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photosynthetic man

Jani, a hindu man in western India, claims not to have taken in any food or water for 70 years. He has been under 24 hour surveillance since April 22 by a hospital team. This video goes into a little more detail.
posted by mdn on Apr 29, 2010 - 82 comments

 

California Schemin'

Your dreams of rapping superstardom are stymied by your Scottish sound, so what do you do? Simple: reinvent yourself as a West Coast wild boy, with American accent and history to match. Keeping it real might be murder, but even when it all falls apart, at least you got to tour with Eminem and D12 – and you can salvage something by writing a book about it all.
posted by Len on Apr 18, 2010 - 67 comments

The Debenedetti inventions

Judith Thurman chronicles the fabricated literary interviews penned by Tommaso Debenedetti, an Italian freelance journalist. His subjects include Philip Roth, John Grisham, Gore Vidal, Günter Grass, Toni Morrison, and other famous authors. [more inside]
posted by The Mouthchew on Apr 4, 2010 - 6 comments

Exploring an Abandoned Hotel in Southern California

Exploring an Abandoned Hotel in Southern California [via mefi projects]
posted by dunkadunc on Mar 31, 2010 - 66 comments

It Would Be Believable If It Wasn't So Unbelievable

It looked legit and not entirely out of the realm of possibility in today's heated political climate: an anti-gay resolution being introduced in Utah to expel homosexuals from the state. Except that it was an entire, elaborate hoax courtesy of the Yes Men.
posted by Leezie on Mar 9, 2010 - 28 comments

Bunga-Bunga

Today is the centenary of the Dreadnought Hoax, when a group of pranksters paid a ceremonial visit to the Royal Navy's flagship, HMS Dreadnought, pretending to be the Emperor of Abyssinia and his retinue. The organiser of the hoax was Horace de Vere Cole, an inveterate practical joker whose favourite trick was to 'walk with a cow's udder protruding from his flies and then cut it off with scissors before aghast bystanders'. But one of the other hoaxers went on to become famous for other reasons. Her name? Virginia Woolf.
posted by verstegan on Feb 7, 2010 - 21 comments

Dubious Discoveries

Bogus! Why do fakes get made? Why do people fall for hoaxes? Greed, pride, revenge, nationalism, pranks, and gullibility mix in an archaeological setting. Archaeology Magazine examines eight classic cases, and more.
posted by amyms on Dec 23, 2009 - 6 comments

Copenhagen Spoof Shames Canada

During the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, The Yes Men put out a statement in which they purported to be the Canadian environment minister, Jim Prentice. The statement pledged to cut carbon emissions by 40% below 1990 levels by 2020. The statement was followed by a response from the Ugandan delegation, praising the statement, that was also faked. A fake statement was issued on behalf of Environment Canada celebrating the fake Ugandan statement. Another fake statement was then put out blasting the falsehoods of the original fake statement. A fake story in a European edition of the Wall Street Journal was also posted online. Jim Prentice (Canada's Environment Minister) described the hoax as "undesirable". [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu on Dec 15, 2009 - 90 comments

Climategate?

The public's opinion of the field of climatology has been shaken by the leaked CRU emails. While it's arguable that the messages show any wrongdoing, many pundits have now reached the conclusion that global warming is a hoax, coverup and conspiracy, years in the making with millions of faked datapoints. Sarah Palin has written an editorial saying Obama should boycott the Copenhagen COP15 summit.
posted by mccarty.tim on Dec 9, 2009 - 270 comments

Oh Lord, what a videogame

Mass: We Pray is an exciting new project from Boston based game developer Prayer Works Interactive. Watch the trailer for examples of the 24 different services you and your family can participate in. Don't listen to the sites that claim this is a hoax. Preordering begins today!
posted by scrutiny on Nov 20, 2009 - 45 comments

TSA agents took my son

Woman tries to go through metal detector at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson aiport with her infant son, only to have his pacifier set off the alarm. TSA did the only rational thing and took the woman's son
posted by cgs on Oct 16, 2009 - 653 comments

The fake truth

NY Post Special Global Warming Edition (courtesy of The Yes Men). Thousands of hard copies hit the streets of New York at the crack of dawn.
posted by hellbient on Sep 21, 2009 - 33 comments

Reingelegt!

