If the Marx Brothers submitted a science paper

A photo of our illustrious academic, 
Professor Boris Delilbašić, PhD 

It's gotten too easy to prank scientific journals.

Three Serbian academics, maybe after they'd spent a night drinking too many bottles of wine and complaining about how they were expected to publish anything, no matter how stupid, decided:
"What we really need to do - I'll tell you what we really need to do - let's shine up a turd and submit it to a journal, show them that they'll trust anything because they verify nothing!"
So they did - they wrote up a fake paper and called it "Evaluation of Transformative Hermeneutic Heuristics for Processing Random Data" and submitted it to a Romanian journal called Metalurgia International.

It was published.

Because even though it was gobbledygook, it did have the form of a real paper, and contained charts and graphs and references like a real paper, and demonstrated its astonishing academic superiority with astonishing paragraphs such as:
"Our work has been inspired and directly founded on various astonishing research by intellectual giants in various interesting fields of social science and practically conducted and supported by the advances in multiple technical disciplines, thus giving this work a veritable multidisciplinary aura. We place our work in context with the prior work in several multidisciplinary areas."
If someone had actually read the paper, however, they might have noticed a clue in one of the sentences used:
"Our heuristics is broadly related to work in the field of hermeneutics by Sokal…"
The reference to Alan Sokal is significant because he wrote an important paper published in the journal Social Text in 1996 called: "Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutic of Quantum Theory”.

The paper that Alan Sokal wrote and gotten published had gotten worldwide attention. That's because it was complete nonsense - Mr. Sokal submitted his parody paper to a journal to prove that writers who spouted crap, and who had no actual knowledge of science, could get published. 

The subsequent revelation of the hoax became known as the Sokal affair.

And never mind writing, references or science - it's clear that nobody with a knowledge of hair looked closely at the obviously Harpo-Marx-inspired curly-wig photo of Professor Boris Delilbašić, PhD.

Or noticed the Groucho-Marx-styled swipe of fake mustache painted on another writer, Professor Dragan Z Đuirić, PhD.

Professor Dragan Z Đuirić, PhD

Pranksters everywhere must salute you: "To your health, gentleman! To your health!"

Sometimes you gamble and sometimes you cheat

The cameras were watching Archie's chips very carefully.

Archie Karas loves to gamble. He's legendary in gambling circles for a three-year winning streak where he started with $50 and gambled and gambled until it reached $40 million, mostly playing high-stakes poker with other guys who really love to gamble.

Then he lost most of that money by, of course, gambling it away.

He's considered by many to be one of the best gamblers in the world.

One of his secrets is that he doesn't care about money:
"You've got to understand something. Money means nothing to me. I don't value it. I've had all the material things I could ever want. Everything. The things I want money can't buy: health, freedom, love, happiness. I don't care about money, so I have no fear. I don't care if I lose it."
His other secret is that, sometimes, he cheats.

He was caught when a California casino reviewed surveillance tapes and allegedly spotted him marking cards while he was playing blackjack.

He was using a hollowed-out gaming chip where he had secreted "daub", a colored ink that could surreptitiously mark the backs of playing cards. Mr Karas would run the chip over the high cards and mark them so he'd know when they were going to appear.

This advantage enabled him to win over $8,000.

After Mr. Karas was arrested for "burglary, winning by fraudulent means and cheating", authorities searched his home and found more hollowed-out chips from other casinos.

Mr. Karas seems to have forgotten an elementary rule of deception. If you're caught, you never want to have anything on your person - or in your home - that can't be explained.

And it's hard to explain away a hollowed-out gambling chip filled with ink.

Gambling pro Archie Karas charged with defrauding casino, Reuters>>

More about marking cards. You can buy or make playing cards that have been marked in various ways. While they are playing, gamblers and magicians also mark cards by bending, crimping or pricking cards. 

A human encounters 2 robots and a projector

The short film was created using "projection mapping".

This is what you get when you combine a human actor, two industrial robots, and projected computer graphic images.

The entire sequence was filmed "in camera", meaning there were no tricks added afterwards. If you were there "live" it would look the same.

And it would look, as it does, completely surreal.

You can watch it small, but it's best if you go to Vimeo and see it full screen.

Watch for the only "real" magic trick at the end, when human and technology merge.

Box by Bot & Dolly

Box from Bot & Dolly on Vimeo.

