Editorial Director/VP, Strategy at mental_floss.
Likes: doughnuts, spirits (liquor), spirits (supernatural), donuts. Dislikes: injuries.
Three men vanished in 1897 while trying to fly to the North Pole. But 33 years later, Arctic explorers found the undeveloped film of the doomed voyage.... READ ON
Buying fruit juice at the supermarket is a surprisingly complicated task that leads to myriad questions. What’s really in that “100% juice”? Why does that “juice” have the word “cocktail” loitering behind it? Let’s take a look at the exciting world of juice labeling.... READ ON
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As the Congressional debate over the debt ceiling rages on this week, more analysts are raising the question of what would happen if the country defaults on U.S. Treasury bonds. For finance types, the notion of the U.S. government defaulting is nearly unthinkable; Treasury securities are considered to be effectively risk-free. Murmurs that the ongoing wrangling over the debt ceiling could lead to even a brief default have provoked plenty of worrying on both sides of... READ ON
Every time we read printed material, we’re interacting with a font. It’s easy to take them for granted, but every typeface has an inventor and a story. Let’s take a look at the origins of five common... READ ON
You knew Johnny Cash could sing, but you’re probably less familiar with his dramatic output. Let’s rectify that. Here’s the trailer for Cash’s 1961 feature film debut, the crime thriller Five Minutes to Live. (This trailer is actually for the 1966 re-release under the infinitely more awesome title Door-to-Door Maniac.)
Marvel at how seamlessly Cash’s singing is integrated into the trailer! See which “delightful new child star” played a supporting role in the film! If you spend only 75... READ ON
Actor Bryan Cranston finally made his triumphant return as Breaking Bad’s Walter White last week. In honor of the critically acclaimed show’s fourth season, let’s take a look at five things you may not know about its Emmy-winning leading man.
1. He’s Got Experience as a Carny
Cranston earned a two-year degree in police science, but he didn’t go into a law enforcement job after graduation. Instead, he took a decidedly different tack: he and his brother took to the road on their motorcycles.... READ ON
When you hear the name Muzak, you probably think of the type of easy listening music one often encounters in elevators or while on hold at a call center. Where does the term Muzak come from, and where does the actual music originate? And why don’t we hear elevator music as much as we used to? Let’s take a look at a brief history of the smooth programming.
For a company whose name is synonymous with wimpy music, Muzak had a surprisingly tough founder: an Army general. Major General George O. Squier... READ ON
You probably know that numismatists study and collect coins and currency, and you may even know that philatelists study and collect stamps. But other groups of collectors have their own less-heralded nouns, too.... READ ON
In a little over a month, Republican presidential hopefuls will meet in Ames to square off in the Iowa Straw Poll. What the heck is a straw poll, and what do the results mean? Let’s take a look at some questions about the event that’s going to start dominating the political news soon.
What exactly is the Iowa Straw Poll?
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It’s sort of like a giant party crossed with a political popularity contest. Since 1979 Republicans have gathered in Ames the August before... READ ON
Yesterday’s not guilty verdict for Casey Anthony ended her highly publicized trial. Here’s how life shook out for a few other acquitted defendants in high-profile trials.
1. Lizzie Borden
Although 32-year-old Lizzie Borden was never convicted of the 1892 ax murder of her father and stepmother, her highly publicized trial followed her for the remaining 34 years of her life. Borden became close friends with actress Nance O’Neill, but she lived out the rest of her life as a recluse. Although... READ ON
Winston Churchill's mother was born in Brooklyn.