Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Seductress Spreads AIDS (Saudi Arabia)

Saudi Gazette [Saudi Arabia]
27 June 2012

TABUK -- Tabuk police denied recent rumors of a young woman who has been spreading the AIDS virus by seducing men. The woman, said to be a Syrian national who entered the Kingdom illegally, was alleged to have lured men and teenagers into hotels and furnished apartments with the aim of transmitting the virus to them.

According to police, the rumor spread via social networking sites. The official spokesman for Tabuk Police, Maj. Khaid Ghabban, said police investigated the rumors and were led to a dead end.

“This is purely fictional and not reality,” said Ghabban while urging people to verify stories before passing them on as fact and contact authorities for accurate information if they were in doubt. -- SG

Vibrator Mistaken for Electric Drill (Germany)

The Local [Germany]
27 June 2012

A concerned resident called Bochum police at 11 pm on Sunday, worried that someone was trying to get into the house with a drill. The noise was so loud, Die Welt newspaper reported on Monday, that the tiles in his flat were vibrating.

He joined the officers in scouring the house to track down the mysterious noise, which grew ever louder the further down the building they were.

Eventually they ended up in the building's communal cellar, expecting to find a determined burglar armed with an electric drill.

But on entering there was nothing to be seen apart from a lone vibrator that had fallen off a shelf, turned itself on and rolled up against pipes. [...]

[An earlier "electric drill" version:]

The Local [Germany]
23 April 2011

Police called to a flat in Berlin by neighbours who said it sounded like someone was using an electric drill through the night smashed down the door to find a vibrator had switched itself on and was jiggling around on the floor.

Officers who answered the desperate call of the neighbour tried repeatedly to contact the 23-year-old woman whose flat it was, according to a report in the Berlin Kurier on Saturday.

But they could not get a response, and eventually decided to break in the door in an attempt to find out what was going on in the flat.

"You could hear the noise out on the street," one neighbour was quoted as saying.

When the officers smashed their way into the flat they found nothing more dangerous than the vibrator which was doing its best on the floor.

Now the young woman is not only going to have to face her neighbours when she returns home she will also have to pay for the smashed door, the paper said.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Drones Spy on American Farmers

Washington Post
16 June 2012

By David A. Fahrenthold

It was a blood-boiler of a story, a menacing tale of government gone too far: The Environmental Protection Agency was spying on Midwestern farmers with the same aerial “drones” used to kill terrorists overseas.

This month, the idea has been repeated in TV segments, on multiple blogs, and by at least four U.S. congressmen. The only trouble is, it isn’t true. [...]

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Ballots Marked With Disappearing Ink (Egypt)

Washington Post
16 June 2012

By Associated Press

CAIRO -- Rumor had it a devious conspiracy was afoot: Egyptians voting for a new president Saturday were being tricked into using pens with disappearing ink so their choice on the ballot would vanish before it was counted. [...]

Friday, June 15, 2012

Store Refuses to Serve Guardsman (Bogalusa)

The Daily News [Bogalusa, LA]
7 June 2012

The Daily News

The impact of social media was evident in Bogalusa Thursday after a message posted on Facebook prompted rapid and widespread calls for the boycott of a local store, and a small group of people assembled outside the establishment waving American flags and telling their story to passers-by.

Inside, Savi, the East Indian owner of SP Truck Stop, the former Duval’s located across Louisiana Highway 10 from the American Legion Home, was upset and confused.

The Facebook message was a forward from a woman who sent a mobile phone message claiming that her husband was in line at the store and heard a uniformed member of the National Guard told “We don’t serve your kind.”

The Facebook messenger then called for a boycott to “force them out of business,” and invited people to “share.” [...]

The Daily News [Bogalusa, LA]
10 June 2012

The Daily News The Daily News

On Friday, the day after a posting on Facebook prompted dozens of flag-waving protestors to assemble in front of a store that allegedly refused service to a uniformed member of the National Guard, a Louisiana National Guard spokesman said he had heard nothing, from his people, of such a slight. [...]

The Daily News [Bogalusa, LA]
13 June 2012

By Richard Meek
The Daily News The Daily News

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Firecrackers and Canned Peaches

People's Daily [China]
7 June 2012

BEIJING, June 7 (Xinhua) -- A rumor spread in recent days saying that people need to set off firecrackers and eat canned peaches to save their children. Although it sounds like absurd superstition, it was believed by some people and disseminated around Beijing's neighboring areas. [...]

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Train Kills Girls Playing "Ghost Train" Game

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
5 June 2012


POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. -- Five teens inside a Jeep were playing a game, based on ghost legends, when they parked on railroad tracks just after midnight Tuesday morning.

"They were playing a stupid game called 'Ghost Train,' and the object is to get scared, kind of like telling stories on Halloween," said Butler County Coroner Jim Akers. "The game was to park on the tracks, let the windows fog up inside and let your mind play tricks on you."

But the game took a deadly turn when a real Amtrak train approached and the driver couldn't restart her vehicle, Akers said. Three of the teens got out safely, but two girls in a panic couldn't unbuckle their seatbelts in time. [...]

Pepsi Logo on the Moon

The Observers [France]
6 June 2012

On Tuesday night, thousands of Iranians headed to their rooftops to look at the sky in the hopes of seeing the Pepsi logo appear on the moon.

In the past few days, rumors had swelled on Iranian websites and social networks, saying that Pepsi Co. was going to shoot powerful lasers at the moon to display the brand’s colors on its surface. [...]
Kabir News
5 June 2012
Posted by: Mark Johnson

Rupee Coins Contain Gold or Uranium

The News International [Pakistan]
6 June 2012

 By Naimat Haider

KARACHI/TURBAT: Thousands of old one-rupee coins were sold for millions of rupees in the Makran region on Tuesday in what became a ‘gold rush’ in the area. Throughout the day, people spent their time looking for the humble golden-coloured coin which was being sold for as much as Rs1,000 in some cases -- though no one quite knew why. It was rumoured later in the day that it was being smuggled to Iran which was buying it because “it contained uranium”. Regardless of whether or not there was any truth in the story, the frenzy persisted all day.

“I had heard another rumour in the morning that jewellers are buying it because it’s full of gold,” said Murad Baloch, a beggar in Turbat. [...]

The News International [Pakistan]
7 June 2012

Ammar Shahbazi

Karachi -- If you have a handful of old one-rupee copper coins stashed away in a dusty drawer or a piggy-bank, congratulations! You could soon become a millionaire. That is, if you believe some of the wild rumours circulating in the city. [...]

Express Tribune [Pakistan]
9 June 2012

By Fazal Khaliq

SWAT:  The one-rupee coin might be much more valuable than it seems, or at least that is what many in Swat have been led to believe. Rumours that the coins contain gold caused a stir in Swat Valley, with people clamouring to get their hands on it, some paying as much as Rs50 to Rs100 for a single coin. [...]

The News International [Pakistan]
11 June 2012

Javed Aziz Khan

PESHAWAR: Can anyone believe that a one-rupee coin is being sold here in the provincial capital and many other districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa against Rs200 and more? [...]

The Telegraph [UK]
12 June 2012

By Rob Crilly, Islamabad

How much is a one rupee coin worth? Up to 2500 rupees if you believe the rumours sweeping Pakistan that the humble coin had inadvertently been made with gold instead of the usual tiny percentage of copper. [...]

Forbes [US]
13 June 2012

Tim Worstall

This is an amusing story from Pakistan. A rumour has taken hold that the old 1 rupee coin is worth substantially more than the 1 rupee face value due to the metal content. Thus people are purchasing them at higher than face value and then trying to pass them along.

What amuses me about the story is that it is in fact true that the coins are worth higher than face value: but for very different reasons than those that are floating around. Indeed, I can see a plausible explanation for how the whole rumour started. [...]