Around the world in a few good garage sales

NAME: G. Kelner
FAVORITE BOOK: The Grapes of Wrath

When did your garage sale take place?

Sat, 22 Sept, 9 am-3 pm

What was the weather like?

Beautiful and sunny, then it rained so I made a quick run to grab a couple of slices of pizza, leaving a little sign saying I'd be right back, then it cleared up and was sunny again.

There are so many different genres of mass sales--garage, yard, stoop--but the spirit seems to be the same. Was your sale actually held in your garage, or did it spill out into the yard?

Sale was held in back yard facing onto a park with a lot of walking traffic, front of house is on a busy road, which also brings in a lot of traffic.

In your opinion, was your sale a success?

Yes, I got rid of a load of crap and made a couple hundred dollars.

About what percentage of your inventory sold & what do you plan to do with the rest?

About 70% sold, rest to charity.

What was an object that was a long shot to sell & did it sell?

lI had a big box of well-used test tubes (where they came from is another story). This gigantic ogre-like guy with long stringy hair bought the lot. "They're handy when you need to do some experiments" he says as he's bungee tying them to the rat-trap on his bicycle. The same fellow had been to one of my previous garage sales and had agonized for quite some time over whether or not to buy, for a quarter, some piece of computer hardware that he really wanted. In the end he decided to give it a pass as it was his last quarter and "you never know when you might need to make a phone call."

Is there a mood you try to set for your garage sales--a particular hosting style?

I like to have as eclectic a selection of stuff as possible. Something for everyone--if the wife and husband both have something to look at, then they are more likely to stay longer and the longer they stay the more chance they find something to buy. On the price stickers I like to offer suggestions of alternate uses or goofy sales pitches. Mostly it's fun to sit back and watch.

What did people seem to be looking for?

Vintage stereo equipment, antiques, fishing gear, cameras, glass Christmas balls.

If you could have any celebrity buy something at your garage sale, who would it be & what would this person buy?

Michael Richards. To buy the size 12 elevated sports training shoes--I just can't sell them, even with the "as seen on Seinfeld reference."

Here at mental_floss we've talked about seller's remorse before. Do you ever feel stricken with this kind of remorse, or were you ever protective of an item people put down?

I always have sellers remorse--I only have to have garage sales because I'm a pack-rat--so parting with it is not always easy.

Was there anything you were secretly hoping wouldn't sell?

This year I was particularly sad to part with a purple, and blue and pink Ecuadorian wool sweater that I haven't worn since--ever.

What are you proudest of selling?

Logger's chainsaw I didn't need but was loath to part with.s

When you think back to all the garage sales you've attended, what's the saddest thing you've ever seen for sale?

Nothing, but estate sales are sad--stuff that at one time had meaning becomes mostly a bunch of junky stuff that nobody wants.

Can you tell us about some of the more memorable people who frequented your sale?

See ogre above. Or the guy who spent over an hour trying to open a combination bike lock because we said it was free for anyone who could.

China Launches Crowdfunding Campaign to Restore the Great Wall

The Great Wall of China has been standing proudly for thousands of years—but now, it needs your help. CNN reports that the wall has fallen into disrepair and the China Foundation for Cultural Heritage Conservation has launched an online crowdfunding campaign to raise money for restorations.

Stretching 13,000 miles across northern China, the Great Wall was built in stages starting from the third century BCE and reaching completion in the 16th century. To some degree, though, it’s always been under construction. For centuries, individuals and organizations have periodically repaired and rebuilt damaged sections. However, the crowdfunding campaign marks the first time the internet has gotten involved in the preservation of the ancient icon. The China Foundation for Cultural Heritage Conservation is trying to raise $1.6 million (11 million yuan) to restore the wall, and has so far raised $45,000 (or 300,000 yuan).

Fundraising coordinator Dong Yaohui tells the BBC that, although the Chinese government provides some funds for wall repairs, it’s not enough to fix all of the damage: "By pooling the contribution of every single individual, however small it is, we will be able to form a great wall to protect the Great Wall," he said.

[h/t CNN]

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YouTube // Deep Look
These Glowing Worms Mimic Shining Stars
YouTube // Deep Look
YouTube // Deep Look

The glow worms of New Zealand's Waitomo caves produce light, mimicking the starry night sky. Using sticky goop, they catch moths and other flying creatures unfortunate enough to flutter into the "starry" cavern. Beautiful and icky in equal parts, this Deep Look video takes you inside the cave, and up close with these worms. Enjoy:

There's also a nice write-up with animated GIFs if you're not in the mood for video. Want more glow worms? Check out this beautiful timelapse in a similar cave, or our list of 19 Places You Won't Believe Exist topped by—you guessed it—New Zealand's Glowworm Caves!


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