In Search of Web Parody

Posts Tagged ‘humor

Clones R Us

Posted on: October 1, 2009

Do you love your first-born son so much that you’d love to have another just like him?  Or maybe you’d like your daughter to grow up one day to be your mother.   You can get a son exactly like Pierce Brosnan for $80,000.  Too much for your budget?  How about a $299 little Michael Jackson (note: price does not include plastic surgery – your Michael comes “as is”. )  

If this sounds too good to be true.  It is.  Rats.  The Clones R Us spoof site came on the scene back in 1997.   An interesting section of the site is the Guest Book, which lists user comments (for/against cloning) on the site from 1997 – 2001. 

 

 

This site can be found at http://www.d-b.net/dti/

This site can be found at http://www.d-b.net/dti/

 

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Here’s a hoax site that purports to sell advertising space using tattoos on a baby. It is actually of parody of the “Million Dollar Home Page” website that offered up a million pixels of advertising space for one dollar per pixel.

The best part of the site is the adorable picture of the tattooed baby.  There is just something so utterly wrong about tattooing a baby for profit and the wide-eyed almost embarrassed look on the baby conveys it perfectly.

The home page of the site is worth a good read.  It’s clever and funny.  You can safely skip the rest of the site.  For some reason, the author takes on a grumpy nasty personality on  the inside pages that kind of ruins it for me.  It may have been an attempt at humor, but fell flat as far as I’m concerned.

million-baby

My previous post was about hoax websites that Google created as a joke.  I became curious about Google parody sites not associated with Google.  It’s not surprising that there are a fairly large number of them out there. 

Some of the links I came across no longer work; perhaps the work of the Google Legal Department.  I spent some time looking at the sites and picked the best ones to feature here.   

My favorite site is Toogle.  It is a parody of Google Image Search.  When you type something into the search box, you get an image of whatever you typed using the word that you typed.  For example, if you type in Obama, you get back a photo of Obama that is actually made from the word “Obama”.   Perhaps I’m easily amused, but I tried out about ten different searches and was highly impressed.  You have to try this one! 

Toogle Image Search

Toogle Image Search

  

Shmoogle uses the catchline “and if the result you were looking for was hiding in page 53?”  A Shmoogle search will return Google results in a random order.  Instead of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 (based on Google’s algorithms), you might see number 487 displayed first, then 180, 342, 658, 60, etc.  Hey, it gives hope to those of us with loser websites that we might actually be on page one!

Shmoogle - all results are equal

Shmoogle - all results are equal

 

Here’s a search site you’d never use: Spam Google.   Enter any term and the only results that come back are spam.   You’ve seen those sites – – the ones that are just a list of advertisement links.   So why did this make my list of favorites?  It’s original, sort of.

Spam Google - just the noise

Spam Google - just the noise

 

 Next up is elgooG, the Google mirror site. The link I’m supplying is actually a mirror to the Google mirror. How’s that for confusing? At first, I couldn’t get this to work right. Then I discovered that you have to enter in your search query backwards (ie; type in “esuoh etihw” for “white house”). It still works if you type it in the normal way, but the search results are a little off. Be sure to read the Google Mirror FAQ while you are there.

Note: When I first posted the link to the Google Mirror, it worked fine. Ten minutes later, it stopped working.  The next day, it worked fine … If it doesn’t work for you now, try again another day.

elgooG - Google mirror

elgooG - Google mirror

 

The last site today me lads and me lassies come full o’ blarney.  Doogle is a search site that automatically adds “the luck o’ the Irish” to all of your search queries.  Actually, it adds random Irish-themed words such as gaeltacht, feck, arse, gobshite, … you  get the idea.   Needless to say, this has a noticeable effect on your search results.

Doogle - the Feckin' Search Engine of Ireland

Doogle - the Feckin' Search Engine of Ireland

April Fool’s Day brings a motherload of internet pranks and hoaxes.  As part of an almost-annual tradition since  2000, Google joins in on the fun.  In this post, I’ll cover the jokes up through 2007.    The Google hoaxes for 2008 can be viewed in a different post.

