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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Technology
Gravity Lamp
Posted by The Curator on Mon Mar 03, 2008
About two weeks ago it was announced that a U.S. grad student, Clay Moulton, won second place in a "Greener Gadgets Conference" competition for inventing a floor lamp powered by gravity. The concept was that a person would place a weight (about ten pounds) at the top of a four-foot column. Over the course of the next four hours, the weight would descend down the column, causing a rotor to spin that would produce a gentle light (about the strength of a 40 watt bulb). Moulton's concept generated a lot of interest on blogs, but also a lot of skepticism. People who…
Categories: Technology Comments (10)
Lego Halo
Posted by The Curator on Mon Mar 03, 2008
Rumors have been floating around suggesting that Bungie Software might be coming out with a new game called Lego Halo. It would be the same as the Halo series, except everything would look like it was made out of lego. The rumor is based on a scan of an article from an upcoming issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly which describes this game. There really is a Lego Star Wars game, so there's a precedent for this concept. However, Lego Halo appears to be a hoax. Gaming Today reports:
The Air Poo
Posted by The Curator on Mon Mar 03, 2008 launches with a splash screen that says, "Going to the bathroom used to be... Boring... Quiet... A loss of productivity. Introducing the Air Poo™. Poonovation. Available Summer 2008." Basically the Air Poo is a high-tech toilet. It has a heated seat, a "multi-touch flusher" that allows you to choose between a light or heavy flush, an iPod Dock to listen to music, an integrated surround sound system, and a MacBook Air docking slot. The MacBook Air docking slot is the only feature that confuses me. What is the purpose of docking your laptop as you go to the bathroom? If someone was…
Categories: Technology Comments (1)
Death-Threat Elmo
Posted by The Curator on Wed Feb 27, 2008
Back in January 2006 I posted about a "Who Wants To Die" Talking Elmo book. When the book's buttons were pressed, the book said, "Who wants to die?" It was supposed to say, "Who wants to try to go potty?" (I'm not sure which is worse.) Now another Elmo is in the news for making bizarre death threats. reports: A Lithia family says a cuddly, programmable Elmo doll revealed its dark side yesterday after fresh batteries were installed.…
Categories: Technology Comments (11)
Long Handles
Posted by The Curator on Mon Feb 25, 2008
I know there are some weird motorcycles out there, but even so, I'm going to vote that this is fake, even though I don't see any obvious evidence of photoshopping. I just don't think it would be possible to steer a bike like this. Especially not on a highway. (via bcmacsac1's flickr page) Update: I should have known better. I should have known that just because something looks incredibly stupid is not a reason to doubt its reality. And the discovery of more pictures of this long-handled motorcycle has convinced me that it is, in fact, real. Apparently such bikes are called "ape hangers". The…
Categories: Photos/Videos, Technology Comments (16)
Micro Nuclear Reactor
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jan 30, 2008
Last month a lot of blogs posted about a "micro nuclear reactor" supposedly developed by Toshiba. It promised to provide dirt-cheap energy, and was also small enough to fit in a basement. The story was first posted on Toshiba has developed a new class of micro size Nuclear Reactors that is designed to power individual apartment buildings or city blocks. The new reactor, which is only 20 feet by 6 feet, could change everything for small remote communities, small businesses or even a group of neighbors who are fed up with…
Categories: Free Energy, Technology Comments (12)
Video Game Urban Legends
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jan 29, 2008
Yahoo! Games has an article about urban legends involving video games. Though half the legends they list are true. Here's a summary: Donkey Kong was a mistranslation of Monkey Kong. False. Donkey Kong was the original title. "Donkey" was apparently meant to indicate stubborn stupidity. "Kong" was a reference to King Kong. Saddam Hussein tried to build a supercomputer out of Playstation 2s. False. The rumor was offered as an explanation for a shortage of Playstation 2s, but if an evil dictator did want to build a supercomputer, using game consoles would be a bad way to do it. Sony first developed the Playstation for Nintendo.…
Categories: Technology, Urban Legends Comments (8)
Automotive Bermuda Triangle
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jan 29, 2008
In 2006 I posted about the road of non-starting cars in the town of Gosport, England. An unknown force on this road was preventing cars from starting. I don't know if Gosport ever solved its problem, but it seems that the neighborhood around the Empire State Building in New York City is experiencing the same issue. The New York Daily News reports: In the shadow of the Empire State Building lies an “automotive Bermuda Triangle” - a five-block radius where vehicles mysteriously die. No one is sure…
