The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Miscellaneous
Hippo Eats Dwarf Cover — Hippo Eats Dwarf now has a cover, thanks to the art department at Harcourt. This will almost definitely be the final cover unless (as my editor cautions) changes are made after the sales conference in October. Ideally one wants a cover that will make people curious enough to pick up the book and flip through it, and I think this does the trick. Oh, and I shouldn't forget to point out that the book can be pre-ordered on Amazon.
Posted: Wed Sep 07, 2005.   Comments (6)

Hippo Eats Dwarf Completed — On Friday I sent in the final, fully edited manuscript of Hippo Eats Dwarf to my publisher. A few small things remain for me to do. For instance, I need to write the acknowledgments page. But basically it's completed. Now the publisher needs to finish the cover art and start formatting it to look like a real book. But the book has already been listed on Amazon, which means it can now be pre-ordered. So over the next seven months I'll be bugging people to pre-order it, since the more…
Posted: Sun Sep 04, 2005.   Comments (21)

We Rank — I haven't been able to post for the past few days. I received the edited manuscript of my book back from my publisher and have been going through it and approving/making the changes they suggested. They've given me a tight deadline, so I've been working away at that. But once this is done, I'm totally finished with the book. Anyway, on a different topic, my friend Dave (who writes software) asked me to link to his new site, and I promised I would. His site is called we rank. It uses…
Posted: Wed Aug 31, 2005.   Comments (15)

Museum Entry Tickets — Here's a curious email I just received: Hallo! My name is Wojciech Krajewski. I come from Poland. I'm collecting museum entry tickets. I would be very happy if I have got in my collection ticket from Yours. I hope that my favour won't be a problem for You and that you won't leave it without answer. I give my regards to you and thank you very much. I'd really like to help this guy out. But what should I send him?
Posted: Fri Aug 12, 2005.   Comments (45)


My Biography For Sale on Amazon — I was procrastinating by typing my name in the search box at Amazon.com and seeing if anything would come up besides my book. To my surprise, a biography of myself popped up in the search results. It cost $1.50 and stated that it was 540 words long. I wasn't about to pay for it, but I told my mother about it, and she couldn't resist. So she bought the thing. The 'biography' seems to be a summary of the publicity info about me that the publisher of my first book sent out to the media…
Posted: Mon Aug 08, 2005.   Comments (10)

Vacation Photos — So I'm finally back in San Diego. I had a great vacation, but it involved a lot of driving which got tiring after a while, so it's good to be home. Here are a few of the hoax-related highlights of my trip (which started in Washington DC and ended in Minneapolis): Grovers Mill This is the one thing that I got a chance to post about (see below) while I was actually on the road, because the hotel I was staying at that night in Roxbury, NY happened to offer internet connection. But that…
Posted: Tue Jul 19, 2005.   Comments (19)

Grovers Mill, New Jersey — So I managed to finish the first draft of my book the night before I flew to Virginia to spend the 4th of July weekend with my parents. And yesterday my wife and I started off on our driving tour of the east coast. Today we arrived in Grovers Mill, New Jersey (the first stop on our 'hoax tour'), where in 1938 Martians supposedly landed, thereby launching a mass panic throughout the United States. Here I am getting out of our rented car in Grovers Mill. The first thing we went to see…
Posted: Wed Jul 06, 2005.   Comments (21)

Update About the Site and the Book — I thought I had reached a point where I was almost done with the book and would have more time to focus on the site again. Sadly, I was mistaken. It turned out that there was still a LOT left to do (clearing permissions for images, finishing a few chapters, editing, etc.). So that's why I haven't been posting much stuff lately. And I might as well admit that until July, I may not be able to post anything more because I really need to focus totally on the book. But come July, I have to…
Posted: Tue Jun 21, 2005.   Comments (33)

Cottingley Fairy Copyright Question — I have the good fortune of having a site that ranks relatively high in search engines. But this also means that I have the misfortune of easily attracting the attention of anyone out there who might object to something on my site, or who might want to claim that I'm infringing their copyright by my use of some material. So, in the past, I've had National Geographic threaten me, plus I've had complaints from the Time Travel Mutual Fund and the Human-Flavored Tofu Company (see below),…
Posted: Thu Jun 02, 2005.   Comments (44)

Wanted: Contest Ideas — A new book about hoaxes has just come out. A Treasury of Deception: Liars, Misleaders, Hoodwinkers, and the Extraordinary True Stories of History's Greatest Hoaxes, Fakes, and Frauds by Michael Farquhar. The publisher (Penguin) sent me a free copy to help promote the book--which means that we get to have another book give-away contest! The winner gets the book. However, I can't think of a good contest to have (my brain is just too tired right now). I'm inclined to do another
Posted: Wed Jun 01, 2005.   Comments (45)

