Mangesh co-founded mental_floss in 2001 and previously served as Editor-in-Chief of the magazine. He's currently Chief Creative Officer.
Yahoo News is reporting that a 12-foot Burmese Python named Houdini screwed up a magic trick when he tried to make his electric blanket disappear. The python, who decided to gulp down the blanket as a main course, needed emergency surgery to have it removed (apparently, the Heimlich doesn't have much of an effect on snakes). What was amazing to me in reading the article was:
a) it took Houdini 6 hours to get the queen-sized blanket into his belly
b) the surgery to remove the blanket needed an 18-inch... READ ON
I saw this gorgeous pic of an African Praying Mantid on ettf.net, and couldn't resist posting it. In fact, I was so fascinated that I broke out the Britannica, and researched a bit online. So, here are a couple of things I found out about our friend the Mantid:
The Praying Mantid is called a "God Horse" in West Indian cultures, and is also occasionally referred to as the devil's horse.
The Mantid is one of a few types of insect that can rotate its head.
It's the... READ ON
CNN is outing one of the Internet's best-known artists today. While the name Dennis Hwang probably doesn't mean anything to you (no offense if you happen to be Dennis Hwang's mother), you've almost certainly seen the 28-year old's artwork: Hwang's the guy that draws all those fancy Google logos celebrating everything from Michelangelo's birthday to National Library Day. And what a guy! According to the CNN piece, Hwang was actually an art major in college,... READ ON
According to the New York Times, Hong Kong authorities are relying on Boy Scouts, Girl Guides and "nine other uniformed groups" to turn in anyone trading or downloading pirated songs or movies off the net. Dubbed the "Youth Ambassadors," 1,600 vigilantes age 9-25 will pledge their allegiance and willingness to reveal offenders in a giant stadium ceremony.Â Of course, there is some incentive. Not only will government ministers be in attendance, but Hong Kong film and pop... READ ON
Coming from a land where snooker, badminton and kabbadi (look it up) are considered sports, I was thrilled to see that people in the video game industry have finally acknowledged the raw athletic intensity and total marketability of ping pong. Seriously! Rockstar Games is releasing a new Table Tennis game that truly looks unbelievable. Anyway, since I really am a fan of TT (most Indians scoff at the word "pong"), I've decided to include some facts on the game, culled straight from the... READ ON
According to The Times of India, the Chinese government is reverting to the same PR tactics used by dot com's in the 90's. They've enlisted a band of carefully-selected undercover operatives to go into chat rooms, and basically defend and glorify government policies on any boards where there's dissent. But what's the value in turning The Peoples' frown emoticons upside down? Posing as "ordinary netizens," the special forces are expected to guide public... READ ON
According to an article in yesterday's Mirror, Mr. T (formerly of A-Team, Rocky III and 1-800 Collect fame) is starring in a new TV Land reality show, but has abandoned wearing his trademark gold chains on the program. Amazingly, the change came about because of the devout Christian's experiences helping victims during last year's Katrina relief efforts. Coming across far more eloquent than he ever has in any script, the actor was quoted as saying, "I stopped wearing the gold as of last... READ ON
I was thumbing through edits this weekend of mental_floss' upcoming Med School in a Box (kudos to Mary and her husband Tim for churning out such a wonderful project!), when I came across a fact that completely intrigued me. I mean, *ahem* there were plenty of facts in there that intrigued me, but I found the one on Foreign Accent Syndrome particularly fascinating.
Apparently, the condition is the result of a rare, highly localized stroke that "strips the patient of her native accent and instead leaves her... READ ON
Reuters is reporting that a team of Australian paleontologists has discovered over 20 previously unknown species in a fossil dig in Northwest Queensland. Among the exciting critters revealed are a meat-eating kangaroo with enormous fangs and powerful forelimbs, and a giant carnivorous birds which the team describes as "demon ducks of doom." Poor alliteration aside, the ferociousness of the creatures doesn't seem to be an exaggeration. The well-muscled teeth on the kangaroo, for example,... READ ON
In all the hubbub over Roger Federer's 4-in-a-row win streak at Wimbledon, a far more newsworthy story was overshadowed. CNN is reporting that this is the 9th year in a row that Arkansas native Del Hampton has won the Wayne, Nebraska Chicken Show Cluck-off. Del has perfected the art of scratching, pecking, clucking and then producing a spring-loaded fake egg the size of a watermelon. And while nothing should distract the spotlight from his special moment, I did become curious as to why Wayne,... READ ON
The little plastic bit on the end of your shoelace is called an aglet.