old pole vaulter." The Emily Chesley Reading Circle is a "group of 'scholars' and bon-vivants" who get together to study and help promote her work. So far, they've been quite successful. They've even managed to get an abridged…
Posted: Tue May 25, 2004.   Comments (1)

A Few Nonexistent Places — According to reliable information that can be found on the internet, Idaho doesn't exist. Nor does Wyoming, Wisconsin, Vermont, North Dakota, France, and England. Oh, and the Moon doesn't exist either.
Posted: Mon May 24, 2004.   Comments (7)

Clueless Childless Couple — Last week the British Daily Mirror printed a story about a particularly clueless German couple. As the article put it: "Fertility doctors were baffled when a perfectly-healthy couple claimed they couldn't have children - until they confessed they had never made love. The husband, 36, and his 32-year-old wife thought that all they had to do to make a baby was to lie next to each other and let nature take its course." This story got picked up by wire services, and soon was being linked…
Posted: Sun May 23, 2004.   Comments (1)

Ian Hislop Mania — Got this contribution from Chris 'Crispy' Philpot in the UK: BBC Television in the UK showed an episode of topical news quiz 'Have I Got News For You' that picked up on the ex-wife's knickers on eBay story. It said how useless tat could reach an astonishing price - going on to show the auction... for a signed photograph of Ian Hislop, a team captain on the show. At the time it had no bids and 6 hits.... Bidding went crazy - it started off quite sensibly and climbed to £5,000 without…
Posted: Sun May 23, 2004.   Comments (1)

Boycott Gillette — I've received quite a few emails with questions like this: Is Gillette really putting spy chips inside of their products that allow them to spy on consumers at a distance? Is the company surreptitiously snapping photographs of people who pick up their products from store shelves? Are these and other claims being made at the Boycott Gillette website really true? Well, the strange thing is, as wild as these claims sound, they're actually true. Or rather, they used to be true... and could…
Posted: Sat May 22, 2004.   Comments (3)

Motorcycle Trip Through Chernobyl — A month or two ago a woman named Elena posted a travelogue on the web about her solitary motorcycle ride through the deserted area around Chernobyl. With all the eerie pictures she took of the abandoned, irradiated 'ghost town,' her travelogue quickly became one of the most linked-to sites on the net. Now there are accusations that her travelogue wasn't completely honest. Apparently she didn't go around alone on a motorcycle. She went in a car with her husband and a friend. Elena…
Posted: Fri May 21, 2004.   Comments (43)

UPS Uniform Hoax — Mark wrote to let me know that the UPS Uniform Email Hoax is making the rounds again (the corporate security at his office thoughtfully forwarded it to everyone he works with). This hoax is an old one, going back almost two years. Basically the email claims that terrorists managed to purchase $32,000 worth of UPS uniforms on eBay, so everyone should have their eyes out for phony UPS employees delivering packages. The latest version of the message has the fake signature of a Homeland…
Posted: Thu May 20, 2004.   Comments (3)

Computer Grading? — Robert Yagelowich pointed this article out to me, and like him what I read initially made me pretty skeptical. The article describes a computer program that's being used to grade student essays. Not just grade the spelling and punctuation, but the content itself. Since computers can't even be relied on to spellcheck very well, I couldn't imagine how they would grade content. I had suspicions of another ChatNannies type of hoax. But apparently computer-grading is real. The software,…
Posted: Thu May 20, 2004.   Comments (4)

Unfortunate Last Names — I've always thought my last name was pretty bad. And I mean that in the literal sense. 'Boese' means 'bad' (or angry) in German. But its meaning wouldn't matter much if only English-speaking people could pronounce it (it's 'burr-za', as if it had an 'r' in it... not 'boose'). But I shouldn't feel too sorry for myself, because this guy in Brazil, Mr. Reinhardt Adolfo Fuck, has me beat hands down. As far as I can tell, that really is his name. He must get endless jokes about it.
Posted: Thu May 20, 2004.   Comments (693)

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