Net Hoax Convinces Germany of Fake U.S. Suicide Bombing Attempt All of Germany was bamboozled Thursday by a bizarre scheme that tricked the country’s main wire service into reporting an attempted suicide bombing in a California town — an attack supposedly perpetrated by a non-existent rap group called the “Berlin Boys.” [more inside]
posted by chillmost on Sep 12, 2009 - 18 comments

"Jia Junpeng, your mom is calling you to come home and eat."

China's latest Internet obsession began with an anonymous post on a computer gaming forum: "Jia Junpeng, your mom is calling you to come home and eat." [more inside]
posted by tapeguy on Sep 6, 2009 - 34 comments

16 men on a dead bloggers chest...

Reports spread around the internet about an offer by a Russian company to do pirate hunting cruises off the coast of Somalia. The news garners a swarm of comments and outrage, and it looks like we have the beginnings of a snowballing controversy. [more inside]
posted by happyroach on Jun 26, 2009 - 36 comments

Greatly exaggerated

With the world buzzing about celebrity deaths, it was an opportune moment for hoaxsters. A rumour that Jeff Goldblum had died spread quickly on Twitter, and "'Jeff Goldblum dead' was at 11am the third-most popular search term on Google". The actor's agent quashed the rumour, but not before Australian TV broadcast it as fact, complete with a touching montage tribute. Still, now he knows what it will be like when he really goes: "A surprise funeral? For me?"
posted by robcorr on Jun 26, 2009 - 78 comments

I was picturing a basket

The trailer for "After Last Season" quietly appeared on the Apple site recently. But what is it? Some suggest a hoax, others a parody. Apple lists it as a comedy, IMDB as a thriller. [more inside]
posted by outlier on Mar 28, 2009 - 82 comments

I Write, They Answer (Usually)

What if you wrote to Alpo to ask if they have a senior citizen's blend, or to the AARP to inquire about the living status of Abe Vigoda? And what if they wrote back? That's the purpose of Jackassletters.com, part mischief, part mayhem, from MeFi's own cjorgensen. History has demonstrated the fun of hoax letter writing, for instance Kitty Piddle Soda from Avery's Beverages. Someone has to carry on the tradition. Tweaking the noses of power and fame. (via MeFi Projects)
posted by netbros on Mar 3, 2009 - 59 comments

Cosmic Microwave Radiation discoverer demo-hoaxed

In 1989 Rob Pike, Penn & Teller, and Dennis Ritchie (one of the creators of UNIX), prank Arno Penzias, with a funky speech recognition demo.
posted by oonh on Feb 19, 2009 - 6 comments

250 miles out of 2,100 is close enough right?

Jennifer Figge a 56 year old mother turned adventurer is the first woman to swim across the frigid Atlantic Ocean!. Or so they thought...
posted by Mastercheddaar on Feb 11, 2009 - 36 comments

Mythbusters takes on the Moon Hoax!

Has man really set foot on the moon? There have certainly been a lot of claims that the whole Apollo missions were one giant hoax. Adam and Jamie at Mythbusters examine the claims of the Hoax Believers one by one. Did they use a wire rig or slow down the film to simulate the 1/6 moon gravity? What would it look like in real 1/6 G? Would a footprint in the lunar regolith have maintained it's shape even if there was no moisture to keep the material together? Why was the flag waving so much if there was no wind on the moon? Why are the shadows on the moon not parallel if they are coming from a single light source? Why can we see the astronauts when they are in shadows if there isn't a second light source? To finish it all off they shoot a laser at the moon to see if the reflector they supposedly left there is actually there.
posted by Sir Mildred Pierce on Dec 18, 2008 - 105 comments