Why a prank with a rope noose is not funny

Jordan Morlan with 
his mom, Ginger Rodriguez

Sixteen-year-old Jordan Morlan, a high school sophomore, spent much of the day Sunday hanging up Halloween decorations.

One of the decorations was a rope noose hanging from a tree.

Jordan decided to use that noose to play a joke on his mom and little sister.

He placed the noose around his neck and was going to pretend to be dead, maybe making a face with his head tilted and his tongue hanging out. Not a realistic prank, but something silly and good for a laugh.

When his little sister saw his body on the tree she came inside to tell her mom, who was doing laundry. The girl said that Jordan was hanging from a tree and not moving. 

His mom said:
"Oh he's probably only pulling a prank on you."
Jordan had been joking around all day while he was hanging up the Halloween decorations.

Jordan's little sister said:
"No, he's not moving and he's got drool hanging from his mouth."
Jordan's mom ran outside. Her son's back was facing her. She ran to help him but the noose had tightened and she couldn't lift her son. Her son was hanging from the noose. 

When Jordan got to the hospital he was in a coma. He was on a ventilator to help him breathe. He likely lost oxygen to his brain within 20-30 seconds after fastening the noose around his neck. 

It was all too late.

Twelve hours later he was dead.

Said his mom about Jordan:
"He was my entire life. He just loved his family."
Kids: if you want to play a prank with a noose, there's a safe way to do it. Stick the noose down the back of your shirt so the rope becomes taught and pretend to hang yourself like that. Nobody will notice that there isn't a loop of rope in front of your neck, and you won't make a mistake that causes your mom to cry for the rest of her life.

Mother of 16-year-old who died during Halloween prank talks about son, WHAS11>>

Does he have a nose growing out of his forehead?

It sure looks like that's a nose.
(Click to enlarge)

Sometimes, technology transforms what you think might be a fake photo into reality.

What looks like a strangely make-believe photograph of a man with a nose growing out of his forehead is actually a real photograph of a man with a nose growing out of his forehead.

Blame the doctors.

After an accident, the cartilage in this man's real nose was destroyed by infection, so doctors removed cartilage from his ribs and fashioned a replacement. 

And although it looks strange, they decided to grow the nose on his face to take advantage of the similar skin and blood vessels located there, so that when they transplant the nose to its customary place, the transplant is more likely to be successful. 

The man only has to endure a misplaced nose for a short time so he will have a fully-functioning nose for the rest of his life.

So be careful what you judge as fake, and remember this:
Science... science is so cool.

3 Halloween skull optical illusions

(Click to enlarge)

These three images - where the figures inside the artwork also create the illusion of a skull - were created by artist Sven Sauer to promote Halloween Burg Frankenstein (Das wahre Halloweenfest), a Halloween haunted house and live theater festival put on in Germany.

 (Click to enlarge)

(Click to enlarge)

See the most famous skull optical illusion here: The world's most famous optical illusion>>
Or do a search on this blog for "skull".

Sven Sauer, Matte Painting Studio>>
Das wahre Halloweenfest (German)>>

Yes, a tied-up woman can get lots of attention

"Hey, I know a great way we can increase 
our business - pretend to be kidnappers!"

It's not the realistic depiction that got them in trouble, it's the reality of what it depicts.

A sign company in Waco, Texas created a photo-realistic optical illusion decal of a bound woman who looks like she's lying in the bed of a truck. They attached it to the tailgate of a pickup truck to gain publicity for the business.

Said Hornet Signs business owner Brad Kolb :
"I wasn't expecting the reactions that we got, nor was it really anything we certainly condone or anything else. But it was just something... we had to put out there to see who notices it."
Well, they put it out there, and it was definitely noticed.

The story went viral and the business and its employees have received critical comments and threats.

Mr. Kolb removed and destroyed the decal, and his company donated $2,500 to a local advocacy center for crime victims and children.

Controversial Tailgate Decal Destroyed After Backlash, Threats, KWTX>>

How to sexually blackmail a child

"That's it, take off your top..."

There is much propaganda out there about how perverts on the internet are corrupting our children.

Some of it is true.

Those who want to exploit children sexually will go online and pretend to be children themselves. 

The conversation might begin innocently, and then by degrees stray into talking about sex. If a victim doesn't want to talk about sex any more, it may be too late. The fake child will threaten to expose what they've already talked about. What if he sends her dad all the chat logs? Come on, all he wants are a couple of photos, maybe some video, and then he promises he'll stop...

