CLOSE
Original image

50 Amazing Facts for Our 50th Issue

Original image

We recently published our 50th issue. In honor of our little milestone, here are 50 fun facts we've picked up over the years.


1. In 1943, Philip Morris ran an ad acknowledging "smokers' cough." They claimed it was caused by smoking brands other than Philip Morris.


2. In the 1970s, Mattel sold a doll called "Growing Up Skipper." Her breasts grew when her arm was turned.


3. Michael Jackson's 1988 autobiography Moonwalk was edited by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.


4. On the 2001 New Zealand census, 53,715 people listed their religion as "Jedi."


5. Only female mosquitoes will bite you.

6. At the 2010 Grammy Awards, Taylor Swift won more Grammys (4) than Elvis did his entire career (3).

7. At Fatburger, you can order a "Hypocrite"—a veggie burger topped with crispy strips of bacon.

8. Dr. Ruth was trained as a sniper by the Israeli military.

9. In 1999, Furbies were banned from the National Security Agency's Maryland headquarters because it was feared the toys might repeat national security secrets.

10. Roger Ebert and Oprah Winfrey went on a couple dates in the mid-1980s. It was Roger who convinced her to syndicate her talk show.

11. There was a long-lost fourth member of the Snap/Crackle/Pop gang. "Pow" represented Rice Krispies' explosive nutritional value.

12. Kool-Aid was originally marketed as "Fruit Smack."

13. In 2008, The Little Tikes Company sold 457,000 Cozy Coupes, making it the best-selling car in America.

14. Uncle Sam was based on Samuel Wilson, who worked as a meat inspector during the War of 1812.

mental_floss is available wherever brilliant (or lots of) magazines are sold. We're also at the checkout counter at many Whole Foods Markets. Or you could just subscribe.

15. The archerfish knocks its insect prey out of over-hanging branches with a stream of spit.

16. When Woodrow Wilson married Edith Galt, the real Chef Boyardee (Hector Boiardi) catered the event.

17. There really was a Captain Morgan. He was a Welsh pirate who later became the lieutenant governor of Jamaica.

18. The 3 Musketeers bar was originally split into three pieces with three different flavors: vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. When the other flavors became harder to come by during WWII, Mars decided to go all chocolate.

19. Bear Bryant was once asked to contribute $10 to help pay for a sportswriter's funeral. According to legend, he said, "Here's a twenty, bury two."

20. In 1980, C-3PO and R2-D2 visited Sesame Street. They played games, sang songs, and R2-D2 fell in love with a fire hydrant.

21. Dr. Thomas Harvey removed Einstein's brain during his autopsy. For 30 years, Harvey kept it in two mason jars in his Wichita home.

22. In 1961, Martha Stewart was selected as one of Glamour magazine's "Ten Best-Dressed College Girls."


23. It's estimated that 95% of the world's lab mice are descended from mice born in the Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine.


24. As part of David Hasselhoff's divorce settlement, he kept possession of the nickname "Hoff" and the catchphrase "Don't Hassle the Hoff."


25. "Jay" used to be slang for "foolish person." So when a pedestrian ignored street signs, he was referred to as a "jaywalker."


26. Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell is also responsible for starting up the Chuck E. Cheese's franchise.


27. The string on boxes of animal crackers was originally placed there so the container could be hung from a Christmas tree.

28. Duncan Hines was a real person. He was a popular restaurant critic who also wrote a book of hotel recommendations.

29. Green bean casserole dates back to 1955, when a chef named Dorcas Reilly created it for a cookbook designed to promote Campbell's products.

30. Carly Simon's dad is the "Simon" of Simon and Schuster. He co-founded the company.

31. In 2009, U.S. airlines collected $2.7 billion in baggage fees. Another $2.4 billion came from reservation change fees.

32. Alaska is the only state that can be typed on one row of keys. (Go ahead and try typing the other 49 states. We'll wait.)

33. While they were in the White House, John & Abigail Adams had dogs named Satan & Juno.

34. Johnny Cash's "A Boy Named Sue" was penned by Shel Silverstein, the beloved children's book author who wrote Where the Sidewalk Ends.

To see all 60+ of our t-shirt designs, stop by the mental_floss store.

