Plan a Hoax

Invent a hoax. Plan to fool the world, or at least your family and friends.

From the Shroud of Turin to the Patagonian giants these are 25 Forgotten Hoaxes That Fooled The World. You might just recognize some of them. A hoax is a deliberately fabricated falsehood made to masquerade as truth. It is distinguishable from errors in observation or judgment, rumors, urban legends, pseudosciences, or April Fools’ Day events that are passed along in good faith or as jokes. Even if you weren’t aware of its meaning it’s almost certain you’re aware of some of the most famous and “successful” hoaxes. Some have even managed to fool millions of people and last for ages or even decades. Take the Loch Ness monster for example. It may be easy for us to understand how a photograph can be manipulated (after all, photoshop skills are not that uncommon anymore), but for people back then, a photo manipulation was not something easily done.

 However, there have been countless hoaxes throughout history. You might have heard of a few of them. These are 25 Forgotten Hoaxes That Fooled The World.

list25.comSource: 25 Forgotten Hoaxes That Fooled The World

Start a Personal Book Buying Ban

I have more books than I can read. I may have more books than I can read in my lifetime. I’ve done the math: amount of pages I can read in a day divided by the approximate amount of pages I have on my bookshelves. At the time I assumed 100 pages a day. I was 20-something and my life was different then. Now, depending on the book I’m reading and how obligated I feel to finish it or how much I actually like reading it… I may read 20 pages a day.

I’ve been better at limiting the fiction books. I finish them and take them to the secondhand bookstore. There, I can trade several books for one new (unread by me) book. This works well as long as I keep taking books in and don’t buy too many new fiction books at the big, shiny bookstores. Of course, the fresh, unread by anyone, books from the bookstores are tempting. Not only are they newly published but I can give myself the excuse of reading with a latte at the bookstore.

Non-fiction books are another story. I buy more than I need. Always thinking I will read and study them and use what I have learned. Good intentions. But, I end up with a lot of books I’d like to read sitting on my bookshelves. I have to work at not buying more non-fiction.

One thing I have learned is to know what I already have. Including which edition. I really get annoyed with myself when I find I have bought the same book twice.

4. The TBR is your friend. Treat your TBR like a pop up bookstore. Don’t agonize, just pick one. But here’s the trick: if you don’t like it, move on quickly to the next book until you find one that scratches your new book itch. The problem with the TBR is that it can feel like a chore, whereas a new book is thrilling. So don’t force yourself to stick with something if it isn’t working. Keep plowing through until you hit on one that you can’t put down.

3. Review your shelves and donate books you no longer need. This sounds counterintuitive, but it reduces the TBR and provides a visceral reminder of how much privilege is implied by the idea of having to work hard not to buy something that many people consider a luxury, in comparison to medicine, food, or rent.

2. Reorganize your book shelves. Maybe according to date, or color, or some other funky scheme. Or at least dust them. I guarantee you’ll have a new appreciation for what you already own. And it might pique your interest in a forgotten, unread purchase, or send you down several miles of memory lanes with old favorites.

Source: 10 Painless Ways to Stick to Your Book Buying Ban

The Trickiness of your Own Eyeballs

Do you try these sort of illusions when you find them? I really like how our own senses can trick us in so many unique and weird ways. If you have other links like this add them to comments. Share and share alike.

Look at the picture below, and stare at the little white point on the nose of the woman for about 15 seconds. Then look at the white square. Did you just see a woman appear? This is what we call the opponent process. It’s a combination of different wavelengths that makes us perceive color. The wavelengths are processed in our brain. Special neurons that are present in the lateral geniculate nucleus react to different pairs of colors. Green is paired with red, yellow is paired with blue and white is paired with black. The picture of the girl represents only one color of a pair. So in the afterimage you’ll see the opposite paired color.

Source: Niume | Posts

Do Modern Photographers Need Ethics?

During this year’s World Press photo contest, about 20 percent of the entrants that reached the second-to-last round of judging were disqualified for significantly altering images in post processing and Giovanni Troilo was stripped of a first prize in the face of charges of misrepresentation and posing images (the photographer said he had “made a mistake,” but had not intended to deceive). In the vigorous debate that followed, some ridiculed the concept of “objective photojournalism” as philosophically tenuous in a postmodern world.

