CLOSE
Original image

Odds/Ends

Original image

"¢ 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.)

Original image
iStock
arrow
Live Smarter
Need to Calm Yourself Down? Try This Military-Approved Breathing Technique
Original image
iStock

Whether you’re dealing with co-worker chaos or pressure to perform on a project, it’s difficult to excel at work when you're extremely stressed. Can’t escape the office? Take a cue from real-life soldiers and try a technique called tactical breathing—also known as combat breathing, four-count breathing, and diaphragmatic breathing—to lower your heart rate and regain control of your breath.

“It’s one you can use when things are blowing up around you”—both literally and figuratively—“and you need to be able to stay calm,” explains clinical psychologist Belisa Vranich, who demonstrates a version of tactical breathing in Tech Insider’s video below.

Vranich is the author of 2016’s Breathe: The Simple, Revolutionary 14-Day Program to Improve your Mental and Physical Health. Watch, learn, and—of course—inhale and exhale along with her until you feel zen enough to salvage the remainder of your workday.

[h/t Business Insider]

Original image
GraveDiggerCandles
arrow
Lists
10 Creepy Candles to Get You in the Halloween Mood
Original image
GraveDiggerCandles

Candles are always a handy household accessory, but they're especially useful around Halloween, when they can be used to light jack-o'-lanterns, summon spirits, or simply brighten a long, dark night. These spooky lights are more suited for tabletops than pumpkins, or soirees than seances, but they'll still make your upcoming costume shindig extra festive (and fragrant, to boot).

1. KISA CANDLE

PyroPet’s cat-shaped Kisa candle looks like an ordinary wax feline. But as it melts, a hidden surprise reveals itself: a macabre metallic skeleton with charred bones and bared fangs.

The Kisa candle costs $34 and comes in three colors: pink, gray, and an ultra-spooky black. Not into cats? Additional PyroPet offerings include birds, bunnies, reindeer, owls, and dragons, all with the same silver framework.

2. BRAIN CANDLE

Brain candle by Creepy Candles
Creepy Candles

This specimen-inspired candle by Etsy seller Creepy Candles would look equally at place in a mad scientist’s laboratory as it would at a Halloween soiree. A wax brain is suspended in green-tinted gel that resembles formaldehyde, but the candle itself thankfully smells like grapefruit. The Brain Candle costs $25 and is handmade to order.

3. HUMAN SPINE CANDLES

Beeswax human spine candles, set of three, by Grave Digger Candles
Grave Digger Candles

Grow a spine this Halloween—or at least buy one. These notched beeswax pillar candles are inspired by the Victorian Era, a period in which physicians created detailed wax models of flayed corpses to teach medical students the literal ins and outs of anatomy. Etsy seller Grave Digger Candles sells them in sets of three for $76.

4. OUIJA BOARD CANDLE

LED battery-operated Ouija board candle by Twisted Nightmares
Twisted Nightmares

This Ouija board-inspired, LED battery-operated candle probably won’t summon spirits, but it’s still spine-tinglingly spooky. Sold by Etsy user Twisted Nightmares, it costs $20 and requires three AAA batteries, which aren’t included with purchase.

5. BLEEDING HEART CANDLE

Bleeding Heart Candle by Cozy Custom Candles
Cozy Custom Candles

Love guts, blood, and Gothic romance? Your heart might bleed for this candle, which turns into a gushing heart when lit. Sold by Etsy seller Cozy Custom Candles, the heart-shaped light source has a white outer shell made from a high-melt point paraffin wax, while its core is made of a red-colored wax blend with a low melting point. The candle hemorrhages vital fluids as it burns, making it the perfect accessory for a bloody good time.

The Bleeding Heart Candle costs $17 and comes in multiple autumnal scents, including caramel apple, pumpkin pie, and sweet cinnamon-pumpkin.

6. PICK YOUR POISON CANDLES

Pick Your Poison candle by Mr. Toad's House of Wax
Mr. Toad's House of Wax

The “Pick Your Poison” candles by Etsy seller Mr. Toad’s House of Wax appear to have been snatched from the shelf of a Victorian apothecarist. But while labeled “Poison Hemlock Oil” and “Tincture of Wolfsbane Poison,” they smell like fresh fallen leaves, pumpkin spice, and other autumnal scents when lit. Both candles cost $21, and are embellished with a sparkly jewel and black velvet ribbon.

7. CREEPY WOODS & GRAVEYARD DIRT CANDLE

Woods & Earth candle by Geeky Girl Scents
Geeky Girl Scents

There’s nothing quite like the aroma of trees and fresh graveyard dirt on a fall night. With hints of wood and earth, this candle by Etsy seller Geek Girl Scents will make your living room smell like a haunted cemetery. An eight-ounce jar costs $15, and a 16-ounce version is also available.

8. WITCH FARTS CANDLE

Witch Farts Scented Soy Wax Candle by The Candle Crate
The Candle Crate

If you’ve ever wondered what witch gas smells like (who hasn’t?), you can find out by purchasing The Candle Crate’s flaming ode to supernatural flatulence. The Etsy seller’s “Witch Farts” candle is more Glinda the Good Witch than Elphaba, with top notes of peach, apricot, and blackberries and middle notes of mandarin, cinnamon, and rose.

The soy wax candle costs $12, and is sold alongside other witchy, Harry Potter-inspired products like “Number 12 Grimmauld Place” and “The Leaky Cauldron.”

9. GHOST REPELLENT CANDLE

Ghost Repellent candle by Nola And Neighbors
Nola And Neighbors

Even if you ain’t afraid of no ghosts, you can still keep them at bay with this “Ghost Repellent” candle by Etsy sellers Nola And Neighbors. It smells like lavender and sage, and comes with an instruction label informing owners to light it “at dusk or dawn” for best results—although the ghost’s removal is “not guaranteed.” At $17, it’s still way cheaper than hiring the Ghostbusters.

10. ZOMBIE GOLDEN GIRLS PRAYER CANDLE SET

Zombie Golden Girls prayer candle set by The Eternal Flame
The Eternal Flame

Golden Girls devotees who’d follow the Fab Four to the grave and beyond can light up their lanais with these zombie prayer candles by Etsy shop The Eternal Flame. They come in sets of four (one for each Girl, naturally) and cost $40. Color choices include white, orange, and purple.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios