5 ads for National Honesty Day

The trashy lingerie store

April 30th is National Honesty Day. (I swear. I read it here: (National Honesty Day: This story is an attempt to get Web traffic, Christian Science Monitor>>)

In celebration, I offer you these five photos showing remarkable honesty in advertising.

I'll bet there was a lawyer involved 
before they wrote this sign.

They don't mention that they're 
the only place for the next 300 miles.

Yes, the chalkster was drinking 
and had to tell the truth.

Okay, I cheated. This image advertising Photoshop 
Super Restorative Day Cream is fake, 
but smoothing out Halle Berry... 
well, I've heard that all those beautiful 
photos just might be a tad retouched.

- Tim Farley>
- 'Probably' the New First, Best Only, Adrants>>
- Signspotting>>
- Sign outside Johnny Foley's Pub>>
- Many more Photoshop Day Cream ads are here: Izismile>>

Nine illusions in paint by Sherrie Wolf

It's all paint, all the way down.

Sherrie Wolf paints realistic flowers or fruit in front of other paintings. And, of course, the whole painting is a painting. She says she likes to "openly play with the fact that art is artifice."

I like that.

See more at her site: Sherrie Wolf Studio>>

What's "real" and what's "fake"?
This is called "Bacchanal", 
so the grapes are appropriate.

It's the same glass of fruit, again.
I think the leaves are plastic.
And did you notice the sly nipple slip?

 Looks like a photo taken in front of a painting.

 The artist's studio is reflected in the vase.

She's holding the baby up to smell the flower.

Ms. Wolf used to put fruit 
on top of pages from art books.
(This is "Grapes After Courbet".)

"Ladies and Plums"

"Red Pear"

Cunning coyote tricks determined dog

What will happen when he gets caught?

A dog named Rasta, who's a Vizsla breed, gets fooled by a motionless coyote on a golf course in this slow-moving, instinctive drama with a surprise ending.

When Rasta realizes he's been tricked, his reaction is typical of some humans. Watch and see.

Dog Meets Wolf (Actually a Coyote)

Flambeau Coyote Decoy, Cheap Shot Outdoors>>

Impossible-looking yo-yo trick

Raise a glass of wine to his stunt.

A performer named Black takes a magical stunt one step further by using his skill with yo-yos. You might have to watch it twice.

Yo-Yo trick by "Black"

Also see a more dramatic version, here: Michel and Sven do the tablecloth magic trick>>

Bacchus hiding two lovers - an optical illusion

Can you discover the lovers?
(Click to enlarge)

In this illusion, Bacchus - the Roman god of wine, revelry, madness and ecstasy - hides two ecstatic lovers. The image is also similar to a "Green Man", a carved face representing rebirth and spring.

This image by artist "R.H." was in The Strand Magazine, December 1899.

- Museo Ilusionario, Flickr>> 
- Green man, Wikipedia>>

The incredibly funny paintings of Magritte

"The work that really struck me that 
day was 'The Man in the Bowler Hat'".

Terry Gilliam, film director and former member of Monty Python, on the dry joke-telling of the surrealist painter René Magritte:
It wasn't until I'd seen Magritte's work collected together in an exhibition at the Tate, at the end of the 1960s I think, that I realised just how incredibly funny his stuff was. People walk around these exhibitions in a religious state of awe and I just walked round this one laughing uncontrollably. Until then, I'd always thought of Magritte as having an interesting and intriguing mind – the way he would turn things inside out or make that which was solid suddenly not solid. But suddenly here he was, this wonderfully dry joke teller. The work that really struck me that day was The Man in the Bowler Hat [1964]. He'd spent months painting a guy in a bowler hat and then, for his last brush strokes, paints a dove flying in front of the man's face. What's happened there could happen only in a photograph and he's done a painting of it. What a comedian! I thought he was so clever. If it wasn't for the ideas I wouldn't say he was a great painter because others have a better technique. But he does what he needs to do and does it so well.
 The Dominion of Light
All of the surrealists got into my head, but Magritte was so direct. I liked how immediate his work was, whereas the others were more abstract. His work can be complex but in a sense he takes cliché images and puts them together in ways that surprise you. There's a night scene, but the sky is day [The Dominion of Light, 1953], there's a pair of shoes that are actually feet [The Red Model, 1934]. His work has an initial gag, but the stuff sticks with you because it's in some ways profound.
 The Red Model
He is so firmly lodged in my brain that frequently I'll see something and think, "Oh, that's a bit Magrittean". I'll look out of my window at dusk and see the house across the street catching the last bit of sunlight, except the sky behind it is already night. He captures moments of light in the day that are just odd. I used to think it was a fantasy of his, but I now find it happening all the time. Like every good artist, he makes us see the everyday differently but he does it without the pretension of so many other artists. That's another thing I like about him, that he didn't have this serious "I am an artist" approach. He went to work with a suit and a briefcase, everything about him was taking the piss out of art yet at the same time he was a wonderful artist.
 A Microsoft Windows desktop
In my work, I can never find a direct line between what I've done and where it's come from, but I do know where the influences are and they all end up in a kind of Irish stew in my brain. I would never want to say: "I nicked that from Magritte", because that's criminal investigation time! But it would be fair to say that with the landscapes and blue skies in the Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus I could've been stealing from either Magritte or Microsoft Windows. What Microsoft did was a direct steal from Magritte! Other people paint more elaborate skies, but it's the clarity of his painting – the perfect blue sky with the perfect clouds floating in it – that's just so appealing.

