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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Miscellaneous
Book Contest Winners — 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…
Posted: Sun Oct 10, 2004.   Comments (2)

Win a Free Book — 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…
Posted: Sun Oct 03, 2004.   Comments (38)

Back Home — 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…
Posted: Sun Sep 26, 2004.   Comments (19)

Loch Ness Monster Seen? — 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…
Posted: Wed Sep 15, 2004.   Comments (56)


Vacation Time — 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.
Posted: Wed Sep 08, 2004.   Comments (14)

An Email from National Geographic — 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…
Posted: Tue Aug 31, 2004.   Comments (57)

Reporter Request — 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,…
Posted: Mon Aug 23, 2004.   Comments (3)

Hoax Forum RSS Feed — I've now enabled the Hoax Forum message board with an RSS Feed. It'll send every new topic posted there straight to your RSS reader. Enjoy.
Posted: Thu Aug 19, 2004.   Comments (1)

NYTimes Photo Shoot Outtakes — 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
Posted: Fri Jul 30, 2004.   Comments (4)

New York Times Story — 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…
Posted: Thu Jul 29, 2004.   Comments (11)

Site Update — 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).
Posted: Tue Jul 06, 2004.   Comments (5)

Overhauled the Site — 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…
Posted: Sat Apr 24, 2004.   Comments (0)

Christian Science Monitor: Historic Hoaxes — If it weren't for the inconvenient fact that no one has a clue who I am, I'd almost feel famous, because I was interviewed not only by Wired, but also by the Christian Science Monitor, for this article. My mother always says that she could have had a son who was a doctor or a lawyer, but instead she gets a son who's a hoax expert. Well, it may not pay much, but at least I get interviewed a lot once a year, every April 1st.
Posted: Thu Apr 01, 2004.   Comments (1)

Wired = Overloaded Server — Wired published an article about net hoaxes today, for which I was interviewed. The increased traffic it brought promptly melted down my web host's servers, which has been causing quite a headache for me. But regardless, it's nice to get the visitors. Perhaps a few of them were even able to view some of the site's content.
Posted: Wed Mar 31, 2004.   Comments (1)

Museum of Hoaxes RSS Feed — I've finally gotten my act together to enable the RSS Feed that comes built into the software that I use to run this site. So if you use an RSS reader to scan blogs every day, you can now add the Museum of Hoaxes to your subscription list. The RSS Feed is here. I'll also add a button in the navigation bar on the right.
Posted: Wed Mar 24, 2004.   Comments (1)

New Homepage Design — Anyone who visits here regularly will notice that I've changed the design of the homepage. I do this fairly often, never being very satisfied with my layout skills. I thought the last design was a little too busy, and some of the images were using up too much bandwidth. So my goal this time was to make the page more minimalist and get rid of the bandwidth-hogging images. I also created a new seal for the Museum of Hoaxes (visible at the right of the banner above). It shows a vegetable…
Posted: Tue Mar 16, 2004.   Comments (1)

April Fools Day — Because April Fool's Day is fast approaching, I revamped my list of the top 100 April Fool's Day hoaxes of all time. I juggled around the top ten a bit to better reflect the popular favorites. Most significantly, I added Sweden's 1962 classic 'Instant Color TV' hoax into the list, placing it at number three. Plus, by using pMachine I added the capability for readers to add comments to any one of the April Fools.
Posted: Fri Mar 12, 2004.   Comments (0)

Muse Magazine — This week I started a new job as contributing editor to Muse Magazine. It's a magazine for young teenagers (9-14 years old) about science, history, and the arts, but I don't think that description quite captures its quirky nature. It runs articles on everything from 'Weird tales of the subway' to 'Could you live forever' (which is in the current issue). Its mascot is a trickster named Kokopelli (from Native American mythology) who loves to play pranks, which might explain why they were…
Posted: Sat Feb 21, 2004.   Comments (5)

Upgrading the Weblog — I've finally taken the plunge and upgraded this weblog to a 'real' weblog, complete with permalinks, categories, and the ability to add comments. I'm using pMachine to achieve all this. I'm a little wary of letting people add comments, having encountered huge amounts of comment spam when I previously had a guestbook (especially, as I noted somewhere else, from 'cruddy german hotels'... I still can't figure out why they, in particular, turned out to be such a plague). But I'll see how it…
Posted: Fri Jan 30, 2004.   Comments (6)

Fame — I'm famous! Catherine Tapia wrote a piece about me for a local publication named San Diego City Beat. She pegs me as a "compulsive collector of weird information and web-surfing addict," which is exactly right.
Posted: Mon Dec 08, 2003.   Comments (0)

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