The Hoax Museum Blog
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…
Christian Science Monitor: Historic Hoaxes
Posted by The Curator on Thu Apr 01, 2004
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.
Wired = Overloaded Server
Posted by The Curator on Wed Mar 31, 2004
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.
Museum of Hoaxes RSS Feed
Posted by The Curator on Wed Mar 24, 2004
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.
New Homepage Design
Posted by The Curator on Tue Mar 16, 2004
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 lamb (a lamb that scholars in medieval times believed grew from a plant out of the ground), and beneath this has the inscription 'Lana Ab Oculis Liberetur.' If…
April Fools Day
Posted by The Curator on Fri Mar 12, 2004
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 by The Curator on Sat Feb 21, 2004
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 willing to bring a 'hoax expert' like me on board. For strange bureaucratic reasons (the kind that seem to plague all companies), the magazine doesn't really have an…
Upgrading the Weblog
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jan 30, 2004
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 goes. If it becomes too time consuming for me to delete the spam, I may have to convert to allowing comments by registered members only. But for now I want to keep it open to all.…
Posted by The Curator on Mon Dec 08, 2003
Mental Floss and Talk of the Nation
Posted by The Curator on Mon Nov 10, 2003
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.
New Hoax Photo Tests
Posted by The Curator on Sat Nov 08, 2003
Student Seeking Help
Posted by The Curator on Thu Oct 30, 2003
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.
Talk of the Nation
Posted by The Curator on Wed Oct 29, 2003
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.