The three pink boxes - an optical illusion

These three pink boxes sit on a blue 
and yellow checkerboard pattern.

It's not just an object alone that conveys information - it's also how the object interacts with its environment. These three images show us how our brain uses shadows to gather information about three pink boxes.

If we add shadows underneath the boxes, 
they seem to float.

If we move the position of the shadows, 
the boxes seem to float even higher.

In all of the images, everything remains the same except for the shadows.

That's why you have to beware of the shadows - they can be deceptive.

I found the original shadow illusion on Brad Honeycutt's blog on optical illusions, called, oddly enough, An Optical Illusion. I modified it a bit to show the boxes without shadows.

Floating Boxes Optical Illusion>>

A chicken mouth optical illusion from Noma Bar

Now food can tell you how fresh it is.

This optical illusion image is my favorite from a series by artist Noma Bar for IBM's Smarter Planet ad campaign.

I found this work via a reader's photos of outdoor advertising in Washington, D.C.

See my previous posts 8 amazing optical illusion covers by Noma Bar and 7 "negative space" optical illusions by Noma Bar.

I like me some Noma Bar.

If you also like, see more of his work in his archive at Noma Bar, Dutch Uncle>>

The flight of an intentionally wayward arrow

I shot an Arrow into the air
It fell to earth I do know where…

He did not shoot the arrow at a person.

That was true.

He said he was shooting the arrow at a squirrel.

That was false.

Authorities allege he was shooting the arrow at a jail.

That was true.

At 8:40 in the morning on August 27th in the year 2013, David Wayne Jordan stood outside the Whatcom County Jail in Washington state. He took out a hunting bow, loaded it with an arrow, and then shot toward a mesh screen. The arrow missed its target and landed on the roof.

An employee took down his license plate number and Mr. Jordan was later arrested.

Why was he shooting an arrow at the jail?

Was it because less than a week before he had been in the same jail for assault and resisting arrest?

Or was it because he had attached a small baggie of marijuana to the arrow?

It's not known who was supposed to retrieve the arrow's payload.

He was arrested and placed, yet again, in the same jail.

Sheriff: Man shoots arrow wrapped with marijuana at Whatcom County Jail, Whatcom County Jail, The Bellingham Herald>>

How to use your iPhone for self-defense

The Yellow Jacket iPhone Stun Gun case

Since it doesn't look strange to be holding and using a cell phone, why not convert part of it into a defensive weapon? The Yellow Jacket looks like a thick protective case for your iphone, but it's actually a powerful stun gun. (And it also doubles the life of your iPhone battery.)

Yellow Jacket Stun Gun Tutorial


NOTE: No stun guns were traded in exchange for writing this post.
ALSO: Not once did I use the word "stunning" to make a pun.

Yellow Jacket Case>>

The balancing sofa illusion (and one more)

Artist Jacob Tonski likes to mess with your perceptions 

Jacob Tonski says that relationships are a balancing act, and so is this real antique sofa balancing on one leg. Watch and find out the secret to how it works. There are magnets involved, but not in the way you might think.

Balance From Within


In another one of of his perceptual explorations, Mr. Tonski wondered how it would be different if we could all see eye to eye, so he created a project where that's literally possible.

I’m taller than most of the people I know


See more: Jacob Tonski>>

His upstaged face - an optical illusion

T. Elder Hearn, Illusionist

This poster advertises vaudeville performer Tom Elder Hearn, a comic juggler who performed in the early 1900s. He was billed as "The Laziest Juggler on Earth". (Maybe that's because he had that team of people who helped him out behind the scenes.)

The greatest deceptive Frisbee scene in a movie

It's not an officially approved use 
of your flying disc.

Andy Sidaris made his directorial debut on the 1960 TV magic show "The Magic Land of Allakazam".

Did he use the deceptive principles he gleaned from that show to create this most memorable of Frisbee scenes for his 1987 movie "Hard Ticket to Hawaii"?

You decide.

Greatest Frisbee scene in a movie, 1987


And for the sake of completeness for all you "razor blade Frisbee" aficionados, here's another sneaky Frisbee attack, from the horror film "Phantasm III."

Phantasm III Lord of the Dead Frisbee Clip 

The reactions to a boy who looks like girl

The most common reaction: "What the fu…"

The young guy shown above said that after someone asked him if he was a girl or a boy, he wondered if his face could fool people online. So he decided to put on a little makeup and go on Omegle, a video chat website where random strangers meet, and record people's reactions when he revealed his true gender.

