We want to sayÂ THANK YOUÂ to all of our blog readers by offering a SPECIAL OF THE DAY every day through the holidays. So, here's today's. You can visit the mental_floss store anytime today and get 10% off on any of our fun t-shirts. Pavlov, Freud, Easter Island, Pluto, any of them. When you're checking out, you'll see a space for a discount code. Fill in the word "shirt" (without the quotation marks) and the discount will be applied. Thanks again for making this blog so much fun for us!
By the way,... READ ON
Dock Ellis was a pretty eccentric baseball player, which befits a man who now claims he never played a major league game sober. On May 1, 1974, for instance, Ellis attempted to hit every batter in the Cincinnati Reds' lineup. In the first inning alone, he pelted Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, and Dan Dreisen. After Johnny Bench was nearly beaned twice, Ellis was removed from the game. But by far, Ellis' oddest accomplishment came on June 12, 1970, when (per his autobiography) he became the only major league player... READ ON
Costas Efthimiou, a researcher at the University of Central Florida, has the very cool job of debunking pseudoscientific myths. His latest calculations showed the mathematicalÂ impossibility of vampires, in case you were concerned that they might be real (and apparently there are a frightening number of people who do believe in them).
According to a LiveScience article:
Efthimiou's debunking logic: On Jan 1, 1600, the human population was 536,870,911. If the first vampire came into existence that... READ ON
1) On February 28, 1983, at exactly 11:03pm, water use in NYC jumped by several million gallons. Why? The final episode of "M*A*S*H" had just ended. As Jason mentioned in a recent post, it was the highest-rated television event in U.S. history, with 105 million viewers. Of course, that leaves us wondering: How come no one in the 1980s realized you could go to the bathroom during commercials?
2) Because South Africa's apartheid regime was worried that television would give black Africans access to news... READ ON
Elise Co has designed a very cool rain jacket that lights up when rain hits it. From ABC Science Online:
It's coated with PVC and has water sensors on its back and left sleeve.
The sensors are wired via interior electronics to electroluminescent panels on the front of the jacket.
When water hits one of the sensors, the corresponding lamp lights up on the front, creating a flickering pattern of illumination that mirrors the rhythm of rainfall, says Co.
Unfortunately the jackets she's created so far... READ ON
The Museum of Modern Art in Vienna has a new look this month. Local sculptor Erwin Wurm built a house and with the help of a couple cranes, placed the houseÂ upside down on one of theÂ edges of the museum's roof, giving the appearance thatÂ the house just fell out of the sky.Â He calls he project "House Attack" and it wasÂ constructed as a statement against overdevelopment. Â
Link via... READ ON
This is a long standing belief and a question where I would've guessed "yes" but it turns out another myth has been busted by the folks at Snopes.
When asked why red cars would be ticketed more frequently than other colors, here are some common explanations people give:
1) Red cars are brighter and more noticeable, so they draw attention.
2) Red creates an illusion that the car is traveling faster than it really is.
3) Red is a common color for a sports car and someone driving a sports car is more... READ ON
A rail company in Tokyo is powering its ticket machines in a very cool way - by harnessing the energy of those walking by:
For the next two months, the railway company will be using using the vibrations of human footsteps at Tokyo Station to generate up to 100 milliwatts per second per person that walks through. The idea is to be able to generate enough electricity to power the wickets themselves and their display panels regularly.
Link via... READ ON
LiveÂ ScienceÂ recently reported on a study conducted by environmental and health experts. Here are the 10 most pollutedÂ cities in the world:Â
Linfen, China - horrible breathing problems because of coal dust.
Haina, Dominican Republic -Â lead contamination problemsÂ because of lead battery recycling.
Ranipet, India -Â contaminated groundwater because of leather tanning wastes.
Mailuu-Suu, Kyrgyzstan - 2 million cubic meters of radioactive mining waste.
La Oroya, Peru - toxic... READ ON
The Matamata Turtle (translation from Spanish: "I kill, I kill")
Russian wheat aphid
Almiqui - believed to be extinct until 2003
Check out the LiveScience piece on the World's Ugliest Animals and place your vote while you're there.... READ ON
Winston Churchill's mother was born in Brooklyn.