On Wednesday, David Bowie's Facebook page posted an intriguing curio: a trio of videos ostensibly by an obscure '70s soul group known as Milky Edwards & The Chamberlings. The videos show needle-drops of tracks from Starman, a fabulous whole-cloth soul remake of Bowie's seminal 1972 album, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. The only trouble is, the album doesn't (appear to) actually exist. [more inside]
In the late 1970s the UK's Anglia Television ran a respected weekly documentary series: Science Report. But when the show was cancelled in 1977, the producers decided to channel Orson Welles in their final episode. The result was Alternative 3. Over the course of the hour, the audience would learn that a Science Report investigation into the UK "brain drain" had uncovered shocking revelations: man-made pollution had resulted in catastrophic climate change, the Earth would soon be rendered uninhabitable, and a secret American / Soviet joint plan was in place to establish colonies on the Moon and Mars. The show ended with footage of a US/Soviet Mars landing from May 22, 1962. After Alternative 3 aired, thousands of panicked viewers phoned the production company and demanded to know how long they had left to change planets. [more inside]
Unhappy with her hair style, a bride flips out just hours before her wedding. Sobbing and screaming, she goes into the hotel washroom, rips apart her coiffure, and cuts her own hair. The episode is caught on video, posted to YouTube, and Farkalarity ensues. But the plot thickens. It turns out the bride is 22 year-old aspiring actress Jodi Behan, and the film was made by Toronto-based Ryerson University grad Ingrid Hass. It's a hoax, designed to put a lock on their film careers. We'll see more from these girls. Thursday on the Tonight Show, for a start.
Last Friday a YouTuber by the name of "Mark Erickson" posted a video claiming to reveal an easter egg in Gmail that unlocked an invite to a yet to be announced Google beta service called Google TV. Using some relatively fancy spoofing, he showed a screencast of how logging in and out of Gmail over and over again would eventually unlock the invite. Many greasy Google fanboys (like me) followed his instructions, logging in and out dozens, and dozens and dozens of times. Eventually, we realized it was a hoax. In fact, this is what "Erickson" does, post fake technology demo videos on YouTube which lead you on wild goose chases. Also see his production company and some of their YouTube work (especially the alternative intros to "Designing Women" and "Golden Girls"). Clever little shit.
Japanese professor Kenji Sugimoto has a long-standing fascination with the brain of Albert Einstein. In the early nineties he travelled to the United States in search of it. This bizarre 1994 documentary (YouTube, multiple parts) by Kevin Hull (UK) chronicles his quest. Fake or real? [more inside]