Rose Fox

View Profile

19th 1st Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony Video, Part 1 of 4

Filed under: Satire

Submitted by Rose Fox: The 2009 Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony took place on Thursday, October 1, at Sanders Theater, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. After several exciting false starts, the Annals of Improbable Research present video of the 2009 Ig Nobel Prize ceremony in four parts:

Part 1: Pre-show Risk Cabaret Concert by The Penny-wise Guys, and the very, very beginning of the ceremony.

Part 2: Lots of introductions. Several past winners return. Benoit Mandelbrot’s keynote address.

Part 3: Awarding of several prizes. First two acts of the mini-opera. The 24/7 Lectures. (more…)

Ig Nobel Awards 2009

Filed under: Satire

Submitted by Rose Fox: The 2009 Ig Nobel Awards were featured on “Science Friday” on NPR today. You can find the broadcast in this archive. Here also is an archive of past years’ broadcasts.

Ig Nobels Honor Weird Academic Achievements
by Bob Gordon
November 16, 2009

bra.200The Ig Nobel prizes – a play on the name of the Nobel prizes awarded every October from Stockholm and Oslo – are given out by the Harvard-based humour magazine Annals of Improbable Research.

They are co-sponsored by the Harvard-Radcliffe Science Fiction Association, the Harvard-Radcliffe Society of Physics Students and the Harvard Computer Society.

Here’s a brief rundown of this years 10 winners.

Veterinary medicine: Drs Catherine Douglas and Peter Rowlinson say they have shown in their study in Anthrozoos (“A Multidisciplinary Journal of The Interactions of People and Animals”!!) that by giving a cow a name and treating her as an individual farmers can increase their annual milk yield – by over 60 gallons.

Medicine: Donald Unger for cracking just the knuckles on his left hand for 60 years to see if knuckle cracking contributes to arthritis. He didn’t get arthritis in either hand, leading him to conclude there was “no apparent relationship.”

Public health: Elena Bodnar, Raphael Lee and Sandra Marijan for inventing a brassiere than can be converted into a pair of gas masks. (more…)

Monty Python Communist Quiz sketch

Filed under: Parody

From Rose Fox:

Live from the Hollywood Bowl: Sketch from Monty Python – A Communist quiz featuring Marx, Lenin, Che, Mao.

Monty Python Communist Quiz sketch

2008 Ig Nobel Prizes Awarded at Harvard University

Filed under: Satire

Breaking news about the 2008 Ig Nobel Prize Awards from Rose Fox:

Oct. 2, 2008, Cambridge, MA. The 2008 Ig Nobel Prizes, honoring achievements that first make people LAUGH, and then make them THINK, were awarded at Harvard University’s historic Sanders Theatre tonight before 1200 spectators in a ceremony filled with redundancy, sword-swallowing, opera singers and paper airplanes. Around the world, thousands watched via live webcast. This was the 18th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony.

Seven of the ten new winners journeyed to Harvard — at their own expense — to accept their Prizes.

The 2008 Ig Nobel Prize Winners are:

Nutrition Prize
Massimiliano Zampini of the University of Trento, Italy and Charles Spence of Oxford University, UK, for electronically modifying the sound of a potato chip to make the person chewing the chip believe it to be crisper and fresher than it really is.

Peace Prize
The Swiss Federal Ethics Committee on Non-Human Biotechnology (ECNH) and the citizens of Switzerland for adopting the legal principle that plants have dignity.

Archaeology Prize
Astolfo G. Mello Araujo and José Carlos Marcelino of Universidade de Sà£o Paulo, Brazil, for measuring how the course of history, or at least the contents of an archaeological dig site, can be scrambled by the actions of a live armadillo. (more…)

Will the Real Sarah Palin Please Stand Up?

Filed under: Satire

From Rose Fox — The many faces of Sarah Palin:

From CBS News: Katie Couric Sarah Palin Interview Part II, September 24, 2008

From NBC’s Saturday Night Live: Gov. Palin and Katie Couric Get Real and Adorable, September 27, 2008

And, finally, here’s Jack Cafferty Telling Us How He Really Feels About Sarah Palin, CNN, September 26, 2008 (more…)

Man Arrested for Having Sex with Table

Filed under: Fact or Fiction?, You Decide

From Rose Fox:

Typical slanted news story; no mention of whether the table was over 18 or had given its consent.

Police: Man Had Sex With Picnic Table
March 28, 2008

Anonymous Tip Led Police To Arrest

image-200.jpgBellevue, Ohio — Police said an Ohio man has been arrested for allegedly having sex with a picnic table.

