The Hoax Museum Blog
Posted by The Curator on Thu May 21, 2009
I periodically get bored with how the site looks and decide it needs to be overhauled. That's the kind of mood I was in today, so I redesigned the blog. I'm not sure if the new look is better or worse than the old one, but it is different, which is the important thing. (I haven't yet changed the comments or permalink pages, so if you're nostalgic for the old look, you can see it there, for now.) In another year or two I'll probably get bored of this look and change it again. More importantly, I'm also adding a new section to the site: the Hoax Archive.…
Back in Action!
Posted by The Curator on Thu May 07, 2009
I'm back, after a two-week absence! It was two weeks spent doing the always fun job of home remodeling (sarcasm). My wife and I are slowly remodeling our home. Since we figure we can't afford to move any time soon, we're fixing up the house we have to make it nicer to live in. But since we also can't afford to hire real contractors, I get stuck doing all the work. Last year I redid the hallway bathroom. This time, it was the master bathroom. I thought I would be able to keep blogging as I did the remodeling, but after the first day of back-breaking work I realized that wasn't going to happen and…
National Geographic Interview and iPhone App
Posted by The Curator on Tue Mar 31, 2009
Marc Silver of National Geographic interviewed me about the history and customs of April Fool's Day. The interview is now up on the Nat Geo blog. And in other news, programmer Mark Greenfield turned the list of the Top 100 April Fool's Day hoaxes into an iPhone app (for those people who want to have the list in an easy-to-read format on their phone). The app is now available at the iPhone store. I don't have an iPhone, so I haven't been able to test the app. I think it costs $1, of which I get about ten cents. Now, if only I could get everyone who reads the list on my…
Great Hoaxes Trading Cards
Posted by The Curator on Mon Mar 30, 2009
Topps has announced it plans to release a set of cards featuring the "world's biggest hoaxes, hoodwinks, & bamboozles." The entire set, according to visualeditors.com, will consist of: Charles Ponzi Bernie Madoff The Runaway Bride Idaho The Turk Enron Anna Anderson Ferdinand Waldo Demara San Serriffe D.B. Cooper Spaghetti Trees Victor Lustig The War of the Worlds George Parker The Bathtub Hoax The Cottingley Fairies James Reavis The Piltdown Man The Cardiff Giant Cold Fusion Looks good, though I'm not sure why they include Idaho. Probably because of the rumor that Idaho got its name from a hoax. Or maybe they're referring to the theory…
Note from the curator
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jan 13, 2009
I've had no time to post anything recently, and that'll likely continue until the end of this month. The problem is that a British version of my second book, Hippo Eats Dwarf, will be coming out this year, but it'll be a significantly revised version. I have to get the manuscript to the publisher by February 1, and I still have a lot of work left to do on it. The next two weeks are going to be busy. When I have to choose between blogging and doing something that actually makes some money, the money, in the short term, usually wins. In the long term, of course, my non-commercial instincts always kick in sooner…
A virus on the site?
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jan 05, 2009
In the past few days I've had a number of people report that there seems to be a virus on the site. I've also had it happen to me twice that I'll try to load a page of the site and instead be transferred to a spam site. Could you all let me know if you're having similar problems. The more info I have, the easier it will be to track down the source of the problem. I suspect the virus is being loaded onto the site via the ads, and I've contacted the ad hosting company. But there's a remote possibility a virus is actually on my server. Anyway, I'm…
Posted by The Curator on Sat Nov 08, 2008
There's quite a bit of news to report about the activities of MOHers throughout the world. First, and most amazingly -- belated congratulations to Smerk and Accipiter who got engaged while I was in Germany. The two met in the MOH forum, making this the very first MOH marriage! That's quite a milestone. I can't quite get over the idea that this site, which I created as a way to procrastinate while I was supposed to be working on my dissertation, has played a role in allowing two people to meet, fall in love, and get married. That's incredible. More details about the engagement are posted in the forum. Second, Scottish MOHers…
My European Vacation
Posted by The Curator on Tue Nov 04, 2008
I'm back from my European vacation. Thanks to Cranky Media Guy for minding the madhouse while I was gone. I spent nine days in Germany and four in England. The purpose of the vacation was to visit relatives, but since I was over there I, of course, had to take the opportunity to drag family members around to visit various hoaxy stuff. For instance, I found the approximate spot on top of the Reichstag in Berlin from which Yevgeny Khaldei, in 1945, took his famous shot of soldiers raising a Soviet flag. Khaldei's shot (below on the left) was actually posed, and Soviet censors later erased the multiple wristwatches on the soldiers'…
I’m off to Germany!
