The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Miscellaneous
Quick Links: Bull on Roof, etc. — Bull on Roof Chumuckla Elementary School found a lifesize fibreglass bull on the roof on Monday. The bull belongs to a local ranch owner, and is worth more than $1000. £1/4M Compass is £50 Fake A compass, said to have been used by Lawrence of Arabia in his adventures and sold for £254,000 at Christie's auction house along with a watch and cigarette case, could be worth no more than £50. Kaczynski stands in for Kaczynski Polish President Lech Kaczynski has stepped in to replace his…
Posted: Tue Oct 24, 2006.   Comments (10)

Halloween Plane Crash Display Mistaken for Real — According to Reuters, a mock-up plane crash erected as a Halloween display was mistaken for the real thing. Los Angeles police visited the home, but were informed by the homeowner that it was not a real accident. The homeowner is an aircraft mechanic in training and the parts are from a real Gulfstream jet. Apparently, once people realise it's just a display, the only problem is them slowing their cars to take a good look. (Thanks, Robert.)
Posted: Mon Oct 23, 2006.   Comments (13)

Fake College Student — David Jovani Vanegas claimed to be a sophomore transfer student at Rice University. In reality he had never managed to get into Rice. Last September, Vanegas started attending classes. He also ate in the university's cafeterias, hung out with other students, and occasionally crashed in people's dorms when he was too tired to go back to his off-campus lodgings. Vanegas appears to have been relatively friendly towards students, but didn't seem to form many lasting relationships. Hardly…
Posted: Tue Oct 17, 2006.   Comments (34)

Quick Links: Banyan Tree Gets Police Protection, etc. — Banyan Tree Gets Police Protection A century-old banyan tree in Jakarta has been given police protection after a group of youths attacked it to prove it had no mystical powers. Parents Kidnap Bride-To-Be The day before her wedding, Julianna Redd's parents told her they were taking her on a shopping trip. Instead, they drove her 240 miles to Colorado and held her there until after the wedding was supposed to take place. 3D Studies of the Mona Lisa New 3D studies of the Mona Lisa have…
Posted: Wed Oct 04, 2006.   Comments (6)


Yellow Lines Painted Under Parked Car — Nasser Khan left his car in what he was sure was an unmarked section of road. He was understandably bemused to return the next morning only to find yellow lines beneath his car and a ticket for illegal parking on his windscreen. CCTV footage showed workmen crouching beneath the car to paint in the lines, whilst a traffic warden waited to write the ticket. It appears that the machinery used to paint the lines damaged the tyres on Mr Khan's car, which were then declared unroadworthy by…
Posted: Wed Oct 04, 2006.   Comments (16)

My Twinn — My Twinn is a legitimate website selling dolls which look like the child you're buying them for. First you pick an outfit, skin tone, and hair and eye colour. You send in a photograph of your child, and the artists craft the doll to resemble the photograph, including painting on such things as freckles or birthmarks. You can also buy matching outfits for the doll and child, and matching accessories. The dolls do seem very well made - they really do look like the children they're made…
Posted: Wed Sep 27, 2006.   Comments (32)

Quick Links: Fake Steve Irwin Death Videos, etc. — Fake Steve Irwin Death Videos Unsurprisingly, several videos have popped up on YouTube portraying Steve Irwin's death. They're pretty unconvincing. (Thanks, Nai Art.) IT Skills in Return For Gropes The mirror of a now deleted post from Craigslist, the title really says it all. I particularly liked: "I have a lot of tech knowledge in my life and regrettably no boobs." (Via BoingBoing, thanks Cranky Media Guy.) Building Using Recycled Paper "Papercrete [is] a mixture of Portland cement,…
Posted: Thu Sep 21, 2006.   Comments (8)

Quick Links: Heart-In Baby Diamonds, etc. — Heart-In Baby Diamonds Anybody for an artificial diamond made of baby hair? Squirrel Sabotages Opera Singer A squirrel broke the nose of Finnish opera singer Esa Ruuttunen when it ran into the spokes of his bicycle. Flat Parents Life-sized cardboard cutouts of deployed service members are being given to their spouses, children and relatives by the Maine National Guard. Designer Underwear If you wish to sport the more... hirsute look, this pair of underwear may be for you. (Link not…
Posted: Fri Sep 08, 2006.   Comments (10)

Big Dog — Just a quick note to say that I've been away for the past few days (still am), visiting my parents in the Northern Neck region of Virginia. I arrived at their house just hours before Tropical Storm Ernesto hit, temporarily knocking out our power. Which meant that I was also without an internet connection. Here's a photo of me with their dog, Falcon, a 180-pound Great Dane. He's the biggest dog I've ever known. He's literally almost as big as that hoax photo of a giant dog that was…
Posted: Sun Sep 03, 2006.   Comments (17)

Some Announcements — Two things to announce. First, I've got a deal to write another book. But it's not another book about hoaxes, so it will be a bit of a new direction for me. It'll be a book about unusual scientific experiments. The kind of experiments that make people say, "Did they really do that?" Experiments such as Stanley Milgram's electric-shock experiments, Ewen Cameron's brainwashing experiments, Louis Jolyon West's "elephant on acid" experiment, as well as some more light-hearted ones. I've…
Posted: Fri Aug 04, 2006.   Comments (31)

Back From Scotland — I'm back from hunting the Loch Ness Monster and Wild Haggises (Haggii?) with fellow Museum of Hoaxers in Scotland. It was a great trip. Despite the Scottish climate staying true to reputation by raining every single day I was there, I saw and did lots of stuff: went on a ghost tour, sampled some whisky, experimented with a Victorian electric shock machine, etc. But the best part was meeting everyone else who was there. My theory that regular readers of this site are all exceptionally…
Posted: Tue May 23, 2006.   Comments (24)

Please Take This Survey — I've signed up with a new ad network called Federated Media recently started by John Battelle (one of the founders of Wired Magazine, according to the Wikipedia entry about him). In an effort to better match readers of this site to potential advertisers, Federated Media wants you all to take a brief survey. It's only a few questions: age, address, social security number, credit card info, bank account info, etc. (No, just kidding... they're not looking to steal your identity.)…
Posted: Mon May 15, 2006.   Comments (24)

The Great Edinburgh Adventure — Tomorrow (Monday) I'll be flying to Edinburgh to participate in an exciting experiment: the first face-to-face meeting of Museum-of-Hoaxers. We'll be coming from all corners of the earth: Australia, America, and Europe. Will we be able to tolerate each other in real life (as opposed to virtual life)? Will we all end up in jail? Stay tuned. I hope to post some reports from Edinburgh. I should note that this adventure wasn't my idea. The credit goes to a group of regulars who hang out…
Posted: Sun May 14, 2006.   Comments (11)

Amazon Review Contest — Last month I promised that I would send a free book to whomever posted the most creative review of Hippo Eats Dwarf on Amazon.com (the time limit being the end of March). I didn't forget! There were some great ones, which made it really hard to pick a winner. So I narrowed it down to my favorite five and then randomly picked one. And the winner is Arthur Hippo for his "Totally Useless Cookbook!!!" review: While I admit that the recipes in this volume can be daring, absolutely no…
Posted: Tue Apr 04, 2006.   Comments (7)

Did UKTV Do Their Own Research? — Maybe I'm just being paranoid, but it sure seems like all the items in UKTV's list of 20 Great April Fools, which Jon Holmes presented on air on April 1st over in Britain, were lifted almost verbatim from my list of the Top 100 April Fools ever. Not to complain (actually to complain bitterly), but it took me a long time to create that list... a lot of tedious searching through decades of old newspaper archives to find all the April Fool's Day classics that had been, for the most part,…
Posted: Tue Apr 04, 2006.   Comments (28)

Museum of Hoaxes in Christian Science Monitor — The Museum of Hoaxes got mentioned twice in the Christian Science Monitor in the past two days. The first time is in a story by Randy Dotinga titled "When computers do news, hoaxes slip in." It's about the spate of recent online press release hoaxes, such as Tom Vendetta's hoax of a few days ago. I get quoted at the end of the article: "In the old days, to perpetrate a hoax and get it in front of the eyes of the millions of people, you had to be in the media some way or have access to…
Posted: Tue Mar 28, 2006.   Comments (7)

Media Schedule — I've been pretty busy lately, what with Hippo Eats Dwarf appearing in bookstores this week, and I've also been updating portions of the site to get ready for April Fool's Day. That's why posting has been kind of light. Anyway, I'm going to be doing a bunch of radio shows this week, so I've posted my schedule below. If you get one of these stations listen in and see if whomever I'm talking to manages to stump me (DJs seem to love to flip to random pages of my book and grill me on…
Posted: Tue Mar 28, 2006.   Comments (8)

Hippo Eats Dwarf Book Review Contest — Amazon.com has started shipping copies of Hippo Eats Dwarf. So anyone who pre-ordered it should be receiving it soon. This also means that people can now post customer reviews of it on Amazon. Obviously there are no reviews of it yet, and the book looks kind of lonely without any. This has given me an idea for a contest. I point out in Hippo Eats Dwarf that a significant number of the customer reviews on Amazon are fake (glowing reviews posted by friends of the author, or by the…
Posted: Wed Mar 08, 2006.   Comments (29)

The Traveling Hippo Experiment — I've just received a few copies of my book, Hippo Eats Dwarf, from my publisher. This is the final version that will be on sale in stores in a few weeks. It's great to see the book finally done and in print! Anyway, since I have a few extra copies, an idea occurred to me. Why not give them away? But not as prizes. Instead, give them away to volunteers on the condition that, once read, they're passed along to someone else. Each person who gets the book will write a note in it saying…
Posted: Fri Feb 24, 2006.   Comments (17)

TV Producer Has Question — Here's a request for help that I received today from a researcher at a TV production company: I work in the Development Department for a Production Company called North One TV. We're currently working on an idea for a show that uses science to hoax people. Obviously there are many fantastic science based hoaxes that have been performed through out history. What we're thinking is we could use one or two of the more famous hoaxes to break up the show. The main crux being a presenter…
Posted: Tue Feb 21, 2006.   Comments (22)

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