Miss Cellania is on vacation, so I’ll be filling in this week. Enjoy! If you were left scratching your head and wondering, "Who the heck is Paul Ryan?" after Mitt Romney's running mate announcement, The Week has a list of 6 curious facts about the potential VP. * To celebrate the classic building block's 80th birthday, the LEGO Group has released a Pixar-like animated video that tells the story of LEGO. * Here at mental_floss, we love beautiful bookstores and libraries, so of course we love the
Religion teaches its followers lessons through parables about kindness and love and doing the right thing. But if all that fails, there’s always the threat of a scary monster to drive the point home. 1.
Half a century before e-books turned publishing upside down, a different format threatened to destroy the industry.
In 2001, Belgian schools waged a new front in the war against childhood obesity. In an effort to keep kids away from sugary drinks, a plan emerged to swap soda and lemonade for a healthy alternative: beer.
Where in the F-Bomb Did the Term ‘F-Bomb’ Come From? Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary added "f-bomb" to its collection of words that are words. The term may have originated from a Hall of Fame baseball player who had sworn off swearing. * Get Your Metal Detectors Ready It sounds like something out of a film. This explorer is getting ready to search a deserted island because he believes it may contain the Treasure of Lima, worth more than $200 million. * Convicting a Man in the
A few weeks ago, we gave you 21 countries that have only won a single Olympic medal. Now that the London Games are through, it's time to update our list with the countries that netted their first-ever medal this summer, and the two countries that have now moved into multiple medal territory. First-time medals
In this ten-minute video, Kirby Ferguson explains how the basic elements of a "remix" are actually the core parts of all creative work. Ferguson uses Bob Dylan as a case study-- and he's right to do so. Dylan's early work was clearly based on other folk tunes, and there's nothing wrong with that. Dylan modeled himself largely on Woody Guthrie, who is also mentioned in here. Guthrie's immortal quote is put in context: "The words are the important thing. Don't worry about tunes. Take a tune, sing
Babies sure are cute. But do they make good world leaders? Here’s a peek at some of history’s youngest rulers and their reigns. 1. King Oyo (Toro Kingdom,
Restaurants are ideal places for spies to ply their trade, as there’s plenty of ambient noise, a nice crowd to throw things off, and food to go around, which tends to alleviate stress. Here are five restaurants where tradecraft was the daily special. 1. Au Pied de Cochon,
Steve Martin, a Texas native who worked his way from writing comedy for The Smothers Brothers to becoming an accomplished and award-winning actor, comedian, musician and writer, turns 67 today. Let's celebrate with some of his career highlights. The Dating Game While attending UCLA in 1968, Martin appeared on The Dating Game. King Tut Though Martin has hosted Saturday Night Live 15 times, he has never been a cast
Miss Cellania is on vacation, so I’ll be filling in this week. Enjoy! When a high schooler used Yahoo! Answers to basically ask for someone to complete her summer reading assignment for her, the author of the book in question replied. * The trailer for the new Great Expectations movie has hit the internet. * Watch Ayn Rand sit down with Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show in 1967. * The Guardian interviewed Herman Melville's great-great-great-granddaughter, the author Liza Klaussmann, who said
Need a little tranquility? In this two-and-a-half minute time lapse video, we see a whole bunch of flowers blooming. We get to see daffodils, daisies, daylilies, amaryllis, iris, and even a dandelion. Creator Vladimir Vorobyov says: "Hopefully, it will cause only positive emotions." He succeeds. Enjoy. The Beauty of Flowers (?????????????) from VOROBYOFF PRODUCTION on Vimeo. If that's not enough, Vorobyov has a second video that's more of the same, though a little more
Scientists recently recorded footage of a never-before-seen defense mechanism deployed by a small species of deep-sea squid: When threatened, the squid attacks its predator and then pulls away, breaking off the tip of its own arm and leaving it behind as a distraction. The arm continues to glow and twitch, creating a diversion and enabling the squid to escape. But this squid isn't the only creature with a bizarre way of defending itself. Here are several other ways animals try to save their own lives,
Twenty-one years ago today, Paul Simon put on a massive concert in Central Park. The performance on August 15, 1991 focused on material from his albums Graceland and Rhythm of the Saints, plus an assortment of greatest hits of his previous work, including Simon & Garfunkel material...but without Garfunkel. The resulting double album has been required listening in my house for the following two+ decades. Of course, Simon's 1991 Concert in the Park wasn't his first Central Park blowout-- way back in
Police, military, and security personnel have used dogs for years to locate explosives. In the last decade, homeland security and Middle East battlefronts have created an overwhelming demand for these four-legged finders that cannot always be met. Luckily, Mother Nature offers us a few other ways to detect things that go boom. 1. Bees Bomb-sniffing dogs are great at their jobs, but they come with some drawbacks. It can take months to train a dog and his human handler, and keeping their skills sharp
Who Doesn’t Love Baron Von Kiss-A-Lot? There have been an astounding 508 episodes of The Simpsons. And nuzzled in among the more well-known characters like Homer, Bart and Flanders is an entire universe of really obscure, rarely seen oddballs. The writers of The Simpsons share their favorites. * Genetically Mutated Butterflies Take Flight It’s been about a year and a half since the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan. Now scientists have observed mutated butterflies
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As more and more Americans embrace email and other communication technologies, the U.S. Postal Service has absorbed the hit. The agency lost an estimated $10 billion in 2011 and expects to top that this year, leaving many analysts to wonder how long it can hold on. So, what’s keeping you from starting a competing service?Well, the
I love the site Kickstarter, which enables people to raise funds for all kinds of projects, from indie comic books to clothing lines to theater performances. Every time I browse through the projects, I notice just how many of them are the kinds of projects our readers would love--educational yet playful, quirky and scientific, fan tributes to favorite comics and books. I've gathered up some of the best flossy projects here, in order of how much time remains on each project; if any of them strike your
Most of you already know that Purple Hearts are medals awarded to soldiers who have been injured by the enemy while serving in the U.S. Military (or posthumously to those killed in combat), but you might not know that these famous figures have received the medal. 1. Charles