YES! You can play this challenge/contest without knowing a thing about the weekly hunt! It’s sort of a one-off – a stand-alone if you will. Will you?
Answer the Level 3 bonus-round question correctly and you may win your pick of anything you want from the neatoshop (valued under $25). Ready? Set. GO!
Oh, and don’t forget, even if you’re not the winner, you still need to solve the challenge to compete for next week’s Day 5 final... READ ON
Welcome to part two of “my brain went on vacation three days ago even though my plane doesn’t leave until tomorrow.” (Here’s part one from yesterday). Today we’re visiting the Jungle Cruise. Everyone turn around and wave good-bye to the folks back on the dock… They may never see you again. But then again, you probably never saw them before, either.
1. I’ve been known to drop a bad pun or two myself now and then, so it’s no surprise that my favorite part of the Jungle Cruise are the... READ ON
It’s an all-new 5-day trivia hunt!
Co-puzzle Master Josh Halbur and I are happy to bring you the next How Did You Know? sponsored by our friends over at... READ ON
When the California Institute of Technology’s men’s basketball team scored a 46-45 victory yesterday over conference rival Occidental, they put a stop to a 26-year losing streak.
Until squeaking out that victory, Caltech hadn’t beaten a conference opponent since January 23, 1985 – a period of futility that stretched 310 games over the course of 9,525 days.
In other words, their oldest player was exactly 4 years and 2 months away from being born the last time the Beavers won a Southern California... READ ON
A recent trip to the rural south reminded me of the late-year task of bringing in the crops, along with the year-end celebration that concludes a successful growing season. With that in mind, enjoy today’s Wednesday Word Ladder. Good luck!
By changing one letter in each step to form English words, and leaving all other letters in their original positions, change CROPS into PARTY in the fewest possible steps.
C R O P S
_ _ _ _ _
_ _ _ _ _
_ _ _ _ _
_ _ _ _ _
_ _ _ _ _
P A R T Y
Here is one 6-step... READ ON
Power of Decision is a 1958 Strategic Air Command film that illustrates how to start a nuclear war. In this scenario, the “success” of a nuclear war was defined as not having the will of the enemy imposed on the US, despite millions of citizens killed. (via Metafilter)
The only thing sillier than making a 60-second version of The Exorcist would be to animate it in Claymation. Except for the doctor, who can be a doll since he has no important emotions to show anyway.
What Happens When You Stick Your... READ ON
Whether you live in a twister-stricken area or have only experienced the scary storms through Bill Paxton movies, tornadoes are one of the most fascinating and surprising forms of weather. We’ve rounded up a collection of clips of amateur storm chasers — sometimes people who just happen to be in the right place at the right time — following funnel clouds.
Ellis County, Oklahoma
It’s hard to imagine the full force of this tornado until around 1:53, when a tree gets sucked into the cloud.
Manitoba,... READ ON
As I’ve mentioned before, my spelling bee dreams died in the Lakeview Elementary School cafeteria in 1989. But that hasn’t soured me on the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
Think you can spell with the best of them? Today’s quiz contains ten winning words from past Scripps National Spelling Bees. Can you tell which variation is spelled correctly?
Take the Quiz: Spelling Bee
When you’re done, feel free to let us know which word spelled your downfall in your own spelling bee... READ ON
It’s an all-new 5-day trivia hunt!
Josh Halbur and I bring you the next How Did You Know? sponsored by our friends over at... READ ON
If you’re a fan of Saturday Night Live then you’re already familiar with the work of Don Pardo, whose iconic voice has been belting out the names of cast members since the show premiered in 1975. But to celebrate his 93rd birthday (today), here are a few things you might not know about him.
1. He’s a Company... READ ON
Tuesday Test Time is here. In English, when spelling out the numbers from zero to ten (by ones)…
1. Which letter appears exactly 10 times?
2. which letter appears exactly five times?
3. Which letter appears exactly three times?
Here are... READ ON
Focus is overrated and distraction has its benefits. What you lose in productivity with your terrible attention span, chances are you’ll probably make up in creativity. (via Wired Science)
Mike Cooper made a cake for his son’s 6th birthday on the theme of the Angry Birds video game. However, this cake was a game itself, complete with a working catapult, and was played before eating! (via Laughing Squid)
Pink Armadillo Attack. This is a real Japanese movie about a woman who swivels her hips and... READ ON
You already know that Ronald Reagan was president of the Screen Actors Guild before he was President of the United States, and I bet you recall a joke or two about Jimmy Carter being a peanut farmer. Here are a few ways other future presidents paid the bills before they started signing bills.
1. Harry Truman, haberdasher. But not a good one. Truman opened a haberdashery (Truman & Jacobson) with his friend Edward Jacobson in 1919, but after three pretty dismal years, they declared bankruptcy. Truman... READ ON
I think people today, especially younger people, don’t think of nuclear weapons as a real threat the way that people who lived through, say, the Cuban Missile crisis did. Remember the days when campuses would erupt in “no nukes” protests? When activists would lie across train tracks to stop trains from delivering bombs to missile sites? The crises are hidden now. The protests small, when there are any. The Cold War has ended, the assumption goes, and with the Berlin Wall fell the threat of World... READ ON
Welcome to the Monday Math Square, designed to get your noggin in gear to start the week. Enjoy!
The nine white squares inside the main red grid should be filled with the digits 1 through 9. Each digit should appear only once in this main grid (the red square). Place the digits 1 through 9 in their correct spots so that the mathematical equations work both across and down.
Here is my... READ ON
Abraham Lincoln: Portrait of a Crazy Badass. Among the hyperbole and NSFW text, this Cracked article has some very good reasons Lincoln is one of our favorite presidents. (via Gorilla Mask)
We’ve only had one president who won four elections, pulled us out of a depression, guided us through a world war, and did it while hiding the fact that he was confined to a wheelchair. But today, instead of hiding the chair, we celebrate it.
The Worst Gig. Music journalist Jon Niccum collected unforgettable... READ ON
You’ve probably heard the old saying “any publicity is good publicity,” but these 10 stunts gone awry prove that’s not so.
1. A couple of days ago, two masked men wearing dark clothes ran through Dell’s headquarters in Round Rock, Texas, brandishing “small metallic items” and yelling at employees to go to the lobby. Although it ended up being an internal communications stunt gone awry – the execs were just trying to get everyone to the lobby for an announcement about their new tablet –... READ ON
We’ve always loved the Pirates ride at the Disney parks – mostly for the dog holding keys in his mouth, taunting the jailbirds locked in the cell. That’ll teach them to call dogs “mangy curs.”
Do you have a Beagle wearing a ball cap? A Schnauzer in a sombrero? A foxhound in a fedora? We want your puppies wearing hats! If you can get them eating bacon, even better. Send them here or via Twitter and you could see your pooch in a future edition of Puppies Wearing... READ ON
In the very rare instance that I play tennis I am quickly reminded just how difficult it is – and just how bad at it I am. The most frustrating thing about it is the fact that it’s one of those sports where I really feel going in like I’m going to be good. When I watch baseball, I know that I can’t hit a 96 MPH fastball. When I watch hockey, I know that I would be flat on the ice within 5 feet of stepping on it. But, for some inexplicable reason, when I watch tennis I am convinced I am really good... READ ON
We’ve already put your knowledge of obscure veggies to the test. How familiar are you with some of the world’s lesser known fruits, though? Take our quiz to find out.
Take the Quiz: Obscure... READ ON
On Fridays, I post a series of unrelated questions meant to spark conversation in the comments. Answer one, answer all, respond to someone else’s reply, whatever you want.
1. Did you or your child ever skip a grade? Get held back? What impact did that have on you? Would you do it again?
2. What’s the longest relationship you’ve had with a pet? Someone I worked with claimed her cat Bozo lived to be 23, but she was guessing that he was “about 10? when she rescued him.
3. What’s a store or... READ ON
If you’ve ever had to learn a new language on the fly in a foreign country, you’ll know how disorienting, humbling, and exhilarating it can be; it has a way of making the whole world seem new again. A language teaching company called EF recently commissioned a series of videos that captures that feeling perfectly, and with the help of some excellent photography, catchy music, and a willowy model or three, they make you want to fly to Paris right now and start fumbling to order something at a... READ ON
After a nasty, nasty bug that left me stranded out-of-town (and about 14 lbs. trimmer) I’m feeling a bit better. A return home today will help, so the Brain Game will return on Monday in full-force. Thanks to all you well-wishers; I pray you’ve rested your noggins in the meantime, and that you found plenty more to see and do at mentalfloss.com (taking quizzes, buying T-shirts, subscribing to our magazine). See you... READ ON
One-armed Legless Man Beats Nurse
A male nurse is off work with his knee in a brace after being attacked by a disabled man he was caring for. The patient, who has only one arm and no legs, punched the caregiver with his arm and flailed around with his stumps at Royal Darwin Hospital in Northern territory, Australia. The 50-year-old nurse’s knee was severely injured. A spokesperson from the hospital refused further comment, citing privacy issues, except to say that the hospital tolerates no violence and... READ ON
According to the BBC website, Human Planet is “an awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping, heart-stopping landmark series that marvels at mankind’s incredible relationship with nature in the world today.”
I previously shared a video from another one of their episodes, but was so fascinated and frightened by this clip, I had to pass it along as well. The description on the clip’s YouTube page explains it all:
The people of Kangiqsujuaq in Canada go to great lengths to add variety to their diet of seal meat,... READ ON
“Wet Houses” are hospices for alcoholics, where they can drink themselves to death. If you don’t want to quit drinking, at least you’ll find a bed and safety from street violence. (via Metafilter)
A little car trouble, according to this email from a guy out camping. (via reddit)
It looks like the Robocop statue for Detroit is fully funded! The mayor may have to take a second look at the idea.
The Legend of Lincoln’s Fence Rail. He was honest, but still a politician who valued some spin on... READ ON
You’ve probably heard about The King’s Speech, the Oscar contender about King George VI and his struggle against his stutter. A surprising number of leaders have overcome their stammers and gone on to shape history (for better or worse). Here are just a few of them, starting with Queen Elizabeth’s... READ ON
Geeks, nerds and dorks attend! Tonight for The Late Movies are a spattering of geeky tributes for your enjoyment. Know of a few others? Leave them in the comments section.
Leading off tonight, is “Hail To The Geek” by Deaf Pedestrians.
To the tune of “Hey There Delilah,” here is a tribute to everyone’s favorite former-CIA-turned-Phoenix-Foundation-Uber-Geek, MacGyver.
Here’s “Mario Kart Love Song” by Sam Hart.
What’s geekier than math puns? Singing those math puns a cappella.... READ ON
The day when we will use microbots to perform surgery from the inside of the body is getting closer. Scientists have figured out how to steer them with electricity. (via Boing Boing)
You like fizzy drinks and pop rocks, don’t you? For a healthy alternative, you can carbonate your own fresh fruit.
Locked in a Vegas Hotel Room with a Phantom Flex. If someone handed you a video camera that recorded 2,564 frames per second, you’d stay up all night playing with it, too! (via Cynical-C)
Baby Trashes... READ ON
I love flash mobs. Love them. I know they might be a nuisance to some, but something about total strangers banding together to bust out into seemingly random dance and/or song just makes me smile. Unfortunately, flash mobs don’t happen very often in my part of the world, so I’ll have to make do with watching these. Hopefully you enjoy them as much as I do.
1. Glee. I’ve made no bones about my love for this show, so people bursting into “Don’t Stop Believing,” “Proud Mary,”... READ ON
James Bond has done ample traveling in most of his films, including several trips to the United States. And while he hasn’t been seen visiting the White House, we imagine that the agent and our commander-in-chief would get along famously.
In today’s more-difficult-than-mos quiz, you’ll try to match up the titles of nine 007 films with the nine men who held the office of U.S. president when those movies were initially released. Good luck!
Take the Quiz: Mr. Bond, meet Mr.... READ ON
What’s the difference between animals we can domesticate and animals we can’t? It’s in the genes, and it turns out that when we selectively breed friendly animals, we also get cute and smart animals.
The Soviets always wanted to build ever bigger, better, and more modern buildings. Some of those projects look downright freakish to 21st century eyes. (via Metafilter)
Watch a 3D video mapping experiment called Living Room. A white room and furniture is assigned different colors and textures and... READ ON
I’m not the kind of person who typically cares about crappy movie remakes of formerly popular TV shows. But the 2000 release of The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle irked me. Here, enjoy a full episode. (Sneak peek: Moon moose!)
See Also: 11 Things You Should Know About Rocky &... READ ON
Typos are rarely a good thing, but when they’re literally set in stone – well, those are monumental mistakes. Check out eight famous pieces of garbled granite, along with two that look like errors but aren’t.
(Sorry for all of the bad puns. Sometimes I can’t help myself.)
1. James K. Polk, 10th President of the United States. If history buffs (and/or They Might Be Giants fans) just gasped in horror, they have good reason to – Polk was our 11th POTUS. But that’s not what his first epitaph... READ ON
Sorry folks, but I’m sick as a dog today, so the Brain Game is a bit beyond me right now as I’m too fuzzy to focus. I’ll do my best to return tomorrow, or perhaps later in the week. I hope you all had a nice Valentine’s... READ ON
It’s nice that my oldest son is now at an age where his attention span allows for sitting him down in front of a children’s movie with the fair expectation that he will actually watch it.
This is especially nice because I can now show him the brilliant work of the Pixar studio – and pretend that I’m playing them solely for him. In reality, I was a huge fan of their short and feature-length films long before he arrived on the scene. So, I really enjoyed this behind the scenes look at the Pixar... READ ON
Albert Einstein spent the summer of 1939 vacationing at the beach. His quest for a sundial led to the later notoriety of a picture taken that summer.
Baba Yetu is the first song specifically written for a video to ever win a Grammy. But who needs the video game when you can just listen to the music?
The game Cheese or Font? gives you a word, and you decide whether it’s a cheese or font. How hard could this be? Surprise! There are way more of both in the world than I realized.
15 Things Kurt... READ ON
Do you have a puppy? Do you have a hat? We’d love to feature your dog (all dogs are puppies at heart, right?) in an upcoming “Puppies Wearing Hats Eating Bacon Sharing Facts” post. If you provide the puppy wearing a hat, we’ll provide the badly-Photoshopped bacon. Send your pics our way! This could be your pooch:
Can’t wait to see your stylish... READ ON
For the most part, the Best New Artist award has gone to people and bands that are still relevant (or at least known) today. Bette Midler won in 1974, Sade was the newcomer in 1986, Mariah Carey won in 1991, and a little band called the Beatles won in 1965. But it’s not necessarily an award that artists want to win – a handful of the winners lauded as the next big thing… well, weren’t. They slowly fizzled out at best or were one hit wonders at worst. Here are a few of those... READ ON
Welcome to the Monday Math Square, designed to get your noggin in gear to start the week. Enjoy!
NOTE: I made an error in an earlier version of this math square (completely my fault) but it has since been corrected. Apologies to anyone who spent time trying to solve an unsolvable puzzle. I’ll remain in the corner until I’ve learned my lesson.
The nine white squares inside the main red grid should be filled with the digits 1 through 9. Each digit should appear only once in this main grid (the red... READ ON
The Secrets Behind Your Flowers. Did your valentine bouquet do its part to supplant the cocaine trade in South America?
Tongue Wrestle Mania: The Art and Science of French Kissing. Don’t be one of the many kinds of kissers that could drive your kissee away!
National Geographic has assembled their online archives on Egypt into one index. You can brush up on what ancient artifacts tell us about Egyptian history and how they have been impacted by the revolution.
Back to the Future. Argentine... READ ON
Colorful flowers and expensive jewelry are nice. But nothing says true love like heart-warming sentiments conveyed in a fraction of a square-inch on a piece of candy.
This year, when you give your sweetheart a big box of everyone’s favorite chalk-like messaged confections, you can also dazzle him or her with some nifty knowledge of their history thanks to Smithsonian Magazine. Here’s an amusing anecdote about the candy hearts’ early days:
The treats became popular at weddings and were considerably... READ ON
J.K. Rowling invented Quidditch in a pub.