Week in Review: Our own little Idea Festival

Will, Mangesh and I are currently in Louisville for the Idea Festival, which features speeches, presentations, and panels from "a dizzying array of extraordinary thinkers" and also me. Actually, we're moderating one of the panels on Saturday, "The Future According to mental_floss." And since we can't yet share with you the brilliant stylings of our three panelists -- Elizabeth Spiers, Ethan Zuckerman, and Henry Cunningham -- we thought we'd have our own little idea festival right here, featuring some of the best, and worst, ideas that cropped up on the blog this week. (We'll give you the lowdown on our IF panel when we return on Monday.) Let the blogfest begin!

Bright Idea: Make the world a safer place for the blind and the clumsy.
Not-So-Bright Idea: Ask someone to break your legs.

Bright Idea: Invent a gel that miraculously stops heavy bleeding.
Not-So-Bright Idea: Spam mental_floss and expect us to lie down and take it.

Bright Idea: Curry favor with the powerful by offering them exotic gifts.
Not-So-Bright Idea: Curry favor with the powerful by naming New Jersey rest stops after them.
Also a Not-So-Bright Idea: Curry favor with the famous by attempting to kill the president.

Bright Idea: Drop out of college. [Editor's note: We totally don't mean that.]
Not-So-Bright Idea: Assume that your driver's license allows you to maraud around in a tank.

Bright Idea: Avoid pants that make you look fat.
Not-So-Bright Idea: Mess with this guy.

Have a great weekend, and think of us at 9 a.m. Saturday morning as we attempt to keep up with our super-smart panelists... We'll see you Monday.

The Real Bay of Pigs: Big Major Cay in the Bahamas

When most people visit the Bahamas, they’re thinking about a vacation filled with sun, sand, and swimming—not swine. But you can get all four of those things if you visit Big Major Cay.

Big Major Cay, also now known as “Pig Island” for obvious reasons, is part of the Exuma Cays in the Bahamas. Exuma includes private islands owned by Johnny Depp, Tyler Perry, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, and David Copperfield. Despite all of the local star power, the real attraction seems to be the family of feral pigs that has established Big Major Cay as their own. It’s hard to say how many are there—some reports say it’s a family of eight, while others say the numbers are up to 40. However big the band of roaming pigs is, none of them are shy: Their chief means of survival seems to be to swim right up to boats and beg for food, which the charmed tourists are happy to provide (although there are guidelines about the best way of feeding the pigs).

No one knows exactly how the pigs got there, but there are plenty of theories. Among them: 1) A nearby resort purposely released them more than a decade ago, hoping to attract tourists. 2) Sailors dropped them off on the island, intending to dine on pork once they were able to dock for a longer of period of time. For one reason or another, the sailors never returned. 3) They’re descendants of domesticated pigs from a nearby island. When residents complained about the original domesticated pigs, their owners solved the problem by dropping them off at Big Major Cay, which was uninhabited. 4) The pigs survived a shipwreck. The ship’s passengers did not.

The purposeful tourist trap theory is probably the least likely—VICE reports that the James Bond movie Thunderball was shot on a neighboring island in the 1960s, and the swimming swine were there then.

Though multiple articles reference how “adorable” the pigs are, don’t be fooled. One captain warns, “They’ll eat anything and everything—including fingers.”

Here they are in action in a video from National Geographic:

Pop Culture
The House From The Money Pit Is For Sale

Looking for star-studded new digs? For a cool $5.9 million, reports, you can own the Long Island country home featured in the 1986 comedy The Money Pit—no renovations required.

For the uninitiated, the film features Tom Hanks and Shelley Long as hapless first-time homeowners who purchase a rundown mansion for cheap. The savings they score end up being paltry compared to the debt they incur while trying to fix up the house.

The Money Pit featured exterior shots of "Northway," an eight-bedroom estate located in the village of Lattingtown in Nassau County, New York. Luckily for potential buyers, its insides are far nicer than the fictional ones portrayed in the movie, thanks in part to extensive renovations performed by the property’s current owners.

Amenities include a giant master suite with a French-style dressing room, eight fireplaces, a "wine wall," and a heated outdoor saltwater pool. Check out some photos below, or view the entire listing here.

The real-life Long Island home featured in “The Money Pit”

The real-life Long Island home featured in “The Money Pit”

The real-life Long Island home featured in “The Money Pit”

The real-life Long Island home featured in “The Money Pit”

The real-life Long Island home featured in “The Money Pit”

The real-life Long Island home featured in 1986's “The Money Pit”

The real-life Long Island home featured in 1986's “The Money Pit”



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