The Hoax Museum Blog
Christian Debt Removers
Posted by The Curator on Wed May 26, 2004
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 forgive our debtors." But somehow I suspect that, whatever principles they might claim they hold, they draw the line at debt forgiveness. Anyway, I was about to write…
Get That Degree You Want, Now
Posted by The Curator on Fri May 07, 2004
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.
Tax Refund for a Princess
Posted by The Curator on Tue Apr 27, 2004
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 by The Curator on Sun Apr 18, 2004
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, but they're no more real, in a material sense, than the items from Ultima Online are.
Fake Tax Returns
Posted by The Curator on Thu Apr 15, 2004
New Retirement Plan
Posted by The Curator on Wed Apr 14, 2004
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 price, you would have $214.00. Based on the above, current investment advice is to drink heavily and recycle. It's called the 401-Keg Plan.
Posted by The Curator on Thu Apr 01, 2004
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.
Fake Sick Days
Posted by The Curator on Wed Mar 10, 2004
How to be an economics expert (even if you know nothing about economics)
Posted by The Curator on Fri Feb 20, 2004
Matthew Richardson, a 23-year-old student at St. Peters College in Britain, was asked to travel to Beijing to deliver a series of lectures about economic theory. He was flattered by the invitation, though puzzled since he knew nothing about economics. But undaunted, he packed an economics textbook in his bag and took off to Beijing. It was only after he got there that he figured out that the people in Beijing had probably intended to invite Prof. Matthew Richardson from New York University, who's an expert on financial markets. But the faux Richardson bravely soldiered on, reading from his textbook, and no one seemed to notice that he didn't have a clue what he was talking about. In fact,…
Buy Land on the Sun
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jan 28, 2004
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jan 12, 2004
Flatulent Technologies is a company that is committed to "extracting energy from everything that stinks or rots." Sounds like a great idea. The company's NYSE ticker symbol is even better: FART. Too bad a little disclaimer at the bottom of the company's webpage admits it's a parody.
Fake Sick Days
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jan 06, 2004
Posted by The Curator on Sun Dec 07, 2003
You can buy quite a few unusual gifts for Christmas over at Servonet. For instance, check out the Home Freebasing Kit, as well as the Power Fork. Interestingly, when you try to order one of these products instead of being asked to enter your own credit card number, you're allowed to select a number from their customer database. And then you get a message that their "shipping capabilities have been suspended indefinitely."
Posted by The Curator on Tue Sep 30, 2003
Posted by The Curator on Wed Sep 24, 2003