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Last Chance to Get 3 Free Issues of mental_floss When You Pre-Order Our New Book!

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It's smarter than your old history teacher, funnier than the founding fathers and more American than Betty Crocker cradling an apple pie!

If you can't tell, we're really excited about our new book, The Mental Floss History of the United States: The (Almost) Complete and (Entirely) Entertaining Story of America. The cover is great! The contents are great! And we can't wait for you to get your hands on it!

In fact, we're so eager for you to check it out that we've convinced Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-a-Million, Borders and every other online retailer to partner with us on this super deal.

But Hurry!

All you have to do is pre-order the book at your favorite online bookstore before October 5th (TOMORROW!), and then copy and paste your e-receipt here and we'll send you a three issue subscription to mental_floss for free!

Want to add the free subscription to your current subscription? Not a problem. Want to give the free subscription away to a friend? Also not a problem! We've made everything really, really easy. All you have to do is order the book, and then click here.

USA! USA!
Of course, with a special this special, you may have some questions. We've tried to answer most of them below.

THE FAQs

Can I add the three free issues to my existing subscription?

Yes! We'll happily tack on three additional issues to your current subscription. Once you've bought the book, just click here for the deal.

Can I keep the book, but send the subscription to a friend, or vice versa?

Yes! We've made this really easy. Simply send the book wherever you'd like (keep it, or send it to someone else). Then, once you get your e-receipt, just copy and paste it into the form here. Then fill out the rest of the form to tell us whether you'd like to keep the free subscription for yourself, or want it to go somewhere else.

Does this free magazine deal apply only to U.S. subscriptions?

Yes. Unfortunately, we can only send the free subscriptions to addresses within the United States.

Can you really judge this book by its cover?

Yes! We put a heck of a lot of effort into making the cover interesting. But we've put even more effort on every page. Just skim this book and you'll learn all sorts of things your history teachers forgot to mention, from the Alabama town that refused to join up with the Rebels during the Civil War to the actual origins of baseball, to one of the dirtiest deals the CIA ever made (it's with the mafia!). But if you just want to stare at the cover, you can see that right here.

Does this deal really end on October 5th?

Sadly, yes. This whopper of a deal only applies to pre-orders.

Do you have any History of the United States content at mentalfloss.com for me to peruse?

Yes! Throughout September we'll be highlighting fascinating content from the book and creating fun quizzes to help you love history as much as we do. Just look for it here.

Is mental_floss magazine really that good?

Yes! Newsweek calls it "A smart (-alecky) read." The Washington Post calls it "delightfully eccentric and eclectic." And it's been praised everywhere from the LA Times to the Wall Street Journal. This year we've tackled The 50 Most Interesting Places in the Space-Time Continuum (including what it's like to look inside a black hole, inside a barrel with Houdini, and the Supreme Court's nuclear hide-out bunker), The United States of Amazing (wonderful tales of Amish baseball, an immigrant hot sauce maker and other stories that will make you proud to be an American), and The 10 Issue (the world's greatest 10 lists, from 10 Things You Didn't Know about Afghanistan to 10 Provocative Questions about Raising Chickens!) Plus, every issue is packed with fascinating science stories, incredible bios, evocative arts features, and a spinning the globe section that's chock full of lush photos and vivid travel stories. If you love to learn, this magazine's made for you.

And if I have other questions?

Yes, we figured you might! Just write us at threefreeissues@mentalfloss.com, and we'll get right back to you.

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Space
Can’t See the Eclipse in Person? Watch NASA’s 360° Live Stream
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Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images

Depending on where you live, the historic eclipse on August 21 might not look all that impressive from your vantage point. You may be far away from the path of totality, or stuck with heartbreakingly cloudy weather. Maybe you forgot to get your eclipse glasses before they sold out, or can't get away from your desk in the middle of the day.

But fear not. NASA has you covered. The space agency is live streaming a spectacular 4K-resolution 360° live video of the celestial phenomenon on Facebook. The livestream started at 12 p.m. Eastern Time and includes commentary from NASA experts based in South Carolina. It will run until about 4:15 ET.

You can watch it below, on NASA's Facebook page, or on the Facebook video app.

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Art
Cephalopod Fossil Sketch in Australia Can Be Seen From Space

Australia is home to some of the most singular creatures alive today, but a new piece of outdoor art pays homage to an organism that last inhabited the continent 65 million years ago. As the Townsville Bulletin reports, an etching of a prehistoric ammonite has appeared in a barren field in Queensland.

Ammonites are the ancestors of the cephalopods that currently populate the world’s oceans. They had sharp beaks, dexterous tentacles, and spiraling shells that could grow more than 3 feet in diameter. The inland sea where the ammonites once thrived has since dried up, leaving only fossils as evidence of their existence. The newly plowed dirt mural acts as a larger-than-life reminder of the ancient animals.

To make a drawing big enough to be seen from space, mathematician David Kennedy plotted the image into a path consisting of more than 600 “way points.” Then, using a former War World II airfield as his canvas, the property’s owner Rob Ievers plowed the massive 1230-foot-by-820-foot artwork into the ground with his tractor.

The project was funded by Soil Science Australia, an organization that uses soil art to raise awareness of the importance of farming. The sketch doubles as a paleotourist attraction for the local area, which is home to Australia's "dinosaur trail" of museums and other fossil-related attractions. But to see the craftsmanship in all its glory, visitors will need to find a way to view it from above.

[h/t Townsville Bulletin]

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