Two Lies and a Truth

About Two Lies and a Truth

Each week we'll be diving into the recess of questionable news pieces online to ascertain how much of it we truly believe. Saddle up that cynicism, sheeple!

Fake news or real? Retailers using invisible ink on receipts, tall man prints business card, China invents invisibility cloak

Fake News is the schizophrenic of the internet. We know we should take it seriously, but we’re unsure how much. Things that are invisible are now seemingly vogue. You read the lies here first.



Direct from the nether regions of the Internet wasteland comes the sparkled brown plinth of pseudo-truth – or, spoken in its native tongue: “fake news”. It’s a journey we’ve resisted undertaking until we could Shanghai a worthy (unpaid) voyager to bring back the most ornate, exotic and off-smelling spices from the far side of the bugle. Yes, we’ve risked extensive malware cancer to deliver pointless snippets of Internet curio, but treat the lack of knowledge within the mystery pages below with due respect and trepidation, for their edges are moist with the blood of perished interns – those befallen by the disclaimer that warned them of the mortal shock that lay in wait, which they sadly ignored. What they look like now will indeed blow your mind, as it did theirs, wallpapering the cavernous interiors of the tomb that echoed their last click.

Whether you believe anything below is entirely up to you and your mental dexterity. It’s worth mentioning that we at The Big Smoke take no responsibility for what lies within the box, nor do we trifle with the troll gods or meme lords who created it. We’re simply the vessel. Or carrier. Whichever.


Internet Curio # Retailers using invisible ink to make your receipts useless. Mua. Ha. Ha.

There’s a seasonal paranoia that exists, where the nabobs of retail, those with dead eyes and broken hearts are set out to murder your warranty in cold blood, are utilising ye olde espionage tactic of invisible ink on theirs receipts to ruin you.

The warning appeared (seemingly like all others) on Facebook, which among other things, brutalised the polite use of CAPITALISATION.


PLEASE READ: Learned something new tonight…I guess you guys need to be made aware of (if you don’t already know)…I was informed this evening after making a purchase with an extended warranty from Wal-Mart that I needed to go home and make a photo copy of the receipt and file with the warranty card. I curiously asked why and the lady told me that Wal-Mart now uses disappearing ink. My jaw dropped. So this means after 30 -45 days moving forward, you will no longer have a legible receipt from Wal-Mart for returns or warranty usage or credit card issues. Heads up guys ! This will be a problem for many ! I understand the reason they gave for this action, but it sure makes for a difficult life for the honest folks in this world.

Don’t forget to take a picture of your receipts. Disappearing ink is one big snowjob, so be ready for the storm…. 30 days and presto-change o.


Yes, I left in all the grammatical errors, because I thought it might be advantageous to see this generation’s Turgenev take his/her first steps toward immortality. Also, because I laughed at the fact that the receipt possessed itself.

Perhaps it is now sentient. Perhaps I need to get out more.

Anyway, it is true? Well, as far as the invisible ink goes, no, idiot. However, they do tend to fade due to the material they are printed on, but that’s merely a cost-cutting measure. Although, you could also argue that minimising returns through the medium of now-illegible receipts is a far better cost-cutting measure.



Internet Curio # Tall man presents business card to state the minutiae of being tall.

Man’s obsession with the business card is well noted, but while the cardboard penis substitute reached its gaudy pinnacle in the middle-eighties, it still lives on in the palms of those important, and the self-important today.

Look, I’ll be honest. Raised print on eggshell still grips me on a primordial level I don’t quite understand, but what I do understand is the limit one reaches on a societal level, when you can’t be bothered explaining the same obvious thing overandoverandoverandover again. Yes. This is my real hair. And yes, you can’t touch it…if you must.

One American has reached this point, and his business card reflects this.



Look at that subtle off-white colouring. The tasteful thickness of it (him). Oh, my God. It even has a watermark.



Internet Curio #3 – Clickbait vaults the Great Firewall of China.

Invisibility is seemingly the trend this week – one I didn’t see coming. Hailing from the land of single-party democracy and terrible internet, China, comes the next greatest advancement/clickbait magnet, the invisibility cloak.

Shamefully, the Chinese are subject to the same mind-numbing nonsense we are, as the video blew up on Weibo (aka the Mandarin Facebook), but where it gets slightly more interesting (other than the invisibility part) is that the man who posted it said that he was Chen Shiqu, the Deputy Director of Criminal Investigation Bureau of the Ministry of Public Security.

As it turns out, Chen Shiqu is the blah blah, I’m not typing that title out again, but we’re fuzzy on whether he was the one who created the cloak. Consider it the Chinese equivalent of an internet user pretending to be Peter Dutton and dropping some hot new military tech, like a larger net for catching boat people. Fairly crazy, but it shouldn’t surprise any of us.

Nevertheless, here’s the video.

The caption on the video reads, according to Google Translate: Quantum stealth clothing is made of quantum invisible materials into clothes, through the reflection of the light waves around the wearer, can make people wearing such clothes to achieve “invisible” effect. This technology can be more used in the military, so soldiers like to wear “stealth military uniform”, but also can avoid night vision goggles.

Right. So, legit? No. Sadly, it seems to be just some film-school reject (represent!) tooling around with editing software, a hypothesis shared by Zhu Zhen Song, a producer for the Star Orange Quantum video production company. Song explained to the Shanghai Observer that this video was likely made with a blue or green cloth and a computer software program such as After Effect:


星橙量子视频制作公司的监制竺桢淞看完这段视频后向记者表示,这应该是用蓝色或绿色塑料布来拍摄,再通过后期抠像技术编辑而成的,有不少视频后期合成软件可以做出这样的效果,比如我们熟知的After Effect,以及Nuke和Fusion等软件。


Star Orange Quantum video production company producer Zhu Zhen Song after watching this video to reporters that this should be shot with blue or green plastic cloth, and then edited by the late Keying technology, there are many video post-synthesis software You can make such an effect, such as the well-known After Effect, as well as Nuke and Fusion software.

Zhu Zhen Song explained the principle of this video production. The first time, first shot unmanned pure background. The second time, the figure holding a blue cloth and then pat it again. Then, using software to pull part of the blue cloth, the two video synthesis, came out “invisible clothing” this effect. Similar technologies are commonly used in movies, such as various science fiction movies.


So, false. But it’s still a damn sight more convincing than Superman’s moustache in Justice League.




Although, the mystery is still out there, not with the cloak, but rather what happened to the dude that posted it? Was it a military dude, or a dude pretending to be that military dude. After all, the Chinese do have a marvellous history of disappearing dissidents.





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