Since society has had several thousand years of practice at recognizing con artists, you'd think we'd get pretty good at spotting them. But you'd be wrong. For a scam to succeed, it doesn't take any kind of special genius. Or even average genius.
After so many years of eating the spiciest food I could get my taste buds on, my palate has become conditioned to handle a lot of foods that would send the average person sprinting for the nearest water fountain (provided they're at a restaurant that doesn't serve beverages of any sort).
Like a slapstick movie where the buffoon main character encounters a priceless work of art, and then accidentally destroys it in some hilarious way, a shocking number of the world's great pieces have in fact been ruined in this fashion.
Some day you might wind up in front of a judge due to a 'hilarious' misunderstanding (or because you had to murder some dudes). If so, there are several things that can tip the scales of justice in your favor that have nothing to do with the law or evidence.
It's one thing for a judge to be corrupt -- we sort of expect that to happen in all public jobs, because we watch the news. It's quite another for judges to be hilarious lunatics, criminally lazy schemers or just impossibly evil.
Some of the greatest historical finds have been stumbled across by random dudes just wandering around the neighborhood.
Sometimes a hero's unwavering moral code results in the meting out of far more cruel and unusual punishments than a quick, clean death.
The amount of work and creativity the Chinese underworld puts into their fakes is so damn impressive that you have to wonder why they'd ever need to steal other people's ideas.
Apparently, some of the most iconic places and rituals in the world were started purely to create 'buzz.'