CLOSE
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
Robert Penn, Twentieth Century Fox
How Intelligent is the Alien Xenomorph?
Robert Penn, Twentieth Century Fox
Robert Penn, Twentieth Century Fox

Just How Intelligent is the Alien Xenomorph? For a slimy, 8-foot insect, it had some canny strategies.

*

Sharknado 6 Will Have Nazis and Noah's Ark, Which Seems Weirdly Predictable. Godwin's law should have come into effect long before the sixth film.

*

Your Cortex Contains 17 Billion Computers. Our brains are much more complex than we've been told, and we have charts to explain them.

*

Is This The Most Crowded Island In The World? A visit to Ilet a Brouee, a micro-sample of Haiti's unnatural history.

*

Hilarious Guide To Dog Breeds That Will Help You Choose Your Next Dog. Comic artist Grace Gogarty captures the canine personalities you won't understand from mere pictures.

*

Finding a Lost Strain of Rice, and Clues to Slave Cooking. Thought to be gone forever, a chef stumbled across a surviving crop of hill rice in Trinidad.

*

29 Secrets Competitive Figure Skaters Will Never Tell You. But we found out anyway.

*

This is What the Flu Does to Your Body. You feel like you've been hijacked, because that's exactly what's happening.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
Atsushi Nishijima, Disney Enterprises, Inc.
How A Wrinkle in Time Inspired Female Scientists
Atsushi Nishijima, Disney Enterprises, Inc.
Atsushi Nishijima, Disney Enterprises, Inc.

True Stories of How A Wrinkle in Time Inspired Female Scientists. The right book at the right time can change the world.

*

How a Pile of Unpaid Bills Led to Washington, D.C. The new city was to be a haven from angry creditors.

*

At the NBA All-Star Game, Fergie Performed "The Star Spangled Banner" as a Sultry Torch Song. The response was not so much outrage as it was laughter.

*

Hawai‘i’s Last Outlaw Hippies. They've been squatting in the Kalalau Valley for 50 years, but that's coming to an end.

*

The Insect That Painted Europe Red. When Conquistadors brought cochineal insects back from the Aztec empire, the color they produced made Spanish dyers rich.

*

A New Model Predicts That the 'Ideal' Mammal Is 2.5 Times Bigger Than an Elephant. That model assumes adequate resources from an abundant Earth.

*

New York’s Oldest Dim Sum Restaurant and the Secrets of Chinatown. Take a tour of Doyers Street, also known as Bloody Angle.

*

15 of History's Greatest Mad Scientists. How being downright insane can lead to thinking outside the box.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios