Travel about an hour and a half north of the mental_floss editorial office in Birmingham, ALÂ to Decatur, AL and you can find one of the few sword swallowers in the world. His name is Dan Meyer and he'll happily swallow a sword for you... if you buy a car from him. Check out this article from the local paper in... READ ON
This dolphin-shaped boat appeared in Wired's NextFestÂ in 2005Â but I'd not seen a video of the boat in action until today.Â Much of the boat was made from discarded pieces of figher jets. Check out Innespace.com to read more.
Link via Daily MailÂ and... READ ON
Check out this interactive series of infographics at NYTimes.com.
Link via information aesthetics
Â ... READ ON
Happy New Year flossers! We're back blogging again this week and since many of you probably had to drag yourselvesÂ out of bed after hitting snooze 5 or 6 times,Â I thought I'd kick things off with some hangover-related facts I learned in a LiveScience article this morning:
Hangovers cost U.S. businesses $148 billion every year (workers taking sick days or performing poorly)
Drinking caffeinated drinks or taking a cold shower will not reduce your risk of a hangover. It may make you feel more... READ ON
PopCandy linked to this collection of The 50 Greatest Cartoons. The list was created by voters in the animation industry in 1994. There are actually clips from 44 of the 50 cartoons... READ ON
Here's what the data from the NYSE looks like as 3-D art. And in case you were wondering how to make sense of this:
The sphere size corresponds to the stock price, color to change, vibration to relative change, sphere position on spiral to volume, & sound to total percentage change. According to the artist, "The point is not to transmit a particular meaning but rather to express the power of energy concentrated in space information".
Somehow I doubt this is what Warren Buffett sees when he's analyzing... READ ON
CNNMoney.com has some interesting Top 5 lists about America's cities. Here are topsÂ in each list:
Safest - Brick Township, NJ
Most Dangerous - St. Louis, MO
Smartest - Seattle, WA
Fastest Growing - Elk Grove, CA
Most Expensive HousingÂ - Beverly Hills, CA
Least Expensive Housing - Minot, ND
Most Affordable Major Housing Market - Indianapolis, IN
Least Affordable Major Housing Market - Los Angeles, CA
Fastest-Appreciating Housing Market - Salem, OR
Slowest-Appreciating Housing Market -... READ ON
It's often said that our schools are not teaching enough about the history of facial hair among presidential candidates, so it's good to see some heroes out there who are willing to present this very important info. A few quick facts:
The 1860 election is often remembered as the one that set the trend of presidents with facial hair. However, while Lincoln did have a beard by the time of his inauguration, he was actually clean shaven at the time of the election. But by 1864, Lincoln had a full beard and... READ ON
It's that time of year when people are sneezing and snotting everywhere andÂ thousands of times across America each dayÂ someone coughs or sneezes in a group and says "Don't worry, I'm not contagious at this point." As a parent and as someone who'd rather be well than sick, I always wonder whether this claim is true.
Our friends over at HowStuffWorks have an article on the contagious period for cold and flu. Here's a bit from the article:
So, when are you most contagious? Most experts agree that... READ ON
For the 2nd time this year, the world's oldest person has died (to clarify, these were 2 different people). According to the article, Elizabeth "Lizzie" Bolden was 116 andÂ had 220 great-great-great grandchildren and 75 great-great-great-great grandchildren. Now that's just crazy. The title now goes to Emiliano Mercado del Toro, a 115 yr oldÂ Puerto Rican... READ ON
Marie Curie's notebooks are still radioactive.