Dino D'Annibale

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Award of Excellence for an Imaginary Restaurant

Filed under: Media Pranks, Publicity Stunts

Submitted by Dino D’Annibale:

Media: Wine Spectator drinks a hearty glass of blush
by Jerry Hirsch
Los Angeles Times
August 22, 2008

The magazine praises a Milan restaurant that doesn’t exist. Wine critic and author Robin Goldstein cooked up the hoax.

Milan’s Osteria L’Intrepido restaurant won Wine Spectator magazine’s award of excellence this year despite a wine list that features a 1993 Amarone Classico Gioe S. Sofia, which the magazine once likened to “paint thinner and nail varnish.”

Even worse: Osteria L’Intrepido doesn’t exist.

To the magazine’s chagrin, the restaurant is a Web-based fiction devised by wine critic and author Robin Goldstein, who said he wanted to expose the lack of any foundation for many food and wine awards.

To pull off the hoax, Goldstein created a bogus website for the restaurant and submitted an application for the award that included a copy of the restaurant”™s menu (which he describes as “a fun amalgamation of somewhat bumbling nouvelle-Italian recipes”) and a high-priced “reserve wine list” well-stocked with dogs like the 1993 Amarone. (more…)

Penn & Teller Piss on Environmentalists

Filed under: Political Pranks

Submitted by Dino D’Annibale from LewRockwell.com:

Environmental Hysteria Exemplified: Watch Penn and Teller manage to convince hundreds of leftists to sign a petition to ban water.


Filed under: Parody, Pranksters

From Dino D’Annibale:

A MAD poster

God, the Ultimate Prankster? You have got to be kidding.

Filed under: The Big One

If you believe in God, or at least entertain the idea of one as the major religions profess it, you must admit he/she (it/they) (insert your favorite pronoun here) is one hell of a prankster. Joey Skaggs has nothing on “The Almighty” when it comes to preying on man’s foibles to illustrate with humor our tendency to foster a belief in the absurd. There are fundamentalist Christians who believe that the earth is 12,000 years old, give or take a thousand years. This they have deduced by adding up the ages of everyone in the bible. When asked about Dinosaurs, the bones and fossils that have been found, and how they fit that information into their view of the world, they respond, “God put those fossils here to test our faith.” The idea of God playing pranks on us to test our faith is beyond funny, it is disturbing. I have had conversations with people who believe that the bible is the word of God. I ask if they have a bible, and they say, “Yes.” I say, “What does the title say?” They say, “The Holy Bible.” I say “Yes, what else does it say?” They respond, “King James Version.” “Yep” I say, “And I prefer Mark Twain’s version.”

In a world with a long history of religious extremism that leaves in its wake a path of destruction and suffering, the ENORMITY (look up the word) of which defies belief, one might be moved to ask why? Why do we as human beings suspend our rational thought and the use of our brains, brains that god supposedly gave us, for intolerance of biblical proportions? Is it in the very fabric of our being? Is it something that developed in our evolution to help us better survive as a species? In this very compelling article from the New York Times dated March 4th, 2007 entitled “Darwin’s God” by Robin Marantz Henig, the work of Scott Atran is explored and raises serious and valid questions about what we believe and why. How do so many of our breathren believe with such conviction in something without a shred of tangible evidence, to the point of killing or dying for it and in some cases both. Is religion no longer relevant? Only God knows, but it is this very mode of our behavior and process, or lack of process, that gives artists / pranksters the fodder to make comedic chestnuts out of all the foolish beliefs that we so fervently defend despite our awareness of facts. Where is our appreciation for irony? Where is our sense of humor? Beliefs are just that, beliefs. They are not facts, and are often derived from opinion and misinformation.

Darwin’s God By Robin Marantz Henig
New York Times, March 4, 2007

God has always been a puzzle for Scott Atran. When he was 10 years old, he scrawled a plaintive message on the wall of his bedroom in Baltimore. “God exists,” he wrote in black and orange paint, “or if he doesn’t, we’re in trouble.” Atran has been struggling with questions about religion ever since — why he himself no longer believes in God and why so many other people, everywhere in the world, apparently do. (more…)