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You don't have to read mental_floss to know that President Obama is running for re-election on the Democratic ticket and that Mitt Romney is opposing him on the Republican ticket. However, you might not know about these other political parties and their 2012 presidential nominees. 1. Gary
Life at the DNC Take a look at the fantastic shots compiled by LIFE at the Democratic National Convention over a handful of decades. * First World Problems: 1920s Edition And other memes from the roaring decade. * D'oh Hackers obtain information about millions of Apple users... from an FBI
Readers Meg, Wayne, and Rajiv all wrote in to ask about the tune that clock chimes typically play. What’s it called? Where did it come from? How’d it get so popular? Here’s the story. 1793, a new clock was installed at St Mary the Great, the University Church of the University of Cambridge. Rev. Dr. Joseph Jowett, the Regius Professor of Civil Law, was asked to compose a chime. With the help of Dr. John Randall, a professor of music, and an undergraduate student
Photographer Noah Kalina has been taking a picture of himself every day since January 11, 2000. He's so dedicated to his "Everyday" project that he made an app for it. Today he released a video compiling all the photographs so far-- 4,514 photos in sequence, showing his unsmiling face staring into a camera. If you pause it at various points, you can spot Kalina in kitchens, airplanes, and what I take to be his apartment in various stages of disorder. The 7-minute video is interesting partly because
Advances in refrigeration technology led to an explosion in the world of ice creams and other frozen treats in the early 1900s. The ice cream cone, ice cream bar, Eskimo Pie, disposable ice cream cup, and ice pop were all invented or popularized within the first two decades of the century. Just a few years later, Harry Burt and Frank Epperson almost simultaneously invented what would become two of America’s most enduring brands of frozen
Reader Jen wrote in to ask, “Why do old injuries ache during crummy
John Billington isn’t a household name today, but when Englishmen started settling in the New World, he became infamous as the colonies’ first convicted
Who put the bomp in the bomp bah bomp bah bomp? Who put the-stan in Afghanistan? I don’t know about the former, but we can thank the Proto-Indo-Europeans for the latter.
It's time for another edition of Lit Slits, where we test your knowledge of books people like to tell everyone they've read. This edition quizzes you on presidential memoirs. These huge tomes are a modern hallmark of American politics-- but how well do you know them? Given a vertical stripe of text from a memoir, it's your job to ID the ex-Commander-in-Chief who wrote it. Take the Quiz: Lit Slits (Presidential Memoirs) Two notes before we begin: 1. We can't claim credit for this idea. Lit
“Hurricane” Written by Bob Dylan and Jacques Levy (1975) Performed by Bob
Superstar Beyonce Knowles turns 31 today. And while we don't think she needs us to send her any gifts — Jay-Z likely has that covered, especially after the great success of this weekend's first-ever Made in America festival — it seemed like a good opportunity to round up some of the best covers of her popular song "Single Ladies," which has been certified quadruple-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. Olympian Matthew Mitcham The Olympic diver "put a ring on it" with his
McDonald’s Goes Vegetarian in India. Perfectly understandable when half the customers can't eat pork and the other half can't eat beef. * How would you like to be Rickrolled by the cast of Mad Men? The conga line pulls it all delightfully together. * 19 Perfect Moments In Subtitles History. The folks who do this take whatever opportunity they can for creativity. * Some guys are so good at Parkour that they make our jaws drop. Then there's Ronnie Shalvis, who does it all while dressed as Altair from
If you're a big fan of Troma Films, then you'll be happy to hear that they're releasing 150 of their movies on YouTube for free. If you aren't a big fan of the typical Troma fare or if you've never heard of them, you might not care that much, but let me just say that some of their films are fantastic-- for example, Cannibal! The Musical, which was one of the first films ever created by South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone. You can catch the entire movie above, and for other free entertaining
Behold the World of 2000 Why do visions of the future always dwell on flying things? Flying cars. Hoverboards. And, in this case, winged humans. * The Greatest Shot in the History of Paralympic Table Tennis Watch it here. * Become A Filmmaker for Only $15 The amazing screenwriter Charlie Kaufman is looking to produce his first animated film, and he needs your help. * Text Your Significant Other & Tell Them to Read This And while you’re at it, Tweet your brothers and sisters, tell
On August 27, construction workers in Munich discovered an American bomb from World War II inside an old bar that was being cleared for new construction. The bomb weighed 550 pounds and bore an "unusual fuse," operated by a chemical reaction rather than a mechanical switch. Because the bomb was unsafe to transport, authorities decided that the only means to clear it was to evacuate that area of the city and blow it up-- which they proceeded to do the next evening. Video of the explosion is below.
Today would have been Freddie Mercury's 66th birthday. We lost him in 1991, the year before Wayne's World brought his opus "Bohemian Rhapsody" to a new generation. Mercury had a stunning voice, spanning four octaves, and his stage presence was sized to match. To blow your mind, check out this vocals-only track from "Under Pressure" (with David Bowie). I have advanced it to the point where Mercury belts out his insane "whyyyyyyyyyyyy!" This. Now, let's settle in for some Queen classics, and
Last month, I gathered up 15 of the best flossy projects on Kickstarter--projects our readers would love, ones that were educational yet playful. Since that posting, nine of the 15 projects were successfully funded. (Four were unsuccessful in raising the desired funds, and two are still active at the time of this writing.) This month, I have another 15 flossy projects to share with you, arranged according to how much time remains on each project. If any of them strike your fancy, just follow the widgets
NASA Captures A ‘Mind-Bogglingly Gorgeous’ Solar Flare. The filament eruption erupted a half a million miles into space. * 8 fictional Walt Disney surrogates. Oh, he might be Roy Walley in the movie, but we all know who he's really supposed to be. * There are many ways the world could end, according to the movies. Watch them all happen in just eight minutes. * Life With A Giant House Cat. Whatever they are feeding that kitty, they need to stop! * Well, that's it. You no longer have to buy
“Watergate Blues” Written and performed by Tom T. Hall (1973) The Music Back in the early days of country music, songs were often like newspaper articles, written and sung to spread the news of some topical event. In 1973, country storyteller-songwriter Tom T. Hall revisited this idea with “Watergate Blues.” In three minutes, Hall sums up the entire 1972 election, and the subsequent break-in and wire-tapping of the Democratic National Committee that exploded into the political scandal of the
“New York Mining Disaster 1941 (Have You Seen My Wife, Mr. Jones)” Written by Barry and Robin Gibb (1967) Performed by Bee