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It's the greatest deal in the history of history books! Our first hardback, The Mental Floss History of the World: An Irreverent Romp Through History's Best Bits, hits stores later this month and we're so excited that we've teamed up with the fine folks at to give you a special deal. Pre-order the book before October 28th and we'll throw in 6 FREE MONTHS of mental_floss magazine!

Just CLICK HERE to get the deal now.

Of course, with a special this special, you might have questions. Like: Can you add the free subscription to your existing subscription? Can you keep the book but send the subscription to a friend? Are we the nicest magazine ever? The short answer to all of these is yes; longer answers are below. Be sure to order today before the deal disappears"¦


Can I add the 6-month free subscription to my existing subscription?

Yes! We'll happily tack on 6 free months (3 additional issues) to your current subscription. Once you've bought the book and clicked for the deal at Amazon, you'll be signed up. On November 1st, you'll get an e-mail from Amazon with a special code to redeem your 6-month subscription.  Simply make sure that you enter your name and address EXACTLY as it appears on your magazine's mailing label, and it will get added to your current subscription.

Can I keep the book, but send the subscription to a friend, or vice versa?

Yes! Amazon makes this easy. Simply send the book wherever you'd like (keep it, or send it to someone else). Then, once Amazon mails you the special code, just specify where you'd like to send the subscription. If you want to send it to a friend, feel free. If you'd like to hoard both, you're more than welcome to do that, too.

Can I see inside this book?

Yes! HarperCollins is making it simple. Just click here to get a sneak peek.

Does this free magazine deal apply only to U.S. subscriptions?

Yes. Unfortunately, we can only send the free subscriptions to addresses within the United States.

Does this deal really end on October 28th?

Sadly, yes. This whopper of a deal only applies to pre-orders.

Do you have any History of the World content at for me to peruse?

Yes! Every day in October we'll be highlighting fascinating content from the book and creating fun quizzes to help you love history as much as we do. Just look for it here.

Is mental_floss magazine really that good?

Picture 5.pngYes! Newsweek calls it "A smart (-alecky) read." The Washington Post calls it "delightfully eccentric and eclectic." And it's been praised everywhere from the LA Times to the Wall Street Journal. This year we've tackled How to Get into Heaven (a travel guide for the afterlives of various religions), The Secret Lives of Presidents (who knew that Nixon proposed to his wife on their first meeting, then drove her around on dates with other people for the next few years?), and The Search for the Next Einstein (mind-blowing inventions from the world's best scientists). And all that's coupled with fascinating science stories, incredible bios, evocative arts features, and a spinning the globe section that's chock full of lush photos and vivid travel stories. If you love to learn, this magazine's made for you.

And if I have other questions?

Yes, we figured you might! Just write us at, and we'll get right back to you.

Bone Broth 101

Whether you drink it on its own or use it as stock, bone broth is the perfect recipe to master this winter. Special thanks to the Institute of Culinary Education

Why Can Parrots Talk and Other Birds Can't?

If you've ever seen a pirate movie (or had the privilege of listening to this avian-fronted metal band), you're aware that parrots have the gift of human-sounding gab. Their brains—not their beaks—might be behind the birds' ability to produce mock-human voices, the Sci Show's latest video explains below.

While parrots do have articulate tongues, they also appear to be hardwired to mimic other species, and to create new vocalizations. The only other birds that are capable of vocal learning are hummingbirds and songbirds. While examining the brains of these avians, researchers noted that their brains contain clusters of neurons, which they've dubbed song nuclei. Since other birds don't possess song nuclei, they think that these structures probably play a key role in vocal learning.

Parrots might be better at mimicry than hummingbirds and songbirds thanks to a variation in these neurons: a special shell layer that surrounds each one. Birds with larger shell regions appear to be better at imitating other creatures, although it's still unclear why.

Learn more about parrot speech below (after you're done jamming out to Hatebeak).


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