Oné R. Pagán is a husband and a father of three. He is also a university professor, scientist and a writer.
Rebecca Pahle is a New York City-based entertainment journalist and part-time Sith Lord.
Happy 70th Birthday to singer, actress, writer, film producer, director and all-around fabulous gal, Barbra Streisand. Babs has had a pretty neat career. Besides conquering stage and screen, she holds the record for the most top-ten albums of any female recording artist. She and Katharine Hepburn are the only two women to ever share an Academy Award for Best Actress. (Streisand won for Funny Girl). Here, a fun look at some of her greatest moments.
Don't Rain on My Parade
Barbra became a star of stage and... READ ON
I don't know about you _flossers, but I just forked over a few hundred hard-earned dollars to Uncle Sam. Even though I support tax paying, I still feel a little sting handing over cold, hard cash after working so hard for it in the first place. Here, six songs about putting your nose to the grindstone and earning that dough. (And hey, you have until midnight to file that extension!)
Workin' on the Highway
Bruce Springsteen captures the hopes of many hard-working Americans when he sings, "Someday,... READ ON
Thanks to the internet, the world can sometimes seem awfully small. Google just about anything you want to know and instantaneously, you can have more information than you ever needed on any topic you desire. It's easy to forget that there are still adventures to be had, stories to be told and unexplored areas to discover. That's where Atlas Obscura comes in.
Joshua Foer and Dylan Thuras created what they call "the definitive guidebook and friendly tour-guide to the world's most wondrous places." In... READ ON
We've mentioned before that acclaimed children's poet Shel Silverstein wrote "A Boy Named Sue," the song popularized by the great Johnny Cash. I was thinking about Silverstein the other day and realized you guys would probably like more Shel Silverstein in your lives. So here you go, folks. Six excellent, memorable moments from his poetry career.
The Giving Tree
One of Silverstein's most famous works, this story of a boy and his tree has been translated into more than 30 languages.
Ickle Me, Pickle... READ ON
Today is Doris Day's birthday! With an entertainment career that spanned nearly 50 years, Day was America's sweetheart. Tonight, check out her crystal-clear voice and watch one of her films, The Thrill of It All. Happy Birthday, Doris!
Que Sera Sera
Though this song has been covered by dozens of artists, Day originated it for Alfred Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew Too Much.
Fly Me To The Moon
Doris Day recorded this song on November 5, 1964, for her album Latin For... READ ON
Even before the Food Network, people were making fun of television chefs. More accurately—the Muppets were making fun of television chefs. The Swedish Chef has grown to be a beloved Muppet. Here, see some of his most notable segments. Bork, bork, bork!
The Swedish Chef made Swedish meatballs for his first dish. Naturally.
I think the turtle... READ ON
Growing up, I couldn't get enough of the Wayside School books by Louis Sachar, who turned 58 years old today. The books—Sideways Stories From Wayside School, Wayside School is Falling Down and Wayside School Gets A Little Stranger—tell many tales from a strange school built 30 stories high, with one room per story, but no 19th story. Each book contains 30 chapters, called stories, complementing the 30 stories in the school.
I was delighted to learn that in 2005, a Canadian animation company... READ ON
Starting in 2010, Entertainment Weekly began releasing reunion issues that bring together casts from beloved television shows and movies for fun photo shoots and interviews. Many _flossers we know have a healthy interest in entertainment nostalgia, so when we discovered EW's accompanying video series, we knew this was going to be right up your alley. Don't see your favorite show listed? Check EW's archives. And, hey, just for fun, what show's cast would you like to see reunited? (My vote: Beverly Hills,... READ ON
On this day in 1981, acclaimed broadcaster Walter Cronkite retired from anchoring the CBS Evening News. Throughout the course of his 19-year stint as "the most trusted man in America," Cronkite brought breaking news into the homes of people across the country. Here are some of his biggest stories.
JFK Assassination, 1963
Report From Vietnam,... READ ON
Though she’s well-known for her other roles—originating Sheila in A Chorus Line, Baby’s mom in Dirty Dancing—Kelly Bishop, who turns 68 today, is perhaps most recognized for her recent turn as Emily Gilmore on Gilmore Girls. Known for being persistently proper and a little bit stubborn, Emily Gilmore could throw down when she wanted to get her way and melt down when she didn’t. Here are six of her best moments.