The facial reactions to a male voice coming out of his female-looking face are classic.

The language of most of the deceived is NSFW.

Omegle Prank: Are you a Boy or a Girl?!?

The existential despair of a sad face tub

The drain of Pareidolia

Adme.ru>>

This man might die, but not from the electricity

"Dear, could you switch on the lights..."

A wife is pranked by her husband.

Hilarious Electrical Switch Prank

Beware - Mormons are in your hood

Mormon gang signs?

A man who lives in Las Vegas was approached by two men who came to his door at 6:20 in the morning. They were wearing dark pants, white shirts with ties and carrying backpacks. They said they were "soliciting door-to-door" and wanted to talk to the man about religion.

The man thought to himself, hey, they're Mormon missionaries, I'll be polite. He talked to them for about five minutes until the discussion took a less-than theological turn - the missionaries jumped on the man, punched him, then pulled out a gun and robbed him.

They were not Mormon missionaries.

Police are looking for the two young men captured in photos by his home surveillance system.

A spokesperson for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints said impersonating missionaries is very rare.

Men posing as LDS missionaries rob Las Vegas resident, Deseret News>>

NOTE: The photo is not of the alleged robbers.

So this ad from 1957 - real or fake?

They're young... They're in love... They eat LARD

You can buy this image on a mouse pad, from the British Lard Marketing Board Store at Cafepress>>

Paranoia over a pinhole

In today's world, an odd object 
can bring out the bomb squad.

In Broomfield, Colorado, residents called police to report two suspicious looking items in public places.

The Adams County Hazardous Device Unit examined the devices attached to a fence and a park bench and discovered they were pinhole cameras a man and his daughter had placed as part of a photography project.

Pinhole cameras use long exposures on photographic paper to capture the current environment.

The man apologized and was told that next time he should attach a large sign explaining his project, along with his contact information.

The photo above is not the object that was discovered - it's of a pinhole camera made from a vintage book. Finding that object would likely have brought out the police, the bomb squad, and local librarians.

Broomfield man apologizes for suspicious looking photo projects, Daily Camera>>
Vintage Books as Pinhole Cameras, Blurb Blog>>

This Coke bottle is not the real thing

It's Julian Beever's anamorphic Coke bottle optical illusion.

He's going to need a bigger opener.

See more of his illusions here: Julian Beever>>

Well, at least he didn't confess to murder

"Of course I used drugs. Who didn't?"

An Albany New York radio station, ESPN Radio 104.5, interviewed former New York Yankee baseball player Shane Spencer about a current scandal involving steroid use among baseball players. During the interview, Mr. Spencer mentioned that he himself had taken performance-enhancing drugs during his seven-year career, and he said that we would be "extremely naive" if we thought that other players, like Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera, didn't take banned drugs.

Derek Jeter heard about the interview and wasn't too happy.

But he wasn't as unhappy as the real Shane Spencer. It turns out that the "Shane Spencer" who had given the 22-minute interview was an impostor.

The radio station apologized.

The fake Mr. Spencer remains unknown.

Former Yankee Shane Spencer Victim of Hoax As Impostor Implies Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera Used PEDs (Audio), NESN>>

To prevent cheating, wear a stupid hat

These happy fun hats make learning more relaxed.

These students at a university in Thailand had to wear improvised paper hats to prevent them from looking at other papers and cheating during a test. While some who saw the photo from Kasetsart University thought it was “excessive and unnecessary”, one university lecturer defended the practice:
“It was an agreement between us. No student was forced to wear a hat. Instead, all were happy to do so and thought it was fun... They felt more relaxed during the test.”
Apparently Anti-cheating headwear is the latest back-to-school trend, RYOT>>

The weekend Patton Oswalt split his tweets

Had Mr. Oswalt gone insane?

Patton Oswalt, a comedian who's never been afraid to admit he's a liberal, had some fun with the 140-character limit on Twitter, to the consternation of many of his followers. Some examples:

whites and "darks" should be kept separate. Sorry if that sounds too "tree-huggy" to my conservative followers.

AIDS is a gift from God. I don't know why people are still so backward in their thinking about this.


Neggers out of government? Yes, please! (Sorry for any misspelling)


Hitler was absolutely right about the Jews. And I don't care how many "white power" redneck followers I lose by Tweeting that.