 The thermostat at the Pinakothek Museum
Were the other Pythons influenced by Magritte? No. I'm not sure what the word is for being illiterate at art. Maybe blind. That's what they were. Years ago, we were in a hotel in Munich and John [Cleese] called me and said: "I'm going over to the Pinakothek. Do you want to come and explain art to me?" So I went along and I didn't explain art to him because that's not what I do, but I did get him looking at a thermostat on the wall and discussing it in great detail. We managed to gather quite a crowd.

I suppose with my work I'm always trying to get people to see what the world is capable of, to show how it can be seen in a very different way and Magritte did that all the time. When you start thinking differently like that, reality becomes a kind of game. In the 60s, people took drugs to achieve that state, but for a lot of people it was enough to go and look at a Magritte painting.
René Magritte: enigmatic master of the impossible dream. On the eve of a major Magritte exhibition, artists with an eye for the peculiar reveal why they love the witty Belgian surrealist. The Guardian / The Observer>>

What is it? (Fooled by the framing)


It can be deceptive if you don't see the whole picture. In this case, it's a puzzling optical illusion by omission. Can you tell what this is?

Need some clues?

Scroll down.

˙ɥdɐɹboʇoɥd ןɐǝɹ ɐ s,ʇı

˙4161 ɯoɹɟ s,ʇı

˙ʎʇıɔ ʞɹoʎ ʍǝu uı ʇı puıɟ noʎ

˙ʍǝɹɔ buıʇuıɐd ɐ ɟo ʇɹɐd ǝɹɐ sʎnb 01 ǝɥʇ

See the entire photo here>>

Should I prank his luggage with a hijacking note?

The clown says no!
Airport jokes not funny!

Wouldn't it be a hilarious prank if I wrote a note that said:
"1 - Hijack Plane, 2 - Kill Obama"
...and stuck it in my friend's luggage?

Jeremiah Douglas Hill thought it would be a good idea, and so he snuck the note into his co-worker's suitcase. It was found by security, the FBI was alerted, and the Secret Service got involved.

They were not laughing.

Mr. Hill was charged with making a false alarm for intentionally circulating a false warning of a plane hijacking.

Apparent prank to 'hijack plane, kill Obama' lands Utah man in court, KSL>>

How to drive drunk and not get caught by the cops

Could you get away with drunk driving and 
fool the DUI police with a squirt of this product?

Rednoze Action Spray claims to be able to fool alcohol breathalyzers so drunk drivers cannot get caught driving when they're over the legal limit.

The makers use the slogan "Drink and Go" and advertise it as a way to "protect your privacy" from government intrusion. So far it only seems to be available in Italy. (It might be illegal to import into the U.S.)

The ad copy (via Google translate):
You drank too much and you are beyond the level permitted by law (0.5" g/l)? Now protecting your privacy is no longer a problem.

Rednoze is the first drug designed to control and bring down the level of toxins contained in the lungs of ethanol, with immediate effect and secure.

Rednoze does not need a prescription.
Rednoze Action Spray Commercials (rough cut)

- Rednoze, Italy>> 
- Spray anti-etilometro Rednoze, Auto blog, Italy>>
- Svelato il mistero del Rednoze, il farmaco che azzera l’alcol test, Wired, Italy>>
- Drink ‘N’ Go with Rednoze Action Spray [English & Italian], AotP>>

Teenager snookered by 13-month old girl

Watch out for the trickster youth of today.

Scientists have said that children being able to lie and fool others is a sign of normal childhood development.

A babysitter in Kansas probably did not feel this was normal.

She was frightened to death when she couldn't find the baby girl she was babysitting. She made a frantic 911 call to police and they began a search in the ponds and streams near her house, preparing for the worse.

