Welcome to the Advent Calendar of Curiosities 2020! I've been collecting weird and fascinating facts all year – here's what I found!

Today's entry is about the "toast sandwich" – two slices of bread, filled with… well, another (toasted) slice of bread!

As promised, this calendar will question the boundaries of art! Can a banana be art? Art that people will pay 120,000 USD for? Yep:

Door #3: Back when radioactivity was cool, people tried to use it to make plants mutate in useful ways – a trend known as "atomic gardening".

Door #4: Christo and Jeanne-Claude, the artists who completely wrapped the German Reichstag in 1995!

Door #5: The Wow! signal, a strong radio signal likely originating from space.

Door #6: Vantablack, a material that absorbs up to 99.965% of visible light.

Door #7: … and the second part of that story, The World's Pinkest Pink! :D

Door #8: Sushi pizza, a distinctly Canadian dish! (I'd *really* like to try this sometime!)

Door #9: Love is in the bin, an auto-destructive art piece by Banksy, shredded itself after it was sold at an auction.

Door #11: "How to Explain Pictures to a Dead Hare", a performance by artist Joseph Beuys in 1965.

sexual assault, bodily harm 

Door #12: Marina Abramović, a Serbian performance artist known for her extreme works related to the body and endurance.

Door #14: Beuys' "Fettecke" was an artwork consisting of several kilograms of butter.

I'd heard that a janitor once accidentally cleaned it up and threw it away – what I didn't know is that in 2014, an artist duo distilled a liquor from the remains! 😲

Door #15: Mari Lwyd, that Welsh folk custom where you do a rap battle against a dead horse.


Door #16: The Lavender Town Syndrome, an urban legend that attributed the suicide of Japanese children to the chiptune music in a Pokémon village.

Door #18: The "Shanghai Fugu Agreement" was mentioned in a 1984 coalition document between the German Social Democrats and the new Green Party, but later turned out to be fictional.

Door #19: The "International Hair Freezing Contest" takes place in Yukon, Canada, each February.

Door #20: The phlogiston theory (which was popular in the 17th and 18th century) made me wonder which beliefs we currently hold are fundamentally false.

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@blinry Disappointed that the banana was replaced. I saw the remains of a similar piece from the sixties: A framed slice of salami. Although after 40 years all that remained was a greasy circle. I don’t remember who the artist was, but I do remember that he insisted the salami must not be replaced.

@blinry read these entries, then looked at your name. Domain checks out.

@blinry The sledgehammer approach to GMOs 😁 I had this picture as my phone background for a while, something about the careless enthusiasm for everything "atomic" tickles me.

@blinry Meet @vantablack ...the fediversian who absorb 99.965% of visible toots

@blinry I want to see somebody mix that with vantablack

@lastfuture @blinry

Only one artist is allowed to paint with Vantablack, and the creator of Pink has legally barred him from using their pigment. Although he did manage to illegally get hold of some, and that photo was him literally saying "Up yours" (in those words in the original caption) to Pink's creator.

re: sexual assault, bodily harm 

@blinry i LOVE her. also check out tehching hsieh. hard to imagine doing any of these sorts of works, really amazing.

re: re: sexual assault, bodily harm 

(i don't know why it copied the CW like that, i dont know how mastodon works yet hah)

sexual assault, bodily harm 

@blinry can somebody please explain the CW for this picture? I don’t understand

sexual assault, bodily harm 

@LangerJan (It's for the content behind the link.)

sexual assault, bodily harm 

@blinry d‘oh! Sorry, did not see an URL there

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@blinry remember one of the exhibits we saw in Reykjavík? I think it must have smelled similarly.

@daniel_bohrer I don't remember which museum that was – but I definitely remember having… experienced some smelly Beuys artworks! :D


Trivia you probably already know, but that pink was made available to artists at cost, under the condition that artist Anish Kapoor be legally forbidden from using it. Kapoor bought an exclusive deal to be the only artist in the world allowed to paint with Vantablack, and has reportedly been very protective of that. Kapoor did manage to obtain some via "a very shoddy inside job", and flaunted the fact on Instagram.

That's his post in the photo you put up, with "Up yours, Pink".

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