Here's your new rear view mirror (from 1947)

"It's just what you need, dear."

Scroll down to open the box.

"Rear view mirror. Easy to see behind." Hmm.

"Har Har Har!"

This gag gift was made by H. Fishlove & Co. of Chicago in 1947.

Elderly couple caught in drug smuggling scam

They won a nice set of luggage.

An older couple in Australia was happy when they won a contest.

They received a great prize: a trip for two to Canada, including a seven-night hotel stay and a set of expensive new luggage.

It was when they were returning to Australia that there was a bit of a problem.

They noticed that their suitcases seemed suspiciously heavy on their return trip.

Concerned, they contacted authorities.

When their suitcases were x-rayed at Perth International Airport, it was confirmed that something was not right.

What wasn't right was the three and a half kilos of methamphetamine hidden inside the suitcase linings.

The drugs were worth about $7 million Australian dollars.

The couple were victims of a new type of scam where the "winners" of a travel contest become unwitting drug mules.

A Canadian tour company called AUSCAN set up the trip. The company, of course, was fake.

Police also arrested a Canadian man who was waiting to greet the couple when they arrived at the airport in Australia. 

Police also raided a hotel room where more of those nice expensive sets of luggage were waiting to be given away.

New holiday scam using Australians as drug mules, Australian Times uk>>

The nude body scanner prank

I guess she endured it because 
she really wanted a piece of candy.

Magician and prankster Rich Ferguson set up a practical joke outside a Rocket Fizz candy store in California. He told customers about to enter the store that for security reasons they had to undergo a full body scan with his portable scanner.

What his victims didn't realize was that the first person he scanned was a model who was in on the joke, and a video of her nearly naked body was already loaded in the "scanner". Watch the reactions of the people in line when he asks to scan them after they've seen what the scanner reveals.

(Because of language, the video is NSFW.)

Nude Body Scanner Social Experiment Prank

Rich Ferguson's web site, The Ice Breaker>>

These 3 quilts cause very bad dreams

The 1980s computer graphics quilt

The quilt is flat, but the waves, they keep on rolling...

 "Mommy, please make it stop!"

Quilt Addicts>>
Quilting Board>>

Some dude stole my grass, man!

Sorry, dude, wrong type of grass.  

I had to include this story because it's somewhat related to my previous post about the thief who didn't steal money from banks. 

A farmer in the Austrian town of Liebenfels, about 120 miles from Vienna, reported to police that someone had secretly mowed his field and stolen all his grass. 

His field is not near the rest of his property, so the farmer did not know exactly when his grass had been stolen, but he estimates it was sometime in the last three weeks. 

The grass, which (do I have to say it?) was not marijuana, was worth about $4,000 as livestock food. 

Police say it would be difficult to mow an entire field without anyone noticing. They're looking for clues.

The bank robber who never stole money

William Sutton robbed banks.

When famous bank robber William "Willie" Sutton was asked why he robbed banks, he was quoted as saying "because that's where the money is."

He actually never said that quote, but it fit his legend - he was a compulsive bank robber who stole from about 100 banks from the 1920s to the 1950s.

Another man also had a compulsion.

From March to May 2013, William Footman robbed banks, but in a less risky way. Instead of stealing money from inside the bank, this modern-day William tried a different tactic. From The New York Times:
There was an element of genius in the string of bank heists that played out in New York City for 11 weeks over the winter and spring. No alarms. No threatening notes, no messy dye packs. No one even noticed the thefts right off.

This was surely because no money was taken. But the thief was not after cash. What he stole was something a real bank robber would not even notice on the way to the teller’s window, but was, to him, of value.

Those little rugs inside the front door.

The police would later create a list of six bank branches that were victims. That wasn’t even close.

“Thirty-seven incidents,” said Melissa Shuffield, a spokeswoman for JPMorgan Chase, the thief’s preferred bank.
Mr. Footman said he sold the rugs to bodegas for maybe $30 each.

He had been arrested and jailed many times since the 1990s.

He was eventually caught during his rug-stealing spree when he used the same stolen debit card to enter a bank lobby after hours.

Because, after all, that's where the rug is.

A Thief Struck Many Banks, but Never Took a Dime, The New York Times>>

A sexy gal with a big flat cat - an optical illusion

But the really strange thing is that 
the woman is also an optical illusion!

This anamorphic optical illusion painting was drawn by German artist Nikola Arndt, DeviantArt>>

(And okay, I lied - the woman is not also an optical illusion. But that would have been really strange, yes?)

Ridiculous Halloween prank prevention sign

This is a real poster. 
"No eggs or shaving cream 
sold to minors this week."

A while back, a community decided to combat the scourge of young Halloween pranksters throwing eggs and spraying shaving cream by forbidding the sale of eggs and shaving cream to minors during Halloween week. They created a poster (shown above) for stores to hang up to announce this security policy.

This struck me as a bit absurd. Was this really that much of a problem? Did it require special posters? Couldn't those "minors" find other sources of contraband eggs and shaving cream? (Like, say, out of their own houses.)

To celebrate this absurdity, I created my own poster for you to print out and secretly hang up on the door to your favorite store.

I labeled my poster part of the fictional "Operation Overreach" campaign.

You can use the image below or go to Google docs and get a higher-quality image. Print it out and hang it at your favorite - or not so favorite - store.

If you do manage to get a store to hang up one of these posters, send me a photo and I'll publish it.

And you get extra-super-special Deceptology points if you somehow convince a store owner to hang up the poster by saying you're a member of the made-up group I called "CCMRSRC" - the "Concerned Citizens for a More Respectful, Safe and Responsible Community."

This is a fake poster.
Click to enlarge, print and prank.

After creating the poster, I realized that maybe my poster design might still be too subtle. I think the original poster is ridiculous, but I'll bet there are many people who might see the original poster and think "Hey, what a good idea!"

For those people, I have nothing to say.

Then I thought, wait... what if the poster image I think is real is actually some other trickster's fake poster making fun of the whole idea of forbidding the sale of eggs and shaving cream to minors?

In other words, what if the poster I'm making fun of is also a satire?

Sometimes I don't know what's real anymore.

You can edit my fake poster at Google Docs, so feel free to change it, print it and use your own devious version in any practical joke of your own devising.

(Not responsible for egg or shaving cream damage.)

Here's a copy of the "Gag no eggs shaving cream Halloween poster" on Google Docs>>

Groceries won't sell eggs to minors, ParentDish>>

A woman plays a man playing a woman

Doesn't he have the best pair of legs?

It's customary at many showings for fans of the 1975 film The Rocky Horror Picture Show to act out the parts while the movie is playing. The main character, played by Tim Curry, is a mad scientist from another planet named Frank-N-Furter, who also happens to be a transvestite. Most of the movie recreations have an actor play the role, but sometimes, to further bend any gender expectations, you might see a woman playing a man playing a woman. Here's one example from Montclair, New Jersey (from

Woman plays a man playing a woman in Rocky Horror

This bridegroom made two terrible mistakes

It was an impressive place to have a wedding.

In April of 2013, Neil McArdle and his love were going to get married in a beautiful ceremony at a neoclassical building, St. George’s Hall in Liverpool, England.

Yet there was a problem.

A very big problem.

It seems that one of Mr. McArdle's wedding responsibilities was to book St. George's Hall.

On the day of the wedding, he discovered something which I imagine made him swoon, and not in a light-headed way typical of wedding-day jitters.

He discovered he'd never sent the form to book the impressive place to have the wedding.

They had no spot for the wedding to take place.

This was not good.

He knew he had to tell Amy Williams, his bride-to-be, that he'd messed up. Badly messed up.

Yet when he saw her in her wedding dress, and saw how amazing she looked, he couldn't tell her.

That's when he made his one big problem into two big problems.

At 9:00 in the morning, he left his home, found a pay phone and made a call to police. Using a disguised voice, he said:
“This is not a hoax call. There’s a bomb in St. George’s Hall and it will go off in 45 minutes."
Never mind that a call like that is inadvisable even in the best of circumstances, but this was 11 days after the bombing at the Boston Marathon, and authorities were already on high alert and taking no chances. 

Now, after his first call, Mr. McArdle may have realized the gravity of the situation, and he did call St. George's Hall on his cell phone to try and cancel his hoax. 

But it was too late.

Police, firefighters... the building was completely evacuated.

Yet Mr. McArdle's troubles were not over.

Because 45 minutes later, the building was cleared and reopened.

Which was enough time for the wedding to take place, if they actually had a place for the wedding to take place.

The news reports I've read do not say when Mr. McArdle finally told his wife, but at one point someone, seeing the wedding party standing outside the building, did overhear Mr. McArdle having a "heated conversation" with his future sister-in-law, who told him:
“You probably done the bomb scare yourself!”
At 4:00 p.m. that day, Mr. McArdle was arrested. Police had traced the second call he had made on his cell phone.

The remorseful 36-year-old was sentenced to one year in prison.

The only bright spot? His fiancé is standing by him.

His lawyer said it best:
“If any individual should abandon him, has been humiliated by him, the fact that she stands with him speaks volumes for her and I hope volumes for him.”
I imagine it may be quite some time before his fiancé's family feels the same. 

Forgetful groom Neil McArdle who made hoax bomb threat to register office is jailed, The Independent, UK>>

Ukulele song accompanied by magic cigarettes

Is that the grin of an innocent teacher?

Catch the magic when a woman pulls cigarettes out of a singer playing a ukulele in a clip from the 1935 short film "Starlit Days at the Lido".

