Our very first Caption Contest!

Calling all creative would-be gag writers in the house! We're starting a new feature today that I'm hoping you're all going to enjoy: the mental_floss Caption Contest. The idea is pretty simple: Every couple weeks or so, we'll be featuring a single-panel cartoon by a different artist -- something created especially for us. Your job is to come up with a gag! Make us smile, make us laugh, extra-points for those who are able to drop some interesting fact or trivia in the gag.

We'll narrow down the entries to our favorite three and then let YOU guys pick the winner, who will receive a t-shirt from our store and serious bragging rights.

Today's cartoon was created by director/animator Liz Blazer and just so happens to feature two _floss bloggers. So go ahead and get crackin'. Put some funny words in Jason's mouth and win a t-shirt! If you need some inspiration, check out the brilliant gags over at (Oh, and remember, if you want to win, keep it clean, please!)

"Your brilliant caption goes here!" (Click the cartoon to enlarge it)
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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