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So, if you're reading this, you're probably at your desk, and that makes me sad, because it's Labor Day! You should be outside enjoying the last days of summer or, at the very least, not laboring!

Alas, there's not much I can do about that, but let me try to cheer you up by telling you about all the wonderful things you'll find in the brand-spanking-new issue of mental_floss (and if you don't have your copy, you must run out and get one).

It's our annual 10 issue, so inside, you'll find:

10 Shocking Stories about America's First Ladies. They threw wild parties, they smashed priceless wineglasses, they made lewd remarks about roosters -- frankly, they made us wonder if the term "First Lady" wasn't something of a misnomer.

10 Gloriously Underhanded Sports Tactics. If you thought Cartman's attempt to win the Special Olympics was bad, you ain't seen nothin' -- just wait 'til you meet Eddie Stanky, the Spanish Paralympic Basketball Team, the mysterious "Mr. Martin," and seven other famously bad sports.

10 Not-So-Bright Ideas in Science. Is your dog feeling a little inadequate now that he's been neutered? Does your pet frog have B.O.? Are your pants exploding? No matter your problem, Science has a solution, though perhaps not a very effective one.

10 Studious Animals to Cheat off of in School. You already know that dolphins are smart and elephants never forget. But you may be surprised to find out there's a lot you could learn from a fruit fly, or an ant, or a stripe-backed wren.

10 TV Shows that Changed the World. We can't tell you who shot J.R. (well, we could, but that's not the point). We can tell you that "Dallas" killed Nicolae Ceausescu, in a metaphorical sense -- it helped inspire Romanians with fantasies of Western life -- and it's not the only TV show to have an impact on world affairs.

10 Most Important Days in the History of the Universe. The cosmos has been around for 15.8 billion years (give or take a couple billion), and in that time just a few important things have happened. Here are ten of them, courtesy of a top astronomer.

10 Places You'd Never Think to Find Albert Einstein. He's here, he's there, he's everywhere -- in space, on Broadway, in your shotglass, in your garden, on eBay!

10 Facts about Iraq (That You Won't Hear on the Nightly News). If all you think of when you hear "Iraq" is "violence," let us change your mind -- we'd much rather you thought "orange soda" or "sheep in the shotgun seat" instead.

10 Coins that Aren't Boring. Really! There are coins from leper colonies, coins favored by pirates and con artists, coins from 1780 (that aren't actually from 1780), coins from 1804 (that aren't actually from 1804), giant coins, steel coins, blank coins... just trust us, okay?

10 Religious Holidays Not Yet Exploited by Hallmark. Get your swords out of storage, stick a flower on your forehead, paint your body blue, and leave some food at the front door for any wandering souls who happen to drop by -- it's time to party!

Plus, our ever popular regular features: Scatterbrained (it's all about college), the Quiz, the Dead Guy Interview, and the Know-It-All, brought to you by the letter J and our own A.J. Jacobs.

We'll be feeding you little tidbits from the issue all week (we're taking the rest of today off but we'll be back bright and early tomorrow morning.) For the whole thing you'll have to head to your nearest newsstand or bookstore (or, if you're super brilliant, you can subscribe here and get future issues before they hit stores). Run, don't walk, unless you're carrying scissors!

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September 4, 2006 - 3:32am
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