Tired of Larry "Sweet Deal" Jones from Jones Toyota screaming at you about how "prices can't get any lower"? You know you're not alone. For years people have complained to cable companies and television networks about commercials being much louder than the shows people are tuning in to watch. This happens so frequently that many TV stations post answers to the "Why are the commercials so loud?" question on their websites. They claim that the commercials aren't actually louder, but that their consistent... READ ON
"This year alone, upwards of 500,000 Americans are expected to travel overseas to get their bodies fixed, at prices 30 to 80 percent less than at home." This is what Krysten Crawford writes in the August issue of Business 2.0. It's a fascinating article about the growing medical tourism industry.
Some other facts from the article:
There are more than 61 million Americans who are uninsured or don't have sufficient health insurance.
Experts estimate medical tourism will become a $40 billion/yr... READ ON
In case you ever wondered what it looks like when 200,000 people head to the beach -- this is a picture of the Chinese resort of Quindao.
Link via... READ ON
New Scientist has a cool piece on anÂ invention idea from an Israeli inventor, Eliyahu Nir. Nir was thinking about the number of lives lost in fire accidents due to the time it takes firefighters to retrieveÂ peopleÂ and carry them down ladders, especially in taller buildings.
So, here's his idea:
A specialised emergency truck would carry an extendible boom that could be raised to a window in a burning building. Jaws at the top of the boom would then expand to clamp a small platform inside the... READ ON
When architects in Harare, Zimbabwe were planning to build the Eastgate shopping centre, they looked to termites for guidance on building their cooling systems. Because of Harare's temperate climate, they were able to use a natural cooling system, instead of air conditioning. Treehugger has a cool (no pun intended) article on the new building. Here's a bit:
Long before the building was created, passive cooling was being used by the local termites. Termite mounds include flues which vent... READ ON
A German scientist claims to have tested an "anti-stupidity" pill on mice and fruit flies and has seen "encouraging results," according to a Reuters article.
I have a hard time buying into any study that's working to cure stupidity and is claiming success with mice and fruit flies. Preventing memory loss is one thing but the "anti-stupidity" claim seems a bit exaggerated.
"With mice and fruit flies we were able to eliminate the loss of short-term memory," Ropers, 62, is quoted saying in the German... READ ON
If you're in the mood to see double or if you'd like to see a Guinness record in action, you should head up to Twinsburg, OH this weekend for the 31st annual Twins Day Festival. Guinness Book of World Records lists this event as the world's largest gathering of twins.
Is there a word for the fear of twins? I think that word would apply to me if I had toÂ witness scenes like the one in the picture for an entire... READ ON
Here at mental_floss, we're just nerdy enough to celebrate whenever we discover an entertaining anagram. You may remember John's post a while back where he pointed out that Presbyterians is an anagram of Britney Spears. Well, our friend Anu over at Wordsmith has a fantastic listÂ in his Hall of Fame.
Some of my favorites:
Western Union = No Wire Unsent
Clint Eastwood = Old West Action
The centenarians = I can hear ten "tens"
The Meaning of Life = The fine game of nil
The Morse Code = Here Come... READ ON
We all knew that guy who refused to celebrate the turn of the millennium when the year 2000 hit because the real turn was in 2001. Well, if you're that guy, here's another fact to make you feel smarter than everyone else. Today is the actual anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, not July 4th. On July 4th, John Hancock and Charles Thompson signed drafts of the document. 50 men participated in the official signing on August 2, 1776. And a few more signed later in the year.
Be sure... READ ON
This story came out a couple weeks ago in Science, but I didn't read about it until flipping through The Week a few days ago.
Researchers in the Kalahari Desert recently observed meerkats teaching their young how to bite the stinger off a scorpion before eating it. "So what?" replied my mailman when I told him about it. "Well", I said to Andy the mailman, "This is the only other mammal that's been found actively teaching its young. Most other animals seem to learn through observation, but not direct... READ ON
Nixon was speaking at Disney World when he famously declared, "I am not a crook."