"Turning the concept of authenticity on its head, genuine forgeries — whether created with the intention of deceiving or not — are riding the crest of the art-scene zeitgeist, and commanding sums in excess of figures fetched by the so-called ‘original greats’ " - The Fake's Progress by Stuart Husband
"One of my friends suggested we should do karaoke night so we found Freakin' Awesome Karaoke Express and decided to give them a go... We had a blast, their service was amazing and they had unbelievably great selection of songs... I never would have thought of seeking a mobile karaoke service, but they were fantastic... My friend had been to a block party where they were hired..." Only problem: Freakin' Awesome Karaoke Express does not exist. Fake reviews are endemic to online businesses, they are rated as trustworthy, and they are amazingly cheap to buy. [more inside]
The Hum can only be heard by 2% of the population. It has been called a conspiracy theory, but scientists have identified "Vibroacoustic Disease" which causes depression, lesions, and strokes. The Hum has been documented extensively in Taos, Kokomo, and Windsor, Canada. There is even a worldwide Hum map, and you can update their database if you are hearing it. But what is causing the hum, and does it really exist? [more inside]
LEGO’s letter to parents, and how not to tell a fake when you don’t see one
According to the website of the Independent newspaper, LEGO UK has verified the 1970s ‘letter to parents’ that was widely tweeted last weekend and almost as widely dismissed as fake. Business as usual in the Twittersphere — but there are some lessons here about dating type.[more inside]
Extra Virgin Suicides is an interactive graphic from the New York Times about the global business of counterfeit olive oil. The NYT graphic is pretty slick, too.
"Noclip" is a fake trailer, for a movie that, for now, is not going to be made, about the incredible power of its characters to defy the physics of the world they live in, almost as if they were cheating a videogame.
Where a journalist tries to identify TheIneffableSwede, an online commenter on the Guardian website and elsewhere online. A journalist from the Guardian adds more context.
Sullivan’s book was a hit. It was the single best-selling book of 1947, ahead of de Beauvoir, ahead of Sartre, ahead of Camus. People wanted to meet him. The press wanted to talk to him. He was also the plaintiff in a civil suit that could carry a heavy fine or even lead to time in jail. He had to appear in court, which was tricky, because Vernon Sullivan didn’t exist. (SLTheAwl)
Gary Bolton has been found guilty of selling fake bomb detectors to countries including Iraq. In May James McCormick was sentenced for 10 years for committing a similar fraud (previously, previously, previously). The original fraud is now 20 years old.
Montaous Walton just wanted to play ball, so he made up a fake online persona, fooled the media, signed with an agent and ended up in handcuffs.
A secret asian man has spoofed his way into numerous VIP parties in Cannes pretending to be PSY of Gangnam Style fame. Now revealed as a French Korean adoptee living in Ireland, Denis Carré gave a short interview to GQ.
Breitbarted! [BUSINESSINSIDER.COM] "Conservative news site Breitbart.com duped by fake story that Paul Krugman declared dankruptcy. A satirical item published last week purporting that economist Paul Krugman had filed for bankruptcy has spread to Boston.com and the conservative website Breitbart this morning. The item originated in The Daily Currant, a satirical news site. Austria's Format online magazine picked it up, and their report was subsequently cited by Boston.com [It has since been taken down 404 error.]. Then it spread to Breitbart. It has since been taken down this morning, but here's a screenshot:" [more inside]
The world of honey trading is a murky one, riddled with smuggling and fakery. But honey detectives are on the case! And they have a new, powerful weapon: a laser tool designed by the European Space Agency to measure carbon on Mars that has been re-purposed to detect fake honey. (Via) [more inside]
"Shot October 2012 while driving through Santa Clarita. There were two crafts. After sighting the first I stopped the car and ran into a field for a better look. What happened next was unbelievable." Except the unbelievable thing is that everything was faked, not just the too-real looking UFO, as Wired breaks down the elements in the video. But if you're excited about this video, watch out! ALIENS IN MEXICO !!! And Dominican Republic! More than five years ago! Except, it wasn't real then, either. [more inside]
The fake intellectual invites you to conspire in his own self-deception, to join in creating a fantasy world. He is the teacher of genius, you the brilliant pupil. Faking is a social activity in which people act together to draw a veil over unwanted realities and encourage each other in the exercise of their illusory powers. The arrival of fake thought and fake scholarship in our universities should not therefore be attributed to any explicit desire to deceive. It has come about through the complicit opening of territory to the propagation of nonsense. An essay by Roger Scruton from Aeon magazine.
In February 1964, when the Beatles played the Ed Sullivan Show, record executives in America were faced with the question of how to get a piece of the Beatlemania action. The result was an explosion of knockoff Beatles records, promising things like “The Beetle Beat”, “Beat-A-Mania” and “The Original Liverpool Sound”, credited (often in type far smaller than the famous song titles) to bands with names like The Bearcuts, The Manchesters, The Moptops and the Liverpool Kids, and featuring cover models with varyingly plausible approximations of the Beatles' haircuts, as detailed by WFMU's Gaylord Fields (SLVimeo).
Geek Masculinity and the Myth of the Fake Geek Girl - why we get things like the "Imposter" ad and the Tony Harris rant.
Microscope phakomètre; brass; part silvered; instrument is fixed to column by an assembly consisting of a central ball moving within split socket and two clamps
This complicated "instrument" does not perform any useful purpose and was presumably made as a spoof.
