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The Missing Links: What Would You Ask Bayside's Mr. Belding?

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The Perfect Office Chair Is Out There
Right? It must be. Here’s why we haven’t found it.

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How Do You Get Robots To Dance In Unison to the Song Thriller?
One word: Bacteria. Why didn’t I think of that?

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Proof That Even Really Old Drama Sells
This week a History Channel miniseries based on the famous Hatfield-McCoy rivalry became the “No. 1 non-sports telecast in ad-supported cable television history”. Here are a few other famous family feuds that the channel might want to serialize next.

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Cocaine Psychosis Defined
The term has been bandied about a lot this week in relation to the horrific cannibalistic attack that took place in Florida. So, what exactly is it?

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Where Do You See Yourself In Five Years?
Oh good God I hope it’s Aogashima.

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Talking With Mr. Belding: What Would You Ask?
After I recently started following Dennis Haskins (AKA Richard “Big Bopper” Belding) on Twitter, I got the bright idea that I would start asking him if I could interview him for this site.

I’ve spent more hours than I care to divulge watching Saved By the Bell, so having the chance to speak directly with Haskins would be great.

Luckily, after only a handful of tweets and one long Facebook plea, I got the following reply from him today:

I’ve already reached out to his management company and hope to get something set up soon.

So now I just need to know what to ask. That’s where you come into play. I know there are a huge number of SBTB fans out there, and I’d like to know what you’d like to ask Mr. Belding. The questions can be related to The Bell (When you’ve spent as much time with the show as I have, you get to call it that) or any other part of his career, such as his campaign to get on Dancing With the Stars, his ventures into professional wrestling, his Karaoke album.

Throw your questions in the comments below, email them to me (colin@mentalfloss.com), or go on Twitter and use the hashtag #BeldingFloss to submit them. With any luck we’ll be getting the inside scoop on The Max before you know it.

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FRED TANNEAU/AFP/Getty Images
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Animals
Fisherman Catches Rare Blue Lobster, Donates It to Science
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FRED TANNEAU/AFP/Getty Images

Live lobsters caught off the New England coast are typically brown, olive-green, or gray—which is why one New Hampshire fisherman was stunned when he snagged a blue one in mid-July.

As The Independent reports, Greg Ward, from Rye, New Hampshire, discovered the unusual lobster while examining his catch near the New Hampshire-Maine border. Ward initially thought the pale crustacean was an albino lobster, which some experts estimate to be a one-in-100-million discovery. However, a closer inspection revealed that the lobster's hard shell was blue and cream.

"This one was not all the way white and not all the way blue," Ward told The Portsmouth Herald. "I've never seen anything like it."

While not as rare as an albino lobster, blue lobsters are still a famously elusive catch: It's said that the odds of their occurrence are an estimated one in two million, although nobody knows the exact numbers.

Instead of eating the blue lobster, Ward decided to donate it to the Seacoast Science Center in Rye. There, it will be studied and displayed in a lobster tank with other unusually colored critters, including a second blue lobster, a bright orange lobster, and a calico-spotted lobster.

[h/t The Telegraph]

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Courtesy Murdoch University
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Animals
Australian Scientists Discover First New Species of Sunfish in 125 Years
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Courtesy Murdoch University

Scientists have pinpointed a whole new species of the largest bony fish in the world, the massive sunfish, as we learned from Smithsonian magazine. It's the first new species of sunfish proposed in more than 125 years.

As the researchers report in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, the genetic differences between the newly named hoodwinker sunfish (Mola tecta) and its other sunfish brethren was confirmed by data on 27 different samples of the species collected over the course of three years. Since sunfish are so massive—the biggest can weigh as much as 5000 pounds—they pose a challenge to preserve and store, even for museums with large research collections. Lead author Marianne Nyegaard of Murdoch University in Australia traveled thousands of miles to find and collected genetic data on sunfish stranded on beaches. At one point, she was asked if she would be bringing her own crane to collect one.

Nyegaard also went back through scientific literature dating back to the 1500s, sorting through descriptions of sea monsters and mermen to see if any of the documentation sounded like observations of the hoodwinker. "We retraced the steps of early naturalists and taxonomists to understand how such a large fish could have evaded discovery all this time," she said in a press statement. "Overall, we felt science had been repeatedly tricked by this cheeky species, which is why we named it the 'hoodwinker.'"

Japanese researchers first detected genetic differences between previously known sunfish and a new, unknown species 10 years ago, and this confirms the existence of a whole different type from species like the Mola mola or Mola ramsayi.

Mola tecta looks a little different from other sunfish, with a more slender body. As it grows, it doesn't develop the protruding snout or bumps that other sunfish exhibit. Similarly to the others, though, it can reach a length of 8 feet or more. 

Based on the stomach contents of some of the specimens studied, the hoodwinker likely feeds on salps, a jellyfish-like creature that it probably chomps on (yes, sunfish have teeth) during deep dives. The species has been found near New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, and southern Chile.

[h/t Smithsonian]

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