When furious at her husband, Richard, Emily shops—’til Rory and... READ ON
Alex Palmer is a freelance writer and the author of
They won't even see it coming.... READ ON
Joe Pappalardo is a science journalist and author of the non-fiction book
Colin Patrick is an author and a comedian. In addition to mental_floss, he's written for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Splitsider, McSweeney's, and Cracked.
For some reason, one ofÂ the questions I'm asked mostÂ frequently in radio interviews is "So, your latest book claims the story about Catherine the Great dying while being a bit too intimate with a horse is actually a myth. So it's not really true?" And it's pretty funny becauseÂ most of themÂ seem disappointed to learn that it might beÂ myth.Â So I explain that no, it's not true, but that she most likelyÂ still died in a pretty embarrassing way - while on the toilet.
Then they ask about... READ ON
Â The Wired NextFest is coming up September 29th and the current issue has bits on some of the featured inventions. One of these inventions, the LifeStraw,Â gives us hope that it might actually be possible to significantly reduce the number of people suffering from waterborne illnesses like Typhoid, Cholera and Dysentery. This could be huge for the one billion people in the world who have no access to safe drinking water. According to the developers of the device, the LifeStraw kills 99.9% of the... READ ON
Scientists at Wicab Inc. have filed a patent application on an invention they think will help those suffering from brain damage to return to many of their previous activities such as walking or riding a bike. Using electrical pulses, this device will stimulate the tongue, which they say is helpful in re-training the brain:
A false palate with a square grid of 160 gold-plated electrodes is placed on the tongue and wirelessly connected to the output of a motion sensor and camera fitted on the... READ ON
mental_floss readers have done many things to express their loyalty over the years. We've seen great pictures of fans reading the magazine at the South Pole. A group of soldiers sent pictures after enjoying the mag in one of Saddam's former palaces. And there have been a few expressions that aren't fit for describing on a family-friendly blog. But this is the first floss-inspired tattoo I'm aware of (besides my mom's). Here's what our favorite person of the week had to say:
A heart? Too soft. A fairy? Not... READ ON
I just read a story over at LiveScience about polar bears experiencingÂ genital shrinkage because of industrial pollutants:
Polar bears from northernmost Norway, western Russia and east Greenland are among the most polluted animals in the Arctic, as they feast on ringed seals and bearded seals. The blubber of these seals accumulates high levels of organic pollutants loaded with halogens such as chlorine. These organohalogens can act like hormones.
The scientists... READ ON
I noticed yesterday on IMDB that Paul Reubens (a.k.a. Pee-Wee Herman) turned 54 this pastÂ weekend.Â And then I realized it's been 20 years since "Pee-Wee's Playhouse" debuted on CBS. And althoughÂ both facts areÂ hard to believe, the more surprising fact is that Pee-Wee is scheduled to return in "Pee-Wee's Playhouse: The Movie" in 2007.Â That'sÂ scary and funny.Â A few other surprising facts I learned on IMDB:
When Reubens signed to do "Pee-Wee's Playhouse" in 1986, CBS agreed to pay him... READ ON
Â ... READ ON
Although I doubt this will bring anÂ end to the debate on federal funding for stem cell research, scientists have now proven that it's possible to derive stem cells from an embryo without killing the embryo.
New Scientist reports on the promising development:
Last year, Bob Lanza and his team from Advanced Cell Technology of Worcester, Massachusetts, demonstrated that stem cells could be harvested from mouse embryos without killing them. Now they have done the same in human embryos left over from IVF... READ ON
Nothing makes good morning office chat like fiber talk. So the next time one of those great fiber-focused conversations comes up, here's somethingÂ to share.Â Scientists at the Medical College of Georgia have released the results to anÂ interesting study on how fiber works in a rather paradoxical way. As they explain,Â fiber actuallyÂ does its job by first doing damage to our gastrointestinal tract. As the fiber passes through, it tears cellsÂ along the way. These cells produce mucus, which is... READ ON
Okay, that looks like a rasberry and theÂ last time I checked, rasberries are not sharp. But according to the American Institute of Physics, this is a field ion microscope image of a tungsten needle, the world's sharpest man-made object. So what are those little round ball-looking things? Those are individual atoms.
Link via The Cellar Image of the Day... READ ON
Curt is a Graduate Assistant for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the University of Alabama's MBA Program, a small business owner, and the devoted fiancee to a beautiful attorney in Birmingh
Mark Peters writes about euphemisms for Visual Thesau
Zachary Petit (@zacharypet
Jo Piazza is the author of Celebrity Inc.: How Famous People Make Money (http://www.amazon.com/Celebrity-Inc-Famous-P
Garin, a made-up name that according to her mom means "high priestess of the written word," is a freelance arts and culture writer.
