4 surfaces mutated by Mehmet Ali Uysal

A large clothespin
This giant clothespin was installed in Chaudfontaine Park, Belgium. When a tiny object is made big, earth becomes pinchable cloth.

A surface is treated with a cup

This looks like the acupuncture technique of cupping, where a cup is placed over the skin and a vacuum created by burning an alcohol soaked cotton ball to consume the oxygen. Except of course that this technique is applied to a solid wall.


Someone is trapped inside this wall and is either actively trying to escape, or has literally "hit the wall."

A canvas woman

This partially unclothed woman seems to have accepted her fate.

- Turkish artist Mehmet Ali Uysal>>
- Giant Clothespin Sculpture, Bored Panda>>

Outrageous! The poop tattoo prank

She's suing her ex-boyfriend for inking 
a crappy tattoo on her back.

This story about a cheating woman getting her comeuppance appeared in various web sites as well as The Sun, a UK newspaper:
Tatt-poo for cheating, Artist inks excrement on wayward lover's back

A FURIOUS woman is suing her ex-boyfriend after he tattooed a steaming poo on her back.

Rossie Brovent wants £60,000 in damages from Ryan Fitzjerald.

Rossie, from Dayton, Ohio, US, wanted a scene from the Narnia trilogy inked on her back.

Instead she was left with a pile of excrement with flies buzzing around it.

Tattoo artist Ryan turned rogue after discovering that Rossie had cheated on him with his best friend.

Rossie originally tried to have her ex-lover charged with assault but she had signed a consent form agreeing the tattoo design was "at the artist's discretion".

She said: "He tricked me by drinking a bottle of cheap wine with me and doing tequila shots before I signed it and got the tattoo.

"Actually I was passed out for most of the time, and woke up to this horrible image on my back."
Outrageous, yes? True? No.

When I first saw this story, my BS detector went off, and I searched for any mention of the subject or the participant's names on any legitimate news sites. I found absolutely nothing.

The story does have enough elements to guarantee inflamed emotions: a girl who cheats with his best friend (Of course she deserves it!), alcohol clouding her judgment (What an idiot!), an indictment of the legal system for a bad contract (Stupid lawyers!), the punishment being out of proportion to the crime (Do you know much that's going to hurt to get removed?), and so on.

Later, the website The Smoking Gun researched the story in more detail:
A review of court indices, of course, shows no such civil complaint has ever been filed (either in federal or state court) by “Brovent.” James Druber, administrator of the Montgomery County Common Pleas Court (where Dayton residents file their six-figure complaints), said that he had heard nothing about the purported tattoo lawsuit.

Additionally, a review of the Nexis database turns up no “Rossie Brovent,” or, in fact, anyone with that surname. And a search for “Ryan Fitzjerald” (with or without the middle initial “L”) turns up nobody with that name.

Records for Dayton and Montgomery County show no evidence that “Fitzjerald” (or “Fitzgerald”) has been licensed as a tattoo parlor operator or employee, according to Alan Pierce, an official with the Public Health department.
They also discovered that the image of the woman's back tattoo was featured as the “Worst Tattoo of the Day” on the blog I Am Bored... 18 months before the tattoo poop story appeared.

So, if we believe the tattoo photo is a real photo, the story is that somebody got a really stupid tattoo.

And the story of the cheating lover getting a prank poop tattoo? If you believe it, it's actually a prank on you.

- Tatt-poo for cheating, Artist inks excrement on wayward lover's back, The Sun>>
- That Viral Story About The Poor Woman Stuck With The Poop Tattoo? Sorry, It’s Totally Full Of Crap, The Smoking Gun>>

These gears move in a deceptive way

These are three normal gears

Normally, three gears connected to each other will rotate like the ones above. The first and last gears will rotate in the same direction, while the middle gear will rotate in the opposite direction.

However, it is possible to create three connected gears that are deceptive. Why? They all rotate in the same direction.

Paradoxical Gear Set

And what's going on with this cube gear?

