The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Hoax Museum Blog
Hoaxes, mischief, and misinformation throughout history
What Brand Are You?
Posted by The Curator on Tue Nov 18, 2003
This is one of those cases where a joke supposedly becomes reality. An advertising company (The Design Conspiracy) created a joke website called What Brand Are You?, whose purpose was to spoof the bizarre brand names that companies are increasingly dreaming up—names such as Aviva, Diageo, and Corus. Visitors to What Brand Are You could type in their name, their 'core values,' and their goals, and the supercomputer powering the website would then spit out a personalized brand name free of charge (my brand name is 'Acclivius'). In reality, the Design Conspiracy had just dreamed up a few silly names (about 150, they say) which were randomly offered when visitors hit the submit button. But apparently a number of…
Categories: Advertising, Websites Comments (1)
Howard Dean Confederacy Posters
Posted by The Curator on Sat Nov 15, 2003
Posters advertising a campaign rally for Howard Dean, and sporting a confederate flag in the background, appeared all over the campus of Dartmouth College. The group hosting the rally denies having created the posters, therefore they're obviously a prank, created by some group as yet unknown.
Categories: Politics Comments (0)
The Naked Chef
Posted by The Curator on Sat Nov 15, 2003
Here's a picture of the 2004 calendar of Jamie Oliver (aka The Naked Chef). Note the suggestively placed piece of bread. This image originally appeared on the website of Boots, which is a British pharmacy. And it quickly attracted attention, at which point Boots cropped the image in order to remove the offending piece of bread. I can't find another picture of the calendar anywhere online to compare this picture to, but I'm assuming that the piece of bread must have been photoshopped in. Probably by a mischievous Boots employee. Update 2 (11/17/03): David Emery reports that he was able to find the real version of the…
Catch Him If You Can
Posted by The Curator on Fri Nov 14, 2003
A modern-day 'Catch Me If You Can' criminal is on the run in Australia. He cons women out of money by posing as a pilot. Except that Frank Abagnale was a teenager when he posed as a pilot, whereas this guy is in his 30s.
Science Hoaxes
Posted by The Curator on Fri Nov 14, 2003
Tim Radford has a piece in today's Guardian on his Top 10 favorite Science Hoaxes of All Time. The Piltdown Man comes in at number one. Strangely, he seemed to omit a number of very famous cases, such as the Great Moon Hoax of 1835, the Cardiff Giant, the Paul Kammerer 'Case of the Midwife Toad', William Summerlin and his painted mice, Shinichi Fujimura's Stone Age discoveries, and the recent Piltdown Chicken (of National Geographic fame). But then, it is his list, and I guess everyone would pick something different.
Categories: Science Comments (0)
Were there 2 Piltdown Hoaxers?
Posted by The Curator on Fri Nov 14, 2003
Here's even more stuff about the Piltdown Man (there's a lot of stuff about this because of the anniversary of the exposure of the fraud). The Independent reports that two academics are going to give a lecture in which they'll argue that two independent hoaxers were responsible for the piltdown frauds. But as far as I know, this theory has actually been floating around for a while.
Categories: Science Comments (0)
The Birth of Rugby
Posted by The Curator on Fri Nov 14, 2003
According to legend, the sport of Rugby was born in 1823 when a schoolboy at Rugby School named William Webb Ellis picked up the ball during a football game and started running with it. But according to an interesting piece in the 'Questions Answered' section of the London Times, this legend is probably a hoax. Unfortunately I can't link to the piece, so I've cut and pasted the relevant paragraph: There is very little evidence to support the assertion that William Webb Ellis was the first person to pick up the ball and run with it. In 1876 Martin Bloxam, who had left Rugby in 1820, wrote an account for the school magazine based on hearsay. This was immediately…
Categories: Sports Comments (0)
Not our governor, he just looks like him
Posted by The Curator on Fri Nov 14, 2003
Meet Lyndall Grant, professional Arnold Schwarzenegger impersonator. According to an article in the Columbus Dispatch, this guy earns almost $1000 a pop to imitate the Governator at corporate events and parties. Sometimes he does two events a night. When he's not imitating Ah-nold, he works as a landscape designer.
Categories: Politics Comments (0)
Bigfoot Movie
Posted by The Curator on Thu Nov 13, 2003
The actor Judge Reinhold is set to produce a movie based on the life of Ray Wallace, the man whose prank led to the name 'Bigfoot' being coined. Of course, i still haven't seen Shattered Glass, the movie based on the career of media hoaxer Stephen Glass. I want to, but it doesn't appear to be playing in San Diego.
Categories: Cryptozoology Comments (0)
Condom in the Clam Chowder
Posted by The Curator on Thu Nov 13, 2003
This woman claims that she was happily eating her clam chowder at a restaurant in Irvine, CA when to her horror she discovered a condom floating in it. Actually, she discovered the condom by biting down on it. Incessant vomiting followed. The restaurant, meanwhile, is denying any responsibility, so the woman has filed a lawsuit, which will commence Jan. 12, 2004. It seems obvious that someone is lying here, but it's basically the woman's word against the word of the restaurant managers.
Categories: Food Comments (0)
Fake Lawyer
Posted by The Curator on Thu Nov 13, 2003
Here's a pretty outrageous con. A convicted drug dealer has been caught posing as a lawyer and operating a Central Florida law firm while still in the custody of the U.S. Bureau of Prisons. Evidently he only has to spend the night in jail, but every morning he wakes up, hops into his Mercedes, and drives off to his day job as a fake lawyer, from which he's been raking in hundreds of thousands of dollars. I wonder if he'll act as his own lawyer at his trial.
Piltdown Man on TV
Posted by The Curator on Thu Nov 13, 2003
Andrew Nixon sends word of a tv program that British hoax enthusiasts might want to watch. It's BBC2's special commemorating the 50th anniversary of the exposure of the Piltdown Man. It'll be titled "Britain's Greatest Hoax," airing Friday 21st November at 9pm.
Categories: Science Comments (0)
Cheating Scum
Posted by The Curator on Thu Nov 13, 2003
Cheating Scum was a hoax website purporting to offer a forum in which people could expose 'cheating scum' boyfriends, girlfriends, wives, husbands, etc. It only existed for a little while, but Kirun sends word that a mirrored version of it is still online.
Categories: Sex/Romance Comments (1)
Hi-Brazil
Posted by The Curator on Wed Nov 12, 2003
When I was writing up the book version of The Museum of Hoaxes, there were quite a few hoaxes that, for one reason or another, I had to leave out. I went so far as to write up descriptions of many hoaxes that I later had to cut from the book, in order to keep the book's length manageable. All these discarded hoaxes have been sitting on my hard drive for over a year now, but I've decided to put them all up here on the website. I should have done it sooner, but laziness got in the way. So over the next few weeks I'll be adding these hoaxes to the site. For the first hoax I'm going…
Real Sheep
Posted by The Curator on Wed Nov 12, 2003
Here's an odd site, sent along to me by Chris, whom I met while I was attending the Hoaxes conference in New Mexico. It's the Real Sheep site, selling the world's finest elastic, life-size love mutton (the site is safe for work). As Chris points out, Real Sheep appears to be a parody of RealDoll.com (not safe for work) which sells the world's finest love dolls.
Categories: Sex/Romance Comments (0)
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