Win A Rockin' Weekend in Cleveland for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and mental_floss magazine want to send you and a guest to "A Rockin' Weekend in Cleveland." You'll get the VIP treatment at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in Cleveland (April 3-4, 2009). Witness rock history as Metallica, RUN-D.M.C., Little Anthony and the Imperials, Jeff Beck, and Bobby Womack will be honored.
The Grand Prize winner and a guest will be treated to a... READ ON
Just a reminder that all items in the mental_floss store "“ t-shirts, Law School in a Box, Cocktail Party Cheat Sheets, even Freudian Slippers "“ are currently 15% off. Just enter the discount code VALENTINE during checkout. Happy... READ ON
If you've ever had a great idea for a mental_floss shirt, now's your chance to profit from it. We're once again accepting t-shirt slogans. To earn a little internet fame and $125, go off and do a little brainstorming, then email your best ideas to email@example.com.
And if you need some wearable inspiration (or a quirky Valentine's Day gift), we're having a big sale in the mental_floss store. Everything excluding subscriptions is 15% off. Just enter the discount code VALENTINE during checkout.... READ ON
Our big t-shirt sale continues until one minute before midnight. All mental_floss t-shirts are $14.90. Just head over to our store, fill up your cart and enter the code "newtees" during checkout. T-shirt weather is right around the corner! Be... READ ON
The three latest mental_floss shirts were added to our store this morning. To celebrate this joyous occasion, all of our shirts, new and old, are currently on sale for the brilliant price of $14.90. Just enter the code "newtees" during checkout.
Thanks again to readers Cyntianna Ledesma (Derive), April Russel (Inconsistency) and Sharen Starkweather (Tomato) for their submissions. And if you have a great idea for a mental_floss t-shirt, your creativity could earn you $125. Send your slogans to... READ ON
In the right-hand column of mentalfloss.com, you'll find a list of our friends. Every now and again, we're going to be highlighting some of what they're doing in their corners of the web. Because that's what friends do.
AskMen.com: This morning, after counting the (millions of) votes, AskMen unveiled their Top 99 Women of 2009. If we did a mental_floss version of this (and added a Top Men list to keep things fair/balanced), who would you nominate?
HowStuffWorks: If there's a blizzard in the... READ ON
Big Fat Lies! is a trivia challenge that presents you with two statements "“ one is true, the other is blatantly false. Your job is to spot the big fat lie. There are over 1,000 statements across several categories, covering history, science, business, entertainment and more.
So if you've got an iPhone and $1.99, head on over to the iTunes Store and let us know what you think. (That link should open up your iTunes and send you right to Big Fat Lies! page of the store. If not, you can search for... READ ON
The reader-submitted t-shirt ideas have been pouring in, and our designer Terri Dann has made some pretty pictures to go along with some of our favorites. To help us decide which two shirts to send off to the printer, would you care to vote for the two you like best?
a) Friends Don't Let Friends Derive Drunk
b) Sports Geek
c) You Say Tomato, I Say Tomato (Doesn't Make Much Sense When You Read It)
d) Bald Is Beautiful
e) What Would Aslan Do?
f) Sucks to Your Ass-Mar
g) Inconsistency: It... READ ON
We apologize for doing this on Christmas morning, but it's time someone spilled the dirt on the Three Kings, and just how wise they really were. While the story of the cheersome threesome is oft-repeated through manger scenes and Christmas carols, only one of the four Gospels (Matthew) makes mention of visitors from the East. And while scripture does list the three gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, Matthew doesn't specify how many people brought them. In fact, based on the writings of early... READ ON
McSweeney's writer and former mental_floss intern Hari Raghavan used to write a morbid little column called Vocab Rehab, where we tried to help people remember impressive words through tricks and memorable sentences. We canned the column because it got so many complaints. This one from April 17th seems to have two lessons from Hari: the definition of the word saguaro, and the importance of practicing plant safety on holidays.
a tall, columnar cactus of dry areas of the southwestern U.S.... READ ON
From a MediaBistro blog post titled "You Too Can Make Ridiculous Money Writing":
As far as we know, Michael Lewis' rumored $12 per word from Portfolio is the highest rate in the magazine universe.
mental_floss magazine is giving away five $10,000 scholarships to essayists who best answer the question "Why are you the most deserving person on the planet to win a scholarship?" In 750 words. That's more than $13 per word. Suck it, Lewis.
