I found the most fabulous website today! It's called Significant Objects, and basically the premise is that "A talented, creative writer invents a story about an object. Invested with new significance by this fiction, the object should — according to our hypothesis — acquire not merely subjective but objective value. How to test our theory? Via eBay!". Basically, they take junk- little trinkets and whatnot that they've picked up at garage sales and thrift stores, a writer volunteers to write about it (giving it a story), and then they sell it on ebay to see if having a good story behind it increases the object's value. (People know that the story is not true...it's just for entertainment value). For example, there's a little Russian figure on a wood base that was originally purchased for $3, but with the story (which is wonderful) sold for almost $200 on ebay.
Interesting social experiment, but the thing that sucked me in were the stories. The most oddball, creative, wonderful stories about the simplest objects. Stuff you'd never look at twice had the most fascinating (if fictional) stories! It makes a wonderful writer's exercise if you feel the need to stir the creative juices, and the site itself provides a wonderful way of keeping me entertained while I procrastinate about work.
If you get a chance, and you have a few minutes to kill, I suggest popping over to the site. I particularly enjoyed the Wooden Animal .
You might want to stay away from ebay though.