Confessions of a Genius Art Forger — In one of Germany's greatest art scandals, former hippie and talented artist Wolfgang Beltracchi forged dozens of paintings over a period of 35 years, earning millions and fooling top collectors and museums. In a SPIEGEL interview, he reveals how he did it and why he eventually got caught. Photo Gallery. Background... [more inside]
After Regretsy's previous run-in with Paypal during a bout of fund-raising (previously), a reader contacts them with the tale of the $2,500 'fake' violin.
Joni Mitchell recently and infamously called him a "plagiarist", and now, Bob Dylan's art show at Gagosian has aroused some similar suspicions. Did Gagosian simply market the exhibition incorrectly?
Behold! The trailer of ZOMBINLADEN -The Axis of Evil Dead for your viewing pleasure [SLDM] [more inside]
'It was an instant success,' Stan says. 'It's not surprising, because it meets all the criteria of a good gag. It's very cheap to make, so you could make a decent profit on it. It sells for a very cheap price, so it's easy to sell. And people just went after it. The numbers we hear tend to vary, but the story is it initially sold about 100,000 units a year, which, at the time, was a lot. Fishlove did very well with it.' The Inside Scoop on the Fake Barf Industry.
Blogger BirdAboard discovers not one, but three fake Apple stores in Kunming, China.
Ghostface Killah's Top 10 Softest Rappers in the game
Last Friday, an adolescent cobra escaped from the Bronx Zoo. Now, it has begun taunting its former captors. (Via)
University of Redwood sounds a lot like Reed College, down to faculty and building names. And apparently it doesn't exist. [more inside]
"There's confusion about where the line lies between being a bad person and being ill. Someone who's doing this, I'm afraid, could be both." The Guardian discusses 'Munchausen by Internet'. [more inside]
Catfish: Filmmakers Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost begin to film Ariel's brother Nev, a photographer who shares office space with the the pair in NYC. Nev begins an online relationship--through Facebook--with a family in rural Michigan: an 8-year-old girl, the girl's mother, and most significantly, the girl's older sister, with whom Nev develops a romantic relationship. The trio ultimately discover that all is not what it seems. The latter might describe the film critically acclaimed Catfish itself, which the makers defend as completely true. Ten reasons why Catfish is fake. Roger Ebert liked it, but doesn't seem to care if it's fake or not. Others think it's just sort of fake. More here and here.
Want to create a video of a steady stream of divers simultaneously using the 10 and 3-metre platforms at the diving pool? Get a lot of fellows together, or just Fake It (SLYT; 3.43). Original site (Japanese).
[Warning: some links NSFW] Callgirl and blogger Alexa DiCarlo had some questions raised about her authenticity dating back to 2008 and 2009, but her website RealPrincessDiaries.com (archive.org cache) still attracted huge traffic and she was even named the #1 sex blogger of 2010. A student at SFSU's master's degree program in sexuality studies, she also volunteered her time providing sex education advice to teenagers online under the name Caitlain or Cathy. And she mentored newbie sex workers via e-mail, giving them pro tips and even sharing with them one of her top clients, Matt, whose identity and safety she vouched for. But in true Kaycee Nicole / JT LeRoy style, it now turns out there wasn't any "Alexa", "Caitlain", or "Cathy". Outed by the anonymous blog Expose A Bro, combined with the anonymous twitter account @ExposingAlexa, the real story has emerged. Alexa was apparently a married middle-aged guy named Pat, not a student at SFSU, had no formal training from which to be sharing "advice" (or naked photos!) with those teenagers online, and he was the "client" that "Alexa" had sent to her protégées to sleep with... [more inside]
Shakira's "Hips Don't Lie" feat. Glenn Danzig. (Or, more accurately: "Glenn Danzig".)
Fake the Beatles : WFMU DJ Gaylord Fields delivers an entertaining presentation on the mid-1960s cottage industry in Beatles soundalike records. Other Beatlesque imitators to follow below the fold. [more inside]
There are Real Fake Buildings, Real Fake Watches, real fake books, and of course, "The Internet's LARGEST Selection of Real Fake Rocks!" But for truly high-end fakes -- the "realest" of the fakes -- there's the Museum of Fakes in Southern Italy, or even better, the Museum of Art Fakes in Vienna, which includes etchings from "last living master forger from Germany." "The Museum of Art Fakes, almost directly opposite the Hundertwasserhaus, is unique in Europe. It is filled with paintings from not only world famous forgers (such as van Meegeren, Tom Keating, David Stein, Konrad Kujau, Edgar Mrugalla, Lothar Malskat), but also so-called ‘identical-forgeries’ of Schiele, Klimt, Monet, Raffael and many more."
For almost 20 years, Art Williams, Jr. was one of the country's eminent currency counterfeiters. His greatest achievement: counterfeiting the new (at the time) $100 bill (PDF link). [more inside]
"What you are now going to hear is a recording of the actual voice of Oscar Wilde ..." [more inside]
Why Is Coffee Addictive? The coffee bean has a distinctive smell that makes you forget how painful it is to be awake.
Fake Science. answering important questions like Where does Oil come from?, How do 3D glasses work?, and at least a handful more.
Unwords.com maintains a collection of words that individuals and other apostrophascists have made up at some point in time to adjectize things that aren't associated with a term in the English language, or to describe them with a term that is a fuzzword, or to describe things that make one ghastipate... a fictionary, if you will. [more inside]
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.
According to a customer report on the TribalWar forums, Newegg.com accidentally shipped bogus Intel i7 920 Retail CPUs. There are photos on Overclockers Forums and HardOCP. There's even a YouTube video of the fake CPU, fan and manual.
Weird Al makes up interviews with some of the finest artists in the recording industry. Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Micheal Stipe, Eminem, Celine Dion, Avril Lavigne, and even a rare interview with Kevin Federline.
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.