2000 – Google launches MentalPlex search.  Why be bothered typing in your search query when Google can read your mind for you?google1a

2002 – Google unveils its PigeonRank search technology.   Ingenious use of the massively parallel pecking capabilities of the common gray pigeon brings Google to the forefront of search technology.

google1

2004 – Google plans to open lunar research center.  It’s not enough to take over the Earth, Google wants to expand its reach to the moon.google2

2005 – Google Gulp   If you drink Coke just for the caffeine, you’ll love what Google Gulp will do for you.google3 

 2006 – Google Romance – Find your perfect match using the new Soulmate Search and then enjoy an all-expenses paid date (provided you agree to view contextually relevant advertising during your date).  google4
 

2007 – Gmail Paper – Know someone who likes to print out all of their emails before reading them?  This handy hard-copy delivery service is just for them!

google5

2007 – Google TiSP – Google offers a free in-home wireless broadband service that connects your wifi-enabled toilet to the internet via your plumbing system. 

google6

After an overwhelming response to yesterday’s post about dehydrated water, I just had to follow up with this hoax:  Ban Dihydrogen Monoxide!

This hoax began back in 1989 when some UC Santa Cruz college students circulated a photocopied flyer (how quaint!) around campus warning about the dangers of dihydrogen monoxide.   Uh, for those of you who slept through first period science class, that would be “water”.

In 1994, a webpage was created by the fictitious Coalition to Ban DHMO.  This site can be viewed here courtesy of the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine.

In 1997, a 14-year old high school student circulated a petition to ban the dangerous DHMO as part of an experiment for his high school science fair showing how people can be led to scientifically false conclusions.

All of the above events finally led to the creation of the comprehensive DHMO.org site in 1998.

 

dhmo

Here’s a hoax site that makes me thirsty!  The buydehydratedwater.com company uses a 27-step process that bonds, secretes, and harvests water molecules to create pure natural dehydrated water.  The best part is, you can actually purchase (really!) the product on the website for only $9.95.  But wait, there’s more!  You can also buy  t-shirts, mugs, lip balms, and other dehydrated water gift items.

The site also offers employment opportunites with generous benefits including free dehydrated water,  complimentary Twinkies, and usage of restroom facilities.   You can learn more about the product in the FAQ and testimonial sections.

Be sure to  check out the Media page.  On the left side is a list of search terms that people used to reach the site over the years.  Here are a few of them:  “cool jobs that make a difference”, “dog pooping on my lawn”, “dry sinus passage”.  Although the rest of the site is a hoax, based on my experience with websites I’m betting these are genuine.

Here’s an interesting blog post  about how some school kids fell for the site.

Buy Dehydrated Water

Buy Dehydrated Water

12/4/09 Update – I had to delete a couple of these entries since they are no longer valid.  Here is a great Twitter List of fake accounts to follow.

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Love it or hate it, Twitter is here to stay (at least for the time being…).  Along with a new form of communication comes a new form of parody: Fake tweets.

If you google “best fake twitter”, you will see results listing various people’s opinions on the subject.  Since I am not much of a twitterer, I decided the best way to write this post would be to go through the first several pages of google results and highlight the “best fake Twitter accounts” that are listed most frequently.  How’s that for lazy?

Here are the fake Twitter accounts that showed up most frequently on the “Best Lists”  (and if your personal favorite is not listed, please add it in the comments below):

For all of you Star Wars fans:

Fake Twitter - Darth Vader

From the Fox show Arrested Development:

Fake Twitter - Dr Tobias Funke

Film director/producer Michael Bay:

twitter-bay

In case you are wondering, Abe Vigoda is still alive as of this post:

twitter-abe

Stephen Colbert is a favorite. There seems to be some disagreement over which Colbert is the best, so I included them both:

twitter-colbert1

Fake Twitter - Stephen Colbert

Stewie Griffin, the scary baby from the Family Guy cartoon:

twitter-stewie

Sacha Baron Cohen’s Borat:

twitter-borat

Another Fake Twitter fan favorite was Chuck Norris.  I had  a little trouble finding the right one but I think this is it:

twitter-chuck

One of the all-time popular fake twitter accounts was cwalken – Christopher Walken.  Twitter shut down the account in March.

Here is the list of sites I visited to compile my “Best of the Best Fake Twitter Accounts”:

 

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