Cube Gear

Gear animation is from Robives>>

Thumbing your nose - two practical jokes

 To thumb your nose at someone is a slightly 
milder version of giving them the middle finger

Mark Twain liked satire. In 1862, when he was 27 years old and still went by his given name Samuel Clemens, he wrote a blurb for the Territorial Enterprise newspaper. In it, he attacked two things: One, he disliked the then-common fad of journalists writing about hoax "petrifactions" where a body was found to have turned to stone; and Two, he wanted to make fun of a real person he despised named Judge Sewall, a local coroner and Justice of the Peace.

Many newspapers reprinted his story. They knew it was a hoax, but since it was a good one, they published it anyway, since readership was more important than the literal truth, although some did leave clues so readers could be in on the joke.

Twain was hoping that readers would reconstruct the position he described of the petrified man's hands, and the joke would have been clear.

It would have been a bit more obvious if the original 
story had included an illustration of the stone man
making this gesture of contempt.

Overall, the story failed as satire. Twain hoped for the reader getting the joke. Instead he perpetrated yet another realistic-sounding petrifaction hoax.

Samuel Clemens may have encountered the "thumbing the nose" gesture used as a joke before, in a book called Percival Keene, written in 1842 by naval officer Frederick Marryat. In it, the main character, Percival, pulls a mean practical joke on a fellow shipmate.

Below, you can read the original Petrified Man satirical short, Twain's response to the story in Hoaxing the Unsuspecting Public, and an excerpt from Percival Keene where Percival explains to a "Green" seaman that "thumbing the nose" is a secret freemason gesture to be given to your superior officer...

Another stone man hoax story is at my post: The human petrifaction of Ernest Flucterspiegel>>

Trumpeting the clouds

Manufactured optical illusion or fortuitous photography?

How do you know what's true if the brain's lying?

"Is that a marching band I’m hearing, 
or am I just hallucinating?"

From an article in The New York Times:
Doctors generally consider the delusional beliefs of schizophrenia to be just that — delusional — and any attempt to indulge them to be an exercise in reckless collusion that could make matters worse. There is no point, they say, in trying to explain the psychological significance of someone’s belief that the C.I.A. is spying through the TV; it has no basis, other than psychosis.
Milton Greek, who has severe schizophrenia, disagrees. He listened to his illness to find the real meaning hidden within:
“Schizophrenia is the best thing that ever happened to me,” he said. “I know a lot of people with the diagnosis don’t feel that way, but the experience changed me, for the better. I was so arrogant, so narcissistic, so self-involved, and it humbled me. It gave me a purpose, and that purpose has been very much a part of my recovery...

When I began to see the delusions in the context of things that were happening in my real life, they finally made some sense... And understanding the story of my psychosis helped me see what I needed to stay well.”
Read the entire article: Finding Purpose After Living With Delusion, The New York Times>>

Want to lie? Do it from far away. With email.

I wonder. Was this also true for the telegraph?

This might come as no surprise to anyone who's spent any time online or using email.

Humans lie.

Here's a study about it:

College students were told to get to know each other in three different ways: face-to-face, via email, or by instant messaging each other. Afterwards, they looked at transcripts or listen to recordings of their conversations and were asked: "Did you lie at all?"

At first, most people said they were being honest, but eventually 70% found something they'd said that was a lie. Some of the lies were small "white lies", while others were "total whoppers."

And lying was three times greater via email.

Said psychology professor and study author Robert S. Feldman:
"It's easier to lie online primarily because the psychological distance between the two people communicating is greater... When you're face-to-face, you see the person, you see their reactions to what you're saying, you know they can see you. But when you're online, you're talking to a disembodied person. You don't see their reactions to what you're saying and I think it gives you a kind of freedom to be more deceptive."
The study, called Liar, Liar, Hard Drive on Fire:  How Media Context Affects Lying Behavior, was published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology.

- The lies we email each other, The Body Odd, MSNBC>>
- U. S. History Images>>

Why isn't this the perfect English cottage?

In the 2006 romantic comedy "The Holiday", 
Cameron Diaz's character stays in a 
"fairy tale English cottage set in 
a tranquil country garden."

Many people fell in love with the cottage 
and wanted to know where it was located.

The cottage was built in the village of 
Shere, in Surrey, England.

The interior is beautiful, too, but let's focus on 
the exterior.  You can likely guess that, as in 
most films, this interior is not real and 
was built on a soundstage 
in Los Angeles.

