Hoaxes

Fooled school: Taking advantage of good intentions (Updated)

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School community fooled by leukemia hoax. When Jayden Mosness first heard about the plight of 10-year-old Alexander Jordan, he and his classmates wanted to help. Mosness says the entire school community thought Alexander was dying of leukemia. The story spread around town that he wanted to see an Eagle Valley football game, so the school…

Hoax Hurricane Sandy photo

Fake photo said to be Hurricane Sandy

Dangerous Minds is reporting that this fake photo is circulating around facebook as a real image of Hurricane Sandy approaching New York City. This photo is NOT real but a manipulation. About.com Urban Legends has this explanation: It was created by combining a fairly standard image of New York Harbor with a 2004 photo of…

“Cursed”: New show about supernatural beliefs

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A new show is premiering on the Bio channel – supposedly true stories of curses. Cursed: Biography channel  “Cursed” features first-person accounts of how curses have tormented, hurt, and even killed. These stories are told by the people who have lived through them and by those who have seen others affected. Cinematic re-enactments and compelling…

Perverse incentives of science culture result in fraud and rise in retracted papers

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Study Finds Misconduct Widespread in Retracted Scientific Papers – NYTimes.com. Last year the journal Nature reported an alarming increase in the number of retractions of scientific papers — a tenfold rise in the previous decade, to more than 300 a year across the scientific literature. Other studies have suggested that most of these retractions resulted…

The Onion strikes again (Updated)

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Onion article cited as fact by Iran news agency – US news – Weird news | NBC News. A joke by the satirical website The Onion appears to have gotten lost in translation. An Iranian news agency picked up — as fact — a story from the paper about a supposed Gallup survey showing an…

Mystery shopper scam busted in New York

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‘Mystery shopper’ scam shut down; duped victims into wiring money overseas Two websites that conned people by recruiting them as “mystery shoppers,” only to trick them out of their money have been shut down by the state of New York. The sites, Idealcorp.net and Survsonl.com, promised the chance to work from home, helping a market…

Psychic Wayne reading FAIL

psychic screen cap

The Daily Shift’s Brian Byrne gets a reading from Psychic Readings Live host Wayne Isaacs. Psychic Wayne: medium or mediocre?. Psychic Wayne of Psychic Readings Live performed a reading for me today. I’m still convinced he was reading the wrong page. Wayne describes his ability as a muscle; “The more you use it, the stronger…

Inciting hate with deception: Is the blasphemous film a hoax?

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Ben Radford has an interesting alternative explanation to one of this week’s biggest stories: Is Anti-Muslim Film a Hoax? A 13-minute amateur trailer for the film “Innocence of Muslims” depicts the prophet Muhammad as a womanizer, child molester and criminal. Though the clip had been available for at least several weeks on the Internet, protests…

TruthMarket crowd-sources fact checking of political and commercial claims

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A new skeptic tool! Launching the First Marketplace for Truth-Telling™, TruthMarket™ Offers the Public Tools and Incentives to Take Action Against False Political and Commercial Claims. TruthMarket, a division of Truth Seal Corp., today announced it plans to play an aggressive role in improving the state of political and commercial communications by launching its Marketplace…

Faked fossils are a real problem for researchers

Beringer's hoax stones

The Archaeology News Network: Counterfeit fossils undermine research projects. Fake fossils are duping scientists and museums, a senior paleontologist has warned, after a scholar was forced to retract a controversial essay that stated the cheetah originated in China. According to Li Chun, associate researcher at the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology under the Chinese…