Archive for Bogus History

Perhaps this might work

Or it might not:

We’ve disconnected our home alarm system and quit our candy-ass Neighborhood Watch.

Bought two Pakistani flags on eBay and raised them in the front yard … One at each corner, plus a black flag of ISIS in the center.

Now, the local police, sheriff, FBI, CIA, NSA, Homeland Security, Secret Service and other agencies are all watching the house 24/7.

I’ve never felt safer and we’re saving $49.95 a month.

Then again, that is a hell of a lot to pay for a security system.

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An unlikely tail

Still, there it is at the bookstore:

Who has two legs and would do something like this? This guy.

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The older woman

Well, okay, if you say so, but it still sounds strange:

They are supposed to be twins, but Princess Leia would actually be nearly two years older than Luke Skywalker because of Einstein’s theory of relativity, say scientists.

Wait, what?

Students at the University of Leicester made their calculations based on the twins’ journeys to Cloud City. Leia travels from the neighbouring system of Anoat and arrives at Cloud City in around 6.72 hours, while Luke travels from the much more distant planet Dagobah, which takes around one week.

Additionally, as Leia travels in the Millennium Falcon, a much larger ship with more powerful engines than Luke’s X-Wing Starfighter, the students assumed that it reaches a higher speed.

Leia’s journey yields a time dilation of 62.6 days; however Luke experiences a time dilation of 700.8 days.

The students concluded that Luke is therefore 1.75 years younger than Leia, possibly rendering them the first twins ever to have more than a year between their ages.

A second scenario investigated produces an even greater age gap.

I think I need to lie down.

(Via Miss Cellania.)

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Simulated Fifties glam

Filmmaker Jeff Peabody dates this 60-second spot to 1956, which is of course wishful thinking:

Still, he nails the scene and the branding, though in ’56 Van Raalte (which faded in the late 1990s after becoming basically a Sears store brand) had been using “Because you love nice things” as its tagline for many years. And “Harlem Nocturne” in the background is perfect.

And were I ever to say “Aren’t you forgetting something?” in these circumstances — well, there’s no chance of actually being in these circumstances, and I suspect there’s a limit to my deviousness. Maybe.

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Everything but existence

Karl Waldmann had it all: the talent, the drive, and the inspiration of purest Dada. What he may not have had was actual human life:

Kunsthaus Dresden, the city’s contemporary art gallery, has removed works by an artist named Karl Waldmann after the police announced it was investigating whether there ever was anyone with that name.

Waldmann, according to his biography [pdf] on the website of the virtual “Waldmann Museum,” was a German-born Dadaist who never exhibited any of his work and “disappeared” in 1958. A French journalist supposedly acquired all of his known oeuvre — more than 1,000 works — in a flea market in Berlin in 1989.

Doubts about Waldmann’s existence have flourished of late:

Late last month, the journalist Thomas Steinfeld wrote in the Süddeutsche Zeitung that Waldmann probably was an invention. No references to the artist can be found during his alleged lifetime, and none of the curators who have selected Waldmann’s works for their exhibitions have had any idea of the collages’ true provenance. Chemical analysis of the paper used in the collages has found chemicals that could only have been used since the 1940s, although the works’ style is firmly fixed in the first 30 years of the 20th century.

Steinfeld went so far as to say that the Waldmann portfolio ought to be locked up until its provenance can be determined. But it’s not like the works are causing any grief to their owners:

Indeed, this could be a victimless crime. Even if Waldmann never existed, the collages are not exactly fakes. They are anonymous creations that people buy because they like them — but more likely, because they are good conversation starters: a mysterious artist, echoes of Russian and German totalitarian pasts, Dadaism, Bauhaus.

And at €10,000 and up, they ought to be.

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Pictures to burn

Within a few minutes of each other, these Twitter notifications appeared:

Taylor Swift wannabes

As Swift herself might have said: “Fakers gonna fake, fake, fake, fake, fake.”

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Shifting alliances

Ezra Dyer reports on the 120th Anniversary of Car and Driver (July 2075):

What I didn’t see coming were the changes on the business side. When LamborJeepie merged with Yama-Tesla, we got the best of each company’s expertise: tractors, sports cars, energy drinks, Wranglers (the jeans), bazookas, pet food. I think they also produce Two and a Half Mole Men. Point is, you can’t just be a car company these days. Synergize, Diversify, Qualificate. The global economy goes nonstop, 23/7, and has ever since that mass Hellcat burnout altered the earth’s orbit and messed up the calendar.

Heck, even a mere three Hellcats can liquefy vast quantities of rubber in no time at all.


The moment of untruth

Were this an actual product, I would have expected to get email about it:

Alleged Oreo in Spam flavor

So far today I’ve brought up Spam and sausage. I don’t know yet if the opportunity will present itself to work in a reference to lobster thermidor aux crevettes with a Mornay sauce, served in a Provençal manner with shallots and aubergines, garnished with truffle pâté, brandy, and a fried egg on top and Spam.

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And the cycle repeats

I do not, generally, endorse the notion of reincarnation. (Nor did I when I was here last time.) One of the problems I find with the concept is that its most fervent believers tend to assert that they were someone notable in a previous life; scarcely anyone claims to have been a serf who perished at twenty-two of some hitherto unnoticed disease.

This new toy by Slate will not change that tendency. What it does is take your birthdate, find someone in Wikipedia — someone notable by definition, right? — who died just before your arrival, and then run the cycle as many times as they have entries. In my specific case, they dug up Sir Philip Wigham Richardson:

Richardson competed in the 1908 Summer Olympics and 1912 Summer Olympics. In the 1908 Olympics he won a silver medal in the team military rifle event. Four years later he was 65th in the 300 metre military rifle, three positions event and 33rd in the 600 metre free rifle event.

Richardson was elected as Member of Parliament for Chertsey at a by-election in March 1922, and held the seat until he retired from the House of Commons at the 1931 general election. In 1929 he was created a Baronet, of Weybridge in the County of Surrey.

Not that I’d be surprised to have been a Tory, particularly. Sir Philip, apparently, had served a previous lifetime as British entomologist William Sharp Macleay. The line, says Slate, goes back to Louis the German (c. 810-876), grandson of Charlemagne and designated King of Bavaria while still a child, though Louis apparently did not actively participate in ruling Bavaria until adolescence. His youngest son, Charles the Fat, was the last Carolingian to rule over a united empire. Now if Slate had put him in my timeline, I might have believed some of this.

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Consumerist must have been getting serious mail about this, else they wouldn’t have come back with an article titled “For The Love Of God, McDonald’s Is Not Getting Rid Of The Big Mac Or Apple Pie.” Seriously:

You’ve probably seen your Facebook news feed overrun in recent days with people bemoaning the death of the McDonald’s Big Mac and apple pie. But there’s no need to start a petition or put on mourning garb, it’s just another hoax… [T]he McDonald’s Twitter feed is now working overtime (but probably not getting paid for it; after all, this is McDonald’s) reassuring folks that the fast food chain’s signature sandwich and dessert aren’t going anywhere.

The source of the hoax is a story on a site called Daily Buzz Live, which displays a faked Tweet from the same McDonald’s account stating, “It is with a heavy heart that we must announce that the Big Mac will no longer be apart of our menu. It is our sincerest apologies.”

Sheesh. Even the Hamburglar is more articulate than that.

Now if I could only find a freaking McRib.

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Axe it anything

Sometimes it’s not always obvious where Apple should be going with a product line. And this is where the user base stands tall:

Of course, as an Apple accessory, it won’t be cheap, but so what else is new?

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Gunning for the Russians

At least, someone in Denver who speaks Russian thinks we are.

SnoopyTheGoon translates, “with apologies for possibly garbled scientific terms”:

I shall explain why the monstrous genocide of Russians is happening. Russia owns most advanced technologies that allow to cure incurable diseases, even at a distance, multiple the agriculture produce and manage the weather and the geophysical processes. These technologies provide an unlimited access to energy, resources and food via the process of transmutation of quantum vacuum. There are scientists in Moscow that already extract gold from quantum dislocality. The Perestroika in USSR was created because of the Russian technological leadership. Russia has these technologies because indeed Russians are the root of civilization on this planet. Only Russians are able to return to life the technologies of our ancestors. If Russia will be destroyed, the civilization on this planet will be destroyed with it — by a nuclear war or simply by chip [implants] in the brain. The responsibility for humanity’s survival lies on us, on the Russians. We don’t have a choice besides victory.

I think this is basically a ploy to position Moscow for a good showing when the Nobel people work up an annual prize in alchemy — which, unlike “peace,” has something resembling a legitimate definition.

Still, I admit I love the concept. Gold from “quantum dislocality”? Call it “Schrödinger’s bullion.”

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Prerequisite to just about everything

You absolutely need this class to help navigate the choppy waters of National Discourse:

Credit hours: -3.

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Lightness of a sort

Tentative artwork for their first major-label album, Punching Bozo:

Fake album cover for Biogas Jackrabbit

(Suggested by Tamara K. Photo was cropped from this original by Michael Dorausch.)

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Why is this month different from all other months?

By now you’ve seen this, probably stuck into your Facebook feed:

Claims about August 2014

Ancient Chinese secret, eh? I’ll have you know I’ve lived through half a dozen of these already, and I may well be around for another one in 2025.

You don’t have to believe me. But Cameron Miquelon has done the heavy lifting already.

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Does whatever he does

This, I think, was inevitable:

Similarly, Woody Allen in Without Feathers:

The great roe is a mythological beast with the head of a lion and the body of a lion, though not the same lion.

No doubt other semi-hybrid creatures exist, or can be presumed to exist.

Addendum: No way I could pass this up:

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To say the yeast

It didn’t happen this way, of course, but it’s wholly consistent with human nature:

Sometime after beer was invented, somebody figured out that just boiling water was enough to make it safe to drink, you didn’t actually have to make beer out of it. Since people no longer needed to start the day with a tankard of ale, productivity went way up. This was the start of the industrial revolution.

Things have been going downhill ever since.

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Man, that’s deep

It is a measure of something, I am sure, that if you Google “deepak chopra quotes” you’ll definitely see this generator, which explains itself thusly:

It has been said by some that the thoughts and tweets of Deepak Chopra are indistinguishable from a set of profound sounding words put together in a random order, particularly the tweets tagged with “#cosmisconciousness”. This site aims to test that claim! Each “quote” is generated from a list of words that can be found in Deepak Chopra’s Twitter stream randomly stuck together in a sentence.

“Your desire reflects total acceptance of chaos,” it tells me.

(Snarfed from Erin Palette’s Facebook page. I have no doubt she enjoyed it greatly.)

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The age of hilarious

Neil deGrasse Tyson lets the sunshine into the cosmos:

(Via a Nancy Friedman retweet.)

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It’s worse with a d20

Dice usually have several sides, the typical cube having six, with various other shapes in general use. Why might you want a die with only a single side? For predicaments like this:

Imagine this all too common scenario faced every day by D&D DMs around the world: your group is in a dungeon crawl. There’s a room with a pie in it, and the pie is guarded by an orc. If the characters open the door, one of these things happen:

1. The orc attacks

That’s it, there’s only the one option. So the characters do indeed open the door and the poor DM consults the chart. Unfortunately the smallest die type he has is a d4, so our DM has no choice but to roll the d4 over and over until he gets a 1 before he knows what the orc is going to do.

This is exactly the situation that 1-sided dice are designed to solve. Now the DM can grab the d1 and quickly roll just one time, see what the orc will do, and get on with the action of the game.

This is why I never became a gamer of any renown: I never could come up with neat stuff like that.

(Via this Dave Richeson tweet.)

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Hello? McFly?

So, Marty, how do you like this version of the Future?

Time machine settings from Back to the Future 2

What’s that? No, the Cubs haven’t won a World Series. Some things take more than miracles of technology.

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This could take a while

And not just loading; even picking it up will be tedious and painful.

Windows 8.1 on 3711 floppy disks

I remember when you used to be able to fit Windows on six floppies.

(A K. Latham pin from

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I’ll be hornswoggled

Guy in N’Hampsha says he wants to sell two unicorns:

We are selling 2 purebred unicorns. Male is 3 years old named Pagasus. Female is 5 years old and named Daisy. Price of $930,000 USD is per unicorn.


Oh, and he’s not above blowing his own horn, so to speak:

We are the only fully licensed unicorn breeder in North America, and are NUBAA certified.

A quick Googlage of “NUBAA” turns up the Northwestern University Black Alumni Association, which is obviously even more diverse than we thought.

This, however, makes me ever-so-slightly suspicious:

We also offer unicorn eggs for purchase.

Eggs? Is there something Twilight Sparkle isn’t telling me?

(Via the Daily Dot.)

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Abe speaks out

There was some minor flapdoodle last week over the President’s alleged editing of the Gettysburg Address. It never occurred to the doodleflappers to go to the source — Abraham Lincoln’s blog:

I am taking the train to Gettysburg tomorrow and am planning to give a brief speech at this remarkable and sad place. For the many who cannot be physically present, here is a preview for you, My Loyal Readers and Fellow Citizens.

There follows at least one version of the Address.

As always, don’t read the comments. As Lincoln himself said: “The problem with internet quotes is that you can’t always depend on their accuracy.”

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Such language

After the fracas a few years back over a new expurgated version of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, we now have: backlash!

Instagram photo by Alfred Yankovic

“Weird Al” Yankovic posted this to his Instagram account, declaring: “I can’t believe they’re selling this. HIGHLY inappropriate.”

And they’re not. In the full-sized version (see Al’s link), or even from this one if you have better vision than I do (as who doesn’t?), you can read the ISBN number in the barcode, from which you can find the correct cover for this collection. Still, it proves once more that Al knows the Zeitgeist as well as anyone — and that there’s no chain he can’t successfully pull.

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And now, your San Diego Wind Turbines

What happens when all thirty-two NFL teams are renamed with political correctness in mind.

Although “Oakland Occupiers,” all things considered, isn’t half bad.

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Routine bites hard

Somehow I can’t imagine this being real, and yet something inside of me wants it to be:

Joy Division Divorce Attorneys

I wonder if they handle bizarre love triangles.

(From 33 1/3 via BoingBoing. Yes, it’s three years old.)

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The owner will never know

This, I am told, is the engine cover from a last-generation Hyundai Santa Fe:

Hyundai bogus engine cover

I suppose those shiny bits are intended to suggest the actual intake runners beneath. There’s just one minor detail: this engine is mounted transversely, so the cover, which suggests longitudinal mounting, is 90 (or maybe 270) degrees out of phase, completely and utterly bogus.

(Seen at; suggested here.)

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It was a thousand years ago today

And the research, as it must, goes on:

Before you ask: no, they did not evolve from Monkees.

(Thanks to HCShannon for that last quip.)

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Add to Favorites

Repeat after me: Correlation does not equal causation.

Then go download a new browser:

Comparison, murder rate to Internet Explorer usage

If it saves just one life, isn’t it worth it?

[sound of Firefox crashing]

(Via GraphJam.)

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