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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Miscellaneous
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)

Mental Floss and Talk of the Nation — Check out this month's issue of Mental Floss (you can find it at bookstores like Barnes & Noble, Borders, etc.). The cover article is 'History's Greatest Hoaxes Exposed," and it was written by... guess who! That's right. Me. And while I'm tooting my own horn, I might as well mention that you can also listen to the audio broadcast online of NPR's recent Talk of the Nation segment (from October 30, 2003) that featured me, yakking away about hoaxes.
Posted: Mon Nov 10, 2003.   Comments (1)

New Hoax Photo Tests — I just uploaded two new levels to the Hoax Photo Test: Levels Three, and Four. Enjoy.
Posted: Sat Nov 08, 2003.   Comments (0)

Student Seeking Help — A student from Dunwoody Highschool in Dunwoody, Georgia sent me a note through the form on my comments page asking for help with a science fair project about gullibility. Unfortunately this student didn't include their return email address, so I don't know how to contact them. So hey, if you're the student who contacted me and you're reading this, send me another email, but remember to include a return address.
Posted: Thu Oct 30, 2003.   Comments (1)

Talk of the Nation — Just found out that I'm going to be on NPR's Talk of the Nation tomorrow. They're doing something about the 1938 War of the Worlds broadcast (the 'panic broadcast') and are having me on as the hoax expert to comment. Good timing, since the paperback version of my book is also coming out this week. Hopefully it'll provide some publicity.
Posted: Wed Oct 29, 2003.   Comments (0)

San Diego Fire — Just got back from New Mexico where I had been invited to speak at a conference about "Hoaxes, Myths, and Manias." I gave a talk about Internet Hoaxes. Getting back was a nightmare. Almost all the flights into Southern California had been cancelled, but I was lucky enough to get rebooked onto a small propeller plane that was flying into the tiny Carlsbad airport. Flew right over the fires, which was an eerie sight... a thin line of flame stretching from horizon to horizon. Here and…
Posted: Mon Oct 27, 2003.   Comments (0)

More about Google Ads — Just added Google Ads to the home page of the site (see to the right), and it looks like the Google computer is inferring from the fact that I had one entry referring to identical twins amputating body parts that visitors to my site might be interested in ads about amputation services and DNA testing. How weird. But at least these ads are a lot more interesting than the generic kind of ads for credit cards and mutual funds that are plastered over most of the internet.
Posted: Sun Sep 14, 2003.   Comments (0)

Google Ads — I've just signed up with Google Ads to have them place ads on my website, thus ending my long-standing principled stance against cluttering up my site with advertising. Since it's costing me $50 a month to pay for the bandwidth for the site, I figure that I need to make an effort to recoup those costs somehow. Plus, the Google Ads, being only text, are relatively unobtrusive. And finally, the Google computer tailors the ads to the content of each page, so that the ads aren't totally…
Posted: Fri Sep 12, 2003.   Comments (0)

When I do not know if it is a hoax or not — A frustrated visitor asks: "If you don't know whether it's real, or a hoax, then why in the world did you include it on this site of 'hoaxes'!" I assume they were referring to those pictures of the skinny models. Well, as vast as my knowledge is (note: sarcasm intended), sometimes I just don't know whether the weird things that pop up on the news or on the internet are real or false. But when I list things here, usually someone will write in with info that'll point the way towards the…
Posted: Tue Aug 12, 2003.   Comments (0)

Hoaxes, Myths, and Manias — Benjamin Radford and Robert Bartholomew have a book out that should be of interest to those interested in hoax stuff. It's titled Hoaxes, Myths, and Manias: Why We Need Critical Thinking. I haven't got my hands on a copy yet, but here's a review of it from Psychology Today.
Posted: Fri May 30, 2003.   Comments (0)

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