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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Education
Hermeneutic Hoax — The most recent issue of the Romanian journal Metalurgia International contains an unusual article titled "Evaluation of Transformative Hermeneutic Heuristics for Processing Random Data." If that title doesn't make much sense to you, neither will the rest of the article. But that's intentional on the part of the authors, who submitted a nonsense article to the journal, which obligingly published it — apparently without bothering to read it first. The intent of the hoaxers (three…
Posted: Tue Sep 24, 2013.   Comments (1)

Hoaxes as a class project—and learning lessons from failed hoaxes — Prof. T. Mills Kelly teaches a class on hoaxes at George Mason University titled, "Lying About the Past." It's a study of hoaxes throughout history (the Museum of Hoaxes is on his syllabus!), but also uses hoaxes to teach critical thinking and historical analysis. As part of the class, the students have to create a historical hoax of their own and launch it on the web. I could have sworn that I'd posted previously about Kelly's class, but couldn't find where I did so. Back in 2008, his…
Posted: Thu May 17, 2012.   Comments (0)

Top 10 Worst Excuses Offered by Students for not Turning in Papers — Teacher Larry Wilson offers up these gems, all of which really were told to him by tardy students: "I had too much homework in my important classes." "I'm having a baby this weekend, can I turn it in later." "I turned it in, and I guess you lost it." "Glee was on." "I'm a crack baby." "I'm working on my essay at home." "My allergies are extremely bad right now, and I'm on my period. It's VERY heavy flow, so I apologize in advance if I freak out on you or anyone." "It's at my mom's…
Posted: Fri May 11, 2012.   Comments (2)

Exam-weary students in China receive amino-acid infusions — A strange series of photos has recently been circulating online showing an entire classroom full of high school students in China hooked up to IV drips. Apparently the students aren't sick. Instead, they're exhausted from cramming for the upcoming National College Entrance Exam (Gao Kao). So they're all being given supplemental amino acids via IV drip. And this is something the Chinese government is willing to pay for. Links: ministryoftofu.com, globaltimes.cn, businessinsider.com.
Posted: Wed May 09, 2012.   Comments (3)


Carlingford University — Kenneth ShongI think I'll add a degree from Carlingford University to my resume. I'll list it alongside my degree in Loch Ness Monster studies from Bigfoot U. Carlingford was a fake university -- a diploma mill -- created by con artist Kenneth Shong, while he was in prison on forgery charges. He was getting his fellow inmates to enroll there, having convinced them it was real. Though one inmate became suspicious of "'poor business practices and unresponsiveness' in relation to the…
Posted: Fri Jan 20, 2012.   Comments (2)

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)

Manhattan School Employees Behaving Badly — Two stories have been in the news recently about Manhattan school employees who were somewhat derelict in their commitment to the truth. The first was Joan Barnett, a parent coordinator, who, in order to get two-and-a-half weeks of vacation, claimed her daughter "Xinia Daley Herman" had died. Her mistake: she submitted a death certificate with weird, misaligned fonts. When busted, she initially claimed her daughter really had "died of a heart condition." But eventually she broke down…
Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2012.   Comments (0)

Smith College Goes Vegetarian — This one goes into the 'hoaxes as educational stunt' file. Last week a rumor raced around the campus of Smith College in Massachusetts, alleging that the administration was planning to ban meat from the campus, as well as any food not grown in New England. It was going to become a vegetarian/locavore campus. There were protests on campus, and counter-protests. Students posted their thoughts on facebook and twitter. Some wrote them in chalk on the sidewalk. A lot of students said they…
Posted: Thu Oct 27, 2011.   Comments (0)

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