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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Entertainment
To Hermione on her 18th Birthday — Donald Nyffington, 37-year-old UNIX programmer, is in love. He's in love with Hermione Granger... or rather with Emma Watson who plays Hermione in the Harry Potter movies. And Emma, unfortunately for Donald, is only 14. So he's started the 'Official Countdown Website to Hermione Granger's 18th Birthday.' The site is convincing enough that you really might start to believe that Donald and his unrequited passion for Hermione are for real. But they're not. The picture on Donald's 'About…
Posted: Thu Jun 24, 2004.   Comments (6)

Airplane in Troy — From the Hoax Forum: Gutza has submitted this suspicious goof from the movie Troy, which shows an airplane flying behind Brad Pitt (Achilles) as he stands in front of the Temple of Apollo. I saw this movie just a week ago, and I don't remember seeing a plane in that scene. You'd think it would have been pretty obvious. More significantly, the movie sleuths over at moviemistakes.com don't seem to have noted this either, even though I'm sure they'd be falling all over themselves to point…
Posted: Wed Jun 09, 2004.   Comments (4)

Citizens for a Murder-Free America — This is an old site, but I hadn't seen it before. It pretends to be the homepage of a lobbying group called 'Citizens for a Murder-Free America' who are campaigning for passage of 'Precrime' legislation that will help stop murders before they happen. In reality, the site is part of the publicity campaign for Steven Spielberg's movie Minority Report, which was about a future society where the police use psychics to see into the future and tell them about murders before they happen (based…
Posted: Mon Jun 07, 2004.   Comments (0)

Seance Hoax — On Monday illusionist Derren Brown performed a seance live on Britain's Channel 4, successfully channeling the spirit of 'Jane,' the victim of a mass suicide. Only after the show did he admit it was all a hoax... an attempt to debunk seances by showing how easily people can be manipulated into believing that they're real. Still, the show managed to attract more complaints than almost any other show in British history, although most of the complaints were lodged before the show aired…
Posted: Thu Jun 03, 2004.   Comments (6)


Watching Paint Dry — UKTV has come up with the ultimate reality TV show: Watching Paint Dry. As the name suggests, viewers get to watch the thrilling spectacle of paint drying, broadcast live, 24 hours a day. And viewers can vote for their favorite paints: Matt, Gloss, Silk, Satin, etc. UKTV notes that, "Every other reality show is full of boring drips so we thought that we would go one step further." Is this real? Well, sort of. UKTV feels watching paint dry is "too boring" for TV, so it's only going to be…
Posted: Thu Jun 03, 2004.   Comments (1)

Is David Hasselhoff Making a Rap Album? — Sky News has been reporting that Rapper Ice-T has decided to produce a new rap album by his LA neighbor, David Hasselhoff (of Baywatch fame). The article quotes Ice-T as saying, "He's gonna come out as Hassle the Hoff... The Hoff will surprise people with his rap skills and humour." When I read this article I got really scared, because I figured that if such a thing were to happen, it would definitely be a sign that the end was near. But thankfully it appears to be a hoax. On his…
Posted: Fri May 28, 2004.   Comments (1)

The Knee Trumpet — Musicians will appreciate this. It's a little known instrument, popular back in the Middle Ages, known as the Tromba Da Gamba, or Knee Trumpet. According to Virgilanti (who managed to acquire one of these rare instruments): "It was gaining a lot in popularity by the start of the 17th century but encountered a bit of a PR problem in 1619 when, according to the story, the pope (presumably Pope Paul V) saw the instrument being played by a woman. He was shocked at the suggestiveness of…
Posted: Tue May 18, 2004.   Comments (2)

American Idol Scandal — To be honest, the whole American Idol thing has completely passed me by. I've never watched a single episode of it (though I have spent some time listening to William Hung... I don't know why). But it didn't surprise me to read that American Idol's voting system is essentially a sham, highly vulnerable to manipulation by gamblers.
Posted: Mon May 17, 2004.   Comments (2)

What Badgers Eat — In case you were confused, here's what you need to know about what badgers eat. According to Jeff, who sent me the link, the site derives from an episode of The Simpsons (one that I haven't seen). I guess you could also figure out the Simpsons connection from the logo at the bottom of the screen.
Posted: Sun May 16, 2004.   Comments (4)

Lady Heather — Lady Heather is a professional dominatrix, and this is her website. When she says 'My command is your wish,' you know she means it. Actually, she's a recurring character on CSI, which is one of my favorite shows though I haven't had a chance to see it in a while. Unfortunately you can only view her site for about two seconds before you're automatically redirected to the main site for CSI. Which is a pity. I think they should develop Lady Heather's Box a little more. (Thanks, Jeff)
Posted: Fri May 14, 2004.   Comments (2)