Authorities have a name for this process of slowly luring children into an unequal power relationship. They call it "grooming".

This is an online chat between a 16-year-old girl and an adult pretending to be a teenage boy:
Offender Hi, asl? [age sex location]
Victim 16 female You?
Offender 17 m
Victim Ccool ;)
Offender Wuu2 x
Victim Fck all u? X
Offender Same babe
Have u cam Or u like shy :/ x
Victim I have cam but can only do video call && i look a mess today x
Offender Haha then sex it up babee ;P
Just go on :) x
Victim Hmmm do II have to x
Offender Yeh ;P 
The next day
Offender I make u do stuff on cam that befor a month ago right
Victim Yh
Offender And u do 4 times right
Victim Yh
Offender So i want u again for 2 times again and I ll delete u from my msn
Victim Im not doing anything dirty...u sed that i didnt have to
Offender I know but u have no choice only u listen to me this time ok
2 times more and u be free forever
Victim Omg u promised Yeahhh thanks for making me want to cry
Uve got ur slaves sed that you didnt need me no more Thanks for making me want to kill myself
Offender Ok that all 2 times more Then u be free forever Send cam now
Victim No i really don't want to...please don't make me
Offender Send cam
If u keep saying no ill let u do 4 times
So u agreed 2 times then u cant see me anymore
And if u agreed ill ask u when u start do it ok
Victim What have i done wrong to you for you to treat me like this :(
Offender Realy nothing
But ur hot that why i like u do stuff for me
And u will do it 2 times more
Brb 2 mins
Victim Well u promised ii wouldnt have to do it
Ever again
Oh ok...i feel sick
Offender Remember i have ur video so don't do anything bad
See u later
The image above is from a scene in the 1980 movie Fame, where high school student Coco Hernandez, played by Irene Cara, is coerced into removing her blouse for a man making pornography.

Number of children blackmailed into webcam sex acts increasing, says report, The Guardian>>
- Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, UK>>

Did their wedding song predict a murder?

A wedding photo from the marriage of 
Jordan Linn Graham and Cody Lee Johnson.

A Montana woman named Jordan Linn Graham was getting married to her sweetheart Cody Lee Johnson. Before the big day, she asked a songwriter to write an original song to play during her first dance with her new husband.

She wanted to surprise him.

Some of the lyrics included lines such as:
"Everyone wants a safe place to fall, and you're mine." 
"You helped me to climb higher for a better view."
About a week after their June wedding, the young couple went to dinner with friends. While they were driving home, Mr. Johnson got a cell phone call which made him upset.

After they got home, Ms. Graham had to go somewhere to get her cell phone charger, so she left. When she returned, she saw her husband getting into a dark-colored car with out-of-state license plates.

Her husband later texted her and said he'd gone for a ride with a friend.

It was July 7th, and her husband did not return that night.

One of his coworkers reported him missing the next day.

Days later, on July 11th, Ms. Graham searched Glacier National Park and discovered her husband. 

He was dead.

His body was below a popular viewing spot in the park. Ms. Graham was asked how she knew where to look for him, and she said:
"It was a place he wanted to see before he died."
On July 16th, she had an interview with the FBI.

That's when she admitted that her story was a lie.

What actually happened, she said, was that she and her husband were arguing and went to the park. The walking did not reduce the intensity of their argument. At one point, Ms. Graham said, she got so angry that she pushed Mr. Graham hard in his back with both her hands.

That's when he fell down the cliff and died.

Days earlier, law enforcement had interviewed a friend of the newly-married couple. She said that Ms. Graham was having second thoughts about her marriage. On July 7th, 22-year-old Ms. Graham sent the friend a text message that read:
"Oh well I'm about to talk to him."
The friend responded:
"I'll pray for you guys."
Ms. Graham replied:
"But dead serious if u don't hear from me at all tonight, something happened."
Bride accused of pushing Kalispell man off cliff in Glacier Park, Missoulian>>
- Jordan Linn Graham affidavit, Missoulian>>

Mother nature cries cold tears - an optical illusion

Why is mother nature crying?

Nature photographer Michael Nolan took this photo of "Mother Nature Crying" in the Austfonna ice cap located on Nordaustlandet in Svalbard, Norway. It's an amazing example of pareidolia, or the ability of the human brain to find the image of a face in natural phenomena.

