THE KNOWLEDGE FEED

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The Missing Links: A Brief History of the Backpack

Colin Patrick

Show This to the Next Person Who Says They’re Freezing Here’s what it really feels like. * How the Backpack Came Forward There was a time when school kids had to actually carry their books.

Henrietta Lacks' Immortal Cells

Daven Hiskey

Daven Hiskey runs the wildly popular interesting fact website Today I Found Out. To subscribe to his “Daily Knowledge” newsletter, click

Great Paybacks/Strange Deaths in History: The Earl and the Vengeful Head

Matt Soniak

Wikimedia Commons Rognvald Eysteinsson didn't want to be a Scottish Earl, and his brother paid the price for it. Eysteinsson, a Viking warrior and sailor, helped Harald Finehair subdue vari

What Do You Call Your Grandparents?

Jason English

Reader Michelle has a question: "Are there any neat historical or regional terms for 'grandma' and 'grandpa' that my family might adopt?

In Washington, D.C., Peggielene Bartels is a Secretary. In Ghana, She's a King.

the mag

by Phoebe ConnellyPeggielene Bartels was a secretary until a 4 a.m. phone call turned her into

Where Did the Term "Booze" Come From?

Daven Hiskey

Daven Hiskey runs the wildly popular interesting fact website Today I Found Out. To subscribe to his “Daily Knowledge” newsletter, click

Morning Cup of Links: The Moose Sex Project

Miss Cellania

Monica Lewinsky: The Inside Story of an Epic Newsweek Scoop. And they sat on it for a week. * Got An iPad For Christmas? It’ll Be Obsolete In Three Months.

Why Can't You Put Metal in the Microwave?

Daven Hiskey

Daven Hiskey runs the wildly popular interesting fact website Today I Found Out. To subscribe to his “Daily Knowledge” newsletter, click

The True Story of the Southwick Jog

Matt Soniak

Wikimedia Commons If you were very bored one day and built a 3D model of the state of Connecticut, then ran your hand along the top, you’d get to a place, just north of the town of Granby, where yo

Making Art From Shavings

Jill Harness

Usually, pencil shavings are a mere byproduct of artwork made with pencils, but artist Marta Altes knows that just because most people throw something away doesn't mean you can't make art ou

We've Got the Perfect Thing for Your Shiny New Tablet

Mangesh & Jason

If you got your hands on a new tablet this holiday season, your next move should be downloading the mental_floss magazine app.

Octopi: The New Kings of Disguise

the mag

by Ed

Camera Fun - Making Crazy Art Using Christmas Lights

Chris Higgins

It's that time of year -- strings of tiny lights are everywhere, and families are wandering around, checking out those lights.

Are Santa's Visits Legal?

Jill Harness

A fat man in a red suit may have shimmied down your chimney overnight to leave presents (or, if you were naughty, coal) under your tree.

All the Presidents' Menus: What First Families Eat on Christmas

Adrienne Crezo

People are strangely fascinated by what other people eat, and even more so when that other person is the president. Here are 10 Christmas dinner menus from presidents past and present. 1.

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