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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Exploration/Travel
The Flight to Nowhere
Posted by The Curator on Thu Oct 04, 2007
Cranky Media Guy forwarded me this fascinating article about a new concept in travel. You pay your money, get on a plane, and then go nowhere. You just pretend that you're going somewhere. Meanwhile a stewardess serves you drinks and the "pilot" makes announcements such as "We will soon be passing through a zone of turbulence," and "We are about to begin our descent into Delhi." This concept is the idea of Indian entrepreneur Bahadur Chand Gupta, and it's proving quite popular. His customers are people who have never flown on a plane before, because they're too poor to afford it, but they're curious to experience what it might be like. I suppose it's no…
Categories: Exploration/Travel Comments (8)
Man Meets Wife Via Message-in-a-Bottle
Posted by The Curator on Sat Aug 18, 2007
An email correspondent asked me if the following story could be true: Paolina and Ake Viking were married in Sicily in the autumn of 1958, thanks to a far-traveling bottle. Two years earlier Ake, a bored young Swedish sailor on a ship far out at sea, had dropped a bottle overboard with a message asking any pretty girl who found it to write. Paolina's father, a Sicilian fisherman, picked it up and passed it to his daughter for a joke. Continuing the joke, Paolina sent off a note to the young…
Algeria’s River of Ink
Posted by The Curator on Fri Aug 17, 2007
The Proceedings of the Athanasius Kircher Society has posted an interesting geographical puzzle. An article, "The Story of Ink," in the 1930 issue of the American Journal of Pharmacy included the following statement: Iron tannin inks are sometimes formed naturally; such a phenomenon has been observed in Algeria, a country in northern Africa, where there exists a "river of ink." Chemical examinations of the waters of the streams combining to form this river revealed that one of the streams is impregnated with iron from the soil through which it flows while the other stream carries tannin from a peat swamp. When the…
Do babies born on buses get free rides for life?
Posted by The Curator on Wed Aug 08, 2007
About a week ago Lydia Irvin gave birth to a daughter while riding on a New York City Transit bus. Apparently it even specifies on the baby's birth certificate that she was born on a bus. So now Ms. Irvin is hoping that her daughter will qualify for free bus rides for the rest of her life. She'll just have to wave her birth certificate at a driver, and be able to go wherever she pleases. After all, according to urban legend that's the freebie that bus-born babies get. However, the transit authorities have splashed cold water on Irvin's hopes:
Quick Links: Baby Nessie, etc.
Posted by The Curator on Tue Dec 12, 2006
Baby Nessie Fossil Found in Antarctic Found on an Antarctic island. Rather far away from Scotland. "The five-foot-long animal would have resembled Nessie, the long-necked creature reported to inhabit Scotland's Loch Ness." Let blind hunters use lasers Texas legislation will allow blind hunters to use laser sights that will guide them as they aim at the animal. This sounds very weird to me. Why would a blind person even want to hunt? What's the point? I'm just not seeing it. (Thanks, Big Gary) Talking doll calls three-year-old "a slut" A California mother claims her daughter's Little Mermaid Shimmering Lights Ariel doll said…
Quick Links: The Apostles of O’Neill, etc.
Posted by The Curator on Mon Nov 13, 2006
The Apostles of O'Neill A group of college kids living in a Washington DC house were informed that they were violating zoning laws that allowed only six people to live in one house. But they did some homework and discovered that 15 people are allowed per house, if it's a residence for a "religious community." Therefore, they've filed paperwork incorporating themselves as a nonprofit religious organization. They call themselves the Apostles of O'Neill. Nessie could not have been a plesiosaur Leslie Noe of the Sedgwick Museum has figured out that Nessie cannot be a plesiosaur. Why? Because plesiosaurs couldn't hold their necks above water: "Calculating the articulation of the neck…
Another Message In A Bottle Hoax
Posted by The Curator on Mon Oct 30, 2006
In February 2003 12-year-old Emily Streight tossed a message in a bottle into the creek near her home in Carlton, Oregon. She gave her name, her age, her height (which she described as 6-foot-2, a slight exaggeration), listed two boys she had a crush on at school, and added, "If this is a guy who finds this, send a picture." In October of this year she got a response from 16-year-old Keoni in Hawaii. Somehow her bottle had traveled down Panther Creek, into the North Yahmill River, then into the Yamhill River, then the Willamette River, the Columbia River, out into the Pacific Ocean, and all the way to Hawaii. A pretty incredible journey.…
Categories: Exploration/Travel Comments (7)
High-Speed Message in a Bottle
Posted by The Curator on Mon Oct 16, 2006
In the news over the weekend was this report of a message-in-a-bottle that traveled all the way from the north-east coast of Scotland to New Zealand... in 47 days. That means it traveled at a continuous rate of 18 miles per hour. It really didn't have any time for detours. It must have made a beeline straight to its destination. The sender of the message was six-year-old Keely Reid, and it was discovered by six-year-old James Wilson. This all sounds too perfect to be believable. Even Reid's family is having a hard time swallowing it: "I can't see how…
Categories: Exploration/Travel Comments (8)
Quick Links: Demon Coin, etc.
