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Old 09-20-2010, 04:45 PM   #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt deMille
I fail...
Yes Matt, we see. Enroll in a science class. See what you've been missing.
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Old 09-24-2010, 10:47 AM   #77
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Orson Welles' The War of the Worlds radio show from October 30, 1938.
CBS reminded listeners during the show it was a performance but they got in trouble for saying "we interrupt this program" for effect.

Not familiar with either...

Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by goodeknight
One of the great hoaxes of all time, in my opinion, was the Piltdown forgery.

Modern human skull + orangutan jawbone = "missing link"

And though relatively simple, it took 40 years until the hoax was exposed in 1953. Great lesson for scientists to always stay on their toes. Don't take anything at face value, particularly if it seems to completely back up your own personal theories. If it does, that's when you should be even more skeptical.

While most people say it was Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes / Lost World author) who did it, I believe he really just remains one of the top three or four 'prime suspects.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Montana Smith
He was also responsible for giving credence to the fairy hoax. Young girls drew fairies, painted them and pinned them on wires to photograph them. They claimed these were photos of real fairies and the hoax gained support, not least from Doyle.

This one was firmly debunked when the girls themselves came clean.

http://www.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/cooper.htm

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Old 09-25-2010, 02:28 PM   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt deMille
In regards to the common use of the "Occum Razor" principle throughout this site, I'd like to point out that the most important discoveries in history have proven to be anything but "the simplest answer". After all, the Earth was the center of the universe. Simple. Except it wasn't. We had to discard that simplistic, egocentric perception and begin to study all the cosmos around us. If the "assumptions" of that time, such as there being other worlds were, as the razor principle suggests, simply shaved away and not investigated, where would we be in terms of science today?

But that's a misunderstanding of simple as employed in this context. A geocentric conception of the universe was revealed to be wrong in part because it required such a complicated system of equations and various accounts of why the other celestial bodies moved in the ways they did that varied from body to body due to the geocentric assumption. Occam's Razor holds in this case because the switch to a heliocentric view of the solar system was able to explain with much simpler and more consistent physics why the various planets moved in the ways they did.
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Old 09-25-2010, 05:42 PM   #79
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That may be true. What I'm saying is that it wasn't simple according to the mind-set of the authorities of the time. It was an idea that was resisted.

Today, we have similar difficulties. What others consider to be the simpler explanation is only simple in terms of what we understand and accept, indeed what fits our collective mind-set. This is why I feel Occum's Razor is dangerous in terms of scientific study. Nor do I see the need to go to any conclusion, simple or difficult, as fast as the razor supports. Why the hurry? If we don't have all the data, we should just say "we don't know".

I believe the same human need that fuels this mind-set is also responsible for a need to have an immediate explanation to everything, no matter how scant the evidence. It seems more reasonable to have a "We don't know" approach rather than trying to label and categorize everything. Alas humans lean toward the latter, then to save face they force themselves make assumptions which become institutionalized and dogmatic, all the more difficult to unravel later, making a razor necessary. I think our science and or society would be better off by simply not entangling things to begin with, and the key to that is being humble and admitting "We don't know".

For example, take the "Baghdad Battery". Science immediately places it in the best context they have at the time, despite it defying everything that is known about the culture from which it supposedly came. They try to say so-and-so made it for such-and-such a reason. But, what's wrong with a simple "We don't know"? Why not wait until other or at least similar "batteries" are found? Why the immediate need to put a tag on everything?

I think the razor approach is an unwilling accomplice in this hurried, we-must-prevent-anything-from-saying-we-aren't-on-top attitude that hinders rather than helps discovery.
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Old 09-25-2010, 05:48 PM   #80
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Moon-Landing Hoax Myths

Flags Wave

Forty years after U.S. astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first human to set foot on the moon, many conspiracy theorists still insist the Apollo 11 moon landing was an elaborate hoax.

Quote:
You can tell Apollo was faked because ... the American flag appears to be flapping as if "in a breeze" in videos and photographs supposedly taken from the airless lunar surface.

