The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Miscellaneous
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)

Back Again… — Looks like the site is back... at last. I'm definitely not going to change servers again in a hurry. Uploading files, checking folder permissions, and trying to understand how to get a mysql database to do what I want it to do is not my idea of fun. Anyway, everything on the site seems to be functioning, except for the forum. Go figure. Something had to break during the move. The pages for each individual topic in the forum are working, but the main page for the forum itself won't load.…
Posted: Mon Jan 24, 2005.   Comments (9)

Museum of Hoaxes is Moving — The Museum of Hoaxes will soon be moving to a new home at a different web hosting company (pMachine hosting). This may cause a slight disruption in service (fewer posts) over the following week as I make the switch. At the very least it might mean that the site will temporarily be at a new url (one of those urls that are just a string of numbers) until the internet domain name servers reassign museumofhoaxes.com to the new web host. The reason for the move is that over the past few…
Posted: Sun Jan 23, 2005.   Comments (10)

My Strangest Gift — Merry Christmas to everyone who celebrates it. I'm not at home this Christmas. Instead I'm in Phoenix, Arizona. So having now received (I think) almost all of my gifts, I'd have to say that the strangest one I got this year was Elephant Dung Paper from Malawi. It says on the info that comes with the paper that "The elephant dung is first collected from Liwonde National Park and then beaten and mixed with recycled waste paper to produce the pulp from which it is made." It actually looks…
Posted: Sat Dec 25, 2004.   Comments (12)

The Top Hoaxes of 2004 — I've created a year-end list of the top hoaxes of 2004. Actually, I've chosen ten hoaxes that I think might be worthy of making the list (my basic criteria was the hoaxes that received the most media and public attention), but I haven't ranked them yet. Instead, I'm opening it up to voting. I think that's a more democratic way of doing it. Check out the list and vote here.
Posted: Sun Dec 19, 2004.   Comments (0)

Praise from the Guardian — There was a very nice blurb in today's issue of The Guardian about the Museum of Hoaxes. Does this mean I can now tell my mother that I'm famous?
Posted: Mon Dec 06, 2004.   Comments (10)

UK Paperback Edition — The UK publisher of the Museum of Hoaxes just sent me a picture of what the paperback edition of the book will look like when it comes out over there (click image for a larger version). It looks quite colorful and fun. But I'm especially proud of the fact that it has a picture of Hamster Viagra right at the top of it. Nothing says quality non-fiction quite like Hamster Viagra. As for why the UK edition says 'edited by Alex Boese' instead of just 'by Alex Boese,' I have no idea. I'm…
Posted: Sun Nov 28, 2004.   Comments (14)

Notify of New Comments — It was pointed out to me that once people register as a member the 'notify of new comments' button suddenly becomes selected by default whenever they post a comment. That's a little annoying. I've managed to change this for people who register in the future, so that it won't be selected by default. But for existing members, if you don't want that option selected by default, you're going to need to change it yourself in your individual member preferences (you may not have realized there…
Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2004.   Comments (1)

Which Urban Legend Are You? — Here's a cute little quiz to waste five minutes of your life on: Which urban legend are you? I'm the classic tale of the gator in the sewer (because everyone knows I'm full of crap, but they keep talking about me anyway).
Posted: Tue Nov 23, 2004.   Comments (19)

The Haiku of Big Gary C — I've finally made a decision in the urban legend haiku contest. It was tough, because there were so many good entries, but I've decided to give the book to Big Gary C, based on the consistently high quality of his entries. He clearly has a knack for urban legend haiku. Here are a few of his entries: (Ten English Names for Snow) Flakes, drifts, flurries, slush, Blizzard, powder, crust, white stuff, whiteout, ice crystals. We brought our cute pet Back from our Mexican tour. …
Posted: Mon Nov 22, 2004.   Comments (7)

How to Order Comments — A couple of days ago someone mentioned that the comments would be easier to read if they were in chronological order, so that you wouldn't need to go to the bottom of the page to view the start of a discussion. I hadn't thought much about it before, but this seemed logical to me, so I reconfigured the comments to appear in chronological order. But now Razela has noted that the old way, when they were in reverse chronological order, it was easier to see the newest comments. Which is…
Posted: Wed Nov 17, 2004.   Comments (14)

Win A Book, Contest #2 — I've received a free copy of David Wilton's new book, Word Myths: Debunking Linguistic Urban Legends, courtesy of Oxford University Press. So I'm having a contest to give it away. The book has just been published. I'm not sure it's even out in stores yet, but you can get a copy here... if you win the contest. First, what's the book about? Wilton debunks all those stories about where words come from, such as 'is GOLF really an acronym for Gentlemen Only, Ladies Forbidden?' or 'does…
Posted: Fri Nov 12, 2004.   Comments (143)

New Anti-Spam Feature — About five days after I decided to have non-member comments be moderated, I've changed my mind. From now on there will be no moderation (it was a pain for me to do, plus it disrupted the spontaneity of comments). Instead, I've put in place a high-tech anti-spam feature in which people who submit comments have to first type in a word displayed in a box. Members won't have to do this. Hopefully the spammers won't be willing to do this. If they do it'll be a complete waste of their time…
Posted: Thu Nov 11, 2004.   Comments (6)

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