Hoaxes of 2014
Hoaxes of 2014
Fake Background Noise — Liars and chronic excuse-makers now have a new weapon of deception at their disposal. SounderCover will add fake background noises to a cellular call. So if you're sleeping in late, but you want your boss to think that you're stuck in traffic, just play the sound for background traffic while you lay happily in bed. You can even create and use your own sounds. Ingenious.
Scottish Castle For Sale, Again — If you missed the chance to bid on the Scottish Castle that was being sold on eBay, don't worry. You have another chance. The first auction was cancelled after it was flooded by hoax bidders, including a guy living in a two-bedroom flat in Ohio who bid a cool £8 million. Why do people even bother auctioning these high-ticket items on eBay? They attract hoax bidders like a dog attracts fleas.
Million Dollar Bill — Apparently in a bid to secure the title of 'Stupidest Criminal Ever,' a woman, Alice Regina Pike, handed a clerk at WalMart a $1,000,000 bill and asked to cash it. The clerk refused, so then Ms. Pike tried to buy $1,675 worth of merchandise with the bill. Still no luck. Finally the cops were called in and the woman was taken away. She probably would have had more luck if she had tried with monopoly money, or perhaps one of those $200 George Bush bills.
Dear Abby meets the Simpsons — Dear Abby answered a letter from a woman who described the following situation. Her brutish, insensitive husband gave her a bowling ball for her birthday fitted to his own hand size. She retaliated by taking up bowling as a hobby, but soon met a man at the bowling alley and fell in love with him. So what should she do? Dear Abby advised trying to save the marriage, but an alert newspaper editor realized that the letter actually described an episode of the Simpson's in which this exact…
Bigfoot: the controversy continues — Bob Heironimus claims that the famous Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot film shot in 1967 was a hoax... and that he was the man wearing the Bigfoot costume. Apparently Patterson was in on the hoax. All is revealed in a new book written by Greg Long, The Making of Bigfoot. Of course, the Bigfoot believers are dismissing Heironimus' story, so I predict that these latest claims will do absolutely nothing to end the debate.
Posted: Tue Mar 09, 2004. Comments (0)
Coke Can with Spirits — We've seen ghosts in jars being sold on eBay, as well as ghosts in toasters. Now you have a chance to buy a ghost in a Coke can. And while you're at it, don't pass up the opportunity to bid on this videotape of a meeting with an 'interdimensional alien.' Minimum bid is only $1,300,000.
Posted: Mon Mar 08, 2004. Comments (5)
The Church of Beer — If you love beer, then this is the church for you: The Church of Beer. It really is a church. If you're ordained as one of its ministers, then you can legitimately perform wedding services. But by its own admission, it doesn't take itself that seriously. I signed up to join right away. I'm even tempted to become an official Church of Beer minister, but I'm not sure about shelling out $15 for the honor.
Posted: Fri Mar 05, 2004. Comments (3)
Transgenic, hair-growing plants — New Scientist has published an interview with Laura Cinti, an artist who claims that she has collaborated with an unnamed genetics lab in order to create a transgenic cactus that grows human hair. Christopher Chauvin brought this to my attention, and, like him, I'm a bit skeptical of Cinti's claims. First of all, it seems like quite a scientific achievement to get a cactus to grow human hair. Second, it seems suspicious that the lab that did the work can't be named. Third, it doesn't…
Posted: Thu Mar 04, 2004. Comments (14)
David Manning Update — In 2001 Sony Pictures got caught promoting its movies by using glowing quotations from a non-existent movie critic named David Manning to hype them. When the non-existence of Manning was pointed out, Sony pulled the ads, but to this day it has maintained its right to have printed the quotations, claiming they were protected as free speech. Yesterday Los Angeles Justice Reuben Ortega disallowed that defense. His remarks were notable: [if the case against Sony succeeds] "no longer will…
Posted: Thu Mar 04, 2004. Comments (0)
Garden Ornaments Mystery — They're popping up all over the place in Acle: huddled under bus shelters, lined up at the bank. They're garden ornaments (gnomes, Grecian figures, etc.), and no one knows who or what is responsible for their mysterious movements. Let's hope it's not Travelocity.
Posted: Thu Mar 04, 2004. Comments (0)
The Great Doughnut Hoax — Three years ago Robert Ligon announced that he had invented a low-fat doughnut. He stood to make millions off the invention. But a few days ago he was hauled off by the police, who simultaneously raided his warehouse and confiscated over 18,000 of his doughnuts (all of which, I'm sure, will be held as evidence... not one of them will mysteriously disappear). You see, Ligon's doughnuts weren't actually low-fat. He was simply buying normal donuts and slapping a low-fat label on them.
Posted: Thu Mar 04, 2004. Comments (1)
Church of SpongeBob Squarepants — Are you bored with mainstream religion and ready, eddy, eddy for something different? Then why not consider converting to the Church of SpongeBob Squarepants? In fact, you probably don't even have to give up your existing faith. Spongebob is quite ecumenical, in this regard. To convert all you have to do is "drop on the deck and flop like a fish." (Thanks to Alex... that's someone else named Alex, not me... for the link).
Posted: Wed Mar 03, 2004. Comments (5)
I Can Still Tell Your Wife, Bill — The advertising agency Yarnbird is trying to make a name for itself as a creator of viral content. It invents odd sites that appear to be the creations of weird, eccentric people. The hope is that the popularity of the sites will provide publicity for Yarnbird. One of its previous sites, that I've linked to before, was My Son Peter. Another site that people have been linking to recently is I can still tell your wife, Bill. It appears to be created by a woman who's mad at Bill, a…
Posted: Wed Mar 03, 2004. Comments (3)
The Vinland Map — The debate about the Vinland Map continues, and Scientific American summarizes the controversy. Everyone agrees that the parchment the map was written on is medieval, but what about the ink? That's the question.
Posted: Wed Mar 03, 2004. Comments (0)
Bad California Weather — This picture is going around via email. It's not really a hoax at all. Just a joke. But since it's about Southern California, I couldn't resist sharing it. Here's the text that accompanies the email: With all the news on TV lately about the subzero weather and snow that the east coast and upstate NY areas are experiencing, we shouldn't forget that Southern California has it's share of devastating weather also. I've attached a photo illustrating the excessive damage caused to a home…
Posted: Mon Mar 01, 2004. Comments (18)