We're proud to announce four new additions to the mental_floss line:
Scuba Diving: Keep Your Friends Close and Anemones Closer
Ambiguity: What Happens in Vagueness Stays in Vagueness
I Avoid ClichÃ©s Like the Plague
Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally
[Also available in fitted women's sizes.]
Whether you're looking to get a head start on your holiday shopping or you'd like to stick one of these in your own t-shirt drawer, now's the time to buy. Until Monday at 11:59pm, all shirts are... READ ON
The new issue is finally (FINALLY!) on newsstands, and we're so excited to talk about it. This month, mental_floss is covering all sorts of things, including exciting new cures for blindness, Crohn's disease and MS; America's next top energy source (icy methane bricks mined from the bottom of the ocean); and why Kashmiri men carry pumpkins on their bellies. We've even got great stories on the incredibly bizarre life of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and a little peek at all the skeletons hiding inside IKEA's well... READ ON
One of our favorite things in the latest issue of mental_floss is Chris Higgins' wonderful MacGyver Fact Check. We had him analyze a whole bunch of episodes and determine just how plausible the escapes were. Here's just one of the stories that surprised us.
JUMPING OUT OF A PLANE (IN A CAR!)
EPISODE: "The Heist," Season 1, Episode 5
Sticky Situation: A diamond-mogul villain has captured Mac and his most recent love interest in the cargo hold of an airplane. The villain cackles, "Take... READ ON
The caged rodents in today's labs aren't the guinea pigs of yesteryear. They're specifically bred and highly standardized.Â Need a mouse that's resistant to anthrax but will get drunk easily? There's a lab mouse designed for that. Need a mouse that can get Parkinson's disease but will never catch polio? There's a mouse for that, too. Writer Maggie Koerth-Baker did some serious digging to reveal the strange story ofÂ Clarence Cook Little, the visionary... READ ON
Our new cover story on leaders is filled with the bold ideas and strange measures that politicians have taken to try and better their countries. But part of what makes the piece so fascinating is that all of these men and women have had unbelievable lives. Their stories sound so unlikely-- from a hippie, folk-singing doctor who escaped torture to become president, to an East German scientist and daughter of a pastor who walked over the Berlin wall and was so moved that she felt compelled to go into... READ ON
As the economy sputters, everyone's looking for new ways to save on food. That's why, we askedÂ David Clark to collect a whole bunch of no-budget meal ideas for the new issue. Here are his tips for chowing down on tree bark.
A Nice Slice of Tree Bark
A classic meal of human desperation, tree bark has become a must-have during periods of scarcity. But you don't have to eat it al dente the way termites and beavers do. Inhabitants of the Lapland in Finland, for example, are known to make... READ ON
Finally! We're so excited because we've been waiting and waiting to talk about the new issue, and it's finally out! This month, we're covering the world's 5 gutsiest world leaders—visionaries with great stories who faced down their nation's most difficult problems. But if people who've single-handedly united Europe, saved a South American country from the current economic meltdown, or curbed the spread of AIDS in an African nation don't interest you (why doesn't that interest you?), we've also... READ ON
Make room in your t-shirt drawer, because today we've added three new shirts to the mental_floss store: "I'd Give My Right Arm To Be Ambidextrous," "Thomas Aquinas: The Original Deep Fat Friar" and "The Comma Sutra: Making Grammar Sexy since 1875."