If you listen closely to the voice of the musician singing "Hang on to me" you might recognize him from a classic Walt Disney movie. His name is Cliff Edwards, and a few years later he'd be the voice of Jiminy Cricket in Pinocchio.

And the cigarette-smoking gal with the magical talent of tossing away her cigarettes yet continuing to smoke? That's "Suzy Wandas, the Lady with the Fairy Fingers" and she was a rare specimen indeed - a female sleight-of-hand magician.

Cliff Edwards Ukulele Ike Ukulele song, with cigarettes

Mr. Edward's voice is haunting when he sings "When you wish upon a star" in Pinocchio. If you need any reminders, here's a short snippet from Amazon music>>

I found another clip of Jiminy Cricket singing, but it's not an approved Disney song. YouTuber calledkidblast created it by mixing clips of Pinocchio with Mr. Edwards singing a slightly naughty song about how he's a "Bear in a Lady's Boudoir."
"I may not be a football hero,
But I'm a star with the beautiful girls;
You never see me in the thick of a fight,
'Cause I do my scoring mostly at night!"
Jiminy Cricket - I'm a Bear in a Lady's Boudoir

Cliff Edwards died in 1971.

Here's two short clips of Ms. Wandas, whose real name was Jean Van Dyk, performing at a magic convention and in some home movies in the early 1960s. She died in 1986.

Suzy Wandas

- The song "Hang on to me" is available free at Internet Archive>>
- Sexy gals with ukuleles: Pretty Vintage Ladies Playing Their Ukuleles. Modern Material Culture>>

The car commercial filled with optical illusions

You'll have to view it more than once to catch all the tricks.

My favorite part is when the car is speeding towards a collision with the concrete barriers.

Honda Illusions, An Impossible Made Possible

Ad of the Day: Real or Illusion? Honda CR-V Spot Keeps You Guessing, Adweek>>

The Halloween Tree - an optical illusion

"The Halloween Tree" by Ray Bradbury

This is the cover art for one of the editions of Ray Bradbury's 1972 book "The Halloween Tree". As you can see, the costumed character, pumpkin decorations and tree on the front create an optical illusion of a human skull, another symbol of Halloween.

I know that the artist Joseph Mugnaini - who collaborated many times with Mr. Bradbury -  is credited as the illustrator for the images inside the book, but I don't believe he did this cover. Anybody know the artist?

This illustration on the cover of another edition of
"The Halloween Tree" is definitely by Joseph Mugnaini.

If you're a fan of skull optical illusions (and really, who isn't?), take a look at these other skull memento mori posts here at Deceptology>>

It's the Norwegian electric car foghorn prank

They will have altogether too much fun 
riding in this little car.

Bård Ylvisåker and Vegard Ylvisåker are Norwegian comedians who perform under the name Ylvis. Watch as they pull a prank by outfitting a tiny little electric car with four very loud fog horns and slowly and silently drive up to unsuspecting victims.

It's not in English, but it doesn't matter - it's in the universal language of tricksters.

Ylvis - Elbil med toghorn (Ylvis - Electric car with foghorn)

Nope, the Manhattan Project was not so secret

Of course everyone kept Los Alamos a secret, 
including patriotic newsman, right?

From The Atlantic:
The Manhattan Project was, the director of the Office of Censorship once said, the "best-kept single secret of the war," as The New York Times put it in a piece that ran on August 9, 1945, the day of the bombing of Nagasaki. 
And how remarkable this secrecy was! With some 130,000 people involved in building the bomb, how is it possible this story didn't leak out?

Well, as nuclear historian Alex Wellerstein documents frequently at his invaluable site Restricted Data, the secrecy of the Manhattan Project was not all it is cracked up to be. Wellerstein says that the fact that "the Army was working on a new super-weapon that involved atomic energy" was something of an "open secret" in Washington prior to the bomb's use, and, moreover, there were numerous press reports that gave information about the project. 
But there is one that stands out, Wellerstein writes, and that is a report from The Cleveland Press, by columnist John W. Raper, who happened upon the clandestine city of Los Alamos, a year and a half before bombs would fall on Japan. 
"Forbidden City" the headline proclaimed. It continued: "Uncle Sam's Mystery Town Directed by '2d Einstein.'" 
The story was introduced by a brief editor's note: "Jack Raper, Press columnist, has returned to Cleveland following a vacation in New Mexico, where he found the following story." 
And then the reporting began: 
"SANTA FE, N.M. — New Mexico has a mystery city, one with an area from eight to 20 square miles, according to guesses. It has a population of between 5000 and 6000 persons, not more than probably half a dozen of whom can step outside of the city except by special permission of the city boss. He grants permission only in the most exceptional circumstances and under the most rigid conditions. And it is even more difficult for a non-resident to enter than for a resident to leave."
Read the rest: The Time a Cleveland Newspaper Divulged the Manhattan Project, The Atlantic>>

- If you're interested in learning more about the supposed secrecy of the atomic bomb project during the 1940s, I suggest you take a look at this post by Alex Wellerstein: Narratives of Manhattan Project secrecy, Restricted Data. The Nuclear Secrecy Blog>>

He's got a natural head of hair - an optical illusion

Why's he fussin' with his hair?

