Odds/Ends

"¢ It's intern season. If you'd like to nominate yourself, read the original 'Calling All Interns' post. And if you think your daughter or nephew or the funny hallmate who writes those intrusive but amusing all-dorm emails should apply, please pass along the details.

Monday is the last day to order floss-y gifts that are guaranteed to arrive before Christmas. Our Free Shipping (U.S. only) offer is also good through Monday "“ just enter the code 'SHIP' during checkout. Visit the mental_floss store for t-shirts, calendars, board games and books. Or consider a gift subscription.

"¢ A few great posts from the past week that you may have missed:
7 of History's Most Terrifying Sports Riots
A Brief History of Celebrity Political Endorsements
6 College Pranks (We Wish We Had Thought Of)
13 Nostalgia-Heavy Commercials to Make You Pine for 1987

"¢ We've picked five winners in our 'Design a mental_floss t-shirt' contest. We'll be contacting the victors this week, and rolling out the new shirts in early 2008. Stay tuned.

"¢ It's time to announce the winners of our 'Declare Yourself a Saint (and Win a Book About Your Peers)' contest. The submissions were fantastic. First let me thank our panel of judges: Allison, John, Kevin, Elizabeth-Anne and Dan.

We've expanded the winner's circle to include three readers, who will all receive a copy of This Saint's For You!, plus a few runners-up.

quirk-saint1.jpegWinner #1: I am St. Susan, Patron Saint of Customer Service. Every time you phone your phone company, bank, or car loan company, I am with you. When you have been on hold 30 minutes and have been told that you are the next caller 45 times, I am with you. When the automated voice appreciates your patience 65 times, I am still with you. And when you finally think you are getting a live operator after an hour, but you are disconnected, and when you call back the message states they are on Yakutsk (YAKT) time and are closed, I am still with you.

Pray to me and I bring to you patience and understanding so that you will know that YOU WILL finally get through to someone only to find he/she has limited knowledge of English. Peace be with you. Amen.

Winner #2: I am St. Matt, the patron saint of nervous energy. Pray to me whenever you feel anxious and concerned that you should be doing more with your time. Pray to me while you make restless cell phone calls or text any friend that will listen. I will make you aware that your pacing has got your neighbor feeling seasick, or whisper a reminder in your ear to stop shaking your knee because you are annoying everyone else at the table. You should pray to me during commercial breaks at movie theaters, while waiting in line at Starbucks, or whenever you need to restart your computer for a random Windows update.

I'll do what I can to put your mind at ease, however I may only have a limited time to help since there are so many other things that I should be doing right now.

Amen to that!

Winner #3: I am St Tricia, and there's a 30 percent chance that I'm the Patron Saint of the TV weather people. If you say it's going to be partly cloudy, just ask me and I'll let you call it a more pleasing mostly sunny. Whenever you need to cut into someone's favorite afternoon program to let them know there may or may not be a slight chance of severe thunderstorms and floods, call on me and I'll be there. Just to make sure everyone understands what's going on, I'll help you repeat the same warning 3 times, bringing the "Severe Weather, Death and Destruction Update" to 15 minutes instead of 2. I will also beef up your title to Chief Meteorologist of the World so that you're really respected, even though your forecasts are wrong 5 out of 7 days of the week and you probably don't have a degree in Meteorology. Also call on me for my specialties, arm sweeping ability and all things green-screen. Pray to me that you don't get fired when your boss comes back from golfing soaking wet after you told him it would be sunny. Amen.

And three runners-up who earned free t-shirts...

Runner-up #1: I am St. Korin, Patron Saint of the weird people who look like a giraffe when they run. I will ensure that they provide entertainment for the rest of world without injuring themselves.

Runner-up #2: I am St. Christopher, Patron Saint of urine sample collectors. Pray to me to be able to spot "whizzinators." To be able to detect the presence of excessive Vitmain B consumption. The ability to avoid the Poppy seed false positive. And, most importantly, to not spill any of it on you accidentally.

Runner-up #3:
I am St. Madeleine, patroness of that annoying thing that happens when you encounter someone walking in the opposite direction and you both try to sidestep each other only to wind up face to face again. You know what I'm talking about. Just whisper a quick prayer to me and your path shall be impeded no longer.

(I'll be in touch about getting you your prizes.)

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Ernest Hemingway’s Guide to Life, In 20 Quotes
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Central Press/Getty Images

Though he made his living as a writer, Ernest Hemingway was just as famous for his lust for adventure. Whether he was running with the bulls in Pamplona, fishing for marlin in Bimini, throwing back rum cocktails in Havana, or hanging out with his six-toed cats in Key West, the Nobel and Pulitzer Prize-winning author never did anything halfway. And he used his adventures as fodder for the unparalleled collection of novels, short stories, and nonfiction books he left behind, The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms, Death in the Afternoon, For Whom the Bell Tolls, and The Old Man and the Sea among them.

On what would be his 119th birthday—he was born in Oak Park, Illinois on July 21, 1899—here are 20 memorable quotes that offer a keen perspective into Hemingway’s way of life.

ON THE IMPORTANCE OF LISTENING

"I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen."

ON TRUST

"The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them."

ON DECIDING WHAT TO WRITE ABOUT

"I never had to choose a subject—my subject rather chose me."

ON TRAVEL

"Never go on trips with anyone you do not love."


Ernest Hemingway Photograph Collection, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston. [1], Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

ON THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN INTELLIGENCE AND HAPPINESS

"Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know."

ON TRUTH

"There's no one thing that is true. They're all true."

ON THE DOWNSIDE OF PEOPLE

"The only thing that could spoil a day was people. People were always the limiters of happiness, except for the very few that were as good as spring itself."

ON SUFFERING FOR YOUR ART

"There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed."

ON TAKING ACTION

"Never mistake motion for action."

ON GETTING WORDS OUT

"I wake up in the morning and my mind starts making sentences, and I have to get rid of them fast—talk them or write them down."


Photograph by Mary Hemingway, in the Ernest Hemingway Photograph Collection, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston., Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

ON THE BENEFITS OF SLEEP

"I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I'm awake, you know?"

ON FINDING STRENGTH 

"The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places."

ON THE TRUE NATURE OF WICKEDNESS

"All things truly wicked start from innocence."

ON WRITING WHAT YOU KNOW

"If a writer knows enough about what he is writing about, he may omit things that he knows. The dignity of movement of an iceberg is due to only one ninth of it being above water."

ON THE DEFINITION OF COURAGE

"Courage is grace under pressure."

ON THE PAINFULNESS OF BEING FUNNY

"A man's got to take a lot of punishment to write a really funny book."


By Ernest Hemingway Photograph Collection, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston. - JFK Library, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

ON KEEPING PROMISES

"Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut."

ON GOOD VS. EVIL

"About morals, I know only that what is moral is what you feel good after and what is immoral is what you feel bad after."

ON REACHING FOR THE UNATTAINABLE

"For a true writer, each book should be a new beginning where he tries again for something that is beyond attainment. He should always try for something that has never been done or that others have tried and failed. Then sometimes, with great luck, he will succeed."

ON HAPPY ENDINGS

"There is no lonelier man in death, except the suicide, than that man who has lived many years with a good wife and then outlived her. If two people love each other there can be no happy end to it."

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