To celebrate their arrival, all our shirts are currently 15% off. Just enter the coupon code "moretees" before checkout. (Discount doesn't apply to package deals or Outlet Store items.) If you're pondering a shirt purchase, consider adding a subscription to... READ ON
There's a lot of horrible, terrible, no good, very bad news out there. And it's definitely dominating the headlines (just take a look at the pic that Terri took at the local Books-a-Million).Â But that's exactly why mental_floss decided to print up a new issue, 100% full of stories guaranteed to make you smile!Â
Our Good News issue is filled with weird and funny and incredible tales that are bound to put you in a better mood. In fact, if you asked us to tell you our favorite story from the issue,... READ ON
We asked some of our favorite mental_floss writers and researchers to send us their favorite dad-related facts and stories. Here are 15 you can use around the grill this... READ ON
We know, we know... we're trying to get on the ball with this "technical difficulties" thing. Won't you click around these quizzes and prove your smarts as we get stuff in order over... READ ON
By Steve Wiegand
1)... READ ON
Once a year (starting this year), we're going to celebrate the return of t-shirt weather with a big 20%-off sale. So as you start counting down to your summer vacations, you can stock up on all the _flossy essentials "“ quirky t-shirts (like "When Life Gives You Scurvy, Make Lemonade" and "Hyperbole is the Best Thing Ever!"), books for the beach, and fantastic games for rainy days.
The sale ends at 11:59pm EST Friday night. To get your 20% off, head over to our store, fill up your cart, and... READ ON
Our friends at New Amsterdam Records are throwing a release party tonight for Nadia Sitora's debut album, first things first. The festivities start at 8pm at the Galapagos Art Space (16 Main Street @ Water Street). Here are the details.
For more about New Amsterdam Records, read David Israel's interview with co-founders Judd Greenstein and William Brittelle. David also sat down with Nadia herself "“Â read their Q&A session... READ ON
Two quick things:
1) If you LOVE witty garments that cover both your torso AND part of your arms, you're in... READ ON
Today's quiz tests your mastery of all things really tall. Well, not all things. Just buildings. Let's see how well you know your skyscrapers.
Take the Quiz:... READ ON
Stacy Conradt asked for photos of your tattoos, and boy did you deliver! AndrÃ©a Fernandes sorted through your submissions and has assembled this gallery. To be friendly to those of you with slow Internet connections (like her), she paginated the post so all the photos aren't on one page. Which one's your... READ ON
We're big fans of New Zealander Justin Brown around the office. The spunky author once lost a rugby bet. The wager? He had to fly to England, and sing and play his guitar door-to-door busking for money until he had enough to travel home (He wrote about the adventure in his book UK on a G-String.)
In any case, Justin was recently laid off after 10 years at his job in radio. But instead of moping about it, he's decided to create a website: wehaventlaidanyoneoff.com. And because we (mental_floss) haven't... READ ON
In honor of Kevin Roose's wonderful book, we asked readers to pitch us your idea for an ethnography project. While we heard a ton of great proposals, the three pitches we would commission (if we had the money to commission such things) are:
-Jo's pitch on living with the chickens at a chicken farm "Gorillas in the Mist"-style, tentatively titled "Chickens in the Excrement"
-Todd's pitch on studying the NASCAR scene, and living with fans who RV across the country to events.
-Amy's pitch on infiltrating... READ ON
Who said counting to 10 calms you down? Every time we try to breathe our way to that blessed number, we end up excited by a whole new list of outrageous stories. Knowledge Junkies be warned: There are more than 70 pages of adrenaline-pumping lists in our 8th annual '10 Issue,' from technologies we stole from the animal kingdom to shocking stories about Somali pirates.
If you'd rather not schlep all the way down to the newsstand (or your local Borders, Barnes & Noble, independent bookseller or certain... READ ON
Our new issue *just 1 day away now!* is filled with all sort of great lists. (If you don't subscribe, be sure to do that here!) But one of the strangest we've included is a little set of stories about trains. Here's one of my favorites, about a ridiculously long train that runs along the African coast.
The Mauritania Railway
From end to end, Mauritania Railway's single, 220-car train is an unbelievable 1.5 miles long. It travels up and down the western coast of Mauritania, transporting billions... READ ON
If you've ever wondered where the world's best place to get pelted with oranges is, or how much olive oil you should douse yourself in before entering a Turkish wrestling contest, the new issue of mental_floss has you covered. In fact, we've got a whole article on The World's 10 Messiest and Strangest Food Festivals. Here's a quick peek at two of the stories.