Posted by The Curator on Wed Aug 23, 2006
Demon Coin Sold A Winnipeg coin collector has sold an American penny for $170 on eBay. He claims the coin bears the image of the devil. Personally, I'm having a hard time seeing it. But at least it's not another image of the Virgin Mary.Pretend To Be An Illegal Immigrant Experience all the thrill and danger of illegally crossing the border from Mexico into the United States... without really being in any danger at all. A Mexican park is offering tourists the opportunity to pretend that they're an illegal immigrant crossing the Rio Grande: Advertising for the mock…
Teddy Tourism
Posted by Boo on Wed Aug 16, 2006
Teddy Tour Berlin, run by Karsten Morschett and Thomas Vetsch, cater for those who can't themselves afford to tour the German capital, but want the next best thing. Expatica.com reports that customers send their teddies and the payment details to the company, who then take the bears around sites such as Brandenburg Gate, the Berlin Olympic Stadium, and remnants of the Berlin Wall. At each site, the visiting teddy is photographed in a snappy pose. "They aren't photo-montages either," Morschett stresses. "We actually take the teddies to…
Optical Illusion As Traffic Control
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jul 28, 2006
Status: Weird News Chicago's transportation department has announced that they're going to try an interesting experiment to try to get people to slow down on a notoriously hazardous curve. They're going to use an optical illusion: The yellow warning signs mounted along the road in recent years telling drivers to take the curve at 25 m.p.h. have had little or no effect. So the city has decided to try something new. In a few weeks, dozens of new pavement stripes will be laid down. At first they’ll be 16-feet apart, but as drivers get closer to the curve, the stripes will…
Categories: Exploration/Travel Comments (15)
Inflatable Passenger
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jul 26, 2006
Status: Weird News Sheilas’ Wheels, a UK-based auto-insurance company that caters to women, has announced the invention of a "buddy on Demand": "a blow up man that inflates at the flick of a switch if and when a passenger is needed to be used whenever a woman driving alone after dark needs an instant passenger." It doesn't sound like a bad idea, and it would be very useful for carpool lanes as well. I suspected the whole thing was a joke since I couldn't find any picture of this "Buddy on Demand," and it's not for sale yet, but in…
Mouse-Infested Plane
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jul 19, 2006
Status: Weird (but true) news First I should note that I didn't title this post 'Mice On A Plane', since it seems that everyone else in the world who's written about this has already used that joke. The same with noting that the cure for mice on a plane is snakes on a plane. Anyway, the story here is that an American Airlines plane was recently grounded because of a mouse infestation. I know that my parents (who live out in the countryside in Virginia) often have problems with mice getting into their car and chewing through cables, but I wouldn't have thought mice would like conditions on a plane. Too loud and cold.
Book A Fake Vacation
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jul 12, 2006
Status: Weird News The Los Angeles Times reports about a Russian travel agency, Persey Tours, that sells fake vacations: For $500, nobody will believe you weren't sunning yourself last week on Copacabana Beach, just before you trekked through the Amazon rain forest and slept in a thatched hut. Hey! That's you, arms outstretched like Kate Winslet on the bow of the Titanic, on top of Corcovado! Persey Tours was barely keeping the bill collectors at bay before it started offering fake vacations last year. Now it's selling 15 a month — providing ersatz ticket stubs, hotel receipts, photos with clients' images…
Categories: Exploration/Travel, Places Comments (23)
Marvin’s Marvelous Museum Video
Posted by The Curator on Wed May 24, 2006
This will be the last video I post of one of my trips (for now). I took this one last year, sometime in July, at Marvin's Marvelous Museum in Farmington Hills, Michigan (right outside of Detroit). I was visiting Marvin's Museum because it contains a fake copy of the Cardiff Giant, but the real attraction there is all the bizarre mechanical marvels and coin-operated machines on display. (Though the museum seems to make most of its money from video games.) This video shows Marvin demonstrating one of the machines to me and my wife. If you're ever in the Detroit area, I would highly recommend making the trip to see Marvin's Museum. But bring…
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