Hoaxes






Is the center circle at left larger than the center circle at right? How about this: are there gray spots between the corners of black squares?

Illusions are tricks that play off of the ways our brains typically process sensory information. The problem is that many of them have become clichéd. Hence illusion illusions — illusions that play off of the illusions we’re used to seeing. See the angry-comment-provoking Flickr set.

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fracsGenius or madness? Surly acting hunk James Franco sold an intangible, undetectable work of conceptual art, created in collaboration with the design duo Praxis, to a Montreal collector for $10,000. Paste reports that the masterpiece is titled “Fresh Air” and is described as thus:

A unique piece, only this one is for sale. The air you are purchasing is like buying an endless tank of oxygen. No matter where you are, you always have the ability to take a breath of the most delicious, clean-smelling air that the earth can produce. Every breath you take gives you endless peace and health. This artwork is something to carry with you if you own it.

Because wherever you are, you can imagine yourself getting the most beautiful taste of air that is from the mountain tops or fields or from the ocean side; it is an endless supply.


Fascinatingly, in is now common in China to find counterfeit branches of the Apple store. Then again, what makes any Apple store “real” when the point is to use psychology to sell…


20110619_eguchi2-600x449Has CGI technology become super realistic? Or is it more that actual famous people now resemble virtual creations to the extent that the difference is hardly noticeable? Kotaku reveals:

AKB48 is Japan’s most popular female pop group. With give-or-take 48 members, its latest member is Aimi Eguchi, who has rocketed from obscurity to become the poster girl for a Japanese ice candy, Ice no Mi. Now revealed as a computer composite of other girls in the group, she appears 4 seconds in below.


René Magritte may have been one of the twentieth century’s great Surrealist painters, but for income, he created and trafficked forgeries of famous works by artists such as Picasso, Ernst…and Magritte. Further…


I knew that he was going to use age-related health issues to weasel out of responsibility for his updated October 21st rapture prediction — blast you, Harold Camping, for being so clever!…






Just what the bleep are those Russians saying?!? This video has stormed the Internet, whatever it is, but it’s almost certainly a fake. Isn’t it?

Russia Today says:

A video of what was claimed to be a mutilated alien corpse is said to be fake. The tiny “dead alien” is just skin from chicken filled with bread, reports the website 7d.org.ua. Police questioned the men who claimed to have found the “body” and they allegedly confessed to creating it themselves…






A mystery that may never be solved … The genitals on the mummy of Egyptian king Tutankhamen were declared missing in 1968 but were later found buried in the sand. However, scientists…


Spaghetti HarvestGood to discover that the BBC has a much better sense of humor than American news networks, even in 1957. Via Wikipedia:

The spaghetti tree hoax is a famous 3-minute hoax report broadcast on April Fools’ Day 1957 by the BBC current affairs program Panorama. It told a tale of a family in southern Switzerland harvesting spaghetti from the fictitious spaghetti tree, broadcast at a time when this Italian dish was not widely eaten in the UK and some Britons were unaware spaghetti is a pasta made from wheat flour and water.

Hundreds of viewers phoned into the BBC, either to say the story was not true, or wondering about it, with some even asking how to grow their own spaghetti trees. Decades later CNN called this broadcast “the biggest hoax that any reputable news establishment ever pulled.”




You have to feel sorry for the author I guess, but shouldn’t his publisher have checked the facts? From the New York Times:

A new book about the atomic destruction of Hiroshima has won critical acclaim with its heartbreaking portrayals of the bomb’s survivors and is set to be made into a movie by James Cameron.

The Last Train from Hiroshima,” published in January by Henry Holt, also claims to reveal a secret accident with the atom bomb that killed one American and irradiated others and greatly reduced the weapon’s destructive power.

There is just one problem. That section of the book and other technical details of the mission are based on the recollections of Joseph Fuoco, who is described as a last-minute substitute on one of the two observation planes that escorted the Enola Gay.

But Mr. Fuoco, who died in 2008 at age 84 and lived in Westbury, N.Y., never flew on the bombing run, and he never substituted for James R. Corliss, the plane’s regular flight engineer, Mr. Corliss’s family says. They, along with angry ranks of scientists, historians and veterans, are denouncing the book and calling Mr. Fuoco an impostor…