A Well-Oiled Sporting Machine"¨: Turkey's Greasy Wrestling Match
The Turkish sure do love their olive oil. In fact,... READ ON
I don't know about you, but nothing makes us happier than a dumb criminal story. Which is why we commissioned a whole bunch of them for the new mental_floss, hitting stands in just 4 days! (If you don't subscribe already, you really should do that here.) But if you need even more convincing about how great this issue is, why don't you let these two stories whet your appetite.
When God Closes a Window
Never come between a defensive lineman and his chalupa. Employees at a Lawrence, Kansas, Taco Bell... READ ON
It's bad enough that humans have spent centuries using animals to feed and clothe us. But now, we're stealing their ideas, too? In the latest issue of mental_floss, we explore the amazing world of biomimetics to show how whales are solving the energy crisis, sharks are making our hospitals safer, and so much more. Here are just 2 of our favorites:
Sharkskin—The Latest Craze in Catheters
Hospitals are constantly worried about germs. No matter how often doctors and nurses wash their hands, they... READ ON
In the latest mental_floss, we indulged in a little kiss and tell. From a smooch that changed a law, to a kiss that changed a religion, we explored 10 of the most powerful kisses in human history. Here are just 2 of our favorites:
The First Guy-on-Guy Kiss to Hit the Big Screen
Movie experts often credit Sunday Bloody Sunday, a 1971 film about a love triangle among two guys and a girl, as the first mainstream feature film to depict two gay men kissing. That's true, but it wasn't the first... READ ON
Vatican City has fewer than 1,000 citizens and spans only 110 acres. But what actually goes on behind the scenes? From a library full of red tape (it's the original red tape!) to the Pope's Swiss bodyguards, there are all sorts of things we didn't know about the Vatican. Here are 2 of our favorites:
Baudelaire once said that "the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he doesn't exist." But in modern-day Vatican City, the devil isn't fooling... READ ON
Today, mental_floss is excited to be giving back.Â Earlier this year, we teamed up with Borders and Merriam-Webster to run our first ever "College Ain't Cheap!" Tuition Giveaway. Instead of looking at grade point averages and sheets of extra-curricular activities, we simply asked participants one question: "In 750 words or less, explain why you (as the most deserving person on the planet) should win a $10,000 prize for tuition and books."
To our delight, our inbox was... READ ON
We're very excited to announce the addition of five new t-shirts to the mental_floss line. To celebrate their arrival, ALL mental_floss shirts are currently on sale for $14.90!
To take advantage of this great deal, visit our store, fill up your cart, and enter the discount code 2009tees during checkout. The special sale price is good through Tuesday, March 31st. Stock up for spring and support your favorite... READ ON
On Friday, we announced that Scott Slocum of Essex, Maryland, had won the grand prize in our 'I Want to Rock in Cleveland' sweepstakes. Scott and his wife will be flown to Cleveland, put up in the Ritz-Carlton, and attend the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony (plus the VIP pre-induction party). Now it's time to name the fifty runners-up, who have won various mental_floss and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame prizes. Congratulations to the following people:
Elaine Tocco, Terry Horrocks, Harold Lambing,... READ ON
Over 5,000 entries later, we're very excited to announce that Scott Slocum of Essex, Maryland, is the big winner of the 'I Want to Rock in Cleveland' sweepstakes! Scott and his wife will be flown to Cleveland, put up in the Ritz-Carlton, and attend both the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony and the VIP pre-induction party. Fifty runners-up have won various mental_floss and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame prizes. (We'll be announcing those winners on Monday.)
We'll tell you more about Scott, his... READ ON
We'd like to say thanks to the thousands of people who entered the mental_floss/Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 'I Want to Rock in Cleveland' sweepstakes. The contest is now closed. Be sure to stop by on Friday, when we'll be announcing the grand prize winner. In addition to two tickets to the induction ceremony, our lucky winner (and a guest) will walk away with transportation to Cleveland, a stay in the Ritz-Carlton, spending money, and two tickets to the VIP pre-induction... READ ON
[Click the photo for a larger view]
The Tournament of Genius
Over the next few weeks, we'll be having a little March Madness of our own here at mentalfloss.com. Instead of playing hoops, though, we'll be working to put the title of "History's Greatest Genius" on its rightful owner. To find this singularly great thinker, we're having a single-elimination tournament to settle the debate about humanity's greatest mind once and for all. Is it Albert... READ ON
We've teamed up with the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and are offering our readers the chance to win a trip to Cleveland for the induction ceremony. The sweepstakes ends Monday at 11:59 P.M (EST).