Source: Posing Questions of Photographic Ethics – The New York Times

Posing versus factual photography. Where is the line drawn between getting a good looking photo and showing the truth in images?

People take photos of everything these days. A photograph used to be something to illustrate the truth, the situation as it is but that changes as people get tempted to get a photo that sells, that makes the story look more interesting. Photographs can lie, or at least trick people into believing things which are not true.

Clear Your Head Before Writing?

CaptureI flushed this as a spam comment because it was on an old post which had nothing at all to do with the question asked in the comment. But, just before I clicked the magic button… I cut the actual question so I could paste it in here. See below:

I was interested to know how you center yourself and clear your head before writing. I’ve had a tough time clearing my thoughts in getting my thoughts out. I truly do take pleasure in writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are lost simply just trying to figure out how to begin.

I don’t centre myself before I begin to write anything. That would not work for me at all. If I am at peace, confident and comfortable I’d never get anywhere.

Writing has to have some discontent behind it. You can be right pissed off or just mildly bothered, but there has to be some disturbance in your force to get your words started.

If I write when I am content I will think too much. I’ll think about what a loser I am in many assorted ways. I knock myself down, run over myself a few times and then think someone else would be a much smarter choice to write about whatever I was set to write about. A writer full of self-confidence is probably the world’s biggest fraud.

Instead it is all of us who feel like frauds even as we put the pen to paper or fingers to the keyboard. That’s just the way it needs to be. A content writer who really believes he or she is great will not be someone with human empathy and failings.

So, no, right from the start, getting centred is just not the way to go.

I try to trick myself into writing. That works.

Start writing before you’re ready, before you have a plan or know how you want to start. Just start.

Later you can muck around and perfect it. Don’t perfect the life out of it though. Don’t get lost in perfecting it and lose track of your deadline and the actual point of getting it done and letting it go.

If you are one of those writers who feels confident and content (bless you) put a tack on your chair, something to at least make you uncomfortable enough to write something.

Talk Like Maxwell Smart, Agent 86

get smartDo you remember ‘Get Smart’?

Adams gave the character a clipped, unique speaking style. Feldon said, “Part of the pop fervor for Agent 86 was because Don did such an extreme portrayal of the character that it made it easy to imitate.”[citation needed] Adams created many popular catch-phrases (some of which were in his act prior to the show), including “Sorry about that, Chief”, “Would you believe …?”, “Ahh … the old [noun] in the [noun] trick. That’s the [number]th time this [month/week].” (Sometimes the description of the trick was simply, “Ahh… the old [noun] trick.”), and “Missed it by ‘that much.'”

From Wikipedia: Don Adams.

Take the Maxwell Smart idea and play with your words:

“Ahh… the old dog in the coffee trick.”

“Ahh… the old houseplant in the lifeboat trick.”

“Ahh… the old pizza in the hand cream trick.”

See more about Get Smart:

Theme Song from The Dudesons

I’ve got hooked on watching The Dudesons on Saturday nights. Late Saturday they run 4 – 6 episodes back to back. At first I thought it was too crazy to watch. It kind of grows on you if you don’t turn the channel. Now I think of them as “those crazy Vikings” and I usually watch after midnight every Saturday.

I’d been wondering about the theme song on the show. I spent some time this morning tracking it down. It’s called Once Upon a Time by Damn Seagulls. Here are the lyrics:

That night I’ve been in every single street in this town
And after that I took another round
I was trying to get wasted in this abandoned station
I thought I could trick myself away
I was wrong and I acted like a stupid kid
And I know I haven’t changed
I try to be brave but I wasn’t okay
I wasn’t okay, not at all
I kept it all inside, and began to full

Yeah, once upon a time
Yeah, there was a boy who wanted to fly
Yeah, one day he died trying
Yeah, he said it was worth a try

Good morning everybody
Oh how much I need to do
I got to save the world and you know the rules
I finally come back home

Good morning everybody
Oh how much I need to do
I got to save the world and you know the rules
I finally come back home