'Cause he's got a date with this one.

Street art by Nuxuno Xan.

- Via Where Nothing Cool Happens>>
- By Nuxuno Xän - In Fort De France, Martinique, Street Art Utopia>>

7 ways not to fake your own death

Sometimes you might survive by playing dead. 
Other times, not so much.

Here's an article by Celia Seupel on what you shouldn't do if you're trying to play dead.
For years, faking your own death has been an escape scheme of the desperate and a get-rich scam of the foolish. Some scammers hope to get rich quick on life insurance fraud; others try to escape the law when their other schemes go wrong. CNBC Prime's "American Greed: The Fugitives" reports on one of the latter: Aubry Lee Price, a preacher turned day-trader, defrauded investors out of millions, then allegedly faked his own death by disappearing off a Key West ferry. Although Florida issued a death certificate, the FBI suspects that Price is still alive. 
But insurance companies have wised up, according to Dennis Jay, spokesman for the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud. Not only do they investigate suspicious life insurance claims vigorously; they also find that it's hard for people to stay off the grid year after year. Here are some of the dumbest ways that the bogus "dead" have resurfaced and gotten caught. 
1. Don't use a corpse of the opposite sex 
Molly and Clayton Daniels faked Clayton's death to keep him out of jail and to collect on his $110,000 life insurance policy. They dug up a corpse, dressed it in Clayton's clothes, then burned it in a car crash. However, DNA testing revealed that the corpse was female. 
2. Don't claim your life insurance before you're dead 
After Los Angeles resident Raul Pero "died" in his native Chile, his bereaved roommate Gloria Alcaraz called one of his six life insurers, West Coast Life, to claim the death benefit. Only trouble was, Alcaraz called West Coast Life one day before Pero's Chilean death certificate was issued. 
3. Don't write a best-seller after you're dead 
After Brit Philip Sessarago faked his own death and changed his name to Tom Carew, he wrote the popular book Jihad! and was recognized while being interviewed on television. 
4. Don't think of DWD: driving while dead 
Less than a month after Long Island man Raymond Roth, with the help of his son Jonathan, faked his own death with the help of his son Jonathan, to collect on life insurance, Roth was caught speeding in Santee, S.C.
5. Remember you're not the "Walking Dead" 
A one-time millionaire, Australian businessman Harry Gordon was doing pretty well maintaining the fiction that he was dead … until he ran into his brother hiking popular Mount Maunganui in Tauranga, New Zealand. His brother persuaded Gordon's "widow" to go to the police. 
6. Don't leave your fingerprints on your own death certificate 
Maybe he blew it when he called the life insurance company pretending to be his wife, but the fingerprints were a dead giveaway. Briton Anthony McErlean, who faked being killed by a truck in Honduras, was arrested for fraud after police found his fingerprints on his own bogus death certificate. 
7. Don't go to the doctor after you're dead 
After getting his fake death certificate from Afghanistan, even after his ex-wife claimed 300,000 pounds in life insurance, Ahmad Akhtary continued to live, work and pay taxes in Gloucester, England—under his own name. The couple got pinched six months into the fraud, after Akhtary visited his doctor. 
Bogus death for big bucks: 7 dumbest mistakes, CNBC>>

Hernia exams revealed to be a practical joke

Doctors couldn't keep the secret any longer.

Here's some breaking news:
TORONTO - The Canadian Medical Association announced today that the procedure of twisting a man’s scrotum and asking him to turn his head and cough is a longstanding prank.

Until now, doctors claimed that the procedure was to help diagnose the existence of a hernia, but have admitted that it was just a sadistic joke to make men feel physically and morally violated.

“Man, you should have seen the look on all of your faces” stated CMA President Dr. Gabriel Saunders while chuckling with other doctors. “We got a lot of deer-in-the-headlights looks and plenty of forty yard stares after doing it. Some men even pretend it never happened, but those types always get a nervous twitch when I snap on my plastic gloves.” 
Doctors are still dumbfounded by how long it took male patients to figure out that they were being spoofed. 
“Why did patients think doctors fondling their junk and coughing would find a hernia when we have ultrasound and other diagnostic equipment to do that?” Dr. Saunders rhetorically asked. 
At press time, CMA doctors were still encouraging older men to have their prostates examined for risk of cancer before the group of physicians erupted in laughter.
Doctors admit ‘turn-your-head-and-cough’ procedure one big practical joke, The Beaverton>>

Who gets snagged by online phishing scams?

