Catching Scarlet Fever

Jason English

"The last big football game Rutgers played was the first college football game ever," the great Tony Kornheiser said last Thursday, referring to a 6-4 victory over Princeton in 1869.

Fight like a man

Ransom Riggs

For nearly 80 years, it was dismissed as a folktale. A budding journalist in a male-dominated field, Dorothy Lawrence was nineteen years old, British, and the year was 1915.

The Wah-Wah-Wah-Week in Review


After watching the video of the Helsinki Complaints Choir a few dozen times (and having the song stuck in my head all week), I couldn't help but gripe this week about all the other stuff that wa

TED, three men, and a little lady


As you may recall, Will, Mangesh and I traveled to the Idea Festival a few weeks ago, and one of the speakers we had the privilege of hearing was Burt Rutan -- who believes you can fly, provided you

The Best Phrase To Applaud Innovation Since 'Sliced Bread'

Jason English

"It's the best thing know what" has replaced its sliced bread predecessor as the go-to saying when praising innovation. This is lazy and this is a

Geo-stumper: Name this metropolitan volcano

Ransom Riggs

Hello, I'm a volcano. (Well, almost -- I'm a volcanic cinder cone, the simplest kind of volcano.

Sorry, we're not making that these-boots pun


Y'know, as fun as it is to give Alex Kuczynski a hard time, occasionally her shopping column in the Times provides some useful information. "Real Texas cowboys started manufacturing somethi

Special of the Day for Blog Readers

Will Pearson

15% off the Brain Buster. This is for the real mental_floss fan. This includes all 21 available back issues, your choice of one of our books and your choice of one of our t-shirts.

Weekend Word Wrap: dittograms

David K. Israel

In Jim Wegryn's book, A Barrel Full of Words: A Treasury of Wordplay in his chapter on homophones, he introduces a fun concept he calls dittograms.

Pets or Meat?

Mangesh Hattikudur

Some pretty disturbing cartoon ads from the Philippine Animal Welfare Society, particularly the Scooby Snack.

Miscarriage of justice stumper: match the defendants to their charges

Ransom Riggs

The defendants: The West Memphis Three The Seattle Seven The Birmingham Six The M25 Three The Cuban Five The Chicago Seven The charges: A) Conspiracy to incite a riot in the wa

Giving new meaning to "Juvenile Hall"


Last month, Dallas County inmates started acting like two-year-olds -- well, exceptionally violent two-year-olds. They set fire to, and vandalized, the jail in a spectacularly colicky fit.

If you've already finished Gray's Anatomy...


And no, we don't mean the TV show, that's Grey's -- even if it is the first Google result for "Gray's Anatomy" (don't get us started on how depressed that makes us)

Spot the difference


At left is the Chloe Gladys bag, which was sold at Neiman Marcus and other retailers last year for $2,000. At right is a similar bag, which is currently available at the Gainesville, Georgia Target

Words that are almost too annoying for words