I’m Back — I haven't posted for a couple of days. I was just too busy. I had to turn in something to my editor by June 1 (today), which I managed to do. So I've had a few late nights in the past week. Anyway, I now should have more time for the site again, though I'm not completely done with the book yet. I still have a few more chapters, but they're relatively easy ones.
Posted: Wed Jun 01, 2005.   Comments (18)

NPR Radio Show — Tomorrow (May 26) I'm going to be a guest on an NPR show, Odyssey, which is broadcast out of Chicago. Not that I'm going all the way to Chicago for the show. I'll be in the NPR studios in San Diego. The topic of the show will be "Falling for Hoaxes": From Piltdown Man to crop circles, history is littered with hoaxes that have grabbed headlines and fooled the public. So why do we keep falling for them? (my answer: because we're idiots!) The other guest will be a historian from UC Davis,…
Posted: Thu May 26, 2005.   Comments (11)

Light Posting Ahead — I haven't been posting as much to the site lately. That's because the deadline for turning in the manuscript for my next book is fast approaching. It's due in about two weeks, so posting in the near future will probably be even lighter. I'm finding it hard to focus on the book and the site at the same time, so the site temporarily has to go on auto-pilot. But I'm not going to disappear entirely. There will be scattered posts. I just can't promise that they'll appear regularly.
Posted: Mon May 23, 2005.   Comments (5)

Photos of the Museum of Hoaxes — Some of you have asked about the images of the Museum that appeared in the piece on CNN. They were created by Eric Schucard of Carlsbad, CA about a month ago (he was hoping I could get USA Today to run them, but no such luck). I've uploaded them so everyone can check them out. At some point (when I'm done with the book) I'll redesign my 'About the Museum' page to incorporate them.
Posted: Tue May 03, 2005.   Comments (5)

Paula Zahn Tonight — If you watch the Paula Zahn Show on CNN tonight (monday, May 2) you'll see an interesting guest: Me! They wanted someone who could blab on about hoaxes for a couple of minutes, so I fit the part. I didn't get to speak to Paula herself. In fact, I was actually looking at the wall during the entire interview while speaking to a reporter on speakerphone. It airs 8-9pm Eastern time, and 5-6pm Pacific. I think they're going to have a segment about 2 minutes long in which they're interviewing me.
Posted: Mon May 02, 2005.   Comments (30)

April Fool’s Day Effect — The site seems to be loading very slowly today, and a few people have reported not being able to access it at all. This is the beginning of the April Fool's Day effect. Traffic to the site increases and causes the performance of the site to nosedive. I'm guessing this will last until April 2nd. There's absolutely nothing I can do about it.
Posted: Thu Mar 31, 2005.   Comments (10)

Getting Ready for April Fools Day — April Fool's Day is usually the day when this site gets the most visitors. In the past this has caused the site to crash... so if nothing on the site seems to be working on April 1st, it's not me playing a prank. It's just the server melting down. Though hopefully that won't happen this year since I upgraded to a better server. April Fool's Day is also a time when this site gets some media attention (because I don't think any other site on the web has as much info about April Fools).…
Posted: Tue Mar 29, 2005.   Comments (19)

USA Today Photo Request — I just received this request from USA Today. I'm not sure how to respond to it. Any suggestions? Hello, We are doing a story on 10 great places that have fools in their name. Do you have any handout photographs of the exterior or interior of the museum? Thanks so much, Life Picture Desk USA TODAY
Posted: Mon Mar 21, 2005.   Comments (48)

Lie Detector — You may have read his posts here as Cranky Media Guy, but in real life he's also known as Bob Pagani, and he's going to be on TV in a few days. Here's the info, straight from the horse's mouth: I just got information about when the TV show I taped back in November in L.A. will air. The show is Lie Detector and it will air on March 8th at 9 PM on the Pax network. They put me through a lie detector test (as the show's name implies) and you'll see my reaction as I'm told the results of…
Posted: Thu Mar 03, 2005.   Comments (22)

Raising Money for the Foundation Fighting Blindness — The following has nothing to do with hoaxes. It's a public service announcement: UC San Diego grad student Jeff Butterworth and his girlfriend A.K. Basenberg are going to be bicycling across America this summer to help spread awareness of retinal diseases such as Retinitis Pigmentosa, Macular Degeneration, and Usher Syndrome. They'll be starting off in Yorktown, Virginia and ending up in Oregon, and they're hoping to use their journey to help raise $15,000 for the Foundation Fighting…
Posted: Thu Feb 17, 2005.   Comments (4)

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