The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Miscellaneous
Error when logging in
Posted by The Curator on Mon Sep 08, 2014
People were reporting that when they tried to log in to the site, they received an error message. Although the login actually did work, despite the message. So I finally had the blog software people look into it, and they fiddled with some things, and it now seems to be working as it should. But if you're a site member, try logging in just to check that it works. If you still get the error message, let me know!
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Hoaxes.org
Posted by The Curator on Fri Aug 22, 2014
Welcome to hoaxes.org, the museum's new domain name.

As far as I can tell, the museum appears to have survived its move in one piece. It seems that the old URLs are being successfully redirected to the new domain. However, I haven't yet tested if things such as RSS or member logins all work correctly.

I have to say, the transition, just to get to this point, wasn't easy. I spent the last two days banging my head against my desk, trying to master the byzantine complexities of apache, .htaccess pages, and so-called 'regular expressions' (i.e. apache server code gobbledygook), in order to get the redirect to work correctly.

The biggest problem was that I'm an absolute beginner at apache server code. But also, the blogging software I use and the way it was initially installed (in a subfolder) created some challenging special circumstances that I needed to figure out how to code around.

Unfortunately, the coding challenge isn't entirely over yet. Right now, the old server is sending all requests for museumofhoaxes URLs over to the new hoaxes.org server. But soon I need to have the museumofhoaxes domain name point directly at the new server, and this will require slightly different code in order have the redirect work. If this doesn't make any sense to you, don't worry. It wouldn't have made any sense to me either a few days ago.

I'm thinking of trying to find a programming student at UCSD who I can pay a few bucks to help me with this next step of the coding. Because I'm not sure I can figure it out on my own. Or rather, I don't really want to spend the time figuring it out, when someone who knows what they're doing could code it in seconds.

But if anyone out there knows apache and would be willing to give some free advice, let me know. I'd be forever grateful!

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The Museum of Hoaxes is Moving!
Posted by The Curator on Tue Aug 19, 2014
We're moving to a new server, because our old webhost is shutting down.

And I decided to use this opportunity to also change the URL of the site, from museumofhoaxes.com to hoaxes.org. Why? Just because it's shorter and easier to spell. (Over the years I've seen 'museum' misspelled in just about every bizarre way imaginable.)

Of course, all the old museumofhoaxes URLs will continue to work (fingers crossed). People will just be redirected automatically to the corresponding URL on hoaxes.org.

I was going to change the URL to hoaxes.com, which is available for purchase, but the guy who currently owns it wanted a ridiculously large amount of money for it, which put an end to that plan. Hoaxes.org, by contrast, was quite affordable. Plus, I figure that the museum is legitimately an organization, not a business. So it makes sense for it to have a .org suffix.

The migration process from the old to the new server has already begun — which means that anything posted here from now on has MISSED THE MIGRATION! It'll be deleted when I delete these old server files and hit the "automatic redirect" switch. So don't post any comments or forum posts until the site is live at the new URL, which should be in two or three days (because it takes some time for URLs to get processed through name servers, etc.). Or post them, but realize that they'll soon disappear.

See you all at the new server and new URL.

