We're Hiring Writers, Editors, and a Producer

We're looking to expand the award-winning mental_floss digital team.

In the last year, mental_floss won a Webby Award (three in a row!), lost an ASME Award (thrilled to be nominated!), grew our YouTube channel to over 1.2 million subscribers (130 million views!), and reached 14 million people a month through mentalfloss.com. But we want to take this to another level.

It's not about the news cycle or sizzling hot takes or not believing what happened next. Our goal is to find fascinating stories and bring them back to our readers. The kinds of stories people want to share, and not just in the social media sense. There are so many incredibly interesting things out there. Can you help us uncover them?

Staff Writers (New York, Possibly Remote)

Primary responsibilities will include writing 2-3 posts for publication on the site each day. You'll also be pulled in on special projects. At least we think they're special. OK, we haven't come up with said special projects yet. But they're coming! You can help us think of them. 

Ideal candidates will have:
- Some experience pitching and writing for the web
- Energetic, positive written voice
- Strong research and reporting skills
- Ability to translate complicated concepts into accessible writing
- Ability to conceive, pitch, and execute timely stories on tight deadlines
- Ability to generate large volumes of story ideas
- Ability to work and collaborate with a small team
- Knowledge of social media platforms and analytics
- Willingness to take ownership of projects

*

Staff Editors (New York)

We're looking for rabidly curious grammar freaks to dream up great stories and edit other people's work. You can write about almost anything, and you will. Why Paraguay loves Rutherford B. Hayes. What people did for fun in the 16th century. Why the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were so obsessed with pizza. Chaucer. Mini-golf. Drones. Why Syrian golden hamsters spend so much time at the liquor store.

Primary responsibilities will include conceiving and assigning story ideas that fit our smart, quirky voice and positive tone, editing work from freelancers and staff writers, writing posts, and generally elevating mentalfloss.com.

But because we're a small editorial team, you'll wear many hats. You may be asked to help with video scripts and board games and event planning and new apps. It's not just because you're new. Our head of business development proofreads our newsletter. Our digital art director is in charge of watering the office plants. (Yes, we have plants.) Our co-founders will be looking over your applications. Everyone does a little of everything.

Ideal candidates will have:
- At least three years of editing, writing, and assigning experience
- Natural curiosity and the ability to generate tons of story ideas
- Attention to detail
- Ability to work quickly
- Strong research skills
- A network of freelancers they would love to bring to our site
- Ability to nurture writers with constructive feedback
- Ability to collaborate with a growing team
- Knowledge of social media platforms and analytics
- Experience with Drupal and Photoshop a plus

Web Producer (New York)

We're also looking for an entry-level web producer to transform the stories our staff and freelancers create into posts that are ready to venture out into the web. Your job will include building stories in our CMS, finding and editing images for each story, and working with our editorial team to make sure everything's running smoothly. Ideal candidates will have:

- Experience working in a CMS
- Experience with Photoshop
- Ability to work quickly and manage their times
- A creative personality
- An eye for design
- Basic knowledge of HTML

How to Apply

- Send your resume and cover letter to jobs@mentalfloss.com
- Put the name of the job you're applying for in the subject line
- Candidates for the writer and editor jobs should include links to three things you've written or edited that you're proud of

We offer health, dental, vision, and life insurance coverage, an optional 401k enrollment (not currently matching), FSA/transit flexible spending, 15 vacation days, plus various discounts on gym memberships, entertainment, etc. We look forward to hearing from you!

If March 15 Is the Ides of March, What Does That Make March 16?

iStock.com/bycostello
iStock.com/bycostello

Everyone knows that the soothsayer in William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar was talking about March 15 when he warned the Roman emperor to "beware the Ides of March." We also all know Caesar's response: "Nah, I gotta head into the office that day." But if March 15 is the Ides of March, what does that make March 16?

At the time of Caesar's assassination, Romans were using the Julian calendar (introduced by Julius Caesar himself). This was a modified version of the original Roman calendar, and it is very similar to the one we use today (which is called the Gregorian calendar). A major difference, however, was how Romans talked about the days.

Each month had three important dates: the Kalends (first day of the month), the Ides (the middle of the month), and the Nones (ninth day before the Ides, which corresponded with the first phase of the Moon). Instead of counting up (i.e., March 10, March 11, March 12), Romans kept track by counting backwards and inclusively from the Kalends, Ides, or Nones. March 10 was the sixth day before the Ides of March, March 11 was the fifth day before the Ides of March, and so on.

Because it came after the Ides, March 16 would’ve been referred to in the context of April: "The 17th day before the Kalends of April." The abbreviated form of this was a.d. XVII Kal. Apr., with "a.d." standing for ante diem, meaning roughly "the day before."

So, had Julius Caesar been murdered on March 16, the soothsayer's ominous warning would have been, "Beware the 17th day before the Kalends of April." Doesn't have quite the same ring to it.

This story first ran in 2016.

Show Houseguests Who's in Charge With This Game of Thrones Doormat

ThinkGeek
ThinkGeek

If you’re prone to houseguests who shed crumbs on your sofa and use all the toilet paper without replacing it, it might be time to demand a little respect. This Game of Thrones doormat from the merchants at ThinkGeek offers some guidance. Emblazoned on the mat is an order to “bend the knee” before entering your home.

A doormat from the HBO series 'Game of Thrones' is pictured
ThinkGeek

The 17-inch long by 29-inch wide mat arrives in time for the eighth and final season of the popular HBO series, which is set to debut April 14. Chronicling the lives of disparate characters vying for control of the Iron Throne, the show has often depicted Daenerys Targaryen, also known as the Mother of Dragons and played by Emilia Clarke, ordering subjects to “bend the knee” before addressing her. In season seven, King in the North Jon Snow famously refused to do so before eventually capitulating. Had she laid out the doormat, it’s possible he wouldn’t have taken as long.

The mat retails for $24.99 and can be purchased online here.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER