In 1996 a physicist submitted a paper full of word salad and gibberish to a postmodernist journal and it actually passed peer review and was published. This is known as the Sokal Affair.
“feminist and poststructuralist critiques have demystified the substantive content of mainstream Western scientific practice, revealing the ideology of domination concealed behind the façade of “objectivity”. It has thus become increasingly apparent that physical “reality”, no less than social “reality”, is at bottom a social and linguistic construct; that scientific “knowledge”, far from being objective, reflects and encodes the dominant ideologies and power relations of the culture that produced it; that the truth claims of science are inherently theory-laden and self-referential; and consequently, that the discourse of the scientific community, for all its undeniable value, cannot assert a privileged epistemological status with respect to counter-hegemonic narratives emanating from dissident or marginalized communities.“
In the 50s and 60s both American and Soviet films were banned in Yugoslavia, so instead they imported films from Mexico, who were going through their cinematic golden age. This created a Mexican craze in Yugoslavia where Yugoslav singers would dress like mariachis, sing songs in a Mexican style.
The US provided Laos with funds and concrete to expand an airport which could serve as a base for US fighter jets during the Vietnam War. But as the funds and concrete arrived before any contract was signed, Laos decided instead to build a memorial to soldiers who died in World War II.
Koalas refuse to eat anything but Eucalyptus, a mildly toxic plant that gives them almost no energy, which is why they sleep so much. Also, if you stripped the tree and put it on a plate, the koala would stare at it and starve because it can’t recognize it as food.
For a period in the 19th century, walking competitions that lasted for days was a big money spectator sport.
Whitewall Tires were not originally an aesthetic choice, but a result of the chemicals used to treat the natural rubber. Natural rubber tires were all-white until carbon black was added to the treads to improve tread wear, resulting in the classic black tread and whitewall look.
In 2016, a man left his glasses at an art museum. Shortly after, observers gathered and began taking photos thinking it was art.
In 1913, 15 young men from Japan set sail on a fishing boat across the Pacific hoping to settle in America. After a 2 month journey they landed in Northern California and were fed and helped by a Native American tribe. A few days later they were caught by immigration officers and deported.
Owing to a surge in production at the end of the 19th century, oysters became cheaper than meat, poultry, and fish, making them a popular dish on working class tables in the United States and Europe. This period of mass production is known as the Golden Age of Oysters.
New York is right next to where a giant oyster reef used to be. People used to be able to just walk outside and collect them for dinner. The oysters also cleaned the water and protected the city from storms. Each adult oyster filters 50 gallons of water per day.
Then they ate them all. Now the city is vulnerable to storms and has water pollution problems.
Russian fishermen learned to farm caviar as early as the 12th century and for centuries it was considered nothing more than cheap peasant food, served with porridge and eaten by the bowlful.