The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Miscellaneous
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)

Museum of Hoaxes Keyrings — 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…
Posted: Tue Feb 21, 2006.   Comments (8)

MagicSHELF Update 2 — 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…
Posted: Thu Feb 02, 2006.   Comments (7)

MagicSHELF Update — 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…
Posted: Thu Jan 26, 2006.   Comments (27)

First Review of Hippo Eats Dwarf — 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.…
Posted: Tue Jan 24, 2006.   Comments (5)

Happy New Year — 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.
Posted: Mon Jan 02, 2006.   Comments (4)

Happy Holidays (also seeking suggestions for the top ten hoaxes of 2005) — 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…
Posted: Mon Dec 26, 2005.   Comments (11)

Who Should Win the Caption Contest? — 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!
Posted: Tue Dec 20, 2005.   Comments (14)

Caption Contest — And the winner of the 'contest to pick a contest idea' was... ME!!! Yeah, apparently my proposal to have a caption contest was the overall favorite. So I'll be keeping the copy of the book (at least for now... I'll probably give it away later). Anyway, now on to the real contest. I've selected an image. The challenge is to think up a caption or accompanying text for the image. Or, if you're so inclined, you can photoshop the image. I don't mind. Just do something creative with it…
Posted: Fri Dec 16, 2005.   Comments (54)

A Contest To Think of Contest Ideas — I'm having a contest. The challenge is to help me think of contest ideas. I posted the full details in the Hoax Forum (but then it occurred to me that only registered members can post responses there, so I'm posting a brief announcement here too so that comments/ideas can be left in either place.) The basic challenge is to think of contest ideas. The one condition is that the contest has to generate responses, the best of which can be used as sidebar material somewhere in my archive of…
Posted: Wed Dec 14, 2005.   Comments (32)

The Situation with Tucker Carlson — I've never watched The Situation with Tucker Carlson before. It's on too late for me. All I know is that Tucker is that guy who wears a bowtie. But tomorrow (Monday) I'll be a guest on the show. Tucker will chat with me for about five minutes about the history of hoaxes. Or, at least, that's what I've been told. The interview will be done via video feed, so I'll be sitting in San Diego and he'll be in New York. Look for me to be on at around 11:40 pm (eastern time). Update: I've been…
Posted: Sun Nov 27, 2005.   Comments (10)

Museum of Hoaxes Mentioned in the Wall Street Journal — I've learned that the Museum of Hoaxes got mentioned in the Wall Street Journal last week. The title of the article was "Photo Firms Hunt Copyright Violators" (October 19, 2005) by Vauhini Vara. I got included because of my brief fight with the Science & Society Picture Library over my use of the Cottingley Fairy images. Unfortunately the reporter didn't fully represent my side of the argument. Here are the relevant sections from the article: Bloggers, beware: That photo of Tom Cruise…
Posted: Wed Oct 26, 2005.   Comments (7)

Back From The Desert — I wasn't able to post for the past few days since I was out in the Anza Borrego desert (just outside of San Diego), where I spent a long weekend with my wife and parents at the Borrego Valley Inn. I got to see some incredible desert fauna while I was there, including coyotes, jack rabbits, tarantulas, red-tailed hawks, and roadrunners. Thankfully I didn't encounter any rattlesnakes. In the picture to the right I believe that I was looking at a Jumpin' Yuccy. Update: Here's a picture…
Posted: Tue Oct 18, 2005.   Comments (8)

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