book-report
WHY?
Why Does it Rain?
With clouds, gravity pulls the water droplets out of the sky, and they fall as rain.... READ ON
History
7 Things You Didn’t Know About the Revolutionary War
Remember that time George Washington returned a dog he found on a battlefield back to its British owner? Neither did we.... READ ON
Animals
7 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Rats
We used to think rats were gross. Now we think they’re gross and fascinating!... READ ON
Article
The Blogger Abides: Words and Phrases I've Misused
Good news, everyone! I wrote a book! It's called The Blogger Abides, and it's based on my experience writing for Mental Floss and other publications over the years. Longtime readers of this blog will recognize the book as a very Flossy affair: it includes a lengthy foreword by Ransom Riggs, and it was edited by Adrienne Crezo.  Have you ever wondered what it's like to interview famous people who are intimidatingly awesome and/or rude? Have you asked yourself, "Do bloggers wear pants?" Have you... READ ON
Article
That is All: John Hodgman's Transcendent Final Audiobook of Complete World Knowledge
Today marks the beginning of the end of audiobooks. But don't cry -- there is still time to buy the last audiobook you will need before the coming global superpocalypse. You see, John Hodgman has released his final audiobook of complete world knowledge: That is All. It is full of jokes, celebrity cameos, mostly fake trivia, two references to Kale City Kale Chips, and fond recollections of Hodgman's now-burned speed zeppelin Hubris. Some of the narration occurs while Hodgman travels aboard the HMS... READ ON
Article
THAT IS ALL, John Hodgman's Final Book of Complete World Knowledge
Photo by Brantley Gutierrez. John Hodgman's third and final book of complete world knowledge, That is All, hits bookstore shelves today, 11/1/11. I hope you'll buy a copy, because you'll need it when Ragnarok occurs. Oh, You Haven't Heard of Ragnarok? That is All is predicated on the premise (ahem, CERTAIN KNOWLEDGE) that, starting quite soon, we will enter a pre-apocalyptic period leading up to the end of the world, or to be more specific, Hodgman's "COMING TOTAL ULTRACOLLAPSE OF CIVILIZATION... READ ON
Article
The Extraordinary Catalog of Peculiar Inventions
Julia Suits has assembled a book filled with ads for real prank machines used in fraternal lodges in the early part of the 20th century, complete with an introduction by David Copperfield. This volume is extremely appropriate for readers of mental_floss, as it's full of trivia on weird inventions, the history of pranks, and a very special form of Americana. The book is bizarre and hilariously perverse, packed with clippings from catalogs sent to the high muckety-mucks at the Modern Woodmen of America,... READ ON
Article
10 Questions from Liberty University Exams
We're excited to have author, journalist, and Brown University senior (he's still a senior!) Kevin Roose blogging with us this week. His new book, The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner's Semester at America's Holiest University is about the semester he spent at Liberty University. We'll let Kevin take it from here: BY KEVIN ROOSE Liberty, as you probably know by now, isn't a middle-of-the-road Christian college. As one of my professors, Dr. Dekker said, only a dozen schools still teach young-earth... READ ON
Article
5 Things I Learned By Being the World's Worst Evangelist
We're excited to have author, journalist, and Brown University senior (he's still a senior!) Kevin Roose blogging with us this week. His new book, The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner's Semester at America's Holiest University is about the semester he spent at Liberty University. We'll let Kevin take it from here: BY KEVIN ROOSE Unlike their counterparts in the secular world, Liberty students don't spend their spring breaks drinking and cavorting at Señor Frog's. But that doesn't mean they don't head... READ ON
List
8 Things You Didn't Know About Jerry Falwell
We're excited to have author, journalist, and Brown University senior (he's still a senior!) Kevin Roose blogging with us this week. His new book, The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner's Semester at America's Holiest University is about the semester he spent at Liberty University. We'll let Kevin take it from here: BY KEVIN ROOSE There's no doubt that Jerry Falwell was controversial. Many remember him as the arch-conservative Moral Majority leader who took to the airwaves after September 11, 2001 and blamed... READ ON
Article
5 Rules from my Semester at America's Holiest University
We're so excited to have author, journalist, and Brown University senior (he's still a senior!) Kevin Roose blogging with us this week. His new book, The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner's Semester at America's Holiest University is about the semester he spent at Liberty University, the late Jerry Falwell's college for young evangelicals. Kevin's book is engaging, thoughtful and just a delight to read. If you like what you see, be sure to order a copy. We'll let Kevin take it from here: BY KEVIN ROOSE For... READ ON
Article
3 Ridiculous Stunts by Contemporary Artists
This week we're lucky to have guest blogger Elizabeth Lunday, author of Secret Lives of Great Artists: What Your Teachers Never Told You about Master Painters and Sculptors, spilling the dirt on the artists you thought you knew. We'll let her take it from here: BY ELIZABETH LUNDAY. As you get into postmodernism and contemporary art, the artists seem to only get more outrageous. Here are some examples of the weird and wild behavior of 20th century artists: 1. Andy Warhol does the Love Boat? If Andy... READ ON
Article
3 Modern Artists and the Politics that Affected Their Work
This week we're lucky to have guest blogger Elizabeth Lunday, author of Secret Lives of Great Artists: What Your Teachers Never Told You about Master Painters and Sculptors, spilling the dirt on the artists you thought you knew. We'll let her take it from here: BY ELIZABETH LUNDAY. If you think politics were rough for Neoclassical artists, the Modernists had even more troubles. Modern art arose in part as a reaction to the carnage of World War I and became established just in time for the carnage of... READ ON
Article
Making an Impression
This week we're lucky to have guest blogger Elizabeth Lunday, author of Secret Lives of Great Artists: What Your Teachers Never Told You about Master Painters and Sculptors, spilling the dirt on the artists you thought you knew. We'll let her take it from here: BY ELIZABETH LUNDAY. The Impressionists were a brilliant group of amazing artists who transformed the entire idea of art. They were also a wacky collection of individuals. Here are a few examples: Maid man. As a young man, Claude Monet was... READ ON
Article
3 Renaissance Rascals Exposed!
This week we're lucky to have Elizabeth Lunday, author of Secret Lives of Great Artists: What Your Teachers Never Told You about Master Painters and Sculptors guest blogging with us. Every day this week, she'll be spilling the dirt on the artists you thought you knew. We'll let her take it from here: The Renaissance is known as a time when reason triumphed over superstition and culture over chaos. Maybe—but Renaissance artists didn't always live up to that ethos. Here are three examples of great... READ ON
Article
Pigeons as messengers, from spying to stocks?!
This week we're thrilled to have guest blogger Courtney Humphries posting with us. Courtney is the author of Superdove: How the Pigeon Took Manhattan...And the World and today she's riffing on why the U.S. military has awarded pigeons medals, the strange role they've played in financial journalism, and what they've got to do with Noah's Ark. We'll let her take it from here: Pigeons in a Time of War We don't think of pigeons as being particularly useful in recent history. Sure, they were invaluable as... READ ON

Engineers have designed a cup that absorbs the heat from coffee that is too hot and then uses the stored heat to keep it perfectly warm for much longer.

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