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How Special Is Your Birthday? (Mathematically Speaking, That Is)

Sure, your birthday is your important day, but it's not only yours. What are the chances of two people in a group sharing a birthday? It's actually a lot more likely than you think.

In the video above, Joe Hanson from It’s Okay To Be Smart celebrates the program's third birthday by diving into the probability of shared birthdays. How crazy is it that out of 44 presidents, James K. Polk and Warren G. Harding share a November 2 birthday? Not crazy at all: In a group of 44 people, there’s a 93 percent chance that two of them will have been born on the same day.

That stat seems pretty remarkable, but as Hanson says, it’s because “our brains are bad at figuring out the power of chance.” Check out the video for more dizzying data on the probability of shared birthdays, and for a good explanation of why the numbers work out that way. Plus, the reason why the frequency of Facebook birthdays hits a milestone at about the 2153 friend mark.

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26 Facts About LEGO Bricks

Since it first added plastic, interlocking bricks to its lineup, the Danish toy company LEGO (from the words Leg Godt for “play well”) has inspired builders of all ages to bring their most imaginative designs to life. Sets have ranged in size from scenes that can be assembled in a few minutes to 5000-piece behemoths depicting famous landmarks. And tinkerers aren’t limited to the sets they find in stores. One of the largest LEGO creations was a life-sized home in the UK that required 3.2 million tiny bricks to construct.

In this episode of the List Show, John Green lays out 26 playful facts about one of the world’s most beloved toy brands. To hear about the LEGO black market, the vault containing every LEGO set ever released, and more, check out the video above then subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay up-to-date with the latest flossy content.

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Of Buckeyes and Butternuts: 29 States With Weird Nicknames for Their Residents
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Tracing a word’s origin and evolution can yield fascinating historical insights—and the weird nicknames used in some states to describe their residents are no exception. In the Mental Floss video above, host John Green explains the probable etymologies of 29 monikers that describe inhabitants of certain states across the country.

Some of these nicknames, like “Hoosiers” and “Arkies” (which denote residents of Indiana and Arkansas, respectively) may have slightly offensive connotations, while others—including "Buckeyes," "Jayhawks," "Butternuts," and "Tar Heels"—evoke the military histories of Ohio, Kansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina. And a few, like “Muskrats” and “Sourdoughs,” are even inspired by early foods eaten in Delaware and Alaska. ("Goober-grabber" sounds goofier, but it at least refers to peanuts, which are a common crop in Georgia, as well as North Carolina and Arkansas.)

Learn more fascinating facts about states' nicknames for their residents by watching the video above.

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