On Saturday, South Sudan declared its independence, becoming the brand-spanking newest nation in the world. While peace and prosperity is still a good way off for this newborn, Texas-sized country—ethnic tensions are high, the economy is in shambles, and a half-dozen rebel groups have already vowed to take down the new government—the South Sudanese people have spent the weekend celebrating in the streets.
So with that, we thought we’d give you a list of eight wannabe countries that would, for... READ ON
With the media all in a tizzy this week over William and Kate’s 10-day jaunt through North America, let's take a look at the press carnivals that surrounded Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Diana’s first official visits to our royal-loving shores.
Falling in Love With Queen Elizabeth... READ ON
Greetings, earthling. People all over the world—from Albania to Zimbabwe, from Belarus to Vietnam—generally answer their phones using some variation on the standard “hello”: Hallo? Alo! Halo? A lô! Hola? Alio!
But as far as international salutations go, “hello” is a relative newcomer. It went global just in the last century or so, kit and caboodle with the spread of the telephone. It originally comes from either Old High German or French, according to the folks at the Oxford English... READ ON
1. The oldest documented bikinis—haute, bandeau-style little numbers—show up in a 1,700 year old Roman mosaic entitled Chamber of the Ten Maidens. A bevy of ancient, bikini-clad babes are depicted playing sports.
2. Earlier this year, Brooklyn-based designer Andrew Schneider invented the first solar powered bikini—the “iKini”—which produces enough electricity to power an iPod during a sunny day at the beach. Just remember to unplug it, the inventor says, before taking a dip.
3. The... READ ON
Earlier this week, the Supreme Court threw out a colossal class-action suit against Wal-Mart on behalf of about 1.5 million female workers, who claimed the retail behemoth had discriminated against them in both promotions and wages. The court didn’t say whether or not Wal-Mart had indeed discriminated against the ladies—only that the suit could not continue as a class-action suit.
The court’s decision has shined a spotlight on other large class-action cases, the future of anti-discrimination... READ ON
In Spring of 2010, Haley Sweetland Edwards took us on a tour of Yemen for the Spinning the Globe section of mental_floss magazine. Here's her explanation of the current situation, followed by an excerpt from last year's Yemen... READ ON
The eye chart with the big "E" on top is called a Snellen Chart.