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The magical belief in the aura of celebrity memorabilia

It seems obvious that people would pay more for celebrity memorabilia from, say, JFK or Marilyn Monroe, if they think the star actually touched the item at some point. But did you know that people apparently will pay less for the item if it was owned by a nasty person like Bernie Madoff? This strange phenomenon appeared in a new study from Yale University psychologists who looked at auction prices for memorabilia tied of those three famous folks. And it got even stranger once the researchers told study participants that the items were professionally "sterilized," removing the celebrity's "essence."

Science Explores Our Magical Belief in the Power of Celebrity (Smithsonian)

Above, a relevant scene from Richard Linklater's Slacker (1991).

Fake celebrity pranks New York City in social experiment caught on video

Brett Cohen pranked NYC on the night of July 27th, 2012, and he has video proof: he "came up with a crazy idea to fool thousands of pedestrians walking the streets of Times Square into thinking he was a huge celebrity," and succeeded.

He is not a celebrity—or at least, he wasn't before this video went viral. He's a 21 year old SUNY New Paltz student. Snip from the project description:

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Nicki Minaj, discussing sexism in the music industry while applying eyeliner (video)

[Video Link] "Had I accepted the pickle juice, I would be drinking the pickle juice right now."—Nicki Minaj. (via Maggie Koerth-Baker, via Upworthy)