Quote:
The fact of the matter is ... "the video you see where the flag's moving is because the astronaut just placed it there, and the inertia from when they let go kept it moving," said spaceflight historian Roger Launius, of the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C.

The astronauts also accidentally bent the horizontal rods holding the flag in place several times, creating the appearance of a rippling flag in photographs.
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Old 09-25-2010, 08:09 PM   #81
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There was an interesting book that I read on the Orson Welles radio broadcast.

The author analyzed the broadcast, as well as other radio shows at the time.

Apparently Orson Welles' Mercury Theatre had a low listener rating,
and the top rated program was Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy,
a ventriloqist act.

The "War of the Worlds" broadcast mentioned Martians only at beginning,
then refered to them as the "invaders" or "them", landing in New Jersey.

Many people listening to Edgar Bergen started switching channels during
a musical interlude and landed on Orson Welles program.

They heard the broadcast about "invaders" using all kinds of advanced weapons,
and assumed them to be the obvious suspects in 1938.

Nazis.

The panic does not seem so silly now if the people then thought that Nazis
had landed in New Jersey.

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Old 09-25-2010, 09:22 PM   #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WilliamBoyd8
There was an interesting book that I read on the Orson Welles radio broadcast.

The author analyzed the broadcast, as well as other radio shows at the time.

Apparently Orson Welles' Mercury Theatre had a low listener rating,
and the top rated program was Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy,
a ventriloqist act.

The "War of the Worlds" broadcast mentioned Martians only at beginning,
then refered to them as the "invaders" or "them", landing in New Jersey.

Many people listening to Edgar Bergen started switching channels during
a musical interlude and landed on Orson Welles program.

They heard the broadcast about "invaders" using all kinds of advanced weapons,
and assumed them to be the obvious suspects in 1938.

Nazis.

The panic does not seem so silly now if the people then thought that Nazis
had landed in New Jersey.

maybe is the nazis landed in new jersey we wouldn't have to deal with the useless tv show Jersey Shore.
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Old 09-25-2010, 09:39 PM   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WilliamBoyd8
The panic does not seem so silly now if the people then thought that Nazis had landed in New Jersey.

In 1991, a fisherman's net snagged on a massive object on the seafloor 60 miles off the coast of New Jersey. Professional diver John Chatterton went down to investigate and discovered an intact German U-boat from World War II, complete with unexploded torpedoes and the remains of its crew. Astonishingly, neither the American or British authorities, nor even the German government itself, had any record of a U-boat having sunk there.

Chatterton and his diving partner Richie Kohler set out to establish the submarine's identity. After six years of work, which included the tragic loss of three divers, they finally did so. The boat is U-869, a submarine previously thought lost off the coast of Morocco.
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Old 09-26-2010, 11:37 AM   #84
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The whole War of the Worlds broadcast is an interesting case. What is often overlooked is that, following each commercial break, it was reiterated that it was, in fact, only a radio drama, but thousands panicked anyway. It's a sad testament to how silly humans can be sometimes.

I've never heard about the Nazi U-Boat off Jersey. Wow! That's a very interesting story indeed.
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Old 09-26-2010, 04:08 PM   #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt deMille
What is often overlooked is that, following each commercial break, it was reiterated that it was, in fact, only a radio drama, but thousands panicked anyway.
Regarding overlooked:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocket Surgeon
CBS reminded listeners during the show it was a performance but they got in trouble for saying "we interrupt this program" for effect.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt deMille
It's a sad testament to how silly humans can be sometimes.
Blurring the lines between fantasy and reality is one thing..."we interrupt this program" was serious enough for censure!
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Old 09-27-2010, 06:59 AM   #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Montana Smith
(Doyle) was also responsible for giving credence to the fairy hoax. Young girls drew fairies, painted them and pinned them on wires to photograph them. They claimed these were photos of real fairies and the hoax gained support, not least from Doyle.

This one was firmly debunked when the girls themselves came clean.

http://www.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/cooper.htm


Wow, never knew Doyle had anything to do with the fairy hoax.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WilliamBoyd8
There was an interesting book that I read on the Orson Welles radio broadcast.

The author analyzed the broadcast, as well as other radio shows at the time.