The image also showcased the ability of the human brain to politicize anything. Mr. Nolan explains:
The image was picked up by one of my best stock agencies in the U.K. and the face was likened to Mother Nature. I loved the stylized look of the waterfall as it formed the pool of tears, and think it is strikingly similar to what a thoughtful yet mournful Mother Nature might appear to look like, and what better place to appear than on the face of the largest (by area) retreating ice cap in all of Europe? 
Of course folks on one side of the climate change issue took it as a sign, while folks on the other side of this same issue were sure the image was fabricated. "Photoshop Experts" started weighing in on how the image was manipulated or downright faked all together. From my perspective as the photographer who took the image I am amazed at what strong sentiments this image has provoked, and the ensuing attacks on the authenticity of the face.
He goes on to explain that the image is real, and that "nothing was added or taken away, altered, fabricated, or manipulated."

Of course, no matter what he says, how can he convince people who want to believe otherwise that what he is saying is true?

Best beer prank ever in the history of beer pranks

When your friends love beer and pranks 
and have energy and smarts, watch out.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: if you want to pull an epic prank that will be remembered long after you're gone, you must be willing to put forth the effort. In this case, a bunch of guys in New Zealand decided to prank their mate Russ by connecting beer kegs to every faucet in his house and capturing his reaction on hidden cameras.

It's like Mission Impossible made possible... with beer.

Guy finds his house plumbed with beer

Via Metafilter: This isn't a joke... IS A MIRACLE!!!>>

The fraud that earned her millions - by fighting it

You don't mess with Lynn Szymoniak. 

Bloomberg Businessweek has a story about a woman who discovered something fishy with her mortgage documents. She was well-equipped to fight against fraud - she's an attorney and fraud investigator who specializes in forged documents:
As an attorney in West Palm Beach, Fla., Lynn Szymoniak built a career investigating fraudulent insurance claims, scouring documents for inconsistencies that revealed a con. So in 2008, when she was served with foreclosure papers on her home, she put on her cat’s-eye reading glasses and quickly spotted something amiss. What she found started a multiyear battle that helped change the fate of billions in foreclosed mortgages. It’s also earned her millions—and may make her millions more.

It seems "Linda Green" was everywhere.

Ms. Szymoniak and others discovered that many banks did not have the correct documents they needed to foreclose on homes. So to speed up the process of foreclosure, the banks hired mortgage servicing firms who rushed to get the documents completed, even if they had to fake them. That meant that if they couldn't get the real signature of "Linda Green, Vice President", they merely signed her name.

That's a big no-no with legal documents.

Ms. Szymoniak sued, saying that banks did not own the loans they said they owned, and were falsifying documents.

And since the loans were insured by the federal government, the banks were also filing bogus mortgage insurance claims with the federal government and getting paid insurance money for something they didn't own.

The investigative program Sixty Minutes did a story about her role in what became known as the "robo-signing" fraud. It's an older report from 2011, but still worthwhile. And it reveals the true identity of Linda Green.

Whistleblower Lynn Szymoniak

Read more of the story: 

Mortgage Fraud Whistle-Blower Lynn Szymoniak Exposed Robosigning's Sins, Bloomberg Businessweek>>
Whistleblower facing foreclosure wins $18 million, Sixty Minutes>>

Why teenagers, fireworks and gasoline don't mix

This is why 13-year old boys should be kept busy.

This might be considered funny in the future, but it's going to be a long, long time in the future.

During the summer of 2013, two teenagers in the town of White House, Tennessee said they were bored, so, as a prank, they filled a drainage culvert under a road with gasoline and tossed in some fireworks.

Neighbor Lisa Davis said she was working from home and looked outside:
"I heard an explosion. I thought, ‘Oh my goodness. The drainage ditch is on fire.'"
When they first arrived, firefighters weren't sure what was happening. Was it a gas leak or something else? Said Chief Joe Palmer:
"That was one that we've never seen before."
The resulting fire burned a mailbox, destroyed half a tree and melted the culvert's plastic pipe. That eventually caused the road to collapse. Luckily, the fire did not spread to any of the nearby homes.
Joe Palmer again:
"Kids will be kids. I guess there was just stupidity involved there."
It could prove to be expensive stupidity. The town may charge the kid's families $30,000 to repair the damage.
Drainage Pipe Bursts Into Flames After Teenage Prank, NewsChannel5>>

How to make more money with your pork

If beef is too expensive but you crave it, 
why not disguise your pork as beef?