Palin & Africa Redux

A false expert and phony think tank fool bloggers and the mainstream news media. [more inside]
posted by lalochezia on Nov 12, 2008 - 110 comments

Early spirit photography

Ghosts, apparitions, angels, spiritual visitations and views of the future "The relationship between photography and the spirit world of ghosts, apparitions and angels during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century was a blending of popular belief and scientific fraud. The lack of sophistication in the public in an age of deeply held religious values and the generally accepted belief that the camera recorded truth allowed the unscrupulous to exploit the situation for financial gain...This online exhibition explores the diverse interactions between mortals and the spiritual world..." [via Bouphonia]
posted by mediareport on Oct 31, 2008 - 6 comments

Gotcha!

Nothing But The Truth: Internet Hoaxes [more inside]
posted by chuckdarwin on Oct 6, 2008 - 42 comments

Master of the hoax finally goes straight.

Master of the hoax finally goes straight. Clifford Irving, author of the now infamous Autobiography of Howard Hughes, publishes his own autobiography, Phantom Rosebuds. Irving has already covered the story of that Hughes forgery pretty thoroughly in his earlier book, The Hoax, and Lasse Hallstrom retold the story in a film starring Richard Gere. Phantom Rosebuds though makes a case for the rest of Irving’s life - f for fake, the subsequent novels, the jail time and the dramatic consequences of the hoax which draw him into a world of espionage, renegade presidents, and rogue hitmen.
posted by blimp77 on Jul 11, 2008 - 5 comments

night people vs. day people

Jean Shepherd has been mentioned before but WFMU's Beware of the Blog has finally dug out an mp3 of Shepherd himself telling the story of "I, Libertine" (mp3 link) (wiki). I, Libertine was a literary hoax that began as a practical joke. Shepherd asked his listeners ("the Night People") to go into bookstores and ask for a book that didn't exist. Fueled by bewildered bookstore owners and distributors, I, Libertine eventually did end up as a genuine bestseller, proving his point that the process of choosing bestsellers was flawed.
posted by krautland on Jun 29, 2008 - 11 comments

Fire-Wielding Beavers and Man-Bats, Oh My!

The Great Moon Hoax of 1835. During the last week of August 1835, the New York Sun published a six-part article about the discovery - purportedly by renowned astronomer Sir John Herschel - of fantastical life on the moon, including herds of bison, blue unicorns, "a primitive tribe of hut-dwelling, fire-wielding biped beavers, and a race of winged humans living in pastoral harmony around a mysterious, golden-roofed temple." The public's reaction was a mix of credulity and skepticism. Read the full text of the serialized articles: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6.
posted by amyms on Jun 24, 2008 - 37 comments

Phony airline ads and website almost too close to reality

A fairly convincing website for a fake airline added to the outrage some felt in Philadelphia when newspaper ads promised airfares based passengers' weights. "Philadelphia to L.A., $2.25/pound" read the ads.
posted by polysigma on Jun 11, 2008 - 90 comments

The Biggest Drawing In The World

The Biggest Drawing In The World.
posted by Armitage Shanks on May 23, 2008 - 82 comments

We all die in the dark.

Darko Maver: In 1999, An artist is killed in his prison cell in Podgorica.

Early works. Writings. Culminating exhibit. His arrest. His death. [more inside]
posted by klangklangston on Jan 17, 2008 - 13 comments

Wow, isn't that... doing...? Wait.

Alison Jackson takes paparazzi shots of celebrity lookalikes. (NSFW) [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Dec 19, 2007 - 8 comments

Crafty Cartography

Lost? Why not consult a map? Because, according to a past exhibit at the British Library, the mapmaker might have a political agenda.
posted by Rykey on Nov 12, 2007 - 14 comments

Your $7,250 speakers cables are crap! Mine cost $43,000.

