The Hoax Museum Blog
Too Much Spam
Posted by The Curator on Sat Nov 06, 2004
I've got to say: spammers really suck. My site is being aggressively comment spammed. Hundreds of comments inviting people to check out 'interesting' information about personal finance credit reports, etc. are appearing on posts throughout my site. Most of it is being left on older entries, where I guess the spammer figures I won't notice it. The spam seems to be coming from a wide variety of different servers throughout Europe, which makes it impossible for me to effectively IP ban it. As a consequence I've been wasting a lot of time deleting it all. An increasingly large amount of time every day. I've finally decided that enough is enough. The spammer has won, in the…
Posted by The Curator on Thu Oct 21, 2004
The exterminator came today and got rid of the bees in my wall. The good news is that the bee hive turned out to be nowhere near as big as he had first estimated when he examined my wall last week. I think it only clocked in at around 30lb. The bad news is that it was nowhere near as big as he estimated (since I was secretly hoping to be able to brag about a 300lb honeycomb in my wall). Here's a photo I snapped of part of what he removed. There was more in the wall above, from which this large piece had detached itself.
Posted by The Curator on Mon Oct 18, 2004
I didn't get around to posting for the last couple of days because a major situation developed in my house. We discovered that an entire wall in our guest room is home to a colony of bees. What a nightmare. I thought (hoped) it was some kind of hoax at first, because I didn't know that bees will build hives inside of walls. But sadly, it's very real. I spent the last two days moving furniture around, getting everything ready for the exterminator to come next week. But as much as it sucks to discover these uninvited guests in my house, I'm dying of curiosity to see what the hive looks like…
Book Contest Winners
Posted by The Curator on Sun Oct 10, 2004
The book contest has now been running for a week, and I got a lot of great responses. It was pretty tough making a decision (and any choice like this is bound to be somewhat random), but I finally opted to award a book to 'Redmond' for his account of the brownies with the secret added ingredient that turns urine blue. I'm also giving a book to Quentin Smith for his description of how they filled a school administrator's office from floor to ceiling with shredded paper (in order to give him a little more paperwork). The photographic evidence of the prank being pulled was great. So thanks to everyone for contributing their stories, and if you…
Win a Free Book
Posted by The Curator on Sun Oct 03, 2004
One of the great things about having a website is that occasionally people send me free stuff, out of the blue. For instance, a British publisher named Harriman House sent me three copies of The Life & Death of Rochester Sneath by Humphry Berkeley. Since I don't have a use for three copies of the book, I've decided to give the two extra copies away. But first, what is the book about? It documents a classic British public school hoax from the 1940s. Headmasters at elite British public schools such as Eton and Rugby began receiving letters from H. Rochester Sneath who described himself as a…
Posted by The Curator on Sun Sep 26, 2004
I've finally made it back to San Diego. The vacation was great, but it's good to be back home. I'm also glad to see that the site wasn't completely overrun by spammers in my absence. Here's a few snapshots from the trip: Posing with Nessie in Drumnadrochit. The relatives I was staying with in Gloucester had a weird, mutant goldfish swimming around in their backyard pond. I dubbed it Nessie. Later we learned that the poor fish was suffering from dropsy and had to be put down before…
Loch Ness Monster Seen?
Posted by The Curator on Wed Sep 15, 2004
I'm posting this message from Paris, France. So far I've been finding it very hard to get onto the internet, but when I turned on my laptop in my hotel room I discovered that someone nearby is running an open wireless network (it's definitely not the hotel... I think it's the cafe on the corner). Anyway, when I visited Loch Ness a few days ago I didn't think I had seen the monster, until I later examined the pictures I had taken. Then I noticed this mysterious object on the Loch that I didn't see while taking the picture. Perhaps it's just a small boat... or perhaps it's Nessie. Hmmm.
Posted by The Curator on Wed Sep 08, 2004
I'm off to Europe for a two-week vacation, so don't expect that much in the way of posts during that time, though I'll be trying to check in from time to time. The itinerary is Loch Ness, Liverpool, Gloucester, Paris, Southampton, Canvey Island, and finishing up in York. So I'll be moving around quite a bit. Speaking of Loch Ness, I've haven't seen any word on how the Virgin sacrifice at the Loch went off. I'll try to find out when I'm there.
An Email from National Geographic
Posted by The Curator on Tue Aug 31, 2004
Any copyright lawyers out there willing to offer some free advice? I just received the following email from National Geographic (I'm sensing a bad trend developing here with emails like this... first the time travel mutual fund, and now Nat Geo): One of our readers has informed us that you are featuring one of our photographs on your website at http://hoaxes.org/weblog/2003/10/ [note: here's a more direct link]. We would ask that you either remove the photo immediately, or forward me details of how long the image has been posted and how long you intend to keep it posted so that we can determine an appropriate licensing…
Posted by The Curator on Mon Aug 23, 2004
Here's an interesting comment that was just added to my entry posted back in June about Eric Bruderton (that guerrilla marketing campaign involving mysterious video footage of a group of armed men being attacked by unseen assailants in a country like Afghanistan): I'm a reporter for the business radio show Marketplace, heard around the country on NPR. I'm working on a story about the advertizing campaign for The September Tapes. If you have strong opinions about the ad campaign, I'd like to chat. And perhaps do a short telephone interview. I can be reached at [see the comment for the email]. Thanks Jeff…
Hoax Forum RSS Feed
Posted by The Curator on Thu Aug 19, 2004
NYTimes Photo Shoot Outtakes
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jul 30, 2004
After whining about the vacuum cleaner being visible in the picture of me that appeared in the NY Times yesterday, I got an apologetic note from the photographer, Alan Decker, which made me feel bad. The presence of the vacuum cleaner was, of course, my fault, since I was supposed to move it before he arrived. Anyway, as Alan pointed out, in the other pictures he took (a few of which he just sent me) you really couldn't see it... except in this one puzzling shot. And here I am in my 'Buy Dehydrated Water' t-shirt. On another, more serious…
New York Times Story
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jul 29, 2004
This is going to be an egocentric post, because it's about me. I got my picture in the New York Times today. So does that mean I'm famous? Can I walk into an expensive restaurant now and get a table right away? I'm not betting on it. I'm featured in an article by Daniel Terdiman about hoax weblogs. Not that I've ever created a hoax weblog, but I do write about them. My friend Odin Soli, who created the Plain Layne hoax, also got his picture in there (Odin and I studied American History together in Grad School at UC San Diego). That animal on the left side…
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jul 06, 2004
I've been visiting family in Virginia this week, so posting has been pretty light... and will continue to be light until July 11th. Just in case anyone was wondering. That thumbnail there shows part of the Chesapeake Bay visible from my parents' front lawn. It's a lot nicer than the view of a busy road that you get from my house in San Diego (even though I much prefer San Diego weather).
Overhauled the Site
Posted by The Curator on Sat Apr 24, 2004
I just updated the blogging software that the site runs on. I've been working on this the past few days (that's why I haven't posted much). I'm sure there are some bugs in it, but hopefully I'll iron them out over the weekend. I moved from pMachine to Expression Engine (which is actually a revamped edition of pMachine). Unfortunately this means that many of the links on the site have changed. For instance, if you read this site through an RSS reader, you'll have to resubscribe using the new RSS links (see the sidebar for the links). But the new software has an atom feed also, so that's an advantage. Plus, the new software has a lot of other bells…