Categories: Places, Technology Comments (11)
Wrong Number Generator
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jan 24, 2008 is selling a prank gadget that seems like it would have the potential to drive someone crazy... such as a boss you intensely dislike. Unfortunately the gadget costs $89, which is a bit steep. From spysite's description: It causes calls made from the target phones to reach wrong numbers! Think about how absolutely maddening and frustrating that would be if it were to happen to your phone. Now, you'll begin to appreciate the devastating effect that this device can have. Just to toy with their fury and…
Categories: Pranks, Technology Comments (5)
Quick Links: Dec. 22, 2007
Posted by The Curator on Sat Dec 22, 2007
MAVAV Strikes Again The State of New York produced an educational video to warn about the dangers of video games. The video includes a list of "resources" parents can visit to learn more, one of which is the website of "Mothers Against Videogame Addiction and Violence." Obviously the state of New York hasn't been reading this website, since we listed MAVAV as a hoax back in 2004. Chuck Norris Sues Chuck Norris is suing the publisher and author of The Truth About Chuck Norris for "trademark infringement, unjust enrichment and privacy rights." Plus, he disputes the claim that his tears cure cancer. Painting in the…
Categories: Art, Technology Comments (5)
Student receives detention for using Firefox
Posted by The Curator on Tue Dec 18, 2007
A letter describing how a high school student received detention for using the Firefox browser -- apparently because his teacher didn't understand that Firefox is simply a different kind of browser -- has been doing the rounds: The letter actually says "Foxfire" not "Firefox" -- which makes it sound like the teacher was totally clueless. I believed the letter when I saw it. In fact, I didn't notice that anyone was skeptical of it (though apparently a few people were). But it turns out to be a hoax. The Big Spring School District has posted a notice online
Categories: Technology Comments (8)
Web-Controlled Christmas Lights Are Back for 2007
Posted by The Curator on Thu Dec 06, 2007
Alek Komarnitsky is back with his web-controlled Christmas lights. These are the lights that started out as a hoax, but have transformed, by popular demand, into something real. Alek writes: There are three live webcams and X10 powerline control technology system so web surfers can not only view the action, but also *control* the 17,000 lights. Heck, you can even inflate/deflate the giant Elmo, Frosty, Santa, SpongeBob SquarePants, and Homer Simpson – D’OH! While people around the world (157 countries last year) enjoy seeing the…
Categories: Technology Comments (1)
Quick Links: Dec. 3, 2007
Posted by The Curator on Mon Dec 03, 2007
Pie in Santa's Face "A 22-year-old University of Montana student was charged with assault Friday for shoving a pumpkin pie into Santa Claus’ face at a shopping mall while a teen sat on his lap." Save the Park Four students in the UK created a hoax website as a social experiment to test the influence of the media. Their website,, claimed there were plans to build a 220,000 tonne waste incineration plant in a South London park. Within a few weeks their site had received thousands of hits, and they had been contacted by a newspaper. They claim that their experiment, "showed how rumours can spread and how…
How to charge an iPod with an onion
Posted by The Curator on Tue Nov 27, 2007
I'm not sure what to make of this video. Is it true or false? It describes how to charge an iPod with an onion. The instructions are that you first poke a hole in the onion, then you soak it in an electrolyte solution (Gatorade). Once the onion has soaked up enough of the Gatorade, you simply push the usb adapter of your iPod's power cable into the onion, and according to the guys who made the video "your iPod will power up and it should begin charging." I'm sure that the onion would generate some electricity. It's the part about sticking the usb adapter directly into the onion that surprised me. Somehow it…
Categories: Food, Photos/Videos, Technology Comments (25)
Exideal LED Therapy
Posted by The Curator on Fri Oct 12, 2007
The CScout Japan blog has posted about a new health/beauty product from Japan. It's called the Exideal. It's basically a panel of LED lights that you're supposed to sit in front of as it flickers and pulses. The company claims that the LED light will "“permeate the vitamins and collagen in your skin and make you beautiful from the inside”. This will set you back around $900. I suspect you could probably receive the same health benefits from sitting in front of a regular lightbulb for a few minutes a day, and that would be a lot cheaper. (via OhGizmo)
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