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 [...]

Something Old: The Analogist

Back in 2007, I started a semi-regular feature called The Analogist. It was like an advice column, except not helpful—you told me a problem, and I told you what that problem was like. In 2008, amid all those presidential primaries and Olympic swimming events, I forgot about The Analogist completely. Now it’s time for a [...]