ThinkStock
ThinkStock

Knockoff Superheroes

ThinkStock
ThinkStock

Manufacturing superhero toys can be a lucrative business venture, but marketing unconvincing bootleg action figures of “Specialman” and “Spiderbat” to save on licensing fees might not be so profitable after all. To their credit, the creators of the “Sense of Right Alliance” were pretty inventive in reimagining a superhero lineup that includes Shrek, King Kong, and the Blue Power Ranger.

*

“Vintage” fashion and filters make it hard to tell whether these photos are from Woodstock (1969) or Bonnaroo (2000s).

*

Supercells are the most rare and potentially the most severe type of thunderstorm, as well as the subject of this gorgeous thousand-frame time-lapse video of a Texas storm.

*

America’s 50 Worst Charities are ones to avoid when donating to causes, no matter how appealing their pitches.

*

Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan dropped an unsubtle ‘80s power-pop reference in a recent court decision. No statistics yet exist to measure how many people in the room were distracted by the song playing in their heads.

*

The audio team in charge of developing Facebook’s “sound profile”—that is, the distinctive tones of notification noises—deliberated for a while before settling on a chord that spells out F-A-C-E. Get it?

*

The recent news about the NSA’s unsavory surveillance has caused sales of George Orwell’s 1984 to jump by about 10,000 percent (yep, that’s the right number of zeroes), but this isn’t the first time the publishing business has gotten a boost from current events.

*

Before the Internet, there was the Mundaneum: a searchable index of the world’s books and periodicals comprised of 12 million 3”x5” index cards.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
Sneaky Ways Restaurants Are Hacking Your Brain
iStock
iStock

Sneaky Ways Restaurants Are Hacking Your Brain. Check out 25 subtle tricks that make you spend more.

*

Here’s How You Can Help Fight Family Separation at the Border. A list of resources and organizations that need your skills, time, or money.

*

5 Things You Didn’t Know About the Summer Solstice. While the days will only get shorter from here, temperatures will still go up.

*

The Forgotten Chefs Who Made Chili Con Carne a Tex-Mex Standard. Women running their own businesses gave us an entirely new cuisine.

*

You Would Never Expect Killer Whales to Appear Here. Arctic Ocean prey that once fed polar bears is fair game for orcas.

*

Brooklyn's Defunct Domino Sugar Plant Opens as Domino Park. Pictures show how an old factory can become a community park and still retain its history.

*

First Impressions. Tom Comitta took the first sentence from 268 New Yorker short stories, sorted them, and combined them into one surprisingly cohesive tale.

*

The Original Locations of 15 Famous Chain Stores. There might be one near you!

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
How Volcanoes Work
iStock
iStock

How Volcanoes Work. The U.S. has 169 "potentially active" volcanoes, but they're not all alike.

*

The Internet is Learning an Important Lesson About Service Dogs. We know you're not supposed to pet them without permission, but what if one approaches you?

*

That Time the U.S. Postal Service Tried Delivering Mail By Missile. It saved neither time nor money, but that wasn't the point.

*

Why You Should Slack Off to Get Some Work Done. The world's most productive scientists and engineers worked only 10 to 20 hours a week.

*

Postcards From the Honeymoon Capital Of The World. For many couples, the Poconos was where the Baby Boom began.

*

The Dark Side of ‘Service With a Smile.’ Putting on a happy face when you're not feeling it can lead to mental and physical problems.

*

A Horror Story About a Shower Curtain. Or it could be a comedy; either way, it needs to be filmed.

*

What's the Difference Between a Broadway and an Off-Broadway Show? It's more than just the street address of the theater.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios