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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Health/Medicine
Liquid Oxygen Skin Cream
Posted by The Curator on Fri Sep 09, 2005
New Scientist has flagged a product whose promoters are guilty of making a few misleading claims. It's Neaclear facial cream, and it's advertised as containing a "powerful combination of liquid oxygen, vitamins C & E, sage, chamomile, seaweed and rosemary, coconut oil, sweet almond oil and hydroquinone." The company even boasts that they're the first company "to combine stabilised liquid oxygen into all of its products." New Scientist notes that "We have certainly never heard of a skin cream that contains liquid oxygen, the temperature of which is normally somewhere below -183 °C."
Woman Claims to Have Diana’s Kidney
Posted by The Curator on Thu May 26, 2005
A French woman, Francoise Gaellar, had a kidney transplant two days after Princess Diana died in a car crash. She believes that she received Diana's kidney. As a consequence, she now feels urges to speak in English: "I found myself speaking English to my friends, something I don't normally do because I have no reason to," she says. "I cannot explain why I did this." Is this evidence of a fanciful nature, or an indication she had indeed received an organ from an English-speaker? Improbable though it sounds, there are many documented accounts of organ recipients taking on characteristics of their donors. The French authorities aren't allowed to say who people…
Categories: Death, Health/Medicine Comments (20)
Hidden Dangers
Posted by The Curator on Sun Mar 27, 2005
The website of the British firm Health and Safety Management Consultants offers a list of 'hidden dangers'. For instance, did you know that 10,700 people in the UK are injured every year while putting their socks on? That two women have been killed by lightning hitting the underwiring of their bras? That more people are injured by flowerpots every year than by hedge trimmers? And that "the number of injuries inflicted by vegetables remains unacceptably high, at 13,132"? Most of these statistics seem to come from the Home and Leisure Accident Statistics Report produced by the Royal Sciety for the Prevention of Accidents. So they're probably fairly credible. But obviously the figures don't give any indication…
Categories: Health/Medicine Comments (13)
The Rumor About LiveStrong Bracelets
Posted by The Curator on Mon Mar 14, 2005
A lot of people lately are wearing those yellow LiveStrong bracelets that help support the Lance Armstrong Foundation's efforts to fund cancer research. But the rumor going around is that if you do wear one of them, you better hope that you don't get into an accident and end up at the hospital, because the bracelets look exactly like the yellow wristbands that hospitals place on 'Do Not Resuscitate' patients. Apparently there is some truth to the rumor. Some hospitals do place yellow wristbands on DNR patients. However no one has ever been left to die because of a mix-up involving a LiveStrong bracelet and…
Categories: Health/Medicine Comments (20)
Cure The Catch
Posted by The Curator on Mon Feb 28, 2005
I received this email from 'Kurto': i have been a frequent visitor of your site for some time now. Recently this bombardment of advertisements about "The Catch" has been bothering me. The ad's contain figures stating million of Canadians have the Catch, and there's no cure. I'm curious to what exactly they're referring to. The website they encourage people to visit is http://curethecatch.com i have doubts to the validity of this so called disease. See if you can dig up any dirt on this. A little googling reveals that 'The Catch' is a new viral ad campaign dreamed up to promote Virgin Mobile pre-paid phones: Virgin has started…
Magnehance
Posted by The Curator on Thu Feb 17, 2005
Dakota Therapeutics has issued a press release announcing their exciting new product: the Magnehance. It's "a new magnetic device for erectile enhancement." The mind boggles. I don't quite understand how this thing is supposed to be worn, and (perhaps thankfully) they don't offer any illustrations on their website. But the amount of pseudo-scientific jargon they deploy is quite remarkable: the Magnehance™ is constructed of a super-flexible form of the high-energy, rare earth magnet known as neodymium iron boron, which is used extensively in magnetic therapy. Wow. The only thing that would top that is if it were made of 'patented IonXR nanoceramics technology' (but no, that's a different…
Carrot Fungus: It’ll Either Kill You or Cure Cancer
Posted by The Curator on Fri Feb 11, 2005
Andy sent me an email pointing out this curious article about an anti-cancer compound found in carrots. It's probably some kind of typo or poor choice of words, but if you read the first and last sentences together it sure sounds like this carrot cure is going to kill you before it has a chance to kill the cancer: Eating 400kg of carrot every day can help ward off cancer, scientists say. The recent study carried out by scientists at the University of Newcastle said a compound called Falcarinol found in carrot reduced the risk of cancer developing in rats by a third.... Falcarinol protects carrots from fungal diseases, such as liquorice rot that…
Categories: Food, Health/Medicine Comments (10)
Morgellons Disease: Is It Real?