Here's another view of the cottage in the 
winter. But there's something odd about the 
snow on the hills in the background.
(Hint: There is no snow on the hills 
in the background.)

The cottage is a fairy tale. 
The entire cottage and grounds 
were built in an empty field.

All the old stone was actually painted fiberglass.

The details around the cottage 
were created for the film.

Just as an actress pretends to be 
a real character, this realistic-looking 
simulation pretends to be a real cottage.

However, if you'd like, you can rent 
an actual romantic cottage. 
Slatters cottage at Bourton-on-the-Hill 
is real. It costs £580 per week 
during Christmas.

- See more photos of the fake Rosehill cottage for the movie The Holiday, taken in the Shere by "pg tips2" on Flickr>>
- Slatters Cottage>>
- Surrey has been used many times for filming: Surrey film locations, Surrey Life>>
- Kate Winslet’s English Cottage in “The Holiday” Hooked on Houses>>

3 paintings of shadows by Jiro Takamatsu

Shadow of Brush

The artist Jiro Takamatsu painted shadows of things that used to be there. These shadows are on hooks. You may click to enlarge them.
"Since there can be no "absence" without "existence," our task is to experiment in order to see how far we may go from the realm of "existence."

- Jiro Takamatsu (1936-1998)
"Untitled" (Key in Shadow)

"Shadow of a Key"
(with JPEG artifacts)

A larger version of the jpeg file 
"Shadow of a Key"
with a shadow of the watermark of
the website

- Jiro Takamatsu, Arcadja>>
- Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Saturday, July 25, 2009, Shadow of a Key Sold by EstQuest Auctions, ArtValue>>>>

How to respond to a crude sex prank

The new logo 
for the University of St. Andrews

A realistic-looking notice containing the school logo appeared on the door of library toilets at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, explaining the policy of the university in regards to certain behaviors:
Masturbation Notice

Masturbation in the library toilet is a violation of the University of St Andrews Library Regulations

The recently refurbished toilet floors are not designed to handle your semen!

The excessive amount of semen stain on the floor cost thousands of pounds to be removed professionally and must be reflected in tuition fee rises for next year. It's YOUR money.

Please go home and masturbate if you are bored.

Please enquire at the Library Help Desk if you have any questions. Thank you for your cooperation.
A man named Steve asked for a university response using a FoI (Freedom of Information) request and received the following letter:
Dear Steve

Thank you for your FoI Request re “Masturbation Notice”.

The notice to which you refer is not an official university notice. It was a student prank, and regrettably not even an original prank. The notice appears to be a copycat issue of a similar text which appeared recently at Durham and Lancaster universities and a number of universities in the States. A quick check on Google should give you more information about these incidents should you require it.

A strong clue that the notice is fake is the line “Please go home and masturbate if you are bored.” As a matter of policy, the University would never encourage students to go home during term time.

I understand that two copies of the notice were attached, with chewing gum, to doors of the male toilets in the University of St Andrews Main Library on or about the afternoon of Sunday November 13th 2011. The notices were removed by Library staff shortly afterwards.

Far from having a policy on masturbation or outlawing the practice, as the bogus notice alleged, the University encourages the study of it, academically at least. Among the titles in the University Library is “Solitary Sex : A Cultural History of Masturbation” by Thomas Walter Laqueur, pub Zone Books, New York, 2003.

Available from the short loan section, and as of 3 p.m. this afternoon, one copy still available to borrow.

I trust this answers your request, but if you require any further information, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Kind regards

Niall Scott

Niall Scott
Director of Corporate Communications
University of St Andrews
- "Masturbation notice" What Do They Know>>
- Image of the notice>>
- University knocks out a master class in handling student pranks, Deadline News>>

The "Timmy is a dummy" Halloween prank

Sometimes nothing creeps you out better than nothing.

