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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Miscellaneous
The Great Edinburgh Adventure
Posted by The Curator on Sun May 14, 2006
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 in the forum (often seen congregating in the off-topic chit chat thread) and who decided that they wanted to meet each other in real life. I was invited along since my…
Amazon Review Contest
Posted by The Curator on Tue Apr 04, 2006
Last month I promised that I would send a free book to whomever posted the most creative review of Hippo Eats Dwarf on (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 guidance is provided as to the initial preparation of the dwarf, or any hints as to where to procure one in the first place. Also, would…
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Did UKTV Do Their Own Research?
Posted by The Curator on Tue Apr 04, 2006
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, forgotten. If UKTV did their own research and collected together what they thought were the Top 20 April Fools, that would be fine.…
Museum of Hoaxes in Christian Science Monitor
Posted by The Curator on Tue Mar 28, 2006
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 a reporter. Nowadays, literally anybody can do it," says Alex Boese, author of "Hippo Eats…
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Media Schedule
Posted by The Curator on Tue Mar 28, 2006
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 whatever they find there, as I struggle to remember what I wrote a year ago). If you live in San Diego, I'll be doing a book…
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Hippo Eats Dwarf Book Review Contest
Posted by The Curator on Wed Mar 08, 2006 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 authors themselves). I also point out that it's quite common for reviewers to never read the books they're reviewing. As the Scottish reverend Sidney Smith once…
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The Traveling Hippo Experiment
Posted by The Curator on Fri Feb 24, 2006
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 where it's been and also try to send a picture of the book back to me. This way I can create a…
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TV Producer Has Question
Posted by The Curator on Tue Feb 21, 2006
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 fooling people on the street or in a studio, by confounding them with science? Unfortunately this is where we are struggling slightly. Do you know of any simple, experiment based…
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Museum of Hoaxes Keyrings
Posted by The Curator on Tue Feb 21, 2006
I received this unusual request in my email today: My name is Beatriz Damiani and for 20 years I have devoted myself to collecting "keyrings", being my collection, at present, of more than 5600 units from 184 different countries all over the world. Within my collection one of the most important, as well as interesting sets, is the one of "Museums". After long years of hard but enjoyable work, I have been able to obtain keyrings from most Museums but I still lack one from yours. The possibility of incorporating this keyring to my collection would mean a lot to…
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MagicSHELF Update 2
Posted by The Curator on Thu Feb 02, 2006
The saga of the magicSHELF continues. I received my own magicSHELF in the mail yesterday, courtesy of linkydinky, and put it up today. Here I am posing with it. I placed it across from my desk. It's definitely odd to look over and see some books floating there. But I like it. It's kind of cool. I added a short review of the magicSHELF to my original post about it. While I don't reveal how it works in the review, I do try to strike a balanced tone, pointing out that you could make one of these yourself…
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MagicSHELF Update
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jan 26, 2006
So I've been in contact with Uncle Url of Linky Dinky, and as a consequence I've become a firm believer in the brilliance and ingenuity of the magicSHELF. Everyone needs to have one of these! Well, that may be, but the behind-the-scenes story is that Uncle Url and I have worked out a deal. He's sending me a magicSHELF (and an extra one which I can give away as a prize). I'm going to test it out and verify that it does indeed work as advertised. Then he'll be able to use me as an objective, third-party endorsement. In return, when he mentions my endorsement in his newsletter, he might also mention that I have a book coming…
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First Review of Hippo Eats Dwarf
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jan 24, 2006
The first review of Hippo Eats Dwarf is in. Actually, it's not so much a full review as a descriptive blurb, but it's what the reviewer from Booklist wrote. (Booklist, from what I understand, is read mostly by librarians and bookstore owners.) Boese, Alex. Hippo Eats Dwarf: A Field Guide to Hoaxes and Other B.S. Apr. 2006. 288p. illus. Harcourt, paper, $14 (0-15-603083-7). 001.9. From the author of the entertaining Museum of Hoaxes (2002) comes an even more entertaining follow-up. The book is a reasonably thorough, not to mention playful, guide to fakery. Advertising posing as legitimate news stories, nonexistent movie reviewers, fraudulent sales pitches, reality television,…
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Happy New Year
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jan 02, 2006
Happy New Year everyone. My new year's resolution is to be more productive, procrastinate less, post more often, and resurrect that email newsletter which I've started and let lapse numerous times. I'll start implementing these resolutions as soon as I finish watching the first season of Lost, which I got for Christmas on DVD. One has to have priorities, after all.
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I've been ignoring the internet for the past few days because I've been too busy eating, drinking, and opening presents. So I'll wish everyone a belated Merry Christmas now, or whatever holiday you celebrate: Hannukah, Kwanzaa, Saturnalia—for all those ancient Romans out there (since I studied Latin for eight years, I consider myself an honorary ancient Roman)— or nothing at all. Although I was trying to ignore the outside world, it did manage to briefly track me down. A reporter from the Washington Post called to talk about the case of fraudulent cloning research in South Korea that's been making headlines. Here's what I said (that made it into the article):…
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Who Should Win the Caption Contest?
Posted by The Curator on Tue Dec 20, 2005
I said that I would decide who should win the caption contest today. But I'm having a tough time making a decision because there are a number of good entries. So I've decided to make the contest more democratic and let the winner be decided by a vote. I've selected my top eight choices. Pick your favorite, and cast your vote. I'll let the voting run for a day or two. Update: As of Dec. 23, Kieran won the vote . Congratulations!
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