Except that the tweets above were actually the second parts of his complete thoughts, because his tweets "inadvertently" got split into two messages. Here they are, complete:

When it comes to doing laundry, I firmly believe in using environment-friendly detergent and I ALSO believe

whites and "darks" should be kept separate. Sorry if that sounds too "tree-huggy" to my conservative followers. 

God's greatest miracle? How about science? Penicillin? Gift from God. Polio vaccine? Gift from God. Even aspirin, Pepto-Bismol and ROL

AIDS is a gift from God. I don't know why people are still so backward in their thinking about this.  

Why do right wing asshats want "Hollywood out of government", but don't want the Fred Thompsons or Arnold Schwarze

Neggers out of government? Yes, please! (Sorry for any misspelling)


Oh, you think repealing voting laws in the south is justified, you racist asshole? I suppose you ALSO believe that

Hitler was absolutely right about the Jews. And I don't care how many "white power" redneck followers I lose by Tweeting that.

See more of his "mistakes" here: Patton Oswald spent the weekend trolling fans with 2-part tweets. The Daily Dot>>
Photo from Patton Oswalt: The ESQ&A>>
Thanks, Momotaro!

The short soccer player - an optical illusion

He just scoots under the legs of the big guys.

Player Mathieu Valbuena may be only 5' 6", but when he's leaning back and a photo's taken from the right angle, he becomes a little person.

Either that, or teams have decided that it's to their advantage to recruit players who are 8 feet tall.

This soccer photo is an incredible optical illusion, Deadspin>>

They tell girls to put a spoon in their underwear

It might prevent a life of misery. 

Karma Nirvana is a British charity with one goal - to stop forced marriages and honor-based violence.

They advise young British women that if they don't know when they might be taken out of the country by relatives to be forced to marry, they should hide a metal spoon in their underwear. That way, the spoon will set off a metal detector at the airport and the woman will have an opportunity to tell officials that she is being taken out of the country against her will.

Up to 5,000 may be forced into marriage every year in Britain.

Over 30% may be under the age of 16.

Karma Nirvana>>
Women who fear being forced to marry abroad told to hide spoon in underwear. Charity advises women and young girls to set off airport metal detectors to give them more time to seek help from authorities, The Guardian>>

This street art illusion imagines a perfect world

Utopia from the sidewalk

The utility box at the corner of Church and Duboce streets was looking a little plain, so SFMTA (the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency) decided artist Mona Caron should spruce it up with some trompe l'oeil art.

I especially like that she's planted flowers in the new box view.


A wiggle from the street


Here sits the sad and lonely box, pre-transformation.

Photo: Duboce Triangle Utility Box Turned Into Utopic Optical Illusion, SFist>>
Where on Google maps?

Why were carrots used as wartime propaganda?

Doctor Carrot - the Children's best friend

Carrots are good for your eyes because they contain beta carotene, which is chock full of Vitamin A. But some believe that carrots are especially good for improving night vision. Where did that belief come from? Turns out it was a myth encouraged by the British Ministry of Information during World War 2.

British pilots had recently increased their ability to shoot down German planes at night, and authorities revealed that it was because the pilots were eating lots of carrots. Actually, the improved kill rate was due to a new, secret on-board technology called Airborne Interception Radar.

This "eat more carrots" propaganda might have helped hide the use of the new radar from the Germans, but it had another purpose - it encouraged citizens to grow and eat more carrots.

Due to the war, staple foods like sugar were scarce, and the government wanted to encourage the eating of home-grown vegetables in "Victory Gardens." The easy-to-grow carrot fit perfectly.

And, since the government had imposed citywide blackouts to prevent German bombers from easily seeing their targets, it made sense to promote carrots as a food that could help you see more easily in the dark.

Evangelist fooled by a photo of a happy family

Yes, they're a happy modern family, 
but they're a bit too modern for one author.

A man named Doug Sehorne wrote an e-book called "Bible Principles of Child Discipline (from the Book of Proverbs)". To illustrate the front cover, he snagged an image of a happy family from the web. Unfortunately, the image was of the happy Dunphy family from the TV show "Modern Family". The Dunphy mom in the photo has a brother who also has a family, but that family consists of two gay men who've adopted a little girl.

This is not the type of family acceptable to Mr. Sehorne, who said that he hasn't owned a TV in 35 years, has never heard of the TV show, and assumed that the image he obtained from a Google search was not copyrighted.

He said he "would never condone such wickedness as sodomy or even TV."

He removed the book from sale until he changes the cover.

Evangelist Doug Sehorne Uses 'Modern Family' Photo On Cover Of Fundamentalist Ebook; Hilarity Ensues, Huffington Post>>

Mommy, why is this lion barking like a dog?

I love this picture of a woman bundled against 
the cold, fearlessly holding the "lion's" leash.

The Louhe city zoo in China was exhibiting what they said was an African lion. But it was not a lion. It was actually a breed of dog called a Tibetan mastiff.

The zoo said that the regular lion had been sent away for breeding. I guess they hoped that nobody would notice, or care too much. Hey, at last there was an animal, right?

Supposedly the dog as a lion substitution was exposed when the lion began barking.

The zoo was also exhibiting a white fox that was pretending to be a leopard, and a domestic breed of dog pretending to be a wolf.

Zoo In China Swaps Lion For Dog, Hopes No One Notices, NPR> 

Where on earth was this deceptive image taken?

 It should look somewhat familiar.

Click on the image above to enlarge the picture, which is similar to an optical illusion. Can you identify where it was taken, and what it is that might make it seem very familiar?

For many of my readers, the large lake in the lower right might provide the best clue.

Scroll down for the answer.


















It's the world, upside down, with the 
positions of water and land reversed.

Imgur>>

The marijuana lollipop scam

"Weed!" shouted the vendors. 

Although recreational marijuana is still illegal in New York City, bright green "Weed World" vans were traveling around during the summer of 2013, selling marijuana lollipops for $5 each (or 5 for $20).

The lollipops had names like Herojuana, Blue Dream and Strawberry Cough.

Police stopped and performed a street-side test of one of the candies and discovered it contained no marijuana.

Two 25-year-old customers felt cheated. Customer Antoine Johnson said:
“I don’t feel nothing. I don’t feel high yet.”
His friend Mark Santana agreed:
“I’ve smoked weed, and this isn’t the same. It’s too much money for five lollipops."
Employees gave varying answers about what was really in the candies, but the lollipops may contain hemp oil, which does not make users high. 

Police did arrest three Weed World employees for a misdemeanor charge of selling without a vendor's license.

The arrested employees probably did not say this, but they should have: 
"Dude, I'm pretending to be too high to really care."

The uncovered ass jacket - an optical illusion

He was very well-dressed for a naked man.

You can't get away with fakes in this town

Welcome to Bogota, where the police 
might have entirely too much free time.

One Sunday afternoon, a woman named Martha Soto-Cortes was selling items in front of her friend's yard in Bogota, New Jersey.

For some reason, the neighbors weren't happy about it and called police, who reported on what they called “several quality of life complaints from neighbors in the area of Chestnut Avenue.”

An undercover officer bought one of what he estimated were about 400 items she had for sale, and determined that it was a fake version of a name-brand item.

Evidently, Ms. Soto-Cortes was selling counterfeit versions of brands such as Puma, Anne Klein, Reebok, Burberry, Coach and Prada.

She was charged with selling or displaying counterfeit items and theft by deception.

Her friend was also given a summons for obstructing public passage and violating an ordinance against yard sales.

Bogota cops bust a yard sale, New Jersey.com>>

Actor Bryan Cranston plays head games

He is who you think he is, except...

Bryan Cranston, who stars on the hit TV show Breaking Bad, wanted to go on the floor and mingle at the San Diego Comic Con convention, but he knew he'd be mobbed if he walked around as himself. Luckily, he'd found an amazingly realistic full-head mask of his character Walter White, so he walked around pretending to be an ordinary person pretending to be Walter White.

One of these is not acting.

Bryan Cranston on David Letterman, including 
shots of him wearing the mask at Comic Con


Bryan Cranston on Jimmy Fallon, where he shows the 
actual mask he wore, and lets Jimmy don his head.

Why this couple lost their dream home

Their new home needed slightly
more help than they realized.

It's an old story, really. A couple buys a house with a good location. They know it will require some "sweat equity" and hard work and money, but over time they know they can make it work.

But this couple couldn't make it work because of a big lie.

John and Carla Hanks were looking for a nice place to live in Boulder County, Colorado. They found a great fixer-upper home for sale in Lafayette, Colorado. They bought it for $124,000 in the spring of 2011.

