One of the cardinal rules of microeconomics is that as the price of a good goes up, demand goes down. But Veblen goods and Giffen goods do the opposite.
India prevented people patenting their foods, traditional medicines, and yoga poses by recording them all in an online database: 34 million pages’ worth.
Didius Julianus won the Roman Empire in an auction held by the Praetorian Guard in 193 CE.
Isaac Newton, giant of math and physics, undercover agent for the Royal Mint, faced off against William Chaloner, the notorious forger, tongue-padder, and dildo-merchant. [2 of 2]
Precious metals could be stolen from coins by clipping, plugging, or sweating them. It’s a good thing Isaac Newton was on the case. [1 of 2]
In 2010 a satirical video “game” called Cow Clicker accidentally became a viral sensation, despite being one of the most deliberately tedious games ever invented.
In the late 19th century CE Sierra Leone and surrounds, high quality iron needles tied into bundles served as currency.
When US farmers bought seeds or flour during the Great Depression, the most important question was this: what patterns were printed on the sack?
Since 2006 no-one could enter the Newhaven Marine railway station in England. From then until 2019 one train passed through the station each day, and it was not allowed to carry any passengers.
Since the 1980s most colour printers and photocopiers add a set of secret near-invisible dots to every page they print. The dots uniquely identify the origin and timestamp of that printout.
Wall Street in New York City is named after one of two things: the Walloons, early Dutch settlers… or a literal wall to defend against the Algonquian peoples angry over the slaughter of 120 local Weckquaesgeek.
The Heladería Coromoto ice cream parlour in Merida, Venezuela offers nearly a thousand different flavours of ice cream, including avocado, garlic, onion, sweetcorn, and crab.
In the Domesday Book of 1086 the economic value of forests is not measured in the amount of wood they could provide, but in the amount of pigs they could feed.
In Marvel comics, the X-Men struggle to have their humanity recognised. But in real life, the United States Court of International Trade ruled that the X-Men are not human.
Looking for a new hobby? Try folding banknotes into origami.