Sunday, March 27, 2011

Houdini Doodle animation claim was a hoax

It looks like the claim put fourth by San Narciso "video game expert" Meyrian Dofskelge and The Bennington Vale Evening Transcript that Thursday's Google Houdini Doodle contained secret animation was a hoax.

Michel Wester of, who originally confirmed for us that the doodle was genuine, contacted Google about the secret animation and received a prompt response from an official Google spokesperson:

"No secret animation in the Houdini doodle."

It's baffling what anyone thought they would gain from this. Guess I should have been suspicious when Dofskelge refused to explain how he "unlocked" the animation. "Like any good magician, I keep my secrets," he said.

The real secret was that he was lying.

UPDATE: The Bennington Vale Evening Transcript as now added a disclaimer to the site and story: "All stories are works of satire and parody."


  1. "Meyrian Dofskelge" looks like an anagram.

    Risky leafed gnome?
    Smoky file angered?
    Legerdemain Of Sky?
    Meager kid's felony?

  2. So did the Bennington Vale Transcript get had or did they create the name and hoax?

  3. NIce to know we didn't miss anything. :)

  4. We did miss one thing though - it's okay I don't think anyone else noticed it either.

  5. Oh, melbo has a secret does she? I call a hoax. :p

    I'm oddly glad this story was fake too. Seemed kind of odd that Google would go to the trouble of making a cool animation and then not tell anyone about it. Now that I think about it, his description of what the animation did seemed a bit off, esp. in the part about it telling you details of your personal search habits. Seems like a little dig at Google there. :p

  6. Melbo just took a good look at the site and has discovered that it's a fake news site. Guess it wants to be The Onion without the humor. I altered Google that it shouldn't be listed with legit news sources. This never would have happened if was classified as a spoof website. Looks like they've succeeded in pulling a fast one on Google...and me.

  7. No John, it's just that their jokes suck.

  8. Satire's primary objective is to illuminate folly. In this case it appears that it was effective in its task. Neither parody or satire are required to be humorous.

  9. What folly is being illuminated here?

  10. Well perhaps it is not a requirement but it might help.

    Sorry but the story just didn't ring true to me which is why I ended up looking further at that site. Even so, I had to look at quite a few things before I realised what was going on. I don't think I'm slow witted but you may feel free to disagree with that.

    Nearly had me with the Mike Nesmith/Liquid Paper thing. Note I said "nearly".

  11. I'm very rairly motivated to post a comment, but I'd heard about the article 2nd hand and was surprised that anyone was fooled or assumed that it was an attempt to hoax.

    San Narciso is fiction town that appears in Thomas Pynchon's "The Crying of Lot 49". So it was a dead give away for me in the first sentence...that and it say's it's satire at the bottom of the page.

  12. That satire disclaimer was not there when this story first appeared. I'm dim enough to miss the Pynchon reference, but not that. :p

  13. Wondering why this story is suddenly getting so much new traffic?