If you want the flavor of beef and all you have is pork, you can disguise the flavor and look of the meat so it's more beef-like, but it's not so great if you think you're buying beef and what you're really buying is pork.

In China, you can buy a glazing agent and beef extract 
to treat your pork to look and taste like beef. 
The process takes about 90 minutes.

Police in Xi'an, China discovered a counterfeit beef-making factory that used chemicals such as industrial salts and paraffin wax to create fake beef, which of course sold at a much higher price than pork.

The fake meat was seized by police.

"Okay, you three stand over there and pretend 
to examine the meat while I take a photo."

Xi'an police bust factory selling fake beef, Want China Times>>“Beef Extract” Additive Used To Change Pork Into “Beef", ChinaSmack>>

A card trick in 7 seconds by Bo Burnham

The ace of hearts

Bo Burnham does a quick magic trick but fails

5 intimate items by artist Jamie Isenstein

"Saw the Lady"

Artist Jamie Isenstein is closely involved in her artwork:
"Since Duchamp, sculpture can be anything, so if you put a living body into the sculpture, is it still sculpture, or is it a performance?"  

"Arm Hosiery"

Sometimes, though, she has to take a break.

 "Arm Hosiery"

That's when she puts up a little sign that says "Will Return".

"Arm Chair"
(click to enlarge)

"Smoking Pipe"

In the above, the smoke is from a humidifier, and so we may classify "Smoking Pipe" as a piece of sculpture.

Pipes have a tradition in the art of the surreal, as shown in this painting by René Magritte.

"The treachery of images - This is not a pipe" 

Since his painting is only the image of a pipe, he had to write "This is not a pipe" on his painting. If he had written "This is a pipe", he'd have been lying.

View yourself in a melting mirror

The Wicked Witch of the West 
does not approve of this product.

Molly Tomecek likes to make things, and she offers for sale this piece on her Etsy store created by her friend Sonk: a Melting Mirror Frame and Swivel Stand with Mirror>>

Don't confuse your car with a boat

In a fight between your vehicle and water, 
your vehicle (and you) will lose.

Boulder, Colorado has been getting an insane amount of rain, and many roads are flooded, so I thought I'd talk about the deceptive dangers of driving though water.

If you're driving and you see that the road ahead is flooded, you have a choice. Should you continue driving through it? You may drive on this road every day, and you've been fine. You may have driven on this road just a little while ago, and the road was dry, and you were fine.

But here's the problem, and it has to do with that pesky little thing called physics.

Water, as you know, is slippery. If you're driving quickly, just a thin film of water on the road can cause you to lose control of your car. That's why you should slow down in the rain. (Because water reduces friction.)

But hey, you're going to drive slowly through this water, so what could happen?

Well, that water could be moving faster than you realize. And even if it's only six inches of water, and just barely touching your hubcaps, you can lose control of your car. (Physics again: If the water is moving at 8 miles per hour, the water is exerting a force of 264 pounds on every square foot where it touches your car.)

So what if you barrel through it, creating a huge splash? (And I have to admit, I've done this in big puddles, and it's fun). Won't the force of a fast-moving vehicle help you?

Well, the faster you zoom through a big puddle, the less time your car tires are actually touching the road, and so it's even more likely you'll lose control of your car.

Then there's the pesky problem of not knowing how much water you're driving through. What if it's deeper than you think? It only takes between 12 and 24 inches of water to make your car into a boat. Boats float away. And your car is not equipped to navigate through water like a boat.

It also doesn't matter if your car is actually a truck, and it's very heavy. Battleships weigh thousands of tons, and they still float.

And more importantly, another science tells us why it's a bad idea to drive through water. Statistics tell us that more people are killed in flash floods than in any other type of bad weather, and that most of the people killed were driving in their cars.

- Photo source: Daryl Orr, Twitter>>
- Lots of flood physics in a PowerPoint presentation by Steve Waters>>
Floods, FEMA>>

Did you assume her twerk would be a success?

Very few were prepared for what happened next.

In this short video, a girl named Caitlin Heller tries doing some "twerking" dance moves but fails in a spectacular manner. Millions watched.

Worst Twerk Fail EVER - Girl Catches Fire!

And then we discover the backstory when Ms. Heller appears on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Jimmy Kimmel tells the story

If your shops aren't full, try an illusion

A man passes by a shop that sells groceries and spirits.

And, for some reason, ducks...

The town of Bushmills in northern Ireland (the same place where Bushmills whiskey was first produced) was hit by Ireland's economic downturn. A dozen shops were empty, which didn't do much for encouraging tourism.

The town responded with the Brighter Bushmills project, and artists created digital photography collages to imitate windows and doors on empty storefronts.

Now the fake windows themselves attract attention.

"I'd love some fake sweets after a long ride."

Some fake views inside the windows are more traditional.

Other views are more surreal.

See more examples here: DunseverickART, Hélène Byrne and Louie Winward>>

He should not have whipped out his penis gun

The artist displays his big gun.

Sure, you can blame the Islamists.

Artist Bengt Andersson stopped by the Rönnquist and Rönnquist gallery in Malmö, Sweden with a case that contained one of his pieces of art, a sculpture that looks like a large gun whose bullets have tips that look like the tips of penises.

He was hoping to convince the gallery to display his work.

Unfortunately for Mr. Andersson, he did not realize that Lars Vilks was also in the gallery. In 2007, artist Mr. Vilks drew pictures of the prophet Muhammed with the body of a dog, which insulted many people. Since then he has been attacked and received death threats and is under the protection of bodyguards.

When his bodyguards spotted Mr. Andersson's sculpture, they assumed his sculpture was a real gun. They pounced on him, dragged him out of the gallery and severely beat him. Afterwards, the 73-year-old artist spent five hours in jail.

The police supported the actions of the bodyguards, saying that if they see a weapon they have to intervene.

His work is called "Sexgun Rasputin"

Vilks guards beat artist in 'cocked' pistol mix-up, The Local, Sweden's News in English>>

Watch a girl imperceptibly get older

Either we die, or we slowly get older.

There's a sequence at the end of the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey where the astronaut Dave Bowman gets older and older. Dave looks and sees his older self through his own eyes, and then there's a cut to an older version of Dave. It becomes obvious that Dave ages, and the cut makes it even more obvious.

In this short film, Anthony Cerniello uses various tricks to slowly and deceptively age a girl from a young woman to an older woman. What's strange is that you cannot easily see how she ages. You might notice a few details here and there - oh, now her hair is more grey, for example - but most of the details pass by unnoticed. What you notice is not the changes themselves, but the fact that the changes have already occurred.

Although the video is less than five minutes long, it will require you to focus your wandering attention almost as if you are meditating and watching both how slowly and how quickly your mind focuses on what's happening right now.

I suggest going to Vimeo and watching this full screen.

The more attention you can give, the more transcendent your experience will be. 

- The technical details, for those who wonder how: Timelapse of the Imperceptible Effects of Aging Created from Family Portraits by Anthony Cerniello, Colossal>>

The crazy pressure that magicians face

"I don't get magnets... and I don't get this."

On Conan O'Brian, comedian Pete Holmes talks about how hard it is to be a magician:
"Magic is the only kind of entertainment where 90% of the crowd is trying to ruin it for themselves..."
Pete Holmes on Magic

Premila had decided to pull a silly prank

Premila Lal

Premila Lal, an 18-year-old woman, along with her 12-year old cousin, were planning to go to a Friday night homecoming football game at a local high school, but instead snuck into her former home to play a prank. The house was mostly empty because her family was moving. 

Two people were staying there to watch the place: Lal's 15-year-old brother, and Nerrek Galley, a 21-year-old friend who was very close to the family.

Mr. Galley was best friends with Ms. Lal. 

It was about 8:00 at night in Longmont, Colorado, when Ms. Lal and her cousin hid in a closet and made noises.

Her brother and Mr. Galley were playing video games in the basement when they heard strange sounds. Mr. Galley thought an intruder was in the house, so he went looking. He had a gun. He also gave a gun to the 15-year old for protection.

When he entered the room where the two pranksters were hiding in the closet, Ms. Lal jumped out to scare him.

Mr. Galley shot her.

Neighbors didn't hear the shot, but they heard yelling and screaming. They saw people jump into a car and speed away, leaving the front door wide open. There was blood on the steps. An abandoned cell phone was lying on the ground.

Mr. Galley drove Ms. Lal to Longmont United Hospital, where, a little after 9 pm, she was pronounced dead.

Deceptive book bookends

The consensus among the pixel geeks is that these bookends
 probably don't exist as real products.

But they should.

More work by Дмитрий Куляев, Behance>>
Books, Behance>>
Via: Bent book bookends, Boing Boing>>

Pregnant pranksters pee for extra money

"What the..."