[Learn more about our $50,000 Tuition... READ ON
We've gotten so many requests to bring back the mental_floss t-shirt sale that we're doing just that. Through Sunday, every t-shirt is just $14.90. Head over to our store, fill up your cart, and enter the super secret password "holidayteeparty" during checkout.
Mangesh's new favorite is the Hokey Pokey shirt ("Hokey Pokey Anonymous: A Place to Turn Yourself Around"); I'm a big Veni Vidi Wiki fan ("I came. I saw. I edited collaboratively.") No matter your favorite, the sale ends Sunday at 11:59pm, so... READ ON
Tonight we're excited to announce our first foray into the iPhone Application world. Big Fat Lies! is a trivia challenge that presents you with two statements "“ one is true, the other is blatantly false. Your job is to spot the big fat lie. There are over 1,000 statements across several categories, covering history, science, business, entertainment and more.
So if you've got an iPhone and $2.99, head on over to the iTunes Store and let us know what you think. (That link should open up your iTunes... READ ON
Our Holiday Tee Party ends at midnight tonight. So if your holiday shopping plans include loading up on mental_floss t-shirts, now's the time to place your order.
Head on over to the mental_floss store and cross a few names off your gift list. All t-shirts are $14.90—just use the code "holidayteeparty" during checkout.
Here's a sampling of what's... READ ON
Sick of giving out the same old boring presents? This year, why don't you ditch the fruit cakes and hand-made ashtrays, and give them a gift they really want: a year's worth of mental_floss!
We're making it super easy with our Super Special Holiday Subscription Deal. For just $27.97, you'll receive a copy of the current issue along with a snazzy greeting card (to give to the lucky recipient on the big day). Plus, they'll be getting a full year of mental_floss, delivered right to their doorstep! It's a... READ ON
If you're sitting at your desk anxiously awaiting a company-wide "we're closing early!" email, we've got a productive way to kill some time. Head on over to the mental_floss store and do a little pre-Black Friday holiday shopping. All t-shirts are $14.90—just use the code "holidayteeparty" during checkout.
Happy Thanksgiving,... READ ON
While sorting through the economic crisis t-shirt submissions, we've been arguing like members of Congress. So, we've narrowed the field to six candidates and decided to hold a referendum. Leave your vote in the comments—one vote per person. (We've invested heavily in technology to prevent t-shirt contest voter fraud.) The winner gets a $125 bailout.
a. "Bernanke Say Relax"
c. "Go Directly to Bailout: Collect $700 Billion Dollars"... READ ON
In the spirit of all good things coming to an end, today is the last day you'll get six free months of mental_floss magazine when you pre-order The Mental Floss History of the World from Amazon.
If you already subscribe to the magazine, Amazon will just add six free months to your current subscription. Or you can even give the free subscription to a friend. Think of the holiday shopping implications!
So, click here to preorder your copy and get your free subscription today. (But only today!)
For... READ ON
Sunday was mental_floss contributor Brett Savage's 30th birthday. To celebrate, we were going to post 30 of his greatest quizzes. Upon further reflection, that seemed like an excessive amount of fanfare, so we settled on these three. Mark the end of Brett's twenties by clicking on any banner and taking that... READ ON
Ben and Terri sent in this pic of their cat who apparently preordered the book on Amazon (at least that's what the photo and bad grammar led us to believe). Thank you so much for showing your support. Thanks to this cat and all of you, the book has actually climbed to #2 on the world history bestseller list. And while we're ecstatic about the numbers, we're even more happy that we're finally breaking into that elusive cat demographic. If you haven't preordered the new mental_floss book yet, the deal's... READ ON
It seems a lot of you are taking us up on our new special at Amazon (if you preorder our new History of the World book, we'll give you a free 6-month subscription to the magazine). For anyone who ordered, we just wanted to say thank you! In the past few days, we've risen from the hundred-thousands to #38 on Amazon, which puts us just ahead of such Western classics as the I Can Has Cheeseburger book (#41) and Ted Nugent's Ted, White and Blue (#47). Of course, we're still way, way behind Dewey: The... READ ON
Our very first hardback, The Mental Floss History of the World: An Irreverent Romp Through Civilization's Best Bits goes on sale on the web today! And if you can't tell from all the extra exclamation points, we're pretty darn excited. In fact, we can't stop talking about all the great stories that are crammed into the thing: from why getting slapped across the face and then crying in public was the most important thing a Babylonian king could do to keep his job, to why Queen Elizabeth cursed Walter Raleigh... READ ON
No purchase or payment necessary to enter or win. A purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Void where prohibited by law.
The Contest: In 750 words or less, explain why you (as the most deserving person on the planet) should win a $10,000 prize for tuition/books in the fall of 2009. The contest is open to full-time students pursuing an undergraduate degree at an accredited two-year or four-year college or university in the U.S. or Canada in the fall of 2009. Essays must be original work... READ ON
Are you a Big Ten scholar? Let's find out.
Take the Quiz: Name the Big Ten in 2 Minutes
We're celebrating Labor Day by not working. Instead, we're posting some of our favorite Daily Lunchtime Quizzes from yestermonth. Stop by every day at 11:30am Eastern Time for a new... READ ON
We know, the banner may not look like typical mental_floss (the world-peace-promoting musician Nassiri has kindly funded the challenge). But we assure you the content is pure Sandy and Kara (you know them as the geniuses behind 5 Questions, True Crime, TV-holic, the Daily Brain Game). Take the quiz here, and let us how you did in the comments... READ ON
...the first VP from Delaware.
...the first Catholic Vice President. (John F. Kennedy was the first Catholic President, but to date we haven't had a Catholic in the second slot.)
...the first VP who graduated from the University of Delaware. UD alums have, of course, taken plenty of other fields by storm (notable alumni include rocker George Thorogood, MVP quarterback Rich Gannon and Dutch-born astronaut Lodewijk van den Berg, who flew on the 1985 Challenger mission). Biden wouldn't be the only alum... READ ON
Just visit the store, and enter the word "teeparty" as the discount code. But be quick! The sale ends at... READ ON
Time is running out, folks. In honor of Leo, the handsomest Airedale on staff, we've decided to cut prices on everything in the mental_floss store this week. From t-shirts to books to periodic table shower curtains, all you have to do is
enter the word "dog" as the coupon code, and you'll automatically get 10% off everything in your shopping... READ ON
In an effort to show off our magazine content, and lighten our wallets (those bills are causing such a strain on our back), we're debuting a whole new contest... The $100 Challenge! (Note: these are American dollars, not Canadian or Zimbabwean, just in case you were looking for a favorable exchange rate.)
The... READ ON
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE. Birmingham, ALA. Today, at 4:15pm EST, the editorial board of mental_floss magazine kept their promise toÂ readers and turned their blog's RSS feed back to full blast. The feed had been temporarily disabled due to hacking issues. The gushing stream of full RSS stories hitting inboxes around the nation was quickly followed by cheers heard across America, and the popping of champagne corks distribution of celebratory juice boxes around the magazine's headquarters.
"This is a great... READ ON
Our latest mental_floss t-shirts have come from reader ideas, and we want to keep it that way! We're in the process of collecting slogans, and we're offering $125 and a t-shirt to anyone for any idea we use. Just e-mail your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org ... You've got 'til Monday! We'll announce 5 new winners in an upcoming... READ ON
In honor of the little English, and her first week in the world, we're doing a sale. Just type in the word "baby" into the coupon code, and you'll get 10% off every onesie you purchase in our store. Hurry up and claim your... READ ON
It's true! In addition to yesterday's new shirts (make sure to check them out here), we're unveiling 2 more new shirts right now. Today's shirts come from the brilliant minds of readers Roxanne Banks (who's responsible for the apathy shirt), and Lisa Sims (who you can blame for the English majors shirt)! The ideas were so funny, we simply had to make them part of the mental_floss wardrobe. Thanks so much for the ideas. Of course, we can't go without also mentioning our wonderfully talented design team here... READ ON
We're super excited to unveil 2 new t-shirts today! And while we're always excited to show off our new shirts, we're especially giddy today because the ideas come from you. Today's slogans were submitted by our genius readers Ira Wray and Colin Neagle, whose punchlines were so funny we simply had to translate them into shirt form. Ira came up with the Palindromes concept, and Colin's behind the Constitution one. If you'd like one for yourself, they're on sale here at the mental_floss store.