A fresh graduate of Creighton University in Omaha, Rob Placek is a farm boy, travel junkie, and trivia fanatic.
It's no secret that the sports universe in America is pretty sheltered- we've got football, baseball, basketball and a bunch of other miscellaneous ones. Still, there are those few random games that capture our attention "“ poker had its day and people are even starting to pay attention to soccer now that Posh Spice's husband plays here. In the interest of expanding our culture's sports horizons, here's a look at five sports that ought to become more popular, along... READ ON
I have a bit of a problem with my speakers. Whenever they're on, I can faintly hear my campus radio station. Now don't get me wrong, I like WNUR, but I don't like hearing it when I'm working. Or napping. It's mostly the napping thing.
I visited the website for my speakers and found out that the radio interference problem is a common one. There's all kinds of radio signals in the air and any wire can become an antenna if its length is on the same wavelength as a signal.... READ ON
From Paul Byrd and Rick Ankiel to the upcoming Mitchell Report, accusations of HGH are flying around baseball. But Human Growth Hormone use is also on the rise outside of sports; plenty of people looking to get bigger are injecting themselves. So, let's say you want to bulk up, get taller, increase your focus or just feel younger. You've bought some HGH on the Internet or from a pharmacy (hint: stay away from BALCO). But, could it be fake? Here are some signs your HGH might be phony.
Your... READ ON
As is usually the case with bills in Congress, I had a lot of trouble believing that the 2007 Farm Bill was applicable to me. After all, the last time I even remember going to a farm was on a kindergarten field trip, when I got goat's milk squirted directly into my mouth and I almost threw up. So, when a friend told me the Farm Bill was really important for everyone, I laughed at him. That is, until he told me beer prices might go up. I... READ ON
It's pretty widely accepted than animals and humans are different, having evolved separately. But apparently some aren't sold on this whole Darwin thing and they're taking it to the courts. And this isn't just Scopes Monkey Trial 2.0. No, a group in Austria is legitimately trying to get an ape recognized as a person.
Last month, a judge in Austria tossed out the case, where the Association Against Animal Factories was trying get a chimp granted the rights of a person (but not a human). The group was... READ ON
The Tiebreaker Heard 'Round the... READ ON
We've all heard about the dangers of global warming and climate change. It's going to make the oceans rise, drown our cities, kill plants, cause hurricanes and ruin the Earth for our grandkids. But that's all secondary to the real effects of global warming; it's wreaking havoc on the sports world. Here's a look at seven ways climate change is messing up sports.
Marathon... READ ON
My days as a mental_floss intern are over. My adoring fans may have noticed that the "Intern" has been dropped from my byline and my workload has decreased to "occasional contributor" status. Unlike these guys, though, I left my internship on my own terms and Mangesh and Jason appreciated my work enough to let me stay on. Here's a look at four interns who didn't do as well during their employment.
The Employer: Roseanne... READ ON
I'm learning how to cook, which has been an adventure. The other night, after an encounter with some particularly spicy Italian sausage combined with even spicier barbecue sauce, my roommates and I found ourselves wondering if eating spicy foods could kill you. I mean, it can certainly cause intense pain and chest tightness; so can too much spicy food kill... READ ON
This whole Larry Craig sex sting story, followed by the one about federal prosecutor trying to have sex with a five-year-old got me to thinking about depravity in Washington. For better or for worse "“ well, really just for worse "“ our politicians seem to be a pretty obscene bunch. They drink like frat boys on spring break (and then sometimes drive), they cuss like they're in a Quentin Tarantino movie and fight like schoolyard enemies. All while running the... READ ON
Miriam Porter is an award-winning journalist living in Toronto with her son and many rescued furry friends.
Before having triplets in 2003, Amy went to graduate school, had a career, read voraciously, and traveled through three continents, but she doesn't remember any of it.
Sarah Prial fled her degree in Media Studies and Digital Culture to become a writer.
Kristy is a New York-based entertainment journalist whose work has appeared on Vanity Fair, Time Out New York, Vulture, Pajib
By day, Jordan Rabinowitz is the managing editor of college sports website/player database
Suzanne loves writing about music, history, Latin, and publishing.
A writer, blogger and avid TV watcher, Adam K. Raymond lives in Brooklyn with his wife Josie. He is an editor at Hemispheres and has written for Radar, NYMag.com and GOOD.
The inventors of Bubble Wrap were originally trying to make plastic wallpaper.