Looks aside, they're cheap, durable, and easy to make. And as Ethiopia's economy grows, entrepreneurs are taking the concept to more fashionable places. Bethlehem Alemu and her 45-employee company soleRebels added recycled cotton and fabric to the old style for a touch of high fashion ... on tire shoes. They sell online and have physical stores everywhere from Addis Ababa to Silicon Valley, because there's no great idea that California won't eventually make insufferable. Grab a pair for yourself before they become unhip!
Related: 5 Ordinary Household Items That Led To Huge Discoveries
Crime Scene Detectives Can Be Trained With Dollhouses
In the 1940s, detectives weren't exactly crack investigators. Half the episodes of CSI: 1941 would have ended with two confused guys in fedoras and one murderer free to kill again. Improvements came with time, but how were the police supposed to train new and better investigators? Wait for a murder, then shove a bunch of rookies into an active crime scene? That's where Frances Lee, who's been dubbed the mother of forensic science (for her innovative contributions to the field, not her bitchin' cookies and tuck-ins), came into the picture.
Lee grew up with dreams of becoming a nurse or doctor, but her wealthy parents forbid her from going to college because, well, she was a girl. Born in 1878. As a somewhat bitter adult, Lee became interested in forensics, and a detective friend told her about his issues with crime scene contamination and poor police training. Rather than seizing the opportunity to commit the perfect crime, she used her sizable inheritance to establish the first professorship in legal medicine at Harvard University, as well as a library of legal medicine and the country's first forensic pathology program. Lee was well-regarded as an expert in the field she helped formalize, and even went a step further by creating dollhouses for students to train with, since most weren't allowed to take field trips to the local triple homicide.
Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Baltimore, MDNot every kid plays with dollhouses the same.