While they were cleaning it up and renovating, a neighbor happened to stop by:
"Hey, did you know about the previous owner of this place?"
"Yes, we just bought it from him."
"Well, did you know this used to be a meth house?"
No, they said, we did not know that our new dream home used to be a place where the previous owner had been cooking methamphetamine.

They had their house tested, and yes, it was badly contaminated with chemicals used to make meth. In fact, the contamination was among the worst ever seen from a meth house in Colorado. The Health Department told them they had to move out immediately, and, by the way, they had to leave behind all the stuff they'd just moved in, including their clothing, since it had also been contaminated.

They moved out, had to replace their possessions, and for two years paid the mortgage on a home they could not live in.

There is a law that protected them - sellers have to disclose certain things about the property they have for sale. And the seller, Kenneth Harrison Dimon, who knew that the house was used to make meth, broke that law.

Jane Walsh, the deputy district attorney in Boulder County who prosecuted Mr. Dimon, said:
"We don't know of any other case — lying and methamphetamine. Our office has not before criminally prosecuted someone who has lied when they sold a house."
Mr. Dimon pleaded guilty, and the couple was awarded about $49,000. They were also awarded $800,000 in a civil judgement against him, but have not received any of that money, since Mr. Dimon is in jail in North Carolina.

John and Carla Hanks did find another place to live. Outside of Colorado.

Lafayette couple gets restitution, civil award after buying meth house, The Denver Post>>

Why does this Boston cop work for nothing?

Officer David Silen prevents theft 
with his ever-watchful presence.

Officer Silen is also immune to any slurs directed his way. That's because he's a life-sized cardboard cutout assigned to watch over bicycles. The Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority says that bike thefts at one station have gone down 67%.

But isn't it, you know, obvious that Officer Silen is fake?

It's not that criminals are fooled into believing he's real. It may be that his image is reminding potential thieves that there are police - or police cameras - watching them, so they think twice before they steal.

The eyes of authority

The Boston police's experiment supports research that was done at Newcastle University, which found that a poster of eyes with an anti-theft message was also effective at reducing bicycle theft.

Researchers also discovered that, in certain situations, just the image of eyes was enough to make people more honest.

So, does this image work?

-Fake Transit Cop Spooks Bike Thieves, Time Magazine>>
-Watching eyes reduce bike theft, Newcastle University>>

Hire yourself a fake crowd

"We're for it!"
"No, wait... I think we're against it!"

Crowds on Demand is a company that will provide you with a fake crowd. People hire them to create a fake crowd of fans around those who wish to appear famous, or by those who want a crowd to protest at events. 

The warm bodies shown above were paid $15 an hour. 

Speed enforced by drones... with weapons

You definitely do not want 
to exceed the speed limit.

Around the Bay Area in California, official-looking signs notify motorists that they're being watched by drones that have the capability of firing weapons.


Said Officer Andrew Barclay of the California Highway Patrol:
“The first officer who saw this on Highway 37 was out patrolling his beat…did a double take, flipped around, came back, and confirmed it was what he saw...

At CHP we definitely do not have drones. We use radar, lidar, pace, we have planes and we have helicopters, but we do not have drones. Along with not having drones we definitely do not have any drones that would fire any type of weaponry.”
Sign-installer, artist and trickster Stephen Whisler 
was making a political point with his prank.

- Fake Signs On Bay Area Highways Say Drones Looking For Speeders, CBS SF Bay Area, KCBS>>
- Speed enforced by drones, Stephen Whistler>>

How to steal information from defense contractors

Can you help me find a job?

Years ago, I was at a conference run by SCIP, the organization for Strategic and Competitive Intelligence Professionals, which concerns itself with "the legal and ethical collection and analysis of information regarding the capabilities, vulnerabilities, and intentions of business competitors." One of the presenters explained that by merely talking with people and really listening to what they said, you could glean lots of information about their companies.

Recently, Jordan Harbinger figured out how to do this using a more potent weapon: a pretty woman looking for a job.
About 1.4 million people in the US have a "top secret" security clearance. But what happens when an attractive man or woman friends them on Facebook, asking for career advice and wondering what they’re working on?

Jordan Harbinger, a dating coach based in Los Angeles, wanted to give a talk at the hacker convention Def Con. He was in his living room chatting with two clients who happen to work for a massive defense corporation that contracts with the US military when the pair started blabbing about their top secret projects. That gave Harbinger an idea for an experiment in social engineering, the dark art of influencing people to act against their own interest: what would it take for a defense contractor to reveal classified information to a total stranger?