Allied Chemical — Allied Chemical (motto: "It's a better world through chemicals") is the maker of fine food products such as Farmer Fred's Happydale Ham Spread, Farmer Fred's Happydale Ham Spread Loaf, and Farmer Fred's Happydale Ham Squeezy Spread. Oh, and they also make products for the military, but those are top secret. Definitely check out their mouth-watering recipes such as Farmer Fred's Pigriffic Pasta. Actually, Allied Chemical seems to be the faux front page for a music download service that…
Posted: Fri May 14, 2004.   Comments (0)

Quarantine — What would you be willing to do for a brief shot at fame? Would you embarrass yourself on national TV? Of course, who wouldn't nowadays. But would you lock yourself in a lab and allow yourself to be exposed to all manner of infectious diseases? That sounds a bit dodgy, but this was the premise of the new reality TV show, Quarantine, recently advertised in the Daily Mirror. Remarkably, hundreds of people applied to be on it, and the applications are still rolling in. Thankfully the whole…
Posted: Tue May 11, 2004.   Comments (1)

The Truth About Loch Ness — Greg Atkins (or someone calling themselves Greg Atkins) has created a website, truthaboutlochness.com, in order to expose an incident he claims occurred on the loch during filming of Werner Herzog's upcoming movie, The Enigma of Loch Ness. He says that one of the production company's boats was rammed by something in the water (could it have been Nessie!!!), resulting in the death of two of the crew. All this has been hushed up, of course, which is why there were no news reports of…
Posted: Tue May 11, 2004.   Comments (0)

Stephen Hawking is on the Mic — You may know Stephen Hawking as the brilliant theoretical physicist and best-selling author of A Brief History of Time. But did you also know that in his spare time the man is a gangsta rapper? Perhaps you're familiar with his album, A Brief History of Rhyme. Hawking's other career as a 'lyrical terrorist' is lovingly explored on this fan site, MC Hawking's Crib. Yeah, it's a hoax, but it's amazingly detailed, even including MP3 samples of Hawking's songs. (And thanks to Bill Boldt for…
Posted: Thu Apr 29, 2004.   Comments (3)

Afterlife Publicity — As Gawker reports, a great 'take-this-job-and-shove-it' email has been making the rounds recently. It's penned by Bob Rubenstein, a publicist for a record label, who lost his job soon after the lead singer of the band he was supposed to promote, Pre)Thing, died of a heart attack. Bob, embittered for being fired, dishes some dirt on the company he was canned from, revealing how they brought in a psychic to talk with the departed spirit of the singer to see if he'd be willing to do any…
Posted: Tue Apr 27, 2004.   Comments (0)

Katz, Cohen & Phelps — Are you a woman who needs a really good divorce lawyer? Then check out the law firm of Katz, Cohen & Phelps where their motto is "Is he cheating? Let's nail him." Actually, that's not really a law firm. It's just another fake website used to promote an upcoming movie, in this case The Laws of Attraction starring Julianne Moore and Pierce Brosnan. In this case, it's a really half-hearted attempt at a fake website. I mean, that's obviously Julianne Moore posing on the website, and they…
Posted: Tue Apr 27, 2004.   Comments (0)

Petition to Stop the Godsend Institute — I talked about the Godsend Institute (the website of a cloning lab that's really a promo for an upcoming movie of the same name) a few days ago. I said that I really didn't think the site was that convincing. But maybe others have been fooled by it because someone started an online petition to ban the Godsend Institute. Of course, I'm not above suspecting that the petition was started by the movie studio itself as a way to generate faux controversy. This was a favorite ploy of P.T.…
Posted: Sun Apr 18, 2004.   Comments (1)

Godsend Institute, and other movie sites — A few people have written to me about the Godsend Institute, which is supposedly a Massachusetts fertility clinic that offers human cloning as an option for its patients. Its website is quite slick and well produced, but the Godsend Institute is, of course, not real. The site is part of the advertising campaign for the upcoming movie Godsend starring Robert De Niro. Wired published an article about this yesterday. Ever since the Blair Witch Project succeeded in creating such a buzz…
Posted: Thu Apr 15, 2004.   Comments (2)

Reality TV is Rigged — Keith Hollihan lives downstairs from an apartment that was featured on an episode of The Apprentice. The show's contestants were challenged by Trump to renovate and rent the apartment (as well as other ones throughout the city) for the highest price possible. Hollihan writes about how after the show was done, he got to know the new renter and discovered from her that the rental price she had agreed to on tv was a sham. It was far higher than the price she actually paid. In other words,…
Posted: Wed Apr 14, 2004.   Comments (6)

New Zealand Rapper MC Emu — On the Fighting Talk weblog journalism student Patrick Crewdson gives an example of how hoaxes can make the leap from being fiction into becoming fact. He once edited a journal called Critic that published a joke article about "New Zealand's least-known musician": rapper MC Emu. Of course, MC Emu was fictitious, but now references to this rapper have begun to appear in serious histories of New Zealand music... references that seem to credit MC Emu with being a real character.
Posted: Tue Apr 13, 2004.   Comments (1)

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