Apparently Orson Welles' Mercury Theatre had a low listener rating,
and the top rated program was Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy,
a ventriloqist act.

The "War of the Worlds" broadcast mentioned Martians only at beginning,
then refered to them as the "invaders" or "them", landing in New Jersey.

Many people listening to Edgar Bergen started switching channels during
a musical interlude and landed on Orson Welles program.

They heard the broadcast about "invaders" using all kinds of advanced weapons,
and assumed them to be the obvious suspects in 1938.

Nazis.

The panic does not seem so silly now if the people then thought that Nazis
had landed in New Jersey.

Never knew that, either. Also quite interesting.
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Old 09-27-2010, 11:26 AM   #87
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I don't know who has heard the program, but there are no commercials and the martians are referred to as invaders from Mars. Nazi invasion? C'mon...
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Old 09-27-2010, 12:09 PM   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by China Jim
I noticed on the post that references were made to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, while Doyle was a trickster and a joker at times my answer to Piltdown is still out on his involvement in it.
The name of another, Piltdown Man suspect eludes me at the moment. He was a known charlatan who was friends with Virginia Woolf. Anyone know?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt deMille
What is often overlooked is that, following each commercial break, it was reiterated that it was, in fact, only a radio drama, but thousands panicked anyway. It's a sad testament to how silly humans can be sometimes.
Those silly humans believing that aliens were landing on earth... Anyway, the overreaction wasn't global so 'humans' isn't really the apporiate word and (as Archaeologist wrote above) the disclaimers didn't happen during "commercial breaks".
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocket Surgeon
CBS reminded listeners during the show it was a performance but they got in trouble for saying "we interrupt this program" for effect.
The fact that listeners were reminded of it being a performance technically disqualifies the broadcast from being categorized as a hoax.

Good hoaxes are The Cardiff Giant and Balloon Boy!

Last edited by Stoo : 09-27-2010 at 12:33 PM. Reason: "interruptions" replaced by "disclaimers"
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Old 09-27-2010, 12:16 PM   #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stoo
The name of another, Piltdown Man suspect eludes me at the moment. He was a known charlatan who was friends with Virginia Woolf. Anyone know?

Charles Dawson?

Here is the page from a website full of hoaxes:

http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/hoax/a...ory/1900-1919/

Quote:
The Piltdown Man
Date: 1912
Categories: Science, Paleontology, Scientific Fraud, 1900-1919

During the early twentieth century the scientific community was eagerly searching for the fossil 'missing link' that would prove an evolutionary relationship between man and apes. In 1907 a jawbone was found in Germany that displayed characteristics of both species. This was the best evidence for a missing link yet, but scientists still wanted something better, something more definitive.

Enter Charles Dawson and the Piltdown Man. Charles Dawson was a solicitor who lived in southern England, near Sussex. He was also an enthusiastic amateur paleontologist. In 1908 some workmen, knowing his interest in fossils, presented him with curious bone fragments that they had found while working in a gravel pit near the town of Piltdown. Dawson's interest was piqued and he soon began conducting his own excavation in the pit. Eventually he enlisted the aid of Arthur Smith Woodward, keeper of the Department of Geology at the British Museum.

The real excitement begin in 1912 when Dawson, with Woodward working nearby, found two skull fragments and a very curious jawbone. Given the proximity of the skull fragments and the jawbone to each other, Dawson and Woodward concluded they must have belonged together... that, in fact, they must have been part of the very same skull. This made them extremely excited because, taken as a whole, the skull displayed characteristics of both man and ape. The jaw was ape-like, whereas the upper skull fragments were definitely human. If the jaw and skull fragments did come from the same creature, then they had found the missing link.


Presented to the scientific community


In December, 1912 Woodward displayed a reconstruction of the skull at a meeting of the Geological Society of London. Woodward argued that it was the skull of a man, whom he called Piltdown man (after the location where it had been found). He argued that it came from a human who had probably lived about half a million years ago, during the Lower Pleistocene period.

Woodward's claim immediately caused an enormous stir within the scientific community. Many felt that the jawbone and skull were simply too dissimilar to belong together. The jaw, they said, looked far more apish than one would expect to find attached to a high-vaulted, human skull. But Woodward's backers eventually won out and the new species entered the textbooks as Eoanthropus dawson, or "Dawson's Dawn Man."

Over the next few years more fossil objects continued to turn up in the Piltdown pit: animal bones, an object that looked like a cricket bat, and two more skulls. Then, in 1916, Dawson died, leaving Woodward as the main advocate for the Piltdown man.


Proven to be a fake



For over three decades the Piltdown skull was accepted by the scientific community as an authentic artifact. But as more skeletons of early man were found, it became clear that the Piltdown Man was radically unlike anything else in the fossil record. Therefore in 1953 a team of researchers at the British Museum (Kenneth Oakley, Wilfred Le Gros Clark, and Joseph Weiner) subjected the skull and jawbone to a rigorous series of tests. What they found was shocking. The skull was a fake.

Using a fluorine-based test to date the skull, the researchers determined that the upper skull was approximately 50,000 years old. The jawbone, however, was only a few decades old. A second test, using nitrogen analysis, confirmed the first test. They also found that the jaw had been artificially stained with potassium dichromate to make it appear older. The British Museum researchers argued that someone must have taken the jawbone and teeth of a modern ape, probably an orangutan, and stained them in order to make them look ancient. These artifacts, the jaw and skull fragments, must then have been planted at the Piltdown site.

Having proven fraud, the question that remained was who had been responsible for the deception. Woodward had a strong reputation for honesty, and his innocence was generally acknowledged. Dawson, instead, was fingered as the likely culprit. His motive for perpetrating the hoax was complex, since he never profited from it financially. But it seemed likely that he had done it to gain scientific fame and recognition. After the British Museum team published their findings, it was then discovered that Dawson had trafficked in other fake antiquities. This seemed to confirm that he probably was the culprit behind the Piltdown man hoax.

Today most still agree with the verdict that Dawson was the hoaxer, but controversy continues to simmer. Some argue that Dawson worked with an accomplice, perhaps Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, a young priest who briefly participated in the dig. Others place the blame elsewhere entirely. Martin Hinton, an employee at the British Museum whom Woodward once refused a job, has been implicated ever since a boxful of artificially stained bones that may have belonged to him was discovered in 1975. Even Arthur Conan Doyle, author of the Sherlock Holmes novels, has been named as a possible suspect. Doyle lived near Piltdown and had a strong interest in paleontology.

Whoever perpetrated the crime, it is considered to be one of the most damaging scientific hoaxes of all time, because it set the development of evolutionary theory back for years while researchers labored pointlessly to integrate a fake skull into the fossil record.

Last edited by Montana Smith : 09-27-2010 at 12:23 PM.
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Old 09-27-2010, 12:23 PM   #90
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http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/hoax/a...of_the_worlds/

Quote:
The War of the Worlds
Date: October 30, 1938


On the evening of October 30, 1938, the audience listening to CBS Radio were told they were going to be treated to the music of Ramon Raquello and his orchestra, broadcast live from the Meridian Room at the Park Plaza in New York City. The performance began, but mere minutes into it a reporter from Intercontinental Radio News interrupted to deliver an important announcement. Astronomers had just detected enormous blue flames shooting up from the surface of Mars.

The broadcast returned to the music of Ramon Raquello, but soon it was interrupted again with more news. Now a strange meteor had fallen to earth, impacting violently on a farm near Grovers Mill, New Jersey. A reporter was soon on hand to describe the eerie scene around the meteor crater, and the broadcast switched over to continuous coverage of this rapidly unfolding event.

To the dismay of the terrified radio audience, the events around the Grovers Mill meteor crater rapidly escalated from the merely strange to the positively ominous. It turned out that the meteor was not a meteor. It was, in fact, a spaceship, out of which a tentacled creature, presumably a Martian, emerged and blasted the onlookers with a deadly heat-ray.

The Martian sunk back into the crater, but reemerged soon afterwards housed inside a gigantic, three-legged death machine. The Martian quickly disposed of 7,000 armed soldiers surrounding the crater, and then it began marching across the landscape, joined by other Martians. The Martian invaders blasted people and communication lines with their heat-rays, while simultaneously releasing a toxic black gas against which gas masks proved useless.


Mass Panic



Believing that the nation had been invaded by Martians, many listeners panicked. Some people loaded blankets and supplies in their cars and prepared to flee. One mother in New England reportedly packed her babies and lots of bread into a car, figuring that "if everything is burning, you can't eat money, but you can eat bread." Other people hid in cellars, hoping that the poisonous gas would blow over them. One college senior drove forty-five miles at breakneck speed in a valiant attempt to save his girlfriend.

By the time the night was over, however, almost all of these people had learned that the news broadcast was entirely fictitious. It was simply the weekly broadcast of Orson Welles and the Mercury Theatre. That week, in honor of Halloween, they had decided to stage a highly dramatized and updated version of H.G. Wells' story, The War of the Worlds.

The broadcast reached a huge audience, demonstrating the enormous reach of radio at that time. Approximately six million people heard it. Out of this number it was long thought that almost one million people panicked. More recent research, however, suggests that the number of people who panicked is probably far lower. In fact, some skeptics contend that the idea that the broadcast touched off a huge national scare is more of a hoax than the broadcast itself, which was never intended to fool anyone. (At four separate points during the broadcast, including the beginning, it was clearly stated that what people were hearing was a play.) The idea that hundreds of thousands of people panicked may have arisen because the media exaggerated the figures in order to dramatize the panic.


Reasons for belief



Despite the contention that the panic may not have been as widespread as originally thought, many people undeniably did panic. What might have caused them to believe that the broadcast was real?

First, many people tuned in late and missed the announcement made at the beginning of the broadcast that what followed was merely a staged dramatization. By the time a second disclaimer was made, the most alarming portion of the play had already been broadcast.

Second, the global situation in 1938 provided a context that allowed many to believe such a series of events could be unfolding. Tensions in Europe were rising, and it had been very common during the previous three months for radio broadcasts to be interrupted by reporters delivering ominous news from Europe. Many who panicked later explained they had assumed the Martian invasion was a cleverly disguised German attack.

Most of those who panicked were middle-aged or older. Younger listeners tended not to panic because they recognized Orson Welles's voice as the voice of the hero in the popular radio series, The Shadow.


Later Panics

The 1938 broadcast was not the only time a dramatized broadcast of H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds was mistaken for an account of real events. In November 1944 the play caused a similar panic when it was broadcast in Santiago, Chile, and in February 1949 it once again stirred up unrest when it was performed by a radio station in Quito, Ecuador. The situation in Ecuador provoked an angry mob to surround the radio station and burn it to the ground.


How to hear the broadcast

The original 1938 Mercury Theatre broadcast of the War of the Worlds has been archived and can now be heard on the internet at EarthStation1.com.

It was a sort of hoax - leading the listeners to believe that they were going to be hearing a concert.
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Old 09-27-2010, 01:33 PM   #91
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Apologies for the third post (the two above were too long for one!)

I just downloaded the 1938 Orson Welles War of the Worlds from here:

http://www.archive.org/details/OrsonWellesMrBruns

Listening to it now and it sounds pretty good.

It begins with an introduction that this is a radio play of H.G. Wells' novel. Orson begins his narration, which leads into a weather report, followed by the music of Ramon Raquello, and then the break for the news about Mars...

It's easy to understand how a listener in 1938 switching on part way through would be alarmed.
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Old 09-27-2010, 01:45 PM   #92
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I highly recommend listening to the radio program! It is worth it. Also, it is worth noting that the newspapers covering the event the next day and the day after, at least the major publications, that I have read make no mention of anyone thinking Nazis or Germans were invading.

Also, if the timing was happened so that the audience missed the first 15 minutes and the warning/introduction, they would still come in on the Grover's Field scene. Does a giant creature, the size of a bear with furry matted hair and tentacles with giant eyes and a beak sound like a Nazi? Perhaps one that has escaped from Castle Wolfenstein...
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Old 09-27-2010, 01:56 PM   #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archaeologist
I highly recommend listening to the radio program! It is worth it. Also, it is worth noting that the newspapers covering the event the next day and the day after, at least the major publications, that I have read make no mention of anyone thinking Nazis or Germans were invading.

