The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Miscellaneous
Hoax Archive Makeover — 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…
Posted: Fri Jan 25, 2013.   Comments (5)

Balloon Boy Trading Card — 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…
Posted: Thu Jul 26, 2012.   Comments (0)

Why Am I Still Getting Emails About Midget Rentals? — 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…
Posted: Mon Mar 12, 2012.   Comments (4)

A real-life Museum of Hoaxes — 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…
Posted: Wed Jan 18, 2012.   Comments (0)


Old Fulton NY Post Cards — 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…
Posted: Mon Dec 19, 2011.   Comments (5)

Cardiff Giant in Perth — 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 host him? I'm hoping it might be possible to send him somewhere in the general neighborhood of Australia.…
Posted: Fri Dec 16, 2011.   Comments (6)

MOH chosen as one of America’s Kitschiest Roadside Attractions — 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!
Posted: Thu Sep 01, 2011.   Comments (9)

MOH as one of America’s Great Roadside Attractions — 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?
Posted: Tue Aug 30, 2011.   Comments (10)

New Site Design — 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…
Posted: Sun Aug 28, 2011.   Comments (11)

Updates to the Site — 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…
Posted: Wed Aug 17, 2011.   Comments (7)

Checking In (again) — 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…
Posted: Thu Aug 11, 2011.   Comments (10)

The Return of the Curator — 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…
Posted: Mon Nov 15, 2010.   Comments (29)

Checking In… — 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…
Posted: Sun Jan 24, 2010.   Comments (13)

A note from the curator — 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…
Posted: Fri Oct 16, 2009.   Comments (8)

Top 10 Hoaxes List plagiarizes me — 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…
Posted: Fri Jul 24, 2009.   Comments (20)

Museum of Hoaxes on Twitter — I recently created a twitter page for the Museum of Hoaxes, so if you're on twitter, check it out. I'm pretty inept at this social networking stuff. I created a personal twitter page months ago, but almost never posted to it. Hopefully I'll be more disciplined about tweeting on the MOH page. There may be a bit of a learning curve, because I still haven't figured out all the twitter lingo. RT is the only abbreviation I understand. But I'm excited that I already have nine "followers,"…
Posted: Sun Jun 28, 2009.   Comments (8)

New Look — 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…
Posted: Thu May 21, 2009.   Comments (18)

Back in Action! — 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…
Posted: Thu May 07, 2009.   Comments (8)

National Geographic Interview and iPhone App — 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…
Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2009.   Comments (1)

Great Hoaxes Trading Cards — 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…
Posted: Mon Mar 30, 2009.   Comments (12)

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