Welcome to the New Mental Floss!

iStock
iStock

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.

Tune in Tonight: Mental Floss on Jeopardy!

All that time you've spent on here is about to pay off.

Tune in tonight for Jeopardy! and you'll catch the debut of the "I Learned It From Mental Floss" category. Big bucket list moment for us.

We've been working closely with the Jeopardy! team over on Instagram, sharing amazing facts on both @jeopardy and @mental_floss. Study up!

Check your local listings for stations and show times.

Millennials Get Blamed for a Lot, But They Could Help to Save the U.S. Postal Service

iStock
iStock

Millennials get a bad rap for destroying everything from homeownership rates to fabric softener sales, but there's one important traditional industry they're enthusiastic about: the U.S. Postal Service. According to CityLab, a new USPS report [PDF] finds that young people's appreciation for snail mail could help boost the often-struggling agency's fortunes in the future.

Probing for insights into the minds of young people ages 18 to 34 (a little off from the Pew Research Center's definition of Millennials as being people ages 22 to 37), the USPS conducted surveys and hosted live chats online to figure out what Millennials think of the agency, and how the Postal Service can ignite their love of snail mail.

That's vital, because as it is, technological innovations like email and online bill payments are putting the USPS out of business. It lost money for the 11th year in a row in 2017, and while shipping packages is getting more popular (thank you, online shopping habits), it hasn't been enough to offset the decline of mail during that year—mail rates declined by 50 billion pieces in 2017. Young people ages 18 to 34 received an average of 17 pieces of mail each week in 2001, while they only receive 10 now.

But Millennials, it turns out, love mail, even if they don't want to pay their bills with it. As the report observes, "many Millennials still delight in receiving personalized notes or cards around holidays, birthdays, and other special occasions." Three-quarters of respondents said that getting personalized mail from friends and family "makes them feel special." According to the report, around 80 percent of Millennials say they're satisfied with the USPS, around the same rate as older, stamp-loving generations. More Millennials than Boomers, meanwhile, have a USPS.com account, and 59 percent say that the USPS is an innovative organization.

Millennials mentioned several ideas for USPS improvements that already basically exist, like self-service kiosks, at-home package pickup, and Informed Delivery emails, meaning the Postal Service isn't always the best at getting the word out about the cool things it already does. The report also shows that the Postal Service is still working on an augmented reality service that could give you a look at what's inside a package before you open it. (The idea debuted in 2016, but the app was largely limited to showing animated messages.)

The surveys and discussions did come up with a new idea to endear the post office to Millennials: a rewards program. The young people surveyed suggested that members could earn points by buying stamps or mailing packages and use them to redeem discounts or enter contests.

Millennials: They may be ruining vacations, but at least they're ready to save the mail.

[h/t CityLab]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER