How hard is it to con people in Washington, D.C.? Easier than you might think, considering it’s the place where things like nuclear war get decided. The national-security circuit in particular, with its think tank fellowships and massive government contracts, is one of the juiciest rackets around.
Kevin Trudeau spent the past decade publishing books that promise to tell you the health secrets that mainstream science won’t. But he peddles bullshit. And the courts have repeatedly said as much, ordering him to pay over $37 million for misrepresenting what’s in his books. Now some consumers who got ripped off by…
You're a goldsmith, and a couple of guys approach you asking you to make a special gift for a friend. It's a Greek-themed tiara, and they want a specific inscription. Well, what's the worst that could happen?
Every six months or so we hear that Paul Moller's flying car is just a few years away! Too bad we've been hearing that for the past 40 years.
Why do we believe people can predict the future? Usually because we remember the hits and forget the misses. Or in some cases, the misses are hidden from us. Like in my favorite "psychic" scam ever, which also happens to be the plot of a classic 1957 Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode, "Mail Order Prophet."
If you were a psychic, astrologer, spiritualist or any other kind of charlatan in the 1920s, you had no greater enemy than the science and technology magazines of the era. Many publishers of the 1920s saw calling out bullshit peddlers as a natural part of their broader mission. And they did so in glorious fashion — by…
As sacred a hashtag as #tbt is on Instagram, the hashstag #nofilter is right there with it. If the selfie's purpose is to crown your own face with likes, not using a filter on a picture and then bragging about it through a hashtag is to megaphone your arrival as an artist. Like saying you could totally be a…
Emil Rupp spent the late 1920s and early 1930s being lauded as the most impressive experimental physicist in the world. He managed to pull off experiments that no one else could. He worked with Einstein. And he'd made it all up.
Every new promise of futuristic technology brings with it the hucksters, the swindlers, and the merely confused.