Watch the video of an inspired Halloween prank - they dressed up a 4 foot dummy as a trick-or-treater and posed him in front of doors to get some candy.
"He's fake."
"What the hell! Are you serious?"
The fake trick-or-treater prank

A Confederate suicide mission

Some soldiers died pretending to surrender

An excerpt from the Reports of the Official Records of the War of the Rebellion, May 7, 1864, from officer John Cosgrove, Major 8th Cavalry, Missouri State Militia:
My horses having been exhausted from constant pursuits of rebel bands and having all my rations exhausted, I concluded that further pursuit would be useless and took the direction of Neosho, scouting the Cowskin River, where I found several rebels and had one of my men mortally wounded in an attack on a house where 2 rebels were posted. Here the usual treachery of the Rebels was shown again by one of them surrendering until he got the advantage and then fired, but he paid the penalty with his life! I also had 1 horse killed and 1 man shot through his clothes by the same fellow [that must have been one tough, brave Confederate]!...

My thanks are due to the officers and men of the command for their promptness and bravery, and especially to my advance guard for their coolness, judgment and unflinching bravery whenever an enemy came in view.
- Battlefield Dispatches No. 213: 'Death by Deceit' The Fort Scott Tribune>>
Detail of the image Spotsylvania Court House, Va., vicinity. Body of a Confederate soldier near Mrs. Alsop's house, Library of Congress>>

Amazingly, his brain told a stupid lie about sex

My brain here, why it no work so well?

It's around 3:00 am when the 911 dispatcher gets the emergency call:
CALLER: Someone is over here in this part here... and they come up on my door and I just need a cop over here as soon as possible.

911: Are they trying to get in?


911: Are they trying to open the door?


911: Do you know who it is?

The caller also says the person outside his door has a gun. The dispatcher immediately sends five police officers, who find a woman outside the home. Not only does the woman not have a gun, she's very upset by the appearance of the police. She appeared at the door of the 911 caller, 24-year-old Keith Gaylor, because they corresponded online via Craigslist and he invited her over at 3:00 a.m. to get better acquainted.

However, some time earlier, Mr. Gaylor's girlfriend had also unexpectedly arrived, so his plans with the new woman were foiled.

Under pressure, "burglar with a gun" seemed the best lie Mr. Gaylor's brain could come up with.

He was charged with false reporting, a misdemeanor.

We will just have to imagine the conversation Mr. Gaylor had with his live-in girlfriend.

- 911 Tapes Released From Craigslist Hookup Gone Wrong, KKTV>>
- The sexy brain image also comes in a more dynamic version, at Photobucket>>

The best lies they told as children

"(I'm Cassie)"

People tell "the best lie I told as a child":
It was the first day of third grade. After a few hours in our homeroom, my classmates and I were herded down the hall to science class. Once we’d settled in, the teacher — who I’ll call Mr. X since I’ve blanked on his name — asked us to go around and introduce ourselves. I was an anxious child who lived in constant fear of doing something to embarrass myself in front of a teacher, so when we got to me, I mumbled nervously, “I’m Cassie.” But Mr. X, who was on the other side of the room, didn’t quite hear me and so he confirmed, “Jason?” I don’t know the exact calculations my 8-year-old brain did in that moment, but I somehow concluded that it was easier to pretend to be a person of AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT GENDER than to correct the teacher. “Yes. I’m Jason,” I replied with a straight face, even as I felt my soul crumple into a tiny raisin of shame...
Read more The best lie I told as a child, The Hairpin>>

Clip art illustration of a blushing, shy little girl at Pam's Clipart>>

Ripping off Medicare with a fake medical device

An earlier questionable medical product
from 1925 used a blue light bulb

Gary Winner's company phoned Medicare patients and offered them free medical equipment and supplies.

Once he had their information, he would send the diabetes patients an unnecessary "medical" device that he claimed would help their "bladder control, urinary flow and prostate comfort." He billed Medicare $284 each for these devices, which he bought for $26 each from adult websites.

He defrauded Medicare of millions of dollars for this unnecessary equipment.

Mr. Winner said the devices treated erectile dysfunction, but prosecutors said the penis pumps served no medical purpose.

He pleaded guilty and must return $2.2 million to the government.

It probably didn't help his case when his employees heard him say:
"It doesn't cost the client anything as the government is paying for it, and that the government would just print more money, so order more."

 Prostate Gland Warmer from 1925

Actually, unlike the "prostate gland warmer" shown above, an actual device shown at the Museum of Questionable Medical Devices, penis pumps do have an actual medical purpose for men with erectile dysfunction.

