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Where Did The Easter Bunny Come From?
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The Men Behind Your Favorite Liquors
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The Stories Behind 11 Famous Cocktails
When you belly up to the bar, how well do you know the cocktail you're ordering? The ingredients of these famous tipples may be familiar to bar patrons the world over, but some of their origins are as debatable as those of the Flaming Moe. Here's a quick rundown of where some of your favorite drinks entered a glass for the first time. 1. The... READ ON
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What's in a (Horse) Name? No More Than 18 Characters
Picking a name for a newborn can be an agonizing process for parents, but it's a whole lot easier than naming a racehorse. While Thoroughbred owners may not have to worry about the risk of subjecting their foals to ridicule on the playground, they must select names that sound good when shouted but that also meet strict guidelines. Here's an overview of the naming process and an explanation behind the names of some of the horses in Saturday's Kentucky Derby.The Jockey ClubSince... READ ON
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5 Pop Culture Apocalypse Scenarios and How They Might Happen
Since the earliest days, humankind has pondered the end of the world. We’ve imagined messianic judgment days, cataclysmic comets, hyperspace bypasses, and Mega Maids. Here are a few apocalyptic scenarios from recent popular culture, how they might happen, and how likely they are to occur. 1. Subterranean... READ ON
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31 Acronyms and Initials All Spelled Out
For the past few weeks, every time I saw an acronym or initials, I took a picture. You know the brands, authors, and pieces of legislation, but do you know what all those letters stand for? 1.... READ ON
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19 Amazing Facts About Stuff We Saw at Toys R Us
Over on Instagram, we've been taking pictures of things and offering up slightly amusing facts about them. So far we've toured a grocery store and public library. Next up: Toys R... READ ON
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19 Fun Facts About Children’s Books Spotted at the Library
This past week I spent some quality time in the children's section of the Wayne Public Library. Over on Instagram (we're @mental_floss), I've been sharing photos of books with facts related to them. Since only 1,030 people have joined us over there — way more than the 42 who'd joined us before last weekend, but still plenty of room on the bandwagon — here's a recap of our latest field trip. Alice in Wonderland used to be banned in parts of China. "Bears, lions and other beasts cannot use a... READ ON
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25 One-Word Answers to Very Important Questions
The cover story for the new issue of mental_floss magazine is The Most Important Questions of 2012. To tide you over until you get your hands on a copy, here are 25 very short answers to very big questions. 1. How do South Koreans get kids to stop... READ ON
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19 Outstanding Words You Should Be Working Into Conversation
There are some of our favorite words that appeared in mental_floss stories in 2011. Some are foreign words. Others come from medical dictionaries. And there's a surprising amount of hobo slang. Have fun working these into conversation this holiday... READ ON
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How 8 Famous Acquitted Defendants Spent The Rest of Their Lives
Yesterday’s not guilty verdict for Casey Anthony ended her highly publicized trial. Here’s how life shook out for a few other acquitted defendants in high-profile trials. 1. Lizzie Borden Although 32-year-old Lizzie Borden was never convicted of the 1892 ax murder of her father and stepmother, her highly publicized trial followed her for the remaining 34 years of her life. Borden became close friends with actress Nance O’Neill, but she lived out the rest of her life as a recluse. Although... READ ON
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Strange Geographies: The Accidental Sea
Today's Strange Geographies post revisits a place I've been several times before -- the Salton Sea. It's one of my favorite places to visit; just a few hours from my house, it may as well be on the moon. This time, though, I shot video rather than photos while I was there, and the result is my first Strange Geographies-style short film. Hope you like it![See all my Strange Geographies photo... READ ON
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Bad Girls Club: Women of the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List
Around 500 people have appeared on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list since its inception in 1949. But only eight of those fugitives have been women. Let’s take a look at these dangerous women’s stories. 1. Ruth... READ ON
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Get Out! How 8 Dictators Spent Their Exile Years
As civil war rages in Libya, many observers are calling for Qaddafi to step down and go into exile. This wouldn’t be the first time an oppressive leader has stepped aside in exchange for a relatively comfortable retirement abroad. We’ve compiled this handy list of famous exiled emperors and dictators for reference. 1. Napoleon Bonaparte (Elba and St.... READ ON
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Fordlandia: Henry Ford's Ill-Fated Foray Into the Brazilian Jungle
We remember Henry Ford as the automotive magnate who perfected assembly line technology, but he also dabbled in ambitious social programs, including one in which he hired ex-convicts straight out of Sing Sing to staff his factories. Although many of these efforts were successful, Ford's ill-fated foray into the Brazilian jungle was a notable and fascinating exception. The... READ ON
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12 Bookstore Cats
Books and cats go together as well as peanut butter and jelly. You could file them under "things that are nice to curl up with" -at the same time! We featured a list of bookstore cats some time ago, but there are many stores with friendly and attractive cats.1.... READ ON

Try holding off on that first cup of coffee until between 9:30 and 11 a.m. According to recent research, this is when you’ll benefit most from the energy boost.

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