World’s Strangest

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The Evolution of the Sneaker

1. Plimsolls: Kicking it Old School Plimsolls put the town shoemaker out of business. As the first mass-produced shoes, plimsolls were crafted on an assembly line using canvas and vulcanized rubber. But don’t let the “inspected by No. 35″ tag fool you. These mid-19th century kicks were so crude that they didn’t even differentiate between the [...]

Bubble Trouble: The Not-So-Sweet History of Champagne

By Eric Furman Just hearing the word “champagne” conjures up images of sparkling wine, popping corks, and wild celebrations. But mentioning that other Champagne—as in the northeastern region of France—evokes a much more complex bouquet. Filled with wars, political clashes, and controversy, the bubbly region and its eponymous drink have produced a rich history worth toasting [...]