A penis pump

However, Mr. Winner made a few errors. One, he was sending his products out unsolicited, and two, his pumps were not medical devices but novelty devices created for the adult market to purportedly enhance the size of members of that adult market.

- Gary Winner pleads guilty to penis pump Medicare scam, Crimesider, CBS News>>
- "Prostate Gland Warmer" from The Museum of Quackery>>
- Photos of the Prostate Gland Warmer from Jen Steindl on Flickr>>
- Doc Johnson So Pumped Penis Pump With Sleeve, Clear, SOAP>>

It's not deceptive to be nice to a killer

 To get a killer's confession, courts have said 
acting like a concerned parent is okay.

Polygraph examiner Kathy Cardwell was asked by police to give an 18-year old murder suspect a polygraph test:
She calmed down the distraught 18-year-old, calling him a “young puppy” and “poor guy,” comparing him to her own sons, telling him she loved him and offering him a hug. When he said he was still nervous, Cardwell told him the polygraph was “a piece of cake,” that “the cops” couldn’t tell her what to ask him and that she would get him through the test.
He didn't take the test, but admitted to her that he had commited the murder. He was tried and sentenced to life in prison without parole. In his appeal, his attorneys argued that his confession was involuntary since it was psychologically coerced. The courts disagreed, saying that "empathic and parental questioning” of a suspect was not coercion, and that the type of deception used was allowed.

David Fernando Ortiz must remain in prison for the rest of his life.

- Soft words and a touch of deception produce a confession, San Francisco Chronicle>>
- Image is a cropped section of a portrait of the artist Van Gogh's mother

Why do they put old-age makeup on horses?

 The problem is that horses in movies 
have to be in perfect health.

The head horse trainer Bobby Lovgren, who trained horses for the Steven Spielberg film The War Horse, explains that despite advances in digital technology, movies still have to use on-set trickery:
While Lovgren said that many of the injured and dead horses seen in War Horse were generated by "movie magic," that doesn't mean he didn't face his share of challenges in recreating horses in the early 1900s. In fact, one of the major difficulties Lovgren and the rest of the team faced in accurately portraying their movie horses as World War I era animals was appropriate body condition.

Back in the first World War, the horses were not all big, fat show horses (as most horses are today)," he relayed. "(And) you can't use an old horse or an old skinny horse (in the movies). They all have to be in perfect health ... they all have health certificates."

Additionally, he noted, "We filmed in the summer when they weren't very long haired, so it was a little more difficult to show the older look."

Lovgren turned to a team of equine makeup artists--"A huge department just doing equine makeup," he said - that took fit, healthy horses and turned them into rough-looking steeds in need of some TLC: "That took a lot of makeup," Lovgren said.

"Brushing their hair backwards and putting a little shaving cream in it so the hair sticks up ... can show a lot of those things," he shared.

Further, he explained that outlining the horses' ribs with darker makeup gives the impression the bones protrude from the animals' sides, giving the look of a skinny horse.

"Also, just teaching a horse to walk with his head far down shows that (he could be) tired or sick or not feeling well," Lovgren said, discussing one of the tasks he taught some of the movie horses before filming began. "A horse doesn't walk with his head down naturally unless there's something wrong. So we'll teach him to do that--where he holds his head down and walks slowly.

"That portrays that emotion of, 'Oh my goodness, there's something wrong with him,' when in fact there's nothing (wrong) ... he's just been taught a trick."
- Movie Magic, Makeup, and Horse Tricks Shape War Horse, The Horse (Your Guide to Equine Health Care)>>
- The War Horse, IMDB>>

Man of God unclear on all the commandments

On a beach in Florida, he thought about savings

Maria Sicardo was a teacher in New York. When she retired, the New York City's Teacher Retirement System sent her a pension of almost $241,000.

Victor Rosa was a pastor and landlord in New York.

Ms. Sicardo's pension checks were being sent to a building he owns.

Problem was, Ms. Sicardo's dead.

Mr. Victor Rosa, however, still received those checks, thanks to fake documents the retirement system received saying that Ms. Sicardo was still alive.

