Hoaxes

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

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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…

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…

ESP course taught kids how to cheat, parents claim

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Well, isn’t this a hoot. Parents signed their kids up to develop their psychic powers and all they learned was how to cheat. Parents condemn ESP course for kids – Globaltimes.cn. Several local parents have leveled fraud charges against the organizer of a 100,000 yuan ($15,728) summer course that promised to teach their children to…

No stranger danger: Attempted kidnapping story hoaxed by kids

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Police: Metro-east boy, girl made up kidnapping stories in Columbia, East Carondelet News Democrat. Columbia police determined Monday morning that an attempted abduction of a 11-year-old boy Friday night never occurred. Police will forward juveniles charges to Monroe County prosecutors for their review. “We are extremely happy to learn that this incident did not occur…

Women-only city in Saudi Arabia is a mistake

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Scratch that! No women-only city in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is not building an industrial city for women only. Contrary to reports in the Guardian, the Daily Mail, the Huffington Post, ABC News, Russia Today and dozens, if not hundreds, of other sources who published the story apparently without bothering to check facts with the…

Thai military refuses to admit they were duped with fake bomb detector

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Appalling credulity and faith in these fake devices… Asia Sentinel – Thais Still Using Fake Bomb Detectors. More than two years after being told they were fake, Thailand’s military is still using bogus bomb detectors that were fraudulently sold by a discredited British company, according to the country’s Department of Special Investigation. Thai security forces…

Rumors of pyramids demise greatly exaggerated

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The anatomy of a false rumor… Contrary to Gossip, Pyramids Have No Date With the Wrecking Ball. What’s this? Egypt’s new Islamist leaders want to raze the Great Pyramids, scratch away the images on the death masks of the pharaohs, maybe even wipe the grin off what is left of the face of the Sphinx?…