Posted by The Curator on Fri Feb 11, 2005
Sufferers of Morgellons disease complain of invisible parasites biting their skin. And they get skin lesions from which sprout strange fibers. And mysterious black spore-like specks appear on their skin. Cases of this strange disease seem to be spreading, especially in the Bay area. One theory is that it has something to do with Lyme disease. Or it may be a case of mass delusion. The medical community seems to think it's mass delusion. Most people who show up complaining of these symptoms get diagnosed with 'delusional parasitosis', which is a psychological problem in which people imagine that they're infested by…
Categories: Health/Medicine, Psychology Comments (607)
Knuckle Cracking
Posted by The Curator on Wed Feb 02, 2005
I'm not a knuckle cracker myself. In fact, I hate it when people crack their knuckles. And I've frequently told people that cracking their knuckles would cause arthritis. After all, that's what everyone says. But according to this NY Times article (republished in the Arizona Republic) it's not true. It's an urban legend. Just reading this description of what causes knuckles to crack makes me cringe: The loud pop of a cracked knuckle is caused by synovial fluid, the thick lubricant that surrounds every joint. When the fingers are stretched or bent backward, the bones of the joint pull apart. This creates bubbles of air in the fluid, which subsequently burst. But as for…
Auto-Urine Therapy
Posted by The Curator on Sat Dec 18, 2004
The About.com urban legends forum has a thread going about auto-urine therapy, which translates into 'drinking your own urine'. Is there really a thriving urine-drinking subculture? Well, yes. As the poster points out, all you have to do is google 'drinking your own urine' and you get all kinds of hits. The reason urine-drinking has so many fans is that it's supposed to offer numerous health benefits, including improving the immune system, giving you nice skin, acting great as a gargle if you have gum disease, and having very powerful anti-aging properties. I think I've mentioned before somewhere on my site that I have personal experience with this urine-drinking subculture. NOT that I've ever drunk the stuff myself…
Categories: Food, Health/Medicine Comments (72)
Top 15 Most Bizarre Reasons for Calling in Sick
Posted by The Curator on Wed Oct 20, 2004
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 sick day: "I was sprayed by a skunk." "I tripped over my dog and was knocked unconscious." "My bus broke down and was held…
Prozac in the Water?
Posted by The Curator on Tue Aug 17, 2004
A week or so ago reports that trace amounts of Prozac had been found in the UK's drinking water got a lot of coverage in the blogosphere. No wonder. The idea that Prozac poppers were excreting the drug into the sewers and thereby contributing to the mass medication of the entire population was creepy, to say the least. But it turns out the reports aren't quite true. It's more a case of something that theoretically could happen, rather than something that actually is happening. In a follow-up report the Guardian notes that the Environment Agency, to which the prozac-in-the-water report was originally attributed, now says that it never studied the issue, and the Drinking Water Inspectorate…
Categories: Food, Health/Medicine Comments (6)
The Human Magnet
Posted by The Curator on Mon Aug 16, 2004
Malaysian farmer Tan Kok Thai claims that he's a human magnet. Anything will stick to him including plastic bottles, bananas, biscuits, books, remote controls, knives, tubes of toothpaste, and rocks. The pictures of him showing off of his ability are quite amusing, especially this one of him with a giant boulder stuck to his chest. It looks to me as if he's leaning quite far back, which alone could explain why the objects aren't falling to the ground. Friction could explain the rest of this mysterious phenomenon. But those are the boring explanations. I'm sure Tan Kok Thai is having far more fun by chalking it up to…
Butt Candles
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jul 28, 2004
Ear Candling is an ancient home remedy in which wax and other impurities are supposedly drawn out of a person's ear canal by sticking a burning hollow candle in their ear. The theory is that the hollow candle creates a vacuum that sucks everything out. Butt Candling, by extension, is the same procedure, only with the candle placed... well, you can guess where it's placed. As the ButtCandle site (which is safe for work) puts it: "In length and diameter, [the butt candle is] similiar to common candles. However, a hollow channel is cut from bottom to top which causes air to be drawn from the base…
Categories: Health/Medicine, Websites Comments (19)
Faking AIDS
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jul 22, 2004
Perhaps the worst possible pick-up line has to be 'I've got AIDS!' Especially if you don't actually have AIDS. Yet apparently many young men in Malawi are boasting that they have the disease, even though they're uninfected. They think having AIDS is a sign of sexual prowess. Kind of sad, really. I was especially interested in this story because my sister has been living in Malawi for the past year, helping design an AIDS education program there. I'm planning to visit her there next year, if I can scrape together the money for the outrageously expensive airfare. This year I chose Loch Ness over Malawi (I'll be searching for Nessie in September).
Categories: Health/Medicine Comments (4)
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