The answer is: not much. Harbinger succeeded in getting contractors with top secret security clearances to reveal details of what they were working on, as well as enough personal information to access their bank accounts, credit card statements, and cell phone records. He spent fewer than 10 hours total on the project spread over a few weeks.

"I wanted to do it without breaking any laws, and ideally just with stretching the truth," he said. Marcia Hoffman, a lawyer with the Electronic Frontier Foundation at the time who is now in private practice, advised him in order to ensure he didn’t do anything illegal, such as impersonate a government employee.
And then he created a fake Facebook profile for an attractive woman named Alara...

Read more: Dating coach shows how to get classified military intel using social engineering, The Verge>>
- SCIP>>

Why are there fake birds in film?

We don't see the walking dead in this shot 
from "The Walking Dead," but we do see 
a flock of animated birds.

In The Atlantic, Brian Thill wrote a short essay on the meaning of artificial birds in film:
Do you ever wonder about those flocks of computer-generated birds flitting across the screens of so many of your favorite shows and films? I do. I'll be watching your average contemporary Hollywood film or TV show, but when I'm supposed to be gazing at the planet-destroying starship, giant robot, mythical behemoth, or fantastical cityscape, my attention always gets pulled elsewhere, focusing instead on much smaller things within the frame -- usually, those confounded digital birds flying around.

And they are everywhere, once you start noticing them: initially invisible, tucked into the branches of trees or snuggled under a derelict underpass. We didn't even know they were there; and then they burst into flight, flap and turn and are gone in a skittering black rush of wings. They cut across the barren Atlanta highways of TV's The Walking Dead. They soar from the middle heights of Peter Jackson's Isengard. In Man of Steel, some vast and sublime Kryptonian space-thing crashes into the Kansas fields, and there they are yet again, reliably fanning out from the crash site like the spray from an impact crater, a dark flurry of black birds erupting from the fields and flying swiftly away from danger and out of frame. In the midst of all the ornate action on screen, they're perhaps the least consequential objects in the frame. And yet I find myself seeing and thinking about them constantly. Like the overstuffed grocery bag and the unlocked door, fake birds are so common, and yet so inconsequential in modern Hollywood film. What are these things? What are they doing there?
The short answer: they're an easy way to show us "Nature" amidst the majestic scale of the incredible computer-animated scenes we're seeing. But there are other reasons, too.

Read the rest: Fake Birds on Film, The Atlantic>>

A tip of the hat to this illusion

(Click to enlarge)

The optical illusion photo is by Jenny at DeviantArt>>

A coffeeshop robbery almost breaks bad

The guns were displayed on TV.

At about 7:20 in the morning, a woman walked up to the Classic Coffee shop in Glendora, California, and saw a man inside who was wearing a bandanna and a hooded sweatshirt and holding a gun. She ran back to her car and called police.

All eight officers on duty at the police department arrived and burst into the shop. An officer yelled:
"Drop the gun! Drop it, drop it, drop it!"
One man, who was holding a AR-15 assault rifle, dropped his gun immediately. The other man, who was holding a handgun, seemed stunned and did not drop his weapon. An officer who had his gun pointed at him took his finger off his weapon's trigger guard and was ready to shoot.

 Another officer reached out and stripped the gun out of his hand.
"Get on the ground right now!"
And then an officer sees the camera.
"What are you guys doing?"

"Shooting a... shooting a film."

"You're shooting a short film?"

"Yeah."

"In a store with a man with a gun?"

"Yeah."
The guns were Airsoft guns painted to look realistic, and the robbers were a group of college students who had permission from the coffee shop owner to make their film, but had neglected to post any signs or let the police know what they were doing.

The coffee shop has surveillance video of the incident, but has not released it.

It's also unknown whether the highly realistic scene was also filmed by the students.

Glendora police nearly open fire on amateur crew filming fake robbery, Los Angeles Times>>

This restaurant on a boat was completely sunk

It used to be a great place to eat, until...

Online reviews at TripAdvisor said the restaurant was one of the best places to eat in Britain.

The restaurant was run by owners Colette and Alfredo aboard a restored fishing trawler docked at Brixham, Devon in Britain.

The boat might wander a bit with the tides, but it was still deemed an amazing and romantic place.

If you ordered fish, employees might even catch and cook it for you while you waited.