Journalist Accepts $1 Million Challenge: Do $7250 Cables Sound Better or Not? (Or they could use these $43,000 cables instead). At least, it sounded like acceptance, even to James Randi. But then... maybe not. So while you're waiting to find out if you should spend that much for cables, maybe you can buy something from this collection of fine audiophile products. $400 for a pair tweeters may not be too bad. You can use them with your $350,000 amplifier, and your awesome-looking $100,000 turntable. Make sure you set aside $13,416 for a decent power cable, though, or you're just wasting your money.
posted by The Deej on Oct 21, 2007 - 147 comments

The Life and Death of Jesse Jubilee James, Featuring Harlan Ellison

In the grand tradition of Kaycee Nicole, Anthony Godby Johnson, and Kodee Kennings, Jesse James was a studly volunteer firefighter and 9/11 hero who A History of Violence screenwriter Josh Olson's friend Audrey fell in love with over the internet. He turned out to be not what he seemed. None other than Harlan Ellison himself took part in the intervention, and the ensuing confrontation of the perpetrator was recorded for posterity. Via.
posted by Locative on Oct 12, 2007 - 88 comments

30-Year Laptop Battery?

Betavoltaic Batteries are supposed to last 30 years, run cool, and be inert and harmless when depleted. The batteries, which generate electricity from radioactive decay, have a 50-year development history, but breakthroughs at the U.S. Air Force Research Lab are said to make the batteries practical for use in consumer applications. So why doesn't the Air Force lab's website feature this discovery? Maybe because it's a hoax, or a scam.
posted by Kirth Gerson on Oct 9, 2007 - 22 comments

In a secular age, an authentic miracle must purport to be a hoax, in order to gain credit in the world.

The Mahikari Hoax The Harvard Asia Quarterly tells the story of Fujimura Shinichi, a once-renowned amateur Japanese archaeologist nicknamed 'God's Hands' (神の手) for his seemingly preternatural talent for finding artifacts, who was caught planting planting stone tools, some of which he had fabricated himself, others he had taken from other sites, at an archaeological dig in Miyagi, northern Japan. [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu on Oct 6, 2007 - 25 comments

Der Papalagi wohnt wie die Seemuscheln in einem festen Gehäuse

The Papalagi. "Then many of these thought-mats are tied into bunches and pressed together ('books' the Papalagi calls them) and sent to every part of that great country. Very soon, everyone who takes these thoughts into themselves is infected. They devour these thought-mats as if they were sweet bananas ... [Y]oung and old gnaw at them like rats gnawing at sugar cane. That is the reason why so few of them are still able to think reasonable, natural thoughts, like those that every honest Samoan has.'
posted by No-sword on Aug 24, 2007 - 14 comments

Come Visit Camp Okutta

Camp Okutta: give your child a summer to remember!
posted by generichuman on Aug 22, 2007 - 35 comments

Web 2.0 effect busted

Fearless experimenters viral marketers Web 2.0 Effect get pwned.
posted by doublesix on Jul 6, 2007 - 13 comments

Helen Duncan was the last woman to be convicted of witchcraft in Britain. This was in 1944.

Helen Duncan was the last woman to be convicted of witchcraft in Britain. This was in 1944. British authorities "were alarmed by reports that she had disclosed - allegedly via contacts with the spirit world - the sinking of two British battleships long before they became public." Her descendants still smart from the trial and there is a campaign to pardon Mrs Duncan, who some consider a martyred medium who could regurgitate ectoplasm out of her mouth. More than a decade before her trial legendary psychic researcher Harry Price exposed Mrs Duncan as a fraud in his essay The Cheese-Cloth Worshippers. If you want to judge for yourself you can take a look at the photographs Mr Price took of a séance performed by Mrs Duncan.
posted by Kattullus on Jul 5, 2007 - 75 comments

HelpMyBabyLive.com- There are no words

HelpMyBabyLive.com It comes down to this. If we can't raise the $50,000 in the next 3 months, we'll have to choose abortion. And you thought Save Karyn was bad. Via
posted by ThePinkSuperhero on Jun 28, 2007 - 176 comments