35. M&M's actually stands for "Mars & Murrie's," the last names of the candy's founders.

36. Perhaps our favorite school nickname is The Arkansas School for the Deaf Leopards.

37. In 1907, an ad campaign for Kellogg's Corn Flakes offered a free box of cereal to any woman who would wink at her grocer.

38. Why did the FBI call Ted Kaczynski "The Unabomber"? Because his early mail bombs were sent to universities (UN) & airlines (A).

39. That thing you use to dot your lowercase "i" is called a tittle.

40. The only number whose letters are in alphabetical order is 40 (f-o-r-t-y).

41. The prolific Alan Thicke wrote the theme songs to The Facts of Life and Diff'rent Strokes.

42. Bono was born Paul David Hewson, and The Edge's name is David Howell Evans.

tshirtsubad_static-11.jpg

Want a subscription and a t-shirt? Get both for one low price here.

43. Male students at Brigham Young University need a doctor's note to grow a beard.

44. In 1991, Wayne Allwine, the voice of Mickey Mouse, married Russi Taylor—the voice of Minnie.

45. The sum of all the numbers on a roulette wheel is 666.

46. The Vatican Bank is the world's only bank that allows ATM users to perform transactions in Latin.

47. Utah's State Bird is the California Seagull.

48. At the Wife Carrying World Championships in Sonkajärvi, Finland, first prize is the wife's weight in beer.

49. After leaving office, Ronald Reagan was offered a role in Back to the Future III. (He declined.)

50. Oscar the Grouch used to be orange. Jim Henson decided to make him green before the second season of Sesame Street. How did Oscar explain the color change? He said he went on vacation to the very damp Swamp Mushy Muddy and turned green overnight.

Original image
Opening Ceremony
fun
arrow
These $425 Jeans Can Turn Into Jorts
May 19, 2017
Original image
Opening Ceremony

Modular clothing used to consist of something simple, like a reversible jacket. Today, it’s a $425 pair of detachable jeans.

Apparel retailer Opening Ceremony recently debuted a pair of “2 in 1 Y/Project” trousers that look fairly peculiar. The legs are held to the crotch by a pair of loops, creating a disjointed C-3PO effect. Undo the loops and you can now remove the legs entirely, leaving a pair of jean shorts in their wake. The result goes from this:

501069-OpeningCeremony2.jpg

Opening Ceremony

To this:

501069-OpeningCeremony3.jpg

Opening Ceremony

The company also offers a slightly different cut with button tabs in black for $460. If these aren’t audacious enough for you, the Y/Project line includes jumpsuits with removable legs and garter-equipped jeans.

[h/t Mashable]

Original image
iStock
fun
arrow
This First-Grade Math Problem Is Stumping the Internet
May 17, 2017
Original image
iStock

If you’ve ever fantasized about how much easier life would be if you could go back to elementary school, this math problem may give you second thoughts. The question first appeared on a web forum, Mashable reports, and after recently resurfacing, it’s been perplexing adults across social media.

According to the original poster AlmondShell, the bonus question was given to primary one, or first grade students, in Singapore. It instructs readers to “study the number pattern” and “fill in the missing numbers.” The puzzle, which comprises five numbers and four empty circles waiting to be filled in, comes with no further explanation.

Some forum members commented with their best guesses, while others expressed disbelief that this was a question on a kid’s exam. Commenter karrotguy illustrates one possible answer: Instead of looking for complex math equations, they saw that the figure in the middle circle (three) equals the amount of double-digit numbers in the surrounding quadrants (18, 10, 12). They filled out the puzzle accordingly.

A similar problem can be found on the blog of math enthusiast G.R. Burgin. His solution, which uses simple algebra, gets a little more complicated.

The math tests given to 6- and 7-year-olds in other parts of the world aren’t much easier. If your brain isn’t too worn out after the last one, check out this maddening problem involving trains assigned to students in the UK.

[h/t Mashable]

SECTIONS
BIG QUESTIONS
BIG QUESTIONS
JOB SECRETS
QUIZZES
WORLD WAR 1
SMART SHOPPING
STONES, BONES, & WRECKS
#TBT
THE PRESIDENTS
WORDS
RETROBITUARIES