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Our Third Book Giveaway Winner

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I'm feeling a lot better today. Good thing, too, because I'd hate to be desperate enough to try one of your faux cold remedies. If we ever publish a book full of home remedies that don't work and would probably make you sicker, here are some I'd include:

From Jason:
Warm an orange slightly in the microwave. Vigorously rub the orange on your chest and back, letting your skin absorb the essential oils and vitamin c.

Bury the orange under a crossroads at midnight. Your cold will vanish.

Works every time.

From Nicole:
Everyone knows you feed a cold. What not everyone realizes is that colds really like to eat Big Macs.

From Adam Jones:
I take some Airborne and mix it with green tea using a toxin absorbing footpad as a coaster. Before drinking the tea I dip a magnet in the cup (the North end first, then the South end) and, finally, drink it through a paper towel.

Always works.

From Josh:
Okay. To get the cold out is simple — you must simply overwhelm your body so that it pushes out the cold. Go to a daycare and have a small child suffering from impetigo scratch the wounds and touch you. Do you have blisters that burst and leave small wet patches of red skin that weep fluid? Good! This means it's working!

From Dan:
Eat one suggested serving size of pop rocks with one glass of water every four hours. This will help alleviate the symptoms associated with the common cold. It starts by dissolving in your stomach or the next part of the digestive tract, the small intestine, and your body absorbs it there. Then it goes into the bloodstream and it circulates through your entire body. Once in the bloodstream, it identifies the portions of your body that are affected by the cold symptoms....Keep in mind, high doses of pop rocks in adults can cause adult onset diabetes, so use sparingly.

From Andrew Harding:
Get in an argument with your wife; you'll forget you even have a cold.

From Dawn:
Everyone knows a virus can't live in freezing temperatures, so you'll need to get your body temp as low as possible. Be naked. Fill a bathtub with with ice - or better yet, liquid nitrogen, and shock that virus out of your system. Certainly do NOT go to sleep. If you rest, you clearly aren't fighting, and the virus will take over!

From Janine:
I asked my kiddo and he assured me that being stung on the nose by a bee would cure a cold for sure. I asked how he knew this and he said the Chinese do it and it must work since they've been around a long time.

From My Mom:
Drink some good red wine. That is my remedy. The wine has to cost at least $15 for it to work.

[Note: I think this was a real suggestion. In the same email, she said my dad had just walked out of laser eye surgery. I don't know what to believe.]

From Brian:
This is a remedy for a stuffy nose that is so perfectly simple, I can't believe it's not more well-known.

First, find a regular house-hold drill. I prefer cordless so that you don't need to be tethered to a power outlet but that's just personal preference. Second, fit the drill with a 4-5 inch long bit. Make sure it's no more than 1/2 inch wide. Third, line the drill at a forty-five degree angle at the entrance of your left nostril. Engage the drill, and begin pushing into the nostril. **NOTE: It's very important to have the drill running before insertion so as to get through that initial wall of mucus/cartilage.** Push drill back until passage is clear or until you've reached the skull, which would be indicated by an unpleasant grinding noise. If you're still congested/alive, repeat with right nostril. Anyway you look at it you're not suffering from a cold anymore.

[Note: This comment wins the "Future Googlers will realize these suggestions aren't real, won't they?" award.]

From TJ Hooker:
I've been rubbing jackalope dung on my scalp for years. I'm still bald, but I've been told "any day now"¦"

[Note: I'm not sure that's the right answer to today's challenge, but keep submitting it and it's bound to fit one of these.]

But I'm going with the cure suggested by Liz N. I like the way she thinks.

Well this is a COLD, so we are going to have to burn that sucker right out"¦

My first recommendation would be to eat a few Habeñeros, straight up (Jalepeños can be used in a pinch)

Then a trip to the sauna or steam room is in order. Be sure to wear garbage bags to achieve maximum effect.

After this, do what bears do and eat as much as possible"¦. then go to sleep. One to two months is preferable.

Now, here is the kicker. Find a dragon. Let it breathe on you. Cold should be destroyed.

I'll be in touch about your prize. After perusing my list of books, I'll get the next challenge up later tonight.

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Live Smarter
Need to Calm Yourself Down? Try This Military-Approved Breathing Technique
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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]

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10 Creepy Candles to Get You in the Halloween Mood
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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).


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.”


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.


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.


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