Some research studies have provocative answers.

Researchers at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University wrote a paper on a study they did on 100 undergraduate psychology students. These were not dumb students, either - most of them were science or engineering majors and very familiar with computers.

They had the students complete a questionnaire and a personality assessment and also supply their email addresses.

Then the researchers, as researchers like to do sometimes, set out to con them.

Students were sent a phishing email which offered them the chance to win a prize if they clicked a link and filled out a form containing personal information.

The email was written the way many fake emails are written, with clues that it shouldn't be taken seriously: the email was sent from a false "from" address, and the letter contained spelling and grammatical errors.

The results were surprising.

17 percent fell for the phishing scam.

And the most vulnerable were neurotic women.

But let's be clear about the word "neurotic". I don't want to hear about you guys gloating and sharing this with the women in your life: "See, it's you neurotic women!"


"Neurotic" in this context is a psychological term for a personality trait that indicates a person is more likely to be anxious or depressed and respond negatively to stress.

It may also be that these types of women have more open personalities and tend to share more information online, which makes them more prone to become a phishing victim.

More research is needed.

Study links phishing vulnerabilities to personality traits, IDG News Service, Computerworld>>
- Image is a detail of a painting by the pinup artist Edward Runci, The Pinup Files>>

What does it feel like to be "brushed aside"?

Tulip Mazumdar underwent the treatment.

Reporter Tulip Mazumdar from the BBC - who says one of her guilty pleasure is reading fashion magazines - talks about what she went through:
"Photographer Sarah Brimley helps me relax to try to get my best "natural" picture. She has worked with some of the biggest models in fashion as well as a number of celebrities.
It's standard to retouch photos for small things like skin, fixing stray hairs, she says. 
'Digital cameras are so sharp that retouching is even more necessary because you can see every little blemish on the skin. In film you never used to see that.' 
Extreme airbrushing is rare, she believes." 
"She did a lovely job with my photos and I thought the untouched images were actually quite flattering. 
Then it was time for the post-production. 
It was a brutal experience."

Ms. Mazumdar before her treatment.

Read about her experience: What does it feel like to be airbrushed? BBC News>>

Can you help me out with a quick survey?

Yep, this is the way to attract advertisers.

After two and a half years without advertising, I've decided to insert ads into this blog.

In order to sell ads, advertisers want to know who my readers are. I know you guys and gals are a quirky bunch, but I need to say more than "Well, they're quirky" when describing my readers.

Could you please fill out my quick 7-question survey? It'll just take a minute.

All responses are 100% anonymous. Thanks!

Click HERE to take the survey.

Also, if you know anyone who might want to advertise here, please let me know. They could be the first ad...

Contact me at bobdomeros (put the @ sign here)

Photo found at KenSegall>>

Up or down, his secret boobie pics still illegal

It's a question of orientation.

A man in New Zealand, using a unique semantic defense, attempted to get out of a charge that he was filming down a woman's blouse.

He argued that the law only forbids secret recordings made beneath or under clothing that are called "up skirt" photos, while his recordings were made "down blouse".

The court said that despite the geographic orientation of the camera, if a recording is made of a woman's breasts and she did not intend others to see her breasts, the recording is illegal.

Secret filmer fails on loophole, Sun Live, New Zealand>>

3 classic artworks made out of trash

I'm looking at you looking at me. 
What do you see?
(Click to enlarge) 

Look closely at these reinterpretations of classic artworks created by British artist Jane Perkins. They're optical illusion art because not only can you view them two different ways, but they can also be viewed as works of art.

She explains how she makes them:
"I use any materials of the right size, shape and colour: toys, shells, buttons, plastic cutlery, beads, jewellery, curtain hooks, springs etc. No colour is added – everything is used ‘as found'. The portraits need to be viewed in 2 ways: from a distance (to recognize the person) and close up (to identify the materials.) They work rather like the late 19th century painting technique known as ‘pointillism' (eg Georges Seurat) where dots of colour were applied close together but not blended. As the viewer steps back from the picture, the colours are blended by the viewer's eye to reveal the complete image."

 We'll call this one a trashy Mona Lisa.

Just as Van Gogh applied his paint thickly, 
so Ms. Perkins applied thick layers of trash.

Jane Perkins, Blue Bowerbird>>

The bad Ronald McDonald prank

Actually, Ronald does not approve.

Many companies have been using prank videos as viral advertising to get attention.

This is not one of those videos.

Comedian Eric André was told by the ad department of the Cartoon Network's Adult Swim that it was probably a bad idea to show his comedy bit where he dressed up as a rough-looking Ronald McDonald and visited a McDonald's restaurant. The ad sales department said something like:
"Dude, we put toys in Happy Meals… this isn’t happening."
The clip never aired on his show, but later he revealed it when he was a guest on Conan O'Brian.

Eric André's Ronald McDonald Prank

He put the fiction in Hebrew science fiction

The cover depicted a large-breasted 
Jewish girl with a raygun.

The online magazine "Tablet" publishes stories about Jewish news and culture, so they were interested when they heard a proposal from writer Shay Azoulay. He wanted to write a short biography about an largely unknown author named Jacob Wallenstein, who in 1955 wrote a thousand-page science fiction novel in Hebrew called "Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow".

As Mr. Azoulay described it, the book was prophetic about the future - among other things, it predicted that people in 2050 would sit in front of "Telewriters" at home and work - machines that combined the functions of the telephone, television and typewriter.


Tablet said they would pay him $250 to publish his essay, called “Jacob Wallenstein, Notes for a Future Biography.”

Yet when they began to fact-check the article, despite Internet searches and phone calls to experts, they could find nothing anywhere about the book, or its author, Mr. Wallenstein. 

It was as if he was so obscure, he never existed.

They were right.

When they confronted Mr. Azoulay, he admitted that he'd made up the whole thing. He said it was his "desperate attempt to get noticed", and he didn't mean to create a literary fraud. Instead, he wanted to create more of a harmless literary hoax.

Tablet was so charmed by his piece that they published it anyway. They compared it to some of the strange literary convolutions of the writer Jorge Luis Borges:
"All he did was distill energies that were already there, urgent but incoherent, into the beautifully tragic figure of a man who ought to have existed but, almost inexplicably, didn’t."
They did, however, publish it as fiction. 

Here's an excerpt. (Remember: this is a fake description of the plot of a fake book, written as a fake biography of a fake author):
"Wallenstein presents the story of a secretary who receives a certain form whose intent is quite clear, but which in her view is not filled out according to her department’s precise demands. Rather than process the form, the secretary returns it to the sender with a note demanding that it be resubmitted in the appropriate manner. The sender does not comply, and instead registers a complaint against the secretary’s claim, along with written proof from his departmental protocol that the form was indeed filled out properly. A supervisor from the interdepartmental coordination office is brought in to resolve the issue and decides that the problem actually lies in the inconsistent methods of classification employed by the different departments. An inspector from the Standards department disagrees and claims that certain terms that appear in the form are inadequately defined. A lexicology department assessor is summoned and… on and on it goes, ad infinitum, and nothing gets done.
Ad infinitum, indeed.

There's something oddly inspiring going on here

I want to see a sculptor 
sculpt one of these.

See more of these, some not so subtle, HERE>>

An optical illusion that's trying to kill people

75-year-old Morfydd Jenkins was 
badly injured by the optical illusion.

Ah, the unintended consequences of urban planning.

After the town of Pontypridd in South Wales renovated their town center, they created a dangerous optical illusion.

The town upgraded part of the downtown area by ripping out the plain asphalt road and concrete sidewalk, carving out a bus stop and paving the area with stones.

It certainly looks more attractive.

The problem is that the new sidewalk slopes down slightly towards the street, and it's difficult to see that where the sidewalk ends, it drops four inches.

And even though the stones of the sidewalk are slightly lighter than the stones on the street, that hasn't helped. 

Over twenty shoppers have fallen victim to this illusion.


Of course, what was one of the reason the town renovated?

To improve safety.

If you were rushing to catch the bus, would you 
know that there's a drop waiting to catch you?

Obviously, the townspeople need to consult the good book.

The story of the very sad pirate

Sometimes, Hollywood meetings don't go as planned.

Mohamed Abdi Hassan has a unique job - he's the leader of an organization of modern pirates in Somalia.

One of his gigs was hijacking the Belgian ship Pompei and kidnapping the crew for ransom in 2009.

Before that, he'd hijacked dozens of other ships from 2008 to 1013.

Evidently, Mr. Hassan was skilled at his job. 

He was also good at avoiding arrest.

Mr. Hassan was extremely flattered when some movie people approached him. They were looking for a subject matter expert who knew about piracy. Could he travel to Belgium and become an adviser to a film? They told him that the movie would “mirror his life as a pirate.”

Mr. Hassan and an associate flew into the Brussels airport.

That's when they discovered that there was no movie, even though there was a lot of acting going on.

Authorities decided that the reclusive Mr. Hassan needed to be lured away with a phony job offer, and decided an appeal to his vanity would be most successful.

The men were arrested before they left the airport.

Hollywood-Style Sting Nabs Alleged Pirate Kingpin, Time Magazine>>

Another email phishing scam

Faye Johnson is trying to seduce you with her phish.

I recently received an email that asks me kindly to open a newsletter with very important news. If you get an email that looks anything like this, be aware that Faye Johnson is make-believe and this is a phishing scam trying to steal information from you:
Kindly view this newsletter i uploaded for you using Google Docs secured File uploader. Click to open: 
Newsletter - DA06 and sign in with your email for your secure access, it's a very important news. 
Google Docs makes it easy to create, store and share online documents, spreadsheets and presentations.  
Faye Johnson
That is all.

NOTE: The photo is not a photo of Faye Johnson.

The advertisement that lured men to their deaths

Richard Beasley crafted an effective wanted ad.

This was the ad that serial killer Richard Beasley, also known as "Jack", posted on Craigslist:
"Wanted: Caretaker For Farm. Simply watch over a 688 acre patch of hilly farmland and feed a few cows, you get 300 a week and a nice 2 bedroom trailer, someone older and single preferred but will consider all, relocation a must, you must have a clean record and be trustworthy—this is a permanent position, the farm is used mainly as a hunting preserve, is overrun with game, has a stocked 3 acre pond, but some beef cattle will be kept, nearest neighbor is a mile away, the place is secluded and beautiful, it will be a real get away for the right person, job of a lifetime—if you are ready to relocate please contact asap, position will not stay open."
Jack painstakingly designed the ad to conjure a very particular male fantasy: the cowboy or rancher, out in the open country, herding cattle, mending fences, hunting game—living a dream that could transform a post-recession drifter into a timeless American icon. From the many discarded drafts of the ad that investigators later found, it was clear that Jack was searching for just the right pitch to catch a certain kind of man’s eye. He tinkered with details—the number of acres on the property, the idea of a yearly bonus and paid utilities—before settling on his final language: “hilly,” “secluded,” “job of a lifetime.” If a woman applied for the job, Jack wouldn’t bother responding. If a man applied, he would ask for the critical information right off the bat: How old are you? Do you have a criminal record? Are you married?
Read the rest of the story: Murder by Craigslist. A serial killer finds a newly vulnerable class of victims: white, working-class men. The Atlantic>>

Wine bottles with an optical illusion kiss

Primero Beso and Ultimo Beso

The wine labels on these bottles of Scott Harvey Wines are called "First Kiss” and “Last Kiss” in Spanish. They show the optical illusion of a meandering river... or a couple about to kiss. I would suppose that most wine drinkers are not thinking of the meandering river.

Scott Harvey Wines>>

The man who lived inside a New York sculpture

This cube has a secret.

In New York City, there's a sculpture known as "The Cube" that's located at the intersection of Lafayette and 8th Street.

When a 37-year old writer decided he'd had enough of the stress of the city, he snuck inside the sculpture and began living inside, converting the 64-square-foot interior into his own apartment.

This is his story.

Man in a Cube

You might wonder why I'm featuring this on a blog about deception. Yes, you might wonder.

This story found thanks to a regular reader who wishes to remain anonymous.

64 Square Feet: Writer Lived Inside Astor Place Cube in New York City, Apartment Therapy>>

A Loch Ness Monster photo revealed

Click to look closely at this photo of the Loch Ness Monster.

Somewhere in my own past I've got Scottish ancestors, so I was intrigued by this story about the famous Scottish lake monster, Nessie.

On August 2012, George Edwards took a clear photo of the Loch Ness Monster.

Mr. Edwards had been searching for the creature for years, so when he took his photo, he believed he proved the myth was real.

He said he saw this dark hump gliding through the water towards Urquhart Castle, seen in the background of his photo.

At first, he said, he didn't want to show anyone:
“I did not want to mention my sighting until I was sure that I had not photographed a log or something inanimate. 
I know peoples in the USA who have friends in the military. They had my photo analyzed and they have no doubt that I photographed an animate object. 
I was really excited as I am sure that some strange creatures are lurking deep in Loch Ness.”
When he finally revealed his picture, it attracted worldwide attention, as do most photos of the mysterious creature.

About a year after his photo was taken, Mr. Edwards had more to reveal.

He said his photo was fake.

And yet he feels he was merely helping out the monster, just as the monster was helped out by a famous photo called the "Surgeon's Photograph" taken in 1934.
“So as far as I’m concerned it’s perfectly valid, just a bit of fun. How do you think Loch Ness would have fared over the years without that picture? I have no guilt about what I have done.”

The Surgeon's photo of Nessie in "The Daily Mail"

It seems that his photo caused a rift within the local Chamber of Commerce, with some members opposed to the fakery, and others, well, not so opposed.

Mr. Edwards makes his living taking tourists out on his boat, Nessie Hunter IV.

It's so sad, really, because we all know what Nessie really is.

The truth about the Loch Ness Monster

The Nessie hump Mr. Edwards photographed is made of fiberglass and may have also been used in a National Geographic documentary.

Another truth - Mr. Edwards and his fiberglass fib.

'My monster snap was just the latest Loch Ness hoax' CRUISE boat operator George Edwards has admitted he faked a photo of the Loch Ness Monster. Express, UK>>
Water Horse, Nessie and Sex, Cryptomundo>>
- Pictures of the day, 3 August 2012, Telegraph>>
The Legend of Loch Ness, Nova, PBS>>

Beavers the cop, teen sex pics and fakery

It's not that parts of his life were secret. 
It's that parts of his secret life weren't legal.

A well-liked Cincinnati police officer named Darrell Beavers got himself into a wee bit of trouble.

Mr. Beavers worked with the Police Explorer program, where he mentored young people aged 14 to 21 who were interested in a career in law enforcement.

The father of one 17-year-old girl was not impressed with Mr. Beavers. He noticed that some texts between his daughter and the officer seemed to indicate something was going on that was less than professional, and he contacted the police department.

After investigating, police discovered that 44-year old Mr. Beavers had received nude photos of the girl.

That is not standard police procedure.

And neither is the other thing that investigators discovered.

It seems that an apartment manager was approached and asked if she would like a police substation set up in one of her empty apartments. She thought the extra security would be a good idea. A policeman put up a police sticker in the window of a stairwell and moved items into the office.

Yet the manager noticed that the police never seemed to be there. Maybe an hour here and there, but they were never much of a presence.

When police looked into the matter, they discovered that the apartment had been obtained by Mr. Beavers without the authorization of the police department.

Inside was a bed and bedding, food, videos, a police night vision camera and personal lubricant.

There is no indication the teenager had been in the apartment.

Mr. Beavers was charged with six felonies, including theft in office, tampering with evidence (because he'd destroyed his cell phone), and four counts of what in Ohio are labeled computer sex crime offenses: "illegal use of a minor in nudity oriented material."

Cincinnati police officer indicted on charges involving nude photos of teen, fake substation, WCPO>>

Deceived by the story of a practical joke

A photo of Jeff in the first grade.

In this post from a blog called "It's Not All Bad…", a mom writes about the jokes played by her son. The post is called "Jeff's Silliness":
I learned early to expect the unexpected from Jeff. He and I shared the same sense of humor and we spent many joyful moments laughing at life events that many people never saw the humor in...

Jeff loved practical jokes and was a master at them. He loved working with new laborers at a construction site. His favorite practical joke was to send them to get a “dunkolator valve”, explaining to this unsuspecting soul how important time was and it had to be obtained quickly. There is, of course, no such thing as a dunkolater valve. When the laborer was unable to produce one from Jeff’s supplies, Jeff sent him to other plumbers on the job to borrow one, QUICKLY. The other plumbers became aware of this joke, knowing Jeff had sent him from group to group, until there was no one else to ask. When the laborer returned to Jeff empty handed, Jeff would tell him not to worry, they could substitute another part that actually existed...

My favorite practical joke became a family joke. It was one that Jeff was able to pull repetitively on different, unsuspecting family members. One Halloween a few years ago, my mother sent Jeff a life-size fuzzy rat, complete with shiny, beady eyes and a nasty skinny tail. Jeff got a lot of mileage out of that rat, hiding it places where the kids would find it and scream. A year after his death, we were packing to move to San Diego. My daughter-in-law was working in the kitchen when I heard a scream from her and I went running. She was pulling things from between the cabinet and refrigerator and reported to me that we had a rat. I looked in the direction she was pointing and sure enough, it was a rat, but it was Jeff’s rat. The last time he had come to my house he must have brought it and hidden it back by the refrigerator, waiting for me to find it. I pulled it out and started laughing…
Why do I consider this mother's post deceptive? Her post is not a lie, but it is a perspective. You are getting all of your information about Jeff from one source - his mother.

Jeff's mother and family have complained that the media has distorted what happened to Jeff and his family by only presenting selective parts of his story.

You see, at first Jeff was in the headlines because when he was older he became Neo-Nazi leader Jeffrey Russell Hall. He led rallies of the National Socialist Movement in California, fighting for the rights of white people.

But that's not the most disturbing thing.

On May 1, 2011, at 4 o'clock in the morning, Jeff was sleeping on a couch at home when someone removed Jeff's .357 Magnum pistol from a closet, pointed it at Jeff's ear, shot him in the head and killed him.

The person who shot him was his 10-year-old son, Joseph.

The family is trying to come to terms with Jeff's death and the prosecution of Joseph for his dad's murder.

There are claims that the young boy killed his dad because of abuse, or that being raised by a father with a racist ideology led to violence, or that the young boy himself had been violent from a young age.

As of October 2013, Joe -  around 13-years-old - was in prison awaiting his fate.


Finally, Joseph Hall was sentenced. Here's more about him, in a story called A Very Dangerous Boy, GQ Magazine>>

It's Not All Bad, Practical Joke, My Brother Jeff Hall>>
The murder of an American Nazi, Sixty Minutes>>