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Welcome to the New Mental Floss!

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Now wait a minute. Something's different around here.

We're very excited to unveil the new mentalfloss.com! Poke around. We think you're going to like it. Stories have more room to breathe. Pages have less clutter. If you know what you're looking for, you'll have an easier time finding it. If you're here to get lost down a rabbit hole, we can keep you busy for hours. (Also, we love you. Come back often.)

We're still on a mission to write a list of facts about every proper noun, from famous movies to lesser-known presidents, fast-casual restaurant chains to celebrity-endorsed NES games. We'll eventually hit every book you'll read in school, every painting in art history, and every hot dog-shaped automobile you might encounter on the highway.

The staff will continue to answer Big Questions you've always wondered about, and questions you probably haven't.

And we're turning our best writers and editors loose on some fascinating untold stories you'll want to share with your friends. Like, in real life. Verbally. Not just on Facebook. But please tell your Facebook friends as well.

As with any new construction, there are still a few kinks we need to work out. There's a creaky floorboard, a door that needs painting, and no easy way to navigate all 274 installments of our World War I: 100 Years Later series. We're getting there. In the meantime, if there's something you can't find, shoot me an email (jason@mentalfloss.com) or tweet @EnglishJason. Before you know it, this will feel like home for you, too.

And finally, let's give a big round of applause to the very exhausted people who made this all happen, especially John, Mahala, Marty, Maja, Van, Lucy, Emem, Skye, Lauren, and Garrett. You can (almost) sleep now.

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This Just In
What Do You Get the Person Who Has Everything? Perhaps a German Village for Less Than $150,000
TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP/Getty Images
TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP/Getty Images

Looking for a gift for the world traveler who has everything? If cost isn't an issue and they're longing for a quiet country home, Fortune reports that an entire village in East Germany is up for sale. The tiny hamlet of Alwine, in Germany's Brandenburg region, is going up for auction on Saturday, December 9. Opening bids begin at $147,230.

Alwine has around one dozen buildings and 20 full-time residents, most of them elderly. It was once owned by a neighboring coal plant, which shut down in 1991, soon after East Germany reunited with West Germany. Many residents left after that. Between 1990 and 2015, the regional population fell by 15 percent, according to The Local.


TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP/Getty Images

In 2000, a private investor purchased the decaying hamlet for just one Deutsche Mark (the currency used before the euro). But its decline continued, and now it's up for grabs once more—this time around, for a much-higher price.

Andreas Claus, the mayor of the district surrounding Alwine, wasn't informed of the village's sale until he heard about it in the news, according to The Local. While no local residents plan to purchase their hometown, Claus says he's open to fostering dialogue with the buyer, with hopes of eventually revitalizing the local community.

[h/t Fortune]

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This Just In
For $61, You Can Become a Co-Owner of This 13th-Century French Castle
Guillaume Souvant, Getty Images
Guillaume Souvant, Getty Images

A cultural heritage restoration site recently invited people to buy a French castle for as little as $61. The only catch? You'll be co-owning it with thousands of other donors. Now thousands of shareholders are responsible for the fate of the Château de la Mothe-Chandeniers in western France, and there's still room for more people to participate.

According to Mashable, the dilapidated structure has a rich history. Since its construction in the 13th century, the castle has been invaded by foreign forces, looted, renovated, and devastated by a fire. Friends of Château de la Mothe-Chandeniers, a small foundation formed in 2016 in an effort to conserve the overgrown property, want to see the castle restored to its former glory.

Thanks to a crowdfunding collaboration with the cultural heritage restoration platform Dartagnans, the group is closer than ever to realizing its mission. More than 9000 web users have contributed €51 ($61) or more to the campaign to “adopt” Mothe-Chandeniers. Now that the original €500,000 goal has been fulfilled, the property’s new owners are responsible for deciding what to do with their purchase.

“We intend to create a dedicated platform that will allow each owner to monitor the progress of works, events, project proposals and build a real collaborative and participatory project,” the campaign page reads. “To make an abandoned ruin a collective work is the best way to protect it over time.”

Even though the initial goal has been met, Dartagnans will continue accepting funds for the project through December 25. Money collected between now and then will be used to pay for various fees related to the purchase of the site, and new donors will be added to the growing list of owners.

The shareholders will be among the first to see the cleared-out site during an initial visit next spring. The rest of the public will have to wait until it’s fully restored to see the final product.

[h/t Mashable]

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