-Alex
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Great Hoaxes in the AARP
Posted by The Curator on Thu Apr 24, 2014
My mother noticed that the AARP Bulletin had a short feature about "Great Hoaxes," so she sent it to me. It's a somewhat random selection of six hoaxes, but that's no surprise. These short list-type features in magazines often seem like they choose things to list at random. The six hoaxes are: Left-Handed Whopper (1998) -- Pierre Brassau, Monkey Artist (1964) -- The Hitler Diaries (1983) -- The Masked Marauders (1969) - wikipedia link -- Sidd Finch (1985) -- The Autobiography of Howard Hughes
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Hoax Museum Makeover
Posted by The Curator on Wed Apr 09, 2014
Every few years I decide the site needs a makeover. And recently I felt that feeling growing within me, so that's what I've been doing for the past few days. The primary change has been to provide only summaries of the blog posts on the front page, rather than the posts in their entirety. This makes it easier to see what's been posted recently. I decided this was the way to go after realizing that a lot of visitors to the site would look only at the top post and miss all the posts below it. I also centered the entire site in the browser window, rather than having it hug…
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Real Simple Magazine
Posted by The Curator on Wed Sep 18, 2013
The Museum of Hoaxes got a nice little write-up in this month's issue of Real Simple magazine. I think they mentioned the "paranormal stuff" on the site (which, honestly, there isn't a huge amount of) because it's the October issue, and they were trying to tie it in with Halloween.
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Hello, this is KBS 2TV (Sunday 08:10) quizshow program in South Korea named ' 퀴즈쇼 사총사'. We have made a couple of questions about the world's hoaxes and before we use this questions on the real show, we'd like to check whether this information is correct or not. We hope this page 'museum of hoaxes' can help us. We've made two questions below. Every November, there is a unique contest named 'Biggest Liar in the World Competition' in England. This competition picks a man who lies best in limited 5 minutes. Except, they keep people who have 'this job' from participating this competition. What is this job? (1) Lawyer (2)…
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Attention NYC Residents—Something to do on Feb. 23
Posted by The Curator on Sun Feb 17, 2013
I'm passing along a message from longtime friend of the Museum, Bob Pagani: A few weeks ago, I was invited by the Maccarone Gallery in NYC to come and talk about my friendship with Andy Kaufman as part of a celebration of Andy's life and work. I invited Alan Abel to stop by. He did and the two of us spent several hours talking to gallery visitors about Andy (I am the one who introduced Alan to Andy) and our experiences in the Wonderful World of Media Hoaxing. Here's a link to a NY Times story about the exhibit: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/09/arts/design/creating-reality-by-andy-kaufman-at-maccarone.html?_r=0 The curator of the exhibit liked us so…
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Looking for eye squirters
Posted by The Curator on Fri Feb 08, 2013
I assume this email was sent to me because buried in the Museum's blog there's a post about eye squirting. So I'm passing it along to you all, in case anyone is interested: Hi! I'm the Casting Producer for a new television show with Talpa Media, the creators of "The Voice." We're bringing our Dutch hit, "Challenge Me" to the states and we’re looking for people who have the ability to squirt milk from their eye. If chosen to be on the show, you'll have the opportunity win thousands of dollars AND gain national exposure for using the talents you already have! Please contact me ASAP for more details.…
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Hoax Archive Makeover
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jan 25, 2013
My New Years' resolution was to start posting regularly again here, since it makes me feel sad and guilty when I neglect the hoax museum. It's just too easy, when other things demand my attention, to fail to look after the site, given that there's no boss (except my conscience) to tell me to get back to work. Now I didn't post any updates for the first 24 days of the year, so it may seem like I already broke my resolution. But not quite. I took the time to give the Hoax Archive a big makeover, which was sorely needed, though it turned out to be a lot more work than I had anticipated. Since…
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Balloon Boy Trading Card
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jul 26, 2012
Back in June 2011, Richard Heene, of Balloon Boy fame, tried to sell the balloon he had used in his hoax. He hoped to get $1 million for it, but ultimately had to settle for $2500. But the guy who bought it from Heene resold part of the balloon to the Topps trading card company, which has cut up the balloon into small pieces and glued them on to Balloon Boy trading cards. (link: Yahoo! Sports) It's part of a "used memorabilia" line of cards, but would also make a nice addition to their line of Great Hoaxes Trading Cards, released in 2009. Since I'm a sucker for any…
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Why Am I Still Getting Emails About Midget Rentals?
Posted by The Curator on Mon Mar 12, 2012
Apparently it's true that the internet never forgets. Seven years ago I posted about a company claiming to rent midgets for parties. In that post I didn't say I was renting midgets. I simply said there was a business claiming to rent them. In fact, I thought the idea sounded so odd that I had some doubts about whether the business was real. (And I probably shouldn't use the term 'midget.' I think 'little person' is now the preferred term.) Anyway, soon after making that post, I started getting email queries from people interested in renting little people. In 2008 I first noted I was getting these strange emails, and I'm still getting them today,…
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A real-life Museum of Hoaxes
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jan 18, 2012
The Irish Times describes a real-life Museum of Hoaxes -- the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature in Paris: As chief curator Claude d'Anthenaise explains, it's an experimental museum that likes to baffle the visitor. "I wanted to create a museum where the visitor would feel constantly disconcerted and lose his bearings – just like someone walking in nature," he says. "In a wild setting, you're confronted with all sorts of things you don't understand. You're not on your own territory." So "totally insignificant, even repulsive" objects have been…
Categories: Education, Miscellaneous Comments (0)
Old Fulton NY Post Cards
Posted by The Curator on Mon Dec 19, 2011
There are some odd things about the Old Fulton NY Post Cards site. First of all, despite the name, it has nothing to do with old postcards. Second, it's full of strange animations. A goldfish floats around the screen, and there's a head with spider legs that crawls about. There are sounds (such as a cannon and fireworks) that play at random moments, and you can't turn them off. But these odd things are just the wrapping around the true content of the site, which is 17 million pages of scanned, fully searchable pages of old New York state newspapers. All completely free. There aren't even any ads. If you like doing historical research, it's a…
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Cardiff Giant in Perth
Posted by The Curator on Fri Dec 16, 2011
Here are some pictures, courtesy of Nettie and Smerk, of the Cardiff Giant enjoying the sights in Perth. (Nettie sent me the pictures about three weeks ago, but Thanksgiving and the moon hoax distracted me. At least, that's the excuse for my slowness that I'm going with.) So where should the Cardiff Giant go next? Any volunteers to…
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All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.