A relative decided to search the girl's room again. She heard a noise underneath the girl's crib.

It was the missing girl, hiding underneath a blanket, giggling.

Toddler's hide-and-seek prank sparks search, The Witchita Eagle>>

Why this fake milk tastes salty

A fake bottle of milk

Anna Warren, who makes props for the Milwaukee Repertory Theater, points out something very true about deception. For one play, she was making props that will only be seen for a brief moment when somebody opens a refrigerator. Since she doesn't want to spend much time making them, she does it quick and dirty.

She made the fake bottle of milk by pouring salt into a glass milk bottle.

She made a fake stick of butter by 
cutting a piece of yellow insulation foam 
and putting it into a butter dish.

As she says, it's all about context:
"...the packaging is the most important part of making fake food look convincing. Salt in a bowl doesn't look like milk, and a chunk of yellow foam on a chair wouldn't look like butter. In the right context, however, sometimes all we need is that little nudge to get our brains where they need to go, and often, the simplest solution is the best."
Far Away Fridge Food in Five Minutes. Fake 'n Bake - A blog dedicated to casting and molding, and the crafting of faux foodstuffs for theater production>>

An example of a bad boyfriend

His "feel sorry for me" face

A woman in Ontario got a message that her boyfriend, Jason Laperriere, had been kidnapped and beaten over a $12,000 drug debt.

She called police.

After his abductors released him, he gave the police two names, and a nationwide alert was issued for their arrest.

Except there was no kidnapping. Mr. Laperriere actually had given a woman crack cocaine in exchange for sex and he needed an alibi so his girlfriend wouldn't know where he'd been all night.

He was arrested.

His girlfriend broke up with him.

Boyfriend fakes his own abduction to hide cheating , CNews>>

This magic illusion has a twist

Sarah and Bob demonstrate a magic
illusion on their front lawn.

No fancy presentation for these two - they just show you a unique trick they invented.

DazzleBaffle Presents... The Barrel of Fun!

(Impatient? Sarah gets inside and sticks are threaded through, and then... Skip ahead to 1:50 for the money shot.)

See also this post: Exposing magic with the sideshow blade box>>

Deceptive t-shirt designs

Change your look with a mere t-shirt.

Want to dress up in sexy lingerie, an American flag bikini, a 1960s Mad Men suit, or a 1970s hairy chested guy? All it takes is slipping on one of these t-shirts.

More fake shirt designs available at: Faux Real Shirt>>

(And for the tip, a tip of the faux top hat to Dezrah Strange>>

Enticed by a child porn website

James Charles Cafferty

One day, Mr. Cafferty saw this in his email:
"Welcome to the hidden side of yur soul, where you view the yung and innocent. We have been around since 2002, offering the best of private and series Child Pornography (CP), (hardcore/soft core) all for FREE! All you have to do, enter in the password, and you'll be viewing free CP for days. We move around when we have to... congratulations for finding us. Yur old password won't work, so get the new one and you are IN!!!"
He was interested and he entered the site, because he did have a hidden side to his soul.

What he didn't realize is that the site was run by the FBI's Innocent Images Task Force, and the email was sent to Mr. Cafferty because he'd been identified as a possible suspect.

The email description is explicitly about child porn for a reason - it can't be confused by those looking for legal porn who might say they accidentally clicked on a link.

If someone takes the bait and enters the website and clicks on a supposed child porn video, the video acts as if it's downloading, but it fails. That's because there's no actual porn on the site. But whoever logs in is obviously interested in child porn, and the FBI is definitely interested in them.

And that's exactly what happened to Mr. Cafferty.

Read article: "The hidden side of your soul": How the FBI uses the Web as a child porn honeypot, Ars Technica>>

So, is it real or fake? The ABhancer


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So, real or fake?

This man, he's crazy about his meteorites

In 2010, Steve Curry got on
the news with his rocks.

State prosecutors said Steve Curry must stop selling his bogus meteorites.

Mr. Curry's business, Uncompahgre Meteorites, and his charity, The Osirius Foundation, have been accused of deceptive trade practices.

Mr. Curry previously claimed he found evidence of extraterrestrial life in his meteorites. Then he tried to sell one of his meteorites on eBay for half a million dollars, and promised 80% tax deductions to the buyers.

He had brought his meteorite specimens to experts at two universities, and then threatened them when they said he didn't have meteorites.

His rocks are actually man-made carbon steel.

Mr. Curry, age 59, is a self-taught expert who claims there's a conspiracy. He will sue those who disagree with him. He will sue eBay for $12 billion. He said he will:
"...fight this thing all the way... There is no give up in me."
Yes, he's crazy about his meteorites.