Mr. Rosa was seen on bank video footage cashing those checks, which he had been doing for ten years after she had died.

Customers said he would often preach about God to other customers while standing in line.

He's now living in Florida, where he was arrested.

Pastor accused of cashing dead teacher's pension checks, Reuters>>

It started as a taco truck, and now...

If you were driving by in Richmond, California, 
you might mistake El Tapatio for a taco truck.

It still looks like a taco truck, but now it's a 
fake truck permanently attached to a restaurant, 
complete with painted windshields 
and actual truck parts.

El Tapatio Restaurant, Eating in Translation (Fascinating food in New York and occasionally farther afield)>>

A comedian explains how to enjoy a magic show

Says the boorish audience member: 
"It's a magnet. Magnet!"
"Magic is the only kind of entertainment where 90% of the crowd is trying to ruin it for themselves."
Pete Holmes is grateful he's not a magician - 
A comedy routine on Conan O'Brian's talk show

Kellar Levitation poster at Wikipedia>>

3 bad hands (as optical illusions)

"Against abuse" ad, Germany

These optical illusions using the concept of positive / negative space show the bad hands can do.

"The Family That Preys" movie poster, USA

Catch bank robbers by giving them funny names

The Wig Out Bandit
("I think it wasn't his real hair")

I've always said that robbing a bank is a crazy crime, since there are so many resources stacked against you. But I'd never thought that giving bank robbers nicknames helps police catch them. Apparently, authorities get together to discuss which cases aren't getting enough publicity, and come up with memorable nicknames that are based on some characteristic or method used by the robbers.

Said FBI agent Phil Niedringhaus:
"The nicknames generate instant media coverage and instant public attention, and it gets quick results."
The FBI said they don't make fun of race, violate copyrights or make obscene jokes with the names. I can only imagine the nicknames they come up with behind closed doors.

More Colorado examples:

The Shaggy Bandit
(Named for his Scooby-Do-like goatee)

"What? I was hungry!"

The Slim Fast Bandit
(Because she's so skinny)

The Top Heavy Bandit
 (For crimes against showing upper body fat)

Is Rupert Murdoch the devil (an optical illusion?)

To his critics, this particular camera 
angle seems to have revealed 
Mr. Murdoch's Satanic nature.

Rupert Murdoch was questioned by a parliamentary committee over allegations that his company News International hacked into phone message systems, including one belonging to Milly Dowler, a schoolgirl who'd been murdered. This controversy led to the company closing the newspaper News of the World.
QUESTIONER: Did you close the paper down because of the criminality?

RUPERT MURDOCH: Yes, we felt ashamed of what had happened and thought we oughta bring it to a close.

QUESTIONER: People lied to you and lied to their readers.

RUPERT MURDOCH: We had broken our trust with our readers. Certainly they'd broken it with me. But it was - the important point it was we had broken our trust with our readers.
- Brilliant Camera Angle, The World's Best Ever>>
- Murdochs questioned by parliamentary committee, ABC Australia>>

Drugging the bridegroom's family

"Thums up" is a popular soft drink in India.
Its slogan: ""Taste the thunder!"

Maybe they decided that their previous scheme of kidnapping for ransom was too dangerous.

Two brothers in India ran a wedding scam. They used photos of attractive women from matrimonial websites to advertise for a bridegroom. They weren't sexist. They also took out newspaper ads looking for brides.

Her name is Kavya and she is 
looking for a husband.

They would pretend to be intermediates or guardians of the women and find rich families of young people looking to get married. They'd lure the families to the city and transport them to upscale resorts or apartments, which they said they owned. Then they'd provide them free meals.

And soft drinks and food laced with sleeping pills.

When everyone had passed out, the two men, A. Ravi Kumar Reddy and A. Chandrakumar Reddy, stole their valuables.

They must have liked the drugging scheme, since they also used it in their other scam, where they'd befriend a taxi driver, give him drugged food and drink, wait till he was unconscious, and then steal his car.

They were caught.

- Cheating in name of marriage alliances, The Hindu>>
- Gang of matrimonial cheats arrested, The Hans India>>
- The photo is not Kavya. It is of Indian actress Urmila Matondkar.