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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Miscellaneous
Hoax Archive Makeover
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jan 25, 2013
My New Years' resolution was to start posting regularly again here, since it makes me feel sad and guilty when I neglect the hoax museum. It's just too easy, when other things demand my attention, to fail to look after the site, given that there's no boss (except my conscience) to tell me to get back to work. Now I didn't post any updates for the first 24 days of the year, so it may seem like I already broke my resolution. But not quite. I took the time to give the Hoax Archive a big makeover, which was sorely needed, though it turned out to be a lot more work than I had anticipated. Since…
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Balloon Boy Trading Card
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jul 26, 2012
Back in June 2011, Richard Heene, of Balloon Boy fame, tried to sell the balloon he had used in his hoax. He hoped to get $1 million for it, but ultimately had to settle for $2500. But the guy who bought it from Heene resold part of the balloon to the Topps trading card company, which has cut up the balloon into small pieces and glued them on to Balloon Boy trading cards. (link: Yahoo! Sports) It's part of a "used memorabilia" line of cards, but would also make a nice addition to their line of Great Hoaxes Trading Cards, released in 2009. Since I'm a sucker for any…
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Why Am I Still Getting Emails About Midget Rentals?
Posted by The Curator on Mon Mar 12, 2012
Apparently it's true that the internet never forgets. Seven years ago I posted about a company claiming to rent midgets for parties. In that post I didn't say I was renting midgets. I simply said there was a business claiming to rent them. In fact, I thought the idea sounded so odd that I had some doubts about whether the business was real. (And I probably shouldn't use the term 'midget.' I think 'little person' is now the preferred term.) Anyway, soon after making that post, I started getting email queries from people interested in renting little people. In 2008 I first noted I was getting these strange emails, and I'm still getting them today,…
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A real-life Museum of Hoaxes
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jan 18, 2012
The Irish Times describes a real-life Museum of Hoaxes -- the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature in Paris: As chief curator Claude d'Anthenaise explains, it's an experimental museum that likes to baffle the visitor. "I wanted to create a museum where the visitor would feel constantly disconcerted and lose his bearings – just like someone walking in nature," he says. "In a wild setting, you're confronted with all sorts of things you don't understand. You're not on your own territory." So "totally insignificant, even repulsive" objects have been…
Categories: Education, Miscellaneous Comments (0)
Old Fulton NY Post Cards
Posted by The Curator on Mon Dec 19, 2011
There are some odd things about the Old Fulton NY Post Cards site. First of all, despite the name, it has nothing to do with old postcards. Second, it's full of strange animations. A goldfish floats around the screen, and there's a head with spider legs that crawls about. There are sounds (such as a cannon and fireworks) that play at random moments, and you can't turn them off. But these odd things are just the wrapping around the true content of the site, which is 17 million pages of scanned, fully searchable pages of old New York state newspapers. All completely free. There aren't even any ads. If you like doing historical research, it's a…
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Cardiff Giant in Perth
Posted by The Curator on Fri Dec 16, 2011
Here are some pictures, courtesy of Nettie and Smerk, of the Cardiff Giant enjoying the sights in Perth. (Nettie sent me the pictures about three weeks ago, but Thanksgiving and the moon hoax distracted me. At least, that's the excuse for my slowness that I'm going with.) So where should the Cardiff Giant go next? Any volunteers to…
MOH chosen as one of America’s Kitschiest Roadside Attractions
Posted by The Curator on Thu Sep 01, 2011
It's official. American Express's Travel and Leisure Magazine has chosen the Museum of Hoaxes as one of America's Kitschiest Roadside Attractions. We're honored to be recognized in this way!
MOH as one of America’s Great Roadside Attractions
Posted by The Curator on Tue Aug 30, 2011
I just received an email from someone who works at TravelandLeisure.com (an American Express Publishing site): Currently we're putting together a photo gallery feature about America's Roadside Attractions and we're including the Museum of Hoaxes in San Diego. I'm working on collecting photos of the museum— overall interior and exterior shots are best. Please send a selection photos as soon as possible by the end of today/tomorrow morning at the latest. Hmm. What should I send them? Update: "Fred in na gadda da vida" suggested I send them this picture, which he kindly created. But I'd already sent them the three images on the 'About the Museum' page.
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New Site Design
Posted by The Curator on Sun Aug 28, 2011
Unless you're reading this post by RSS, you should be looking at my new site design, which I spent the past week working on. My design skills aren't that great, but I'm hoping it's an improvement over the old design. One of my main objectives was to emphasize that the site isn't just a blog and forum, but also has a large archive of info about hoaxes throughout history. Which is why I put the new archive links front and center. One feature you may not notice immediately: when you load the site you'll currently see either a pair of jackalopes or nessie to the right of the main banner. I've set it up so that random…
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Updates to the Site
Posted by The Curator on Wed Aug 17, 2011
I spent the last five days updating the software that runs this site. It was a pretty nightmarish process. First the update changed every URL on the site. Once I managed to fix that, I discovered that the server was repeatedly crashing. My webhost looked into the issue and found that spammers were trying to submit large amounts of comment spam, which was locking up the servers. (Most of the spam wasn't making it onto the site because the spammers apparently weren't filling out the captcha form, but I guess it was still putting a strain on the server to have to keep denying the spam.) So to combat this, I had to make one large change…
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Checking In (again)
Posted by The Curator on Thu Aug 11, 2011
Been a little quiet here lately. Hello? Do I hear an echo? I've returned from book writing (my new book, Electrified Sheep, is available for purchase in the UK... an American version is coming out in 2012), as well as home remodeling, and now I'm slowly slouching my way back toward blogging, one small step at a time. The first step was to address the problem of what to do with all my weird science material (such as my list of the Top 20 Most Bizarre Experiments which, somewhat confusingly, was housed here at the Museum of Hoaxes). I did this by creating the Mad Science Museum. My plan is that…
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The Return of the Curator
Posted by The Curator on Mon Nov 15, 2010
Last week I handed in the final section of my book manuscript to my publisher. I think I originally anticipated completing it in June or July. So yeah, it took me a little longer than anticipated. The title, I've recently learned, is going to be Electrified Sheep. This refers to a series of experiments in which sheep were placed in lightning simulators. I didn't actually come up with this title. I suggested a whole bunch of other titles including The Indestructible Atomic Pig and Psychoneurotic Atomic Goats, but the publisher decided to go with the sheep. The lesson is that authors don't get to choose the titles of their books! But the sheep title has been…
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Checking In…
Posted by The Curator on Sun Jan 24, 2010
Like the Loch Ness Monster, I've been hard to find recently. So I thought I'd resurface for a moment and say hello. I've been working hard on my next book, and finding it difficult to focus on anything other than that. I had grand plans to work on the book AND keep posting to the blog... but it hasn't worked out that way. It's hard to focus on two projects at once. Well, some people can do it, but not me. Anyway, until the book is done (around June) I'll probably be pretty scarce around here, unless I'm procrastinating, in which case I may throw up an occasional post. But in the…
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A note from the curator
Posted by The Curator on Fri Oct 16, 2009
I've recently started work on a new book, which is the reason for my absence from the site. I need to deliver the manuscript to the publisher (Macmillan) by June 2010. I assume it will be published in late 2010 or early 2011. The title is still undecided, but the book will essentially be a sequel to Elephants on Acid — though sequels are always worse than the original, so I prefer to think of it as an entirely new project that also happens to be about bizarre things done in the name of science. Other people seem to be able to work on several projects simultaneously, but I just can't do it. So after working all…
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Top 10 Hoaxes List plagiarizes me
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jul 24, 2009
Cranky Media Guy drew my attention to a list of the "Top 10 Hoaxes of all time" posted by Kelvin Lynch on examiner.com. Cranky asks: "Haven't we seen this exact list before... recently, in fact?" I can't recall if this list had been posted elsewhere recently, but as I was reading through it, I felt that a lot of the language was strangely familiar. And then I realized why this was so. Much of the text has been lifted directly from the print version of The Museum of Hoaxes, published back in 2002. For instance, here's part of what I wrote in my book about the Surgeon's Photo: …
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