For months the newly-opened restaurant received enthusiastic praise, and Brixham residents reported seeing numerous taxis arriving to the restaurant's address.

It quickly rose to 29th place out of 64 local restaurants in TripAdvisor's ranks.

One reviewer said that "trying to book a table can be a nightmare" because the place was so popular.

Another said:
"I am fortunate enough to live in Catalyuna, home to some of the best restaurants in the world. I have dined at both elBulli and El Celler de Can Roca. Is Oscar's as good? No not quite - but as has been mentioned already, there is an unbelievable quality about it."
That review was accurate in its mention of "unbelievable."

That's because Oscar's restaurant did not exist.

An anonymous businessman had created the fake restaurant and reviews after a friend's hotel received bad reviews he suspected were fakes posted by a rival hotel.

He seems to have successfully pointed out that TripAdvisor's 100 fraud specialists are not very skillful in rooting out fraud.

Even after posts began pointing out that the place was a complete fake, it took two months for the restaurant's listing to be removed.

Floating restaurant where divers catch your supper? It all sounds a little fishy, The Telegraph>>

Do you want to have sex with me? (a prank)

Andrea pops the question.

Here's a social experiment. Is it true that if you asked 100 people if they wanted to have sex with you that one of them would say yes?

First, a woman asks.

She Asks


(If you pause the video above at 11 seconds and look at Andrea's face, you'll notice from her expression that she's not the kind of woman who would ordinarily ask guys to have sex with her.)

And then, for the sake of the experiment, a man asks. Think the results will be different?

He Asks


From whatever>>

This worker stole more than a few pens

"No, really, that's the mug for my tea..."

If you want to steal nice things, it helps to get a job where you work with nice things.

Right after World War II, John Nevin worked as a backroom assistant at the Victoria & Albert Museum, organizing and cataloguing objects.

But since he liked nice things, and he wanted to look at them at home, not just at work, he decided to take a few items home.

2,068 items, to be exact.

Most of the things were small, but he did steal one small table by taking it apart and hiding it in his pants leg.

When the museum finally realized some things were missing, they contacted police, who raided the home he shared with his wife.

At first, the couple claimed that the items were bought second-hand, or were wedding presents.

Yet the police kept finding more and more expensive items hidden in their home, such as musical instruments secretly stored underneath the floor, and carved jade figures inside a vacuum cleaner bag.

Other treasures were in plain sight, such as bathroom curtains made from rare cloth, and his wife's 19th Century leather and tortoiseshell handbag.

She claimed it was her shopping bag and she bought in a shop.

After they confessed, his wife said:
"I am glad it is over really. I have been worried for years. We stopped asking people in because they used to say how expensive the things were."
Said a police report:
"Practically everything in Nevin's small three-bedroomed council house, with the exception of the bed linen and items of clothing, was found to be property stolen from the museum, so that at the end of the search the rooms were practically bare."
It was the largest number of items ever stolen from a British museum.

Mr Nevin was sentenced to three years in prison.

He explained:
"I couldn't help myself. I was attracted by the beauty."
Stealing beauty - the curator who took priceless piece after priceless piece , The Independent>>

Child porn virus catches victim

Jay Riley asked the police for help.

A while back I wrote about a nasty Trojan virus called Citadel malware that can infect your computer and display a fake FBI message saying that your computer was used to view, download or store images of child pornography. (Don't open this dangerous post>>)

Here's evidence that the scam works.

A 21-year-old guy in Virginia named Jay Riley found the warning on his computer, so he walked into his local police station and asked them if he was wanted for child pornography.

They said no.

He said go ahead and look in my laptop, and he let them search.

The police searched and found child pornography on his computer.

The normal explanation for a story like this is that Mr. Riley is an idiot. Not only did he believe in the fake FBI message, but he stupidly went to the police and then let them search his computer where he had downloaded illegal images.

But there are other explanations, too.

Couldn't Mr. Riley have accidentally downloaded the images when he was looking for legal porn?

Or might it have been the malware itself that downloaded the images?

But there's more to the story.

After police found the illegal images on his computer, they searched Mr. Riley's home and confiscated all his electronic devices. That's because they also discovered Mr. Riley had been communicating inappropriately (and I suppose that means sexually) with young girls, one of whom was only thirteen years old.

Mr. Riley was arrested.

Man gets fake FBI child porn alert, arrested for child porn, C/NET>>