It’s getting harder all the time
To get up in the morning
You know I’m just trying to survive
I got to take over my mountain and build up new bases
Or I’m gonna get stuck in the mud
I gotta get out, it’s so empty here without you
And I’m scared that you’re not coming back
My friends, I need you now so I wouldn’t feel so lonely
Lord, please give me something else to think about

Yeah, once upon a time
Yeah, there was a boy who wanted to fly
Yeah, one day he died trying
Yeah, he said it was worth a try

Good morning everybody
Oh how much I need to do
I got to save the world and you know the rules
I finally come back home

Good morning everybody
Oh how much I need to do
I got to save the world and you know the rules
I finally come back home

Oh yeah! Woo-oo! Hey!

Yeah, once upon a time
Yeah, there was a boy who wanted to fly
Yeah, one day he died trying
Yeah, he said it was worth a try

Good morning everybody
Oh how much I need to do
I got to save the world and you know the rules
I finally come back home

Good morning everybody
Oh how much I need to do
I got to save the world and you know the rules
I finally come back home

Who Do You See?

You’ve become famous for your beauty but, in fact, it’s been 20 years since you last looked at yourself. In the morning you have body servants who do everything to prepare you for the day. During the day you have someone who follows along with you for any little touch ups to your hair, make up or wardrobe. Then, when you get home in the evening, there is a whole staff too for the bedtime routines. Once a week you have a spa day where every centimetre of your body is one kind of beauty treatment or another.

It’s been so long since you actually looked at yourself that you realize you’ve begun to forget what you look like. On your way to visit your business manager, the elevator has fancy mirrored doors which open to let you in. So you take a quick peek before they finish opening. How odd, you think. You can’t see yourself at all.

You decline to enter the elevator and tell those waiting to ride up and you will get the next one. You get a few odd looks but, it’s the city and there are all kinds of eccentrics here.

As the doors close behind them, you wait. Another chance to see yourself again and yet… you can’t see yourself. It’s not possible you could have become invisible.

Your daylong beauty checker notices a touch of glow on your face and moves to stand in front of you, fixing it but blocking your view. You can see around her and behind her in the mirror. You can see your arms wearing the dress you know you are wearing. It is only when she finally steps away, satisfied that you are perfect again, that you see the face and the body that go with the dress.

Someone has paid an awful trick on you! A joke! Surely it must be a joke. The woman in the mirror doesn’t look like you! She can’t be you! That face looks like something formed out of wax. It is perfect but it shows no sign of life. Unreal, like a mannequin. That can’t be you! You never looked like that!

As you turn towards your beauty checker, trying not to let out the scream which is racing up inside of you, you notice she is not real, not a real person. She’s mechanical, like a robot.

You look around you, there are other people coming and going, but as you look a bit closer you see they are all robots. No one that you can see is a real person, a human made of flesh, blood and bone. Now the scream rips out of you. You feel it leave your lungs, fly out of your throat and shake through every cell of your body.

But no… you realize. You didn’t really feel anything. You just expected to feel something.

Are you not real? No, you know you’re real. You can remember being real. About 20 years ago when you started being famous, you had a family, you had a cat too. Whatever happened to that cat? Seems you lost track of it and a lot of other things.

Your beauty checker tries to take hold of your arm but you are already off, running in a panic, out the doors, to the outside. If you can just get outside, everything will be right out there.

It’s been a long time since you ran anywhere. A long time since you did anything very physical. But you can still run. It feels good. You feel real again. No doubt this is just what you need. No doubt you can make everything make sense now that you’re not walking around half aware any more.

You catch sight of your face in the glass of the revolving doors… it’s like it’s melting. Slipping down from your hairline slowly like molasses. Underneath… under the waxy looking mask that you thought was your face… there are mechanical parts, wires, metal and circuit boards.

Everything inside of you shudders to a halt. You blow your final circuit, you become empty and frozen in place.

Later, a van pulls up outside. You are not really aware of it. You aren’t really aware when two clean up robots come and take you, place you in a long box and haul you into their van. On the side of the van it says “Acme”, of course.

Have you ever had a day where you get to the end of the day and realize you never actually, really looked at yourself all that whole day? How would it feel to look at yourself then and find a stranger looking back at you?