Parting the Veil of Faery: The Colmore Fatagravures

Parting the Veil of Faery: The Colmore Fatagravures, said to date from the 1890s. "A Scottish adventurer, inventor, and photographer named Neville Colmore claimed to have constructed a device capable of '...parting the veil of Faery...' The device, which he called the Spectobarathrum, along with all of the images he claimed to have made were believed destroyed in a fire. I believe some of these images and related artefacts may have survived." [via Apothecary's Drawer]
posted by mediareport on Jun 19, 2007 - 16 comments

The Baby Psychic

Don't waste your hard earned money on a pet psychic. That would be foolish! Especially since your baby has so much to say.
posted by The Deej on Jun 11, 2007 - 12 comments

Congratulations!

Clive James on Scams and Hoaxes. "If the flim-flam man is sensible enough to offer you a return of only twice as much, the scam might even work. I was once defrauded of a heartbreakingly-large sum by a fellow writer who was smart enough to offer no return at all. True to her word, she didn't return my money either."
posted by Blue Stone on Apr 9, 2007 - 18 comments

Happy April 1st

The great Nat Tate hoax. 9 years ago, writer William Boyd and singer David Bowie (easily two of the coolest persons alive) joined forces to perpetrate one of the most elaborate art hoaxes to date: the "rediscovery" of Nat Tate, American Artist. A Boyd-penned biography was bombastically presented in Jeff Koons' gallery (who wasn't in on the joke)...to be enthusiastically lapped up by NYC's glitteratti. If only they had bothered to check the date...
posted by Skeptic on Apr 1, 2007 - 63 comments

"I got more publicity from this little joke... than from all the serious work I ever did over many decades."

A hoax that embarrassed the art world: Pavel Jerdanowitch and the Disumbrationist School of Painting . This "joke on the art critics" was perpetrated by Paul Jordan-Smith, a former pastor who had left his calling after being charged with heresy. He went on to become a writer, editor and journalist, and in 1924 he decided to commit blasphemy against "the strange gods of modern art." The Pavel Jerdanowitch Painting Contest was inspired by the hoax. "The challenge is to produce the worst painting every painted." It's not too late to submit your own entry for 2007. You can check out last year's entries, including the "loser" (winner), for inspiration.
posted by amyms on Mar 24, 2007 - 35 comments

Burnd down Wharton's house. PSYCHE!

The missive, on paper decorated with roses and butterflies addresses a Mr. Pulsifer, and implores him to "burn down Edith Wharton's house." Algonquin press goes just a touch overboard in their publicity for a new novel.
posted by Lentrohamsanin on Mar 6, 2007 - 9 comments

revisionist history?

"In a new documentary, Producer Cameron and his director, Simcha Jacobovici, make the starting claim that Jesus wasn't resurrected --the cornerstone of Christian faith-- and that his burial cave was discovered near Jerusalem. And, get this, Jesus sired a son with Mary Magdelene."
posted by exlotuseater on Feb 24, 2007 - 169 comments

Look into my Lies

Everybody loves Zombies. Everybody loves killing Zombies. Nobody wants to suddenly wake up surrounded by Zombies. Not when you thought you were just playing a video game.
posted by Elmore on Feb 18, 2007 - 40 comments

The Hatto Hoax

The Hatto Hoax. Joyce Hatto has been described as "the greatest living pianist that almost no one has ever heard of." Her performances of piano works by Liszt, Schubert, and Rachmaninov were praised by classical afficionados for their "addictively beautiful sonority, cultured musicianship, and total instrumental mastery." Since she died in June 2006, however, Hatto has been at the center of one of the stranger scandals to hit classical music in years. It's starting to look like some or all of her treasured, hard-to-find recordings made since 1990 are not her playing at all. [Via]
posted by gottabefunky on Feb 16, 2007 - 52 comments

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