Some women have been selling their positive pregnancy tests on Craigslist, presumably to be used as pranks to freak out boyfriends or husbands. 

Cost: $25.

Now you know what to get the soon-to-be-a-bride for her wedding shower.

Just be sure not to tell the soon-to-be-husband what you gave as your gift.

The anti-trickster crowd says that if the prank goes badly, those selling the fake positive results could be sued for fraud.

I doubt it would ever get to that level, unless the mothers are also selling their blood to be used in blood tests.

The black art of Omar Pasha

It is possible to decapitate using this trick.

French performers Michelle and Ernest Ostrowsky developed an act called "Omar Pasha", which uses a magical technique called "black art", which does not refer to them being in league with the devil, but whose name explains how it's done: bright colors show up on stage, and anything covered in black disappears. Yet as in all "explanations", there's more to it than the secret seems to reveal.

Omar Pasha is an animated look at something "Foreign" come to life, like a children's book or manuscript where another culture presents you with different rules that defy the conventional.

Omar Pasha - Amazing Act

The next video is mostly the same act, but the beginning is different - I like how he "paints" the objects, and I especially enjoy the bit with the candles. Please ignore the introduction, if you can.

Omar Pasha

Omar Pasha>>

This "for rent" sign follows you

Will they notice when the sign follows them?

Artist Niklas Roy created an installation using an abandoned store front, a surveillance camera, software that tracks movement, and mechanics that move a "for rent" sign so that it follows innocent pedestrians.


Niklas Roy calls himself an inventor of useless things.

Watch: A Creepy ‘For Rent’ Sign That Follows You Around, Wired>>

The Star Trek neutron cream prank

You must apply it liberally for maximum effect

Actor Simon Pegg, who played Scotty in the movie Star Trek Into Darkness, (and who's known for starring in the films Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, The World's End and the best young-20s-slacker-in-England TV comedy ever, Spaced, but I digress) pulls a prank on his fellow cast members. He enlists the makeup department in a gag to convince some of his fellow actors that they have to wear special dots of "neutron cream" on their faces to protect against, well, those dangerous free-radical neutrons created by the lasers in the facility where they're filming.

The best reaction is by Benedict Cumberbatch, who reads a paper he'd signed about the application of the cream.

And then there was the shaking, to remove the neutron radiation...

Safety First (Neutron Creme Prank) 
Star Trek Into Darkness

Actor Karl Urban talked at length about how he was ensnared by Simon Pegg and Chris Pine (who was also in on the joke):
“...we were shooting Star Trek 2 – there’s not much I can say about it but I can say this: in San Francisco, in this top secret facility, you know, the kind of place they fire laser beams at shit and see what happens. They’d been shooting there a week and I came in and went out for drinks the night before with Pine and Pegg and those guys and they’re talking about this ‘neutron cream’, to combat the radiation. 
So, I’m like, ‘What?! Radiation?’ And they said, ‘Oh yeah, there’s a low dose of radiation that comes from this facility and they’ve given us this cream.’ And I was like, ‘Ah… ok,’ and for some reason I just bought it, of course."
For his full account of the elaborate prank, go to:
Star Trek Into Darkness – Neutron Cream: The Greatest Film Prank Ever – Karl Urban Was The Final Victim, The SciFi Show>>

The fake solution for urban pollution

"Move to your right a little, I'm still seeing the real skyline."

When the actual Hong Kong skyline is hazy with pollution, tourists who want a clear photo can always use these photographic backdrops installed along Victoria Harbor.

"Excuse me, but in your vacation photo, 
why do the clouds have creases?"

Hazy Skies in Hong Kong? Just Pose With a Fake Skyline, The Atlantic>>

Need fake documents? I've got a website for you!

"Here's the scan you requested of my passport..."

Do you need fake copies or realistic-looking scans of real documents? Maybe your bank wants you to prove you live at a certain address, or an online gambling site needs to know that you are who you say you are, or you're up to nefarious activity of some sort. What to do?

You could spend hours trying to create your own fake documents using Photoshop, but now there's an easy way - an online service that automates the process for you!

Just pay them, in untraceable Bitcoins or other currency, and you can order realistic looking scans of passports, ID cards, driver's licenses, credit cards and utility bills.

The fake scans - many of which are not centered on the page, for added realism - look great. And the prices are cheap - most documents are under $11.

Order today!