Got an idea... READ ON
Why not? You love America. We love America. Plus, it's really hot outside. Click here to check out all our shirts, and be sure to enter the word "shirt" in the discount code to claim that 10%... READ ON
Last week, we mentioned we had two tickets to American Eagle's Summer Festival in Pittsburgh, and said we'd trade them for your most interesting Pittsburgh trivia.
After a grueling evaluation process, we've selected this gem from... READ ON
UPDATE: We'll extend this through the weekend and name a winner on Monday. If you've got Pittsburgh trivia and want those tickets, leave a... READ ON
It's way too hot for long sleeves right now. The heat and humidity combined with our 10%-off t-shirt sale make now the ideal time to stock up for summer.
A few of our favorites:
"¢ "When life gives you scurvy, make lemonade"
"¢ "Hyberbole is the best thing ever!"
"¢ "There's no right way to eat a rhesus"
"¢ "Christians have the best sects"
"¢ "Pluto: Revolve in Peace"
So drop by the mental_floss store and fill up your cart. To get your 10% off, enter the code "shirt"... READ ON
We've been waiting a long time to use that 'Breaking News' bar.
Here it is—we've partnered with a company called Zinio to offer a digital version of mental_floss magazine. A digital subscription gets you everything that's in the print magazine—the same great content and design delivered right to your desktop. This is perfect for people who live outside the United States, since no extra postage is required. And it's great for people living inside the United States who don't trust their... READ ON
As we recover from the long weekend, here are a few classic quizzes from the archives. (As classic as something from February can be.) We return live tomorrow. Click on any image to take that... READ ON
We're in reruns with the Lunchtime Quiz today. If none of these are new to you, you can always try to better your score. Or check out our entire quiz archive. Or wait until... READ ON
We can verify these reports.
Let's do this FAQ style...
Q. I don't deal well with change. Can't I just read the blog the old way?
A. Of course. mentalfloss.com/blogs will remain the same—just wider. Right now, that extra width is doing a number on some images that were specifically designed for the former format. But we'll get that fixed.
Q. Why is this better than the old homepage?
A. The previous page was essentially identical to mentalfloss.com/blogs. This version gives us the chance... READ ON
Don't forget, we've got a sale going on in the mental_floss store. Everything is 15% off, excluding subscriptions. Just enter the code "survey" during checkout.
This includes all our classic t-shirts, including "When Life Gives You Scurvy, Make Lemonade" and "Lady Macbeth Hand Soap," plus new favorites like "Hyperbole is the Best Thing Ever!" and "Christians Have the Best Sects."
One last t-shirt note: We'll be combing through the last wave of t-shirt slogan contest submissions this week, and... READ ON
The first blackmailers were Scottish landlords who exploited farmers by making them pay rent in livestock or services if they couldn't pay in cash. The goods they had to hand over were usually worth more than the rent owed, and the landlords didn't make change.
Around the same time, local chieftains started going after the same farmers with the kind of scheme the mafia usually refers to as "selling insurance." They made an offer the farmers couldn't refuse: pay a fee for... READ ON
Your opinion is important to us. Your demographic info is important to our advertisers. Let's kill two birds with one survey!
(That doesn't sound very enticing. Let us sweeten the... READ ON
With April Fools' Day being today, we figured it might be a good time to look back on the humble origins of the pranky day, so we turned to a passage in our origins book: In the Beginning. Here's what we've got:
If someone tries to tell you today's tradition goes back to the switch from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar in 1582, feel free to call his bluff. What is true is that the calendar year used to start at the end of March under the Julian schematic. Legend claims that because news... READ ON
Sure,we could make the obligatory Keith Richards gag here, but dinosaur jokes are so Mesozoic Era. Why don't we just fast forward to the stories and deliver some Satisfaction... READ ON
New Scientist, easily our favorite science magazine, has a fascinating piece on how scientists at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign have come up with a genius new way of building circuits. While still built from the same old materials (plastic and silicone), these new circuits can both stretch and bend (it's like your motherboard on yoga!). In fact, they can even be folded around coins. Of course, why the scientists chose to bend them up against coins, the article refuses to reveal. What the... READ ON
Ed. Note: This list was pulled from the mental_floss book Forbidden... READ ON
France's last execution via guillotine was in 1977.