Also, if the timing was happened so that the audience missed the first 15 minutes and the warning/introduction, they would still come in on the Grover's Field scene.

I'm continuing to listen again, and it really is a very well done play. After Orson finishes his lead-in narration you really get a sense of the tension building in real-time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Archaeologist
Does a giant creature, the size of a bear with furry matted hair and tentacles with giant eyes and a beak sound like a Nazi? Perhaps one that has escaped from Castle Wolfenstein...

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Old 10-05-2010, 01:10 PM   #94
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Wikipedia

Has anyone any examples of fictitious entries or articles in Wikipedia?


Quote:
...a report that aides to Rep. Marty Meehan, a Massachusetts Democrat, deleted references to his broken term-limits pledge and massive campaign war chest on Wikipedia.

Then the trusty editors at Wikipedia got together and compiled a list of over 1,000 edits made by Internet addresses allocated to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. The IP address subsequently was blocked and unblocked.

One edit listed White House press secretary Scott McClellan under the entry for "douche." Another said of Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Oklahoma that: "Coburn was voted the most annoying Senator by his peers in Congress. This was due to Senator Coburn being a huge douche-bag."


The First Male Pregnancy


Web site examples - false facts
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Old 10-05-2010, 06:42 PM   #95
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War of the Worlds martians

From the description that Wells gave of the beings being as I envisioned it were octopus or squid like in appearance I refer to the art work in some of the early book illustrations. More brain than body needing human blood to survive A pretty good movie that has nothing to do with W of W but has a pretty good example of what the martians would look like on the screen would be a movie entitled The Trollenberg Terror or as it was titled for the screen The Crawling eye check it out
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Old 10-18-2010, 08:05 AM   #96
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Ancient Zebra Mussel Theory

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Originally Posted by Gabeed
I have 11 people who have emailed me lending their support and advice to my Ancient Zebra Mussel Theory. Thus, my theory is...valid.

Also, we're all laughing about...when the zebra mussels emerge from their underwater hibernation chamber, you'll be sorry.

Sorry Gabeed, this is a HOAX! I've googled dozens, nay hundreds of sources and you haven't a leg to stand on. What proof do you have?
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Old 10-18-2010, 11:34 AM   #97
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...you haven't a leg to stand on.

And neither have the mussels...
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Old 12-02-2010, 01:25 PM   #98
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"Chinese Team Discovers Noah's Ark on Mt. Ararat" made headlines worldwide last year.

HOAX!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkNM718RvOo
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Old 02-11-2011, 02:40 PM   #99
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Sifting ancient fact from modern fable
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Were the pyramids the work of aliens? Are the tombs of the Pharaohs cursed? And why would Raiders of the Lost Ark get a thumbs up from an Egyptologist when it comes to accuracy? A new exhibition at the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum in Coventry sets out to unravel some of these millennia old myths and mysteries, and also to expose visitors to pieces that have been packed away in storage, away from the public eye, for decades.

Secret Egypt has been curated by Chris Kirby, an Egyptologist and Head of Collections at the Herbert, together with his co-curator, and Keeper of Collections, Ali Wells.


Quote:
More than 200 items have been amassed and will be on show at the Herbert from February 11 to June 5. Among the prize exhibits are a colossus of Ramesses II, on its first showing outside the British Museum for 40 years, and a never before displayed sandstone portrait of Queen Nefertiti from the Ashmolean.



Quote:
“One of our star pieces is a beautiful piece of jewellery from Manchester Museum. It is a pectoral, like a pendant that somebody would wear on their chest. It is gold open work with inland lapis lazuli and carnelian

“It was excavated in 1912. A skeleton was discovered crushed on top of the mummy and under the skeleton was this piece.

“It’s thought the skeleton was a thief who got into the tomb, ripped open the bandages to get this pectoral out and as they did the roof fell in on top of them and that’s the way they were found. That is why we have the piece because otherwise it would have gone.

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