Police arrested Arthur Price Jr. after an anonymous tipster dropped off three DVDs that reportedly showed Price in the act.

According to NBC Toledo, Ohio, affiliate WNWO-TV, the videos show Price tilting the metal round picnic table on its side and then laying up against it to have sexual intercourse with the table. Afterward, he can then be seen cleaning the table and the deck.

During questioning, he reportedly admitted to having sex with the table. Police said he also admitted to bringing the table inside his home for sex.

Price faces four counts of public indecency. He was freed after posting $20,000 bond, authorities said.

Abortion Art Project: Who’s Hoaxing Whom?

Filed under: Art Pranks, Fact or Fiction?, You Decide

Submitted by Rose Foster:

Yale student claims to make art from her induced miscarriages–but it’s a hoax [Editor’s note: see updates at the end in which she claims it is not a hoax]

Aliza Shvarts ‘Abortion Art’ Project a ‘Creative Fiction,’ Yale Says
by David Emery Urban Legends
April 17, 2008 art student Aliza Shvarts delivered a one-two punch to the media on Thursday, beginning with the announcement of her senior project: an exhibition chronicling a nine-month period during which she impregnated herself “as often as possible” with semen from voluntary donors then videotaped herself inducing miscarriages and preserving the bloody byproducts thereof. “I hope it inspires some sort of discourse,” Shvarts was quoted as saying in the Yale Daily News. She got her wish in spades. The announcement sent shock waves through the blogosphere, eliciting disgust and outrage from every quarter, expressed via headlines on the order of “The Art of Murder” and “Aliza Shvarts Is a Monster.”

Hours later came an announcement from the Yale University Office of Public Affairs stating that the art project was just that — art. “The entire project is … a creative fiction designed to draw attention to the ambiguity surrounding form and function of a woman’s body,” read the statement by Yale spokesperson Helaine Klasky. “She stated to three senior Yale University officials today, including two deans, that she did not impregnate herself and that she did not induce any miscarriages.” (more…)

Wombat Love Story Untrue

Filed under: Practical Jokes and Mischief

Submitted by Rose Fox:

Man said ‘wombat rape’ led to accent change
by Nick Squires
March 28, 2008

happy-wombat-200.jpgA New Zealand man who claimed he was raped by a wombat and that the experience left him speaking with an Australian accent has been found guilty of wasting police time.

Arthur Cradock, 48, from the South Island town of Motueka, called police last month to tell them he was being raped by the marsupial at his home and needed urgent assistance.

Cradock, an orchard worker, later called back to reassure the police operator that he was all right.

“I”™ll retract the rape complaint from the wombat, because he”™s pulled out. Apart from speaking Australian now, I”™m pretty all right you know. I didn”™t hurt my bum at all.”

He pleaded guilty in Nelson District Court to using a phone for a fictitious purpose and was sentenced to 75 hours”™ community work. (more…)

Anonymous Attacks

Filed under: Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking

Submitted by Rose Fox:

The Guardian explains the internet phenomenon of “rick-rolling”. Don’t miss the exclusive interview with Rick Astley where he tells them just what he thinks of the whole thing.

Taking the Rick
by Sean Michaels
March 19, 2008

Twenty years after “Never Gonna Give You Up”, Rick Astley became an internet phenomenon – and an unlikely weapon against Scientology

Rick Astley, by Mauro Carraro/RexIt was more than twenty years ago that Rick Astley’s Never Gonna Give You Up first topped the charts. “Never gonna say goodbye,” he crooned in his surprisingly basso voice – and who knew how right he was.

Today we’re in a different century, a different millennium, a very different era than the one that first offered up twerpy, earnest, high-waistbanded Astley. But his song, and its video in particular, have found new life in the time of YouTube. Never Gonna Give You Up is at the centre of one of the internet’s hottest memes – and if you haven’t already fallen victim, it’s only a matter of time.

Watch the video:

It’s called the “rick-roll”. You’re innocently browsing an apparently useful website and see a link to something else that might be of interest, but when you click through to that destination you instead find yourself confronted with Astley’s boyish smile, his manly croon, his awkward 1987 dance-moves.

The link was a fake, a trap, a dummy with the nefarious purpose of… bringing you face-to-face with the ridiculous. (more…)

Ransoming Jesus

Filed under: Practical Jokes and Mischief

Submitted by Rose Fox:

Pranksters steal a statue of Jesus and leave a hilarious ransom note saying they won’t give it back until its owner starts picking up after her dogs.

