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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Business/Finance
Is McDonalds Outsourcing their Drive-Thru Windows? — The rumor I heard was that McDonalds would be outsourcing the job of taking orders at the drive-thru window to some company in North Dakota, because the minimum wage in North Dakota is only $5.15, whereas it's higher in other states, so they figure they can save some money. In other words, you could be going through a drive-thru in San Diego and giving your order to some guy in North Dakota. This struck me as very odd. But it appears that the story is basically true, except that
Posted: Fri Mar 18, 2005.   Comments (81)

The Money Blog Experiment — The Blog Experimenter, as he calls himself, is a "30-something guy living in the midwest United States." His experiment is to create a blog, put Google Ads on it, and see how much money he can make off the venture. Except he's really created two blogs. The first one is 'the money blog', which is the blog that is the subject of the experiment. The second is the 'blog money experiment', on which he chronicles his efforts to make money with the google-ad-driven 'money blog'. He doesn't…
Posted: Fri Mar 04, 2005.   Comments (26)

An Interview with Hiroshi Yamauchi — An interview with Hiroshi Yamauchi, former president of Nintendo, has been doing the rounds. It's supposedly published in the February issue of Wired. The interview is quite colorful, to say the least. For instance, at one point Yamauchi claims that during a meeting with Microsoft's Steve Ballmer he said to him, 'hey, Ballmer, why don't you suck my tiny yellow balls.' This was his response to Microsoft's offer to buy Nintendo. The quotation is offered up in bold letters in the sidebar,…
Posted: Fri Jan 07, 2005.   Comments (4)

Salvation Army Gold Coin Mystery — A coin dropped into a Salvation Army kettle last week in Naperville has made headlines. It was a $400 gold coin wrapped in a $1 million bill (the $1 million bill was fake). This brings up the mystery of just who's behind this tradition of dropping gold coins into Salvation Army kettles. Apparently the tradition dates back to 1982, when a gold coin was dropped into a kettle in a Chicago suburb. Gold coins have shown up in kettles in many states ever since then. Some think the coins are…
Posted: Wed Dec 22, 2004.   Comments (33)


Overpriced Amazon Items — How much would you pay for a one-page pdf file discussing the delayed launch of Sony's PlayStation Portable in North America? What about $750. That's the price it's going for on Amazon. But maybe it's worth it, because it has received quite a few five-star reviews. For instance, D.C. McKinney says that it's "Definately a good read and well worth the price of admission! This gem of a find is a must for anyone with even the slightest bit of interest in delays in the world of Sony…
Posted: Tue Dec 14, 2004.   Comments (10)

End of World Causes Bank Failure — Numerous bad loans to a polygamist sect that believes the end of the world is nigh has caused the 99-year-old Bank of Ephraim in Utah to go under. The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (a small Mormon sect a small splinter sect of the Mormon church, unaffiliated with the main church) was spending money like the end of the world was around the corner... because they thought the end of the world actually was around the corner. And happily funding this spending…
Posted: Wed Dec 08, 2004.   Comments (5)

ATM Dispenses Fake Cash — When customers of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce tried to withdraw cash from the bank's ATM, instead of money they received "colorful bills used as incentives at Canadian Tire Corp. hardware stores." So what do you do if an ATM gives you funny money instead of real bills? An article in the Charlotte Observer (requires obnoxious registration) gives this advice: "Don't walk or drive away from the teller window without checking the money first... Once you leave the teller, fake…
Posted: Sun Dec 05, 2004.   Comments (16)

BBC Falls for Bhopal Hoax — The hoaxing of the BBC has now been all over the news. In case you haven't heard, on Friday the BBC broadcast an interview with a man claiming to be a representative of Dow Chemical, Jude Finisterra (is the guy's last name supposed to mean 'the end of the world'?). During the interview the man said that Dow had decided to accept full responsibility for the chemical disaster that killed thousands of people in Bhopal twenty years ago, and in addition it would pay $12 billion in…
Posted: Sat Dec 04, 2004.   Comments (0)

Top 15 Most Bizarre Reasons for Calling in Sick — According to this press release from Career Builder, over one-third of U.S. workers take fake sickies (sick days when they're not really sick). Personally I think that number is too low. The real number should be closer to 90 or 100 percent, because I don't know anyone who hasn't taken a fake sick day at some point. But then again, maybe all my friends and family members are slackers. The same press release also offers the 15 most bizarre reasons that people have offered for taking a…
Posted: Wed Oct 20, 2004.   Comments (11)