The Grand Prize winner and a guest will be treated to a red carpet experience at the newly reimagined Ritz-Carlton, Cleveland. Transportation to Cleveland, spending money and two tickets to the VIP pre-induction party and the induction ceremony are included. We'll also award various mental_floss and Rock Hall... READ ON
The latest issue of mental_floss just hit newsstands. Rosemary Ahern's cover story chronicles 'The 25 Most Influential Books of the Past 25 Years.' This week, we'll be revealing five of those influential books here on the blog. And if this puts you in a subscribing mood, here are the... READ ON
For those of you who skip over headlines and images: The new issue is here! And it's great. It covers all sorts of wonderful stories from the 25 Most Powerful Books of the Past 25 Years, to How Pirates Shaped American Democracy, to 4 Holy Women Who Were Transformed by Cheese.
We love our new issue so much in fact that we're announcing a new special as well: If you order here, you'll get a full year subscription, AND a mental_floss t-shirt for a very, very low price. So, go ahead and support your... READ ON
This issue's Scatterbrained section is packed with great stories and anecdotes, but perhaps the page that's closest to my heart is the one on Lazy Furniture. At the top of that list is Selfy. Here's Adam Rosen's quick take on a new gadget I just realized I... READ ON
A few weeks ago, David Clark penned a bunch of great posts for us all about cheese. His topics covered everything from a maggot-infested delicacy outlawed in Italy to the enormous cheeses wheeled to the White House in honor of a new president. We liked his writing so much, that we asked him to write for the new issue. Here's an excerpt where he discusses Sor Juana InÃ©s de la Cruz and how the delicious dairy affected her... READ ON
We love Bill DeMain's writing at mental_floss. From his piece on Birth of the Cool, to last issue's description of Oklahoma!, he's got such a deft touch for writing about music. In this issue, though, he livened up our Scatterbrained section with a piece on Country Stars Who Got Burned by the Fast Food Business. My favorite is the story of Minnie Pearl, who started a fried chicken franchise without having a recipe for the... READ ON
This issue, we decided to investigate The Outback, and we turned to Australian Mark Juddery for the scoop. One of our favorite tidbits was the incredible and tragic story that inspired the Royal Flying Doctor Service. Here's a... READ ON
Sam Kean is a favorite of ours on staff. We geeked out on his pieces explaining Carbon Trading and covering a Natural Nuclear Reactor in Oklo, Nigeria. This month, he's profiling the new field of epigenetics and how maybe Darwinists shouldn't have derided LaMarcke's theories so much. This story of how mice could eat something, and it could affect their grandchildren really struck... READ ON
Everyone here at mental_floss is very excited about our newest partner. We've teamed up with the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and are offering our readers the chance to win a trip to Cleveland for the induction ceremony.
The Grand Prize winner and a guest will be treated to a red carpet experience at the newly reimagined Ritz-Carlton, Cleveland. Transportation to Cleveland, spending money and two tickets to the VIP pre-induction party and the induction ceremony are included. We'll also award various... READ ON
While we've never been Boy Scouts, the story of how Robert Baden-Powell recruited and employed teenage boys to help the British fight a war is incredible. Baden-Powell's entire biography is pretty fascinating, but his ingenuity in the time of war really struck us. Here's a... READ ON
Normally, the scrawny staffers at mental_floss have little interest in reading about the history of body building, but when Tim Farrell pitched a fascinating profile on showman Eugen Sandow, we couldn't resist. Here's a taste of what's in the new issue of mental_floss... READ ON
The ZIP in ZIP Code stands for Zone Improvement Plan.