You May Be the Last To Know

Filed under: Satire

Submitted by Rose Fox:

From Coilhouse magazine — I think I might be straight: A pamphlet on how to come to terms with your heterosexuality.


Basketball Prank

Filed under: Practical Jokes and Mischief

Submitted by Rose Fox:

An anonymous message tricks basketball player into thinking he’s going to be traded from a great team to a terrible one.

Trade hoax no joking matter for Barbosa
by Jerry Brown
East Valley Tribune
January 19, 2008

Phoenix Suns"™ Leandro Barbosa, by Julio Jimenez, TribuneBy the end of the day, Leandro Barbosa was laughing about a practical joke that had him scurrying around the team”™s Beverly Hills hotel Thursday. But for a while, a phone hoax that had Barbosa believing he was traded to the New York Knicks was no laughing matter.

Barbosa, who made the mistake of registering under his own name, was in his room when he received an anonymous phone call “informing him” of a trade, and telling him he needed to meet Suns general manager Steve Kerr in the hotel lobby.

“My heart was hurting,” Barbosa said. “Every time I hear the word “˜trade,”™ “¦ it”™s just not a comfortable word for me at all. This is my team. I went a little crazy.”

Frantic and near tears, Barbosa rushed to the lobby in search of coaches or team personnel for answers before he was finally assured it was all a hoax.

“I said, “˜L.B., use your head. Don”™t you think I would have told you if something like that was even possible?”™ “ said Suns assistant and Barbosa confidant Dan D”™Antoni, who was able to put his fears to rest. “I told him, “˜You”™ve got to use someone else”™s name when you check into a hotel. If someone told me to come down to the front desk and pick up a million dollars, do you think I”™d start running for the elevator?”™ “

Even hours later, it was no joking matter for Barbosa. “That was a terrible thing,” he said.

Another article (from the receiving end):

  • A Sick Knick Trick, by Bruce Golding, New York Post, January 20, 2008
  • The Lies of War

    Filed under: Propaganda and Disinformation

    [Editor’s note: Controversies have always surrounded incitements to war. The sinking of the U.S.S. Maine in 1898, which precipitated the Spanish American War could have been an act of sabotage meant to start the war, or an accidental explosion. The true cause is still unknown. This week’s interaction between Iranian speedboats and the U.S. Navy, with both sides producing different video documentation, may also be a prelude to the beginnings of a bigger conflict. We may never know the truth about either, however, sometimes all that’s needed is the declassification of existing but secret documents…]

    Submitted by Rose Fox:

    Report reveals Vietnam War hoaxes, faked attacks
    Yahoo News
    January 8, 2008

    US Soldiers in South VietnamWashington (AFP) – North Vietnamese made hoax calls to get the US military to bomb its own units during the Vietnam War, according to declassified information that also confirmed US officials faked an incident to escalate the war.

    The report was released by the National Security Agency, responsible for much of the United States’ codebreaking and eavesdropping work, in response to a “mandatory declassification” request, the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) said Monday.

    From the first intercepted cable — a 1945 message from Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh to his Russian counterpart Joseph Stalin — to the final evacuation of US spies from Saigon, the 500-page report retold Vietnam War history from the perspective of “signals intelligence,” the group said in a statement. (more…)

    A Predictable Prank

    Filed under: Prank News, Truth that's Stranger than Fiction

    From Rose Fox:

    A UK celebrity deliberately publishes his bank account information to prove that it’s safe, and then is surprised when someone uses it to donate £500 to charity.

    TV Presenter Jeremy ClarksonClarkson stung after bank prank
    January 7, 2008

    TV presenter Jeremy Clarkson has lost money after publishing his bank details in his newspaper column.

    The Top Gear host revealed his account numbers after rubbishing the furore over the loss of 25 million people’s personal details on two computer discs.

    He wanted to prove the story was a fuss about nothing.

    But Clarkson admitted he was “wrong” after he discovered a reader had used the details to create a £500 direct debit to the charity Diabetes UK. (more…)

    Skyscraper bench: art or prank?

    Filed under: Art Pranks

    Submitted by Rose Fox

    Mystery Bench

    From Gothamist, December 17, 2007:

    Mystery Bench Baffles City Officials

    A Gothamist tipster emailed us this photo of a prohibitively tall bench on the median of East Houston Street near Suffolk. Is this guerrilla art or city-sanctioned furniture? The new cool “Bench Club“ for East Village scenesters? A lawsuit in-waiting from the city”™s more vertically challenged residents? A prototype anti-homeless bench? A photoshop hoax? (more…)