Posted by The Curator on Fri Oct 17, 2008
I've barely been able to post anything in the past week. Why? I'm blaming it on my decision to remodel the hallway bathroom in my house... and do all the work myself (because I can't afford to hire a contractor). New drywall, plumbing, electrical wiring, tile floor. I did it all. Problem was, I really wanted to get the bulk of it done before I go on vacation to Germany, which I do today. My flight leaves in about four hours. So that meant I've been scrambling to get it done for the past few days. Here's a picture of the new tile floor I just installed (the first tile floor I've ever installed), which I'm quite proud of. You…
An offensive ad?
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jul 17, 2008
I've received a few complaints about one of the ads running on the site, for Dickipedia.org. People are worried it might be a porn ad. It's actually not. According to Federated Media it's "a satirical wikipedia stye guide to celebrities who behave badly." Most of the ads on the site run through Google, and I have very little control over them. But a few run through Federated Media, and I have slightly more control over these. FM warned me this ad was scheduled to run, and I could have opted out of it, but (except for the name) I didn't think it was very offensive. Even the name -- aren't people allowed to say "dick" on…
Announcing Weird Universe
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jul 08, 2008
So here's the big announcement I mentioned in the last post. (No point in keeping the secret until Wednesday because it's already been leaked!) I'm starting up a new weblog: Weird Universe. Joining me in this questionable endeavor are fellow weird-enthusiasts Chuck Shepherd (well-known for his "News of the Weird" syndicated column) and noted science-fiction author Paul Di Filippo (of the Steampunk Trilogy fame). For a long time I've wanted a place to blog about weird, but not necessarily hoaxy, stuff, but I didn't want to start a new blog by myself. So Weird Universe seems like the perfect solution. Of course, this doesn't mean the end of the…
The Hoax Photo Database
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jul 08, 2008
Years ago I created a Hoax Photo Gallery for the site. But I recently decided that the Gallery was showing its age and needed an update. So I came up with the idea to replace it with a Hoax Photo Database. I've been working on the Database for the past two months. It's one of those projects that, if I had realized how much work it was going to be, I would have hesitated to start. But I'm too far along to stop now, so I'm going to continue at it until it's done. (Which will be never, since it's designed to be a constantly growing database.) My idea was to create…
The Big 4-0
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jun 13, 2008
I turn forty today. Getting old! Shown are two of my birthday presents: a Feejee mermaid (from my wife) and a replica of the Piltdown Man skull (from my parents). They look kind of creepy together, but I think they're cool. With all these things I'm acquiring, I'll be able to open a real Museum of Hoaxes soon!
Back from Virginia
Posted by The Curator on Wed May 28, 2008
I returned last night from Virginia, where I spent Memorial Day Weekend with my parents. Their dog, Falcon, never ceases to amaze me. He's huge. Every picture of him looks surreal, as if it's been photoshopped to increase his size, but he really is that big. At 200 lbs, he's heavier than I am. You don't sit with him on the couch, so much as you try to squeeze in beside him.
Alan Abel in Gelf
Posted by The Curator on Wed Apr 23, 2008
Gelf Magazine has an article about Alan Abel, who will be speaking at Gelf's Non-Motivational Speaker Series on Thursday, April 24 in New York City. The article gives a quick overview of Abel's career: The Society for Indecency to Naked Animals, his obituary in the New York Times, Citizens Against Breastfeeding, etc. One interesting part at the end, which I've heard people speculate about before, is how Abel funds himself: This subject is the only one which he's vague about in the interview.…