Phony Sold Signs — A British Real Estate Agency has been fined for placing phony 'sold' signs up outside the houses of its own employees. It's not quite clear to me what they gained by doing this. I assume it made them look like they were doing more business than they actually were. Still, it's odd to think that as you drive around a neighborhood and see all those 'for sale' and 'sold' signs, that the signs might bear no relationship to reality at all.
Posted: Wed Aug 04, 2004.   Comments (3)

Weird Subscription Services — I recently joined Netflix, and I'm enjoying it so far. It makes sense to rent dvds via the web (though scratched dvds are a real headache). But when I came across Bag, Borrow, or Steal, which delivers a constant stream of designer handbags to your door, I thought it was a joke. It's obviously not, which just goes to show how out of touch I am with the world of fashion. I also was a bit skeptical about the Blacksocks service. Blacksocks describes itself as the "inventor of the…
Posted: Mon Aug 02, 2004.   Comments (8)

Expensive Counterfeits — Why would anyone counterfeit money if the cost of making the counterfeits was more than the money itself? That's the question Japanese police are puzzling over. Since profit can't be a motive "police suspect a techno-maniac is involved." Well, either that or a really stupid criminal.
Posted: Tue Jul 27, 2004.   Comments (0)

Outsource Your Own Job — Either this is a bizarre new scam, or the Times of India has fallen for a tall tale. It claims that the hot new trend among programmers is to outsource their own jobs to India. As the article explains: "Says a programmer on Slashdot.org who outsourced his job: 'About a year ago I hired a developer in India to do my job. I pay him $12,000 out of the $67,000 I get. He's happy to have the work. I'm happy that I have to work only 90 minutes a day just supervising the code. My employer…
Posted: Tue Jul 13, 2004.   Comments (2)

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)

Get That Degree You Want, Now — I had come to think I was never going to get my Ph.D., but I shouldn't have been so pessimistic. All I need to do is lower my standards a bit and sign up for one of those PhDs that Saint Regis University is practically giving away. A Georgia math teacher did, and she got a $16,000 pay raise. Or you could save even more money and get any degree you want, from any institution of higher learning, from BogusPhD.com.
Posted: Fri May 07, 2004.   Comments (0)

Tax Refund for a Princess — If you're going to cheat on your tax forms, you might as well do it big, like this university cafeteria worker did. She claimed to be a Hawaiian princess and managed to get a $2.1 million refund from the IRS. The only thing is, she really believes she is a Hawaiian princess. Her defense lawyer argues that she suffers from an "irrational insistence upon an identity that is not her own." Maybe she's the second coming of Princess Caraboo.
Posted: Tue Apr 27, 2004.   Comments (0)

Virtual Trader — Wired News has an article about a guy, Julian Dibbell, who almost succeeded in making a living from trading in imaginary goods, namely virtual items from the game Ultima Online. Of course, it doesn't seem that extraordinary to me that someone could earn a good living from trading imaginary things. After all, isn't there a trillion dollar industry devoted to just this... i.e. the financial derivatives market? I mean, options and other financial instruments may have real value to people,…
Posted: Sun Apr 18, 2004.   Comments (1)

Fake Tax Returns — Here's a story that's appropriate for April 15. Orange County tax preparer indicted for filing over 16,000 fake federal returns.
Posted: Thu Apr 15, 2004.   Comments (1)

New Retirement Plan — My wife received this note in an email at work. Sadly, even though it's a joke, the advice it offers seems quite sensible: New Retirement Plan: If you had purchased $1000.00 of Nortel stock one year ago, it would now be worth $49.00. With Enron, you would have $16.50 left of the original $1,000.00. With WorldCom, you would have less than $5.00 left. But, if you had purchased $1,000.00 worth of Beer one year ago, drank all the beer, then turned in the cans for the aluminum recycling…
Posted: Wed Apr 14, 2004.   Comments (2)

Opening Belch — The Motley Fool reports a mishap at the New York Stock Exchange today. Russ Cooper, CEO of Farmland Enterprise Associates, misread the instructions and thought the invitation to ring the opening bell at the exchange asked him instead to emit the opening belch. He performed as he thought he was required.
Posted: Thu Apr 01, 2004.   Comments (0)

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All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.