The Hoax Museum Blog
F*** The Diet?
Posted by The Curator on Wed Apr 18, 2012
Many people thought this was too weird to be true, but apparently it's real. Multinational mega-corporation Unilever is running an ad campaign in Germany for its "Du Darfst" line of food products that features the English slogan "Fuck the Diet!" It's kinda like if McDonalds were to unveil "Fuck Eating Healthy" as its new ad slogan. A Unilever spokesperson offered this explanation: "Although the current Du Darfst campaign has become a bit of a talking point in Germany -- as effective marketing should -- it is targeted specifically at German consumers and uses language that we do not believe most German consumers find offensive. This is because the…
The Saint of Rice Excrements
Posted by The Curator on Tue Apr 17, 2012
Back in ninth-century Japan, there was a religious charlatan who earned the title bei-fun-hijiri or "saint of rice excrements". Before telling how he acquired this title, I should relate how I came across his story, which was in a rather roundabout way. First, I came across a post on the Of Small Wonders & Great Wanders blog about the ancient art of self-mummification, developed by ascetic monks of the Shingon sect in northern Japan: It was initiated by Kobo Daishi (774-835), who took the decision to end his days meditating in a cave. His disciples later found that his body was mummified, which was quite mystical! The Sokushinbutsu tradition developed from there…
How To Make A Psychic Omelette
Posted by The Curator on Sat Apr 07, 2012
E.J. Gold describes himself as a "psychic cook". Or, at least, he briefly kept a blog on which he described himself in this way and offered various psychic recipes. His recipe for a psychic omelette starts off in a pretty standard way, but once the eggs have begun to harden in the frying pan, the psychic part kicks in: 8. It's at this point that you begin chanting "OM MANI PADME HUM" until the omelette has cooked to your satisfaction on the topside. Then with a deft scoop of the spatula, send the omelette into the air slightly, just enough to flip it over, and get the…
The Japanese Moon Melon
Posted by The Curator on Fri Apr 06, 2012
This picture and caption has been circulating around the internet recently: This a Moon Melon , scientifically knows as asidus. This fruit grows in some parts of Japan , and it's known for it's weird blue color. What you probably don't know about this fruit, is that it can switch flavors after you eat it. Everything sour will taste sweet, and everything salty will taste bitter, and it gives water a strong orange-like taste. This fruit is Very expensive. It costs about ￥16000 JPY (which is about 200 dollars). Unfortunately, as intriguing as the moon melon sounds, it's just the product of digital color effects.
How To Make Aquarium Cupcakes
Posted by The Curator on Thu Apr 05, 2012
Why Do You Taste Wine In Restaurants Before It’s Served?
Posted by The Curator on Tue Mar 20, 2012
The traditional explanation is that you taste the wine to make sure it's not corked, but this explanation never made a lot of sense to me. First of all, wine doesn't get corked all that often I've received corked wine maybe three times in years of eating at restaurants. Second, you could figure out it was corked after it was poured. Why the necessity to taste it first? And third, waiters go through the tasting ceremony even if it's a screwtop bottle or plastic cork, which means the wine isn't going to be corked. But I recently came across an alternative explanation in Benjamin Walker's Encyclopedia of Esoteric Man: …
That chicken you’re eating… it ain’t chicken
Posted by The Curator on Sat Mar 10, 2012
The Great Banana Smoking Hoax of 1967
Posted by The Curator on Thu Feb 23, 2012
Brooke Kroeger and Cary Abrams have an article in the Local East Village analyzing the Great Banana-Smoking Hoax of 1967 -- in which a rumor spread alleging that you could get high by smoking bananas. Or rather, get high by smoking "bananadine," created by scraping the inside of a banana peel, boiling the residue, then drying out the residue and rolling it into a joint. They try to get to the bottom of who started the rumor. One contender is the staff of the East Village Other magazine. Another theory has the singer Donovan as the instigator, through his song Mellow Yellow. Or perhaps it was the singer Country Joe.
Live Forever Juice
Posted by The Curator on Tue Oct 04, 2011
Live Forever Juice is a fake product that was created for educational purposes by FDAImports, a consulting company that specializes in advising companies how to comply with FDA regulations. The idea was to make a food product whose packaging was full of illegal claims, then walk people through why the claims are illegal. (via: The Food Watchdog). The company handed out samples of Live Forever Juice at a recent trade fair in Baltimore. They also have an accompanying website, liveforeverjuice.com, on which they have some videos that explain what kind of claims companies are legally allowed to make on the packaging of their food products, and what claims they can't…
Beware Fake Eggs From China!
Posted by The Curator on Wed Nov 25, 2009
Greg writes: Found this online - warning about fake chicken eggs, but it seems that eggs are too inexpensive to generate a profit by faking. Absolutely right. This email hoax about Chinese food counterfeiters mass producing fake eggs has been circulating for a number of years. There are posts debunking it on Boing Boing (2006), Consumerist (2007), and Hoax-Slayer (2007). What I find to be the most illogical part of the fake egg story is the claim that the counterfeiters are going…
The Snail in the Ginger Beer
Posted by The Curator on Fri Nov 20, 2009
Two weeks ago I linked to a BBC article by Clive Coleman about the case of the carbolic smoke ball. He must be doing a series on interesting legal cases, because he's back with a great article about the legal case of the snail found in ginger beer. Quick summary In 1928 May Donoghue claimed to find a snail in her bottle of ginger beer. Her complaint eventually helped bring about modern consumer protection laws in the UK. The catch: "to this day, no-one knows for sure if there ever really was a snail in May Donoghue's bottle of ginger beer." I should add this case to my list of
Posted by The Curator on Tue Nov 10, 2009
I'm a little late with this, but better late than never. From The Boston Phoenix: An odd press conference took place last week in Post Office Square as a man claiming to be an executive at a soft-drink giant touted “a new era for Coca-Cola,” in which its Dasani bottled water will be labeled “Deception.” Of course, it wasn’t actually a Coca-Cola executive or a real press conference (despite the fake journalists asking fake questions), but activist street theater perpetrated by the guerrilla prankster collective the Yes Men. The mock press conference, part of Boston-based Corporate Accountability International’s (CIA) Think Outside the Bottle…
No Flesh-Eating Robots
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jul 20, 2009
About two weeks ago, rumors began to spread online about a flesh-eating robot created by the military. The robot, named the Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot (EATR™), would be a reconnaissance droid that could survive for long periods behind enemy lines by foraging for fuel. This fuel would include virtually any kind of biomass: twigs, branches, apple cores, stray cats, or even human bodies. The robot, it turns out, is real, but the claim that it will be able to feed on human bodies is false. The companies building the robot, Cyclone Power Technologies and Robotic Technology Inc., issued a press release addressing the rumor:
Snake Head with Broccoli
Posted by The Curator on Mon May 11, 2009
The latest case of the gross things found in food scam: A man dining at TGI Friday's claimed he found a rotting snake head in his side order of broccoli. But testing has now revealed that the snake's head was never cooked and must have been placed in the broccoli at some point after the cooking process. So foul play is now suspected. The guy who found the head claims he didn't put it there, and since he isn't suing the restaurant, he may be telling the truth.
Lots of Fake Whisky
Posted by The Curator on Thu May 07, 2009
Last July I posted about how radioactive fallout can be used to authenticate art. Isotopes released into the environment from nuclear bombs provide a way of determining if a work of art dates from before or after 1945. Apparently a similar process can be used to authenticate whisky, and experts are discovering that the whisky market is flooded with fakes. Researchers at the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit say, "So far there have probably been more fakes among the samples we've tested than real examples of old whisky." [Telegraph]