- Colorado prosecutors say Montrose man peddled bogus meteorites, threatened experts - The Denver Post>>
- Researcher: Proof Of Alien Life - Man Claims To Have Found First North American Lunar Rocks, KJCT8>>

A trickster and his horribly racist cake

His performance as a nude black woman 
cake with a Golliwog face was successful 
at creating outrage.

Swedish artist Makode Linde created controversy with his cake - an art piece about the practice of female genital mutilation, shown at the Museum of Modern art in Sweden.

The cake screams when you cut her

The cake was sliced open by the Swedish 
Minister of Culture, Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth.

Florence Kate Upton's 1895 book "The Adventures 
of Two Dutch Dolls and a Golliwogg"

Mr. Linde has used the image of the golliwog in his art, which comes from the blackface tradition and was popularized by a black doll called a golliwog.

Said Mr. Linde:
“If people can get this upset from a woman cutting a cake, can’t they use that energy towards the real battle towards female genital mutilation,” he says. “I do understand it is a serious subject and when you mix a serious subject with a light topic like cake people can get upset, but I like humor in my work because [the topics are] depressing and something I have to deal with everyday. People drop their defenses when they can joke about something.”

He also explained that he often infuses his work with a strain of Swedish humor that is very dark and cynical. “From my point of view this humor is a way to cope with horrible facts,” he says. “When I’m trying to tell my friends stories of horrible things I often use some humor to make it palatable.” He says Swedes, though he points out he doesn’t claim to speak for all Swedes, don’t like to take themselves too seriously.
Makode Linde and his "Afromantics" sculptures

- Makode Delinde>>
- Controversial Afro-Swedish Artist Speaks, "It's a Disturbing Picture But It's Also a Disturbing Subject", Hyperallergic>>
- The Brilliance of Sweden's Shocking Golliwog Cake, The Atlantic>>
- The Adventures of two Dutch Dolls and a "Golliwogg", Gutenberg>>

Gruesome discovery of human skeleton in Florida

The remains were sitting on a chair.

Off the coast of Key West, Florida, a sponge fisherman saw something underwater that made him contact police: a human skeleton attached to a captain's chair.

A sheriff went to investigate. He brought up the boat chair and remains, coated with algae.

But it wasn't real - it was a fake skeleton made of plastic.

The algae was the clue.

Said Sheriff’s Detective Manny Cuervo:
“It looks pretty real... But if it was real, the skeleton would have fallen apart long before it had time to accumulate the algae that was on it.”
The fake skeleton was removed from the water so it wouldn't fool anyone else.

It does make me wonder, though. Why was there a fake human skeleton attached to a boat chair submerged in the water?

Skeleton scare on sunken boat in Keys a hoax, Miami Herald>>

Helping a blind woman whose pen ran out of ink

The Waterman fountain pen was 
touted as a weapon of peace.
This woman's pen was a trickster. 

Trish Vickers, an English woman who is blind due to diabetes, wanted to write a novel, yet her pen deceived her. After writing 26 pages, her son discovered that her pen had run out of ink and all the pages were blank.

Police forensic experts came to the rescue and recovered her writing using a technique that shined light at multiple angles to illuminate the indentations in the paper.

Mrs. Vickers now has a volunteer who visits and types for her.

The Case of a Blind Woman and Her Invisible Manuscript, The New York Times>>

The levitating boat optical illusion

It doesn't work in murky waters.

The fake stack of coffee cups

 When you can't decide between 
one and three cups, have both.

Or decide between one and two cups.

These look like they're cups stacked two or three high, but they're actually one cup.

Buy it from Fred & Friends>>

More evidence that school officials are idiots

The Lawnmower Boys of Arkansas

What's great, though, is the reaction of the students involved, more evidence that "kids these days" are alright.
A group of Arkansas high school seniors are paying the price for a senior prank involving lawn mowers.

The group of eight Huntsville, Arkansas seniors, now known as the "Lawn Mower Boys," were suspended for riding their lawn mowers to school.

"Everybody talks about doing a senior prank, but nobody ever does it," said Josh Marshall.  "So we just, I don't know, decided to do it."

The group was suspended for two days after they rode their lawn mowers to school Thursday morning.

Huntsville Superintendent Dr. Robert Allen said there are three reasons for the boys' suspension.

"Disruption of school," said Allen.  "Safety concerns were another, and then finally the violation of parking privileges."

Allen said he did not want students trying to one-up each other.

"We shouldn't just ignore it, we did need to do something about it," said Allen.

The boys said their fellow students are protesting their punishment.  Students said they are planning to sell "Lawn Mower Boys" t-shirts with all proceeds going to Arkansas Children's Hospital.
"Lawn Mower Boys" suspended for senior prank, 5 WMCTV>>
Show Support for The Lawnmower Boys, Facebook>>

The insane leaping photo that fooled me

Saut dans le vide (Leap into the Void)

I owned a postcard of this image when I was younger, and I always thought it was an amazing demonstration of the mad judo skills of the French artist and trickster Yves Klein.

I pinned it over my desk for energetic inspiration.

As it says in Klein's Wikipedia entry:
In Japan, at the early age of 25, he became a master at judo receiving the rank of yodan (4th dan/degree black-belt) from the Kodokan, which at that time was a remarkable achievement for a westerner. He also stayed in Japan in 1953. Klein later wrote a book on Judo called Les fondements du judo.
I wondered how he managed to land without hurting himself, but figured that since he was a little mad himself, it was possible. The photo was made in 1960, and he died very young, in 1962, at the age of 34. Maybe he died from trying a similar stunt.

But I was fooled, and I didn't realize it until years later.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art explains, in its way:
In October 1960, the American photographer Harry Shunk made a series of pictures re-creating a jump from a second-floor window that the artist claimed to have executed earlier in the year; the figure and the surrounding scene were then collaged together and rephotographed to create its "documentary" appearance. To complete the illusion that the event had actually taken place, Klein distributed a fake broadsheet at Parisian newsstands commemorating it.
Mr. Klein had actually created the photo by jumping into a tarp that was later removed from the image.

"Yves Klein, Harry Shunk, Janos Kender: Leap into the Void (1992.5112)". In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000– (October 2006) >>
- Yves Klein, Wikipedia>>

Cell phone bomb scare on plane

A Nokia cell phone bomb

A passenger on a Delta Air Lines flight went to use the restroom and discovered something scary. It was a cell phone wrapped in wires, plugged into the outlet normally used for electric shavers.

The passenger reported a cell phone bomb.

The plane made an emergency landing in Dublin and the plane taxied to an isolated section of the airport. Police boarded the plane to investigate.

They discovered that the device in the bathroom was a cell phone left charging in the bathroom by a passenger, with the charging cord wrapped around the phone.

No arrests were made, although it's highly likely that the passenger who wanted a fully-charged phone might have been advised to, in the future, bring a spare battery for their phone.

(The photo above, taken by a fortunate military Explosive Ordnance Disposal specialist, is of an IED made of a cell phone which did not explode. The screen reads: "01 Call Missed".)

- Delta jet lands in Dublin bomb scare after passenger leaves cell phone charging in restroom, The Washington Post>>
- 01 Call Missed, Little Green Footballs>>

Hermann the Great's shattered mirror trick

Alexander Herrmann - 
the world's greatest prestidigitateur

Alexander Herrmann was a famous French stage magician (1844–1896). This description of how he fooled the Czar of Russia during a game of billiards is an excerpt from a book published after his death: The Art of Magic, Black Art Fully Exposed (1903)>>
I consider the trick of restoring the shattered mirror as my most famous one. This I had the honor of performing before the Czar of Russia upon an invitation to give an exhibition at his court. It was done unexpectedly to the spectators, and was not down on the regular bill. While playing billiards with the attaches of the court after the performance, the Czar being present in the saloon, I shot a ball with all my strength against a plate-glass mirror extending from floor to ceiling. It was shivered into fifty pieces. Consternation was depicted on every countenance; on none more plainly than my own.

While the Czar courteously waived my apology, considering the destruction of the mirror as trifling, and ordered the game to proceed, I could easily see that my supposed awkwardness made a disagreeable impression. With the Czar's permission I examined the mirror to estimate the damage done and the possibility of repairing it. While so engaged one of the suite playfully challenged me to exercise my art and make the mirror whole again, never dreaming that his challenge was the very cue I wanted, and not considering the successful acceptance of it as possible. I hesitated an instant, and then ordered the mirror to be covered with a cloth entirely concealing it from view. On the removal of the cloth, after ten minutes, the mirror was found without a flaw, and as perfect as before the damage.

I will leave it to my readers' imagination to decide how this trick was done.
In Herrmann's full poster, I particularly like the description for the trick "The Marvelous Decapitation": "A man's head cut off - a sure cure for headache."

Incomparable Entertainments
by Alexander Herman
Alexander Herrmann, Wikipedia>>

Secret of the Loch Ness monster revealed

The image was blurry at first, but then 
they zoomed in for the details.

Scroll down for the video.

Giraffa camelopardalis Nessius

b3ta board>>