Sarah is a New York-based writer whose work has appeared in Us Weekly, HGTV Magazine, Woman's Day, and Glam
William Gurstelle is a professional engineer who has been researching and building model catapults and ballistic devices
Josh Halbur has been living a life full of knowledge and wordplay, from hosting games of “Wheel of Fortune” with his alphabet blocks when he was a kindergartener, to writing crosswords and contests
James Hamblin, MD, is a writer and physician in Los Angeles, where he also improvises at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre.
Hayley Harding is a journalism student who sometimes lives in Omaha but mostly lives in Athens, Ohio.
College professors routinely think about the building blocks of life, but the University of Cambridge is taking it to a whole new level.... READ ON
Apple may not have become the multi-billion dollar giant it is today if this chunky design was the original iPhone.... READ ON
Jill Harness is a freelance writer, amateur chef, and a sucker for animals.
Last night, Futurama aired its final episode. Let's take a look back at a few of the coolest Futurama artworks ever created during the show's run.... READ ON
Summer has officially ended, which means all the youngsters are headed back to school, new lunch boxes in hand. If you’re looking for a cool new lunch box for your kiddo or for yourself, here are some of the coolest custom lunchboxes and bags around.... READ ON
We previously looked at beautiful libraries from across the globe, but if you’re looking to expand your travels to educational locales with beautiful architecture, you may also consider traveling to these lovely museums, starting with those in Europe.... READ ON
Say what you will about the legal status of graffiti or how it affects property values, but don't say it isn't art.... READ ON
Alien vs. Bender would be way more awesome than Alien vs. Predator was. ... READ ON
Originally from Cincinnati, Lauren recently graduated from Ohio University where she studied journalism and political science.
Tim Harrod has written for The Onion, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, and Star Wars Insider Magazine. He lives, and periodically works, in Brooklyn.
Mangesh co-founded mental_floss in 2001 and previously served as Editor-in-Chief of the magazine.
Of course our new 10 Issue (which hits newsstands on Tuesday!) isn't just filled with lists like 10 Provocative Questions about Chickens and 10 Ridiculous Feats of Literature. It also tackles some of the biggest questions ever asked by mankind. Important things, like:
How much water can a ten gallon hat really hold?
Alas, the ten gallon hat falls 86 percent short of its promise. The average Stetson only holds about three quarts of water, even when filled all the way up to its brim. But in all likelihood,... READ ON
Our ninth annual 10 Issue hits newsstands next Tuesday, and to celebrate we'll be previewing it here all week.Â One piece that truly makes me smile is the "10 Ridiculous Feats of Literature" list by Mark Juddery. Instead of judging works based on their artistic merit, we had Mark rank them by degree of difficulty. Here's just one of the entries he covered:
The Story That Will Never Be an E-Book: Gadsby by Ernest Vincent Wright
Some might call Gadsby a "love" story. But Ernest Vincent Wright... READ ON
Our ninth annual 10 Issue hits newsstands next Tuesday, and to celebrate we'll be previewing it here all week. This year's 10 issue includes a whole range of wonderful lists from 10 ways Video Games will Change Your Life (they can make you rich and help you find love!), to 10 Things You Definitely Don't Know about Afghanistan, to 10 Ridiculous Feats of Literature. Plus, we've got stories on outsider artists, the wild wild west, and so much more.
Here's a sneak peek at one of my favorite stories from the... READ ON
Boingboing linked to these beautiful blueprints straight from Gustave Eiffel's pen, and I completely fell in love with... READ ON
Forget stress balls and punching bags. If you're feeling destructive and simply want to break something, check out the Anger Release Machine. Created by artistsÂ Katja Kublitz and Ronnie Yarisal, Anger Release is basically a traditional vending machine stuffed full of glassware and china. When someone pays money for a particular product (say, the beautiful vase at D4, or the porcelain cat at C3), the coils slowly push the fragile piece to the front. And then it drops just like a bag of potato chips... READ ON
One of the facts that we hear repeated with some frequency is that trumpeter Louis Armstrong got his first Christmas tree at age 40, and loved it so much that took it on tour with him for a month. While it's a great bit of trivia, I was curious to double check it. Turns out, the story's even better the way his wife tells it:
"We finally went to bed. And Louis was still laying up in the bed watching the tree, his eyes just like a baby's eyes would watch something... So finally I said, "Well, I'll turn... READ ON
While most people in the US will be celebrating Christmas today, I'm guessing a few of you out there will be gathering around the olde Festivus pole. For those of you indulging in Festivus (A Holiday for the Rest of Us!), you might be interested in learning that the Costanza clan's strange celebration of choice-- popularized on Seinfeld-- actually existed long before the show. The holiday, which features a stark aluminum pole instead of a Christmas tree, "The Airing of Grievances" where... READ ON
One of my favorite scenes from John Green's wonderful novel Paper Towns is when the character Radar doesn't want to invite a girl over to his house because he's embarrassed by his parents. More specifically, he's embarrassed by their enormous collection of Black Santa figurines, with Black Santas crammed onto every windowsill and bookshelf in the house. Until I read the passage, I had no idea that there was such a tremendous market for Black Santas, although it makes complete sense. Why not imagine Santa... READ ON
That's right, folks. The new issue is out on stands today, and it's pretty darn wonderful. But if all my story descriptions (Steven Hawking's Revenge Tactics, the Dangerous World of Animal Smuggling, a Tunnel That Saved Bosnia!) and overuse of exclamation points hasn't enticed you, maybe this peek at the new cover will.Â Also, here are a few other things you'll learn from the new issue:
-Why 10 month-old babies learn to fake smiles
-The (actual) pros and cons of Swedish socialism
-How Greenland... READ ON
The new issue's almost here (stay tuned for the big cover unveiling later today!), but we can't stop the show and tell just yet! Here's a sneak peek at our Spinning the Globe tour of Sweden. The story covers so many things, from how Sweden's socialism actually works, to why Swedes don't really like ABBA, to why 1950's nostalgia is taking the country by storm.
Of course, one of the other things we cover is how the nation is way ahead of the rest of the world in... READ ON
Judith B. Herman is a Southern California writer with a thing for words and pictures.
Matthew was born and raised near Savannah, Georgia. After graduating from UGA he made several questionable career decisions.
Chris Higgins is the author of T
Please secure your oxygen mask before watching these videos.... READ ON
"Fear shouldn't paralyze you. It should make you move." -Chris Donovan.... READ ON
"Hello." -C-3PO, Luke Skywalker, and many more.... READ ON
Female pine cone + male pine cone + wind = baby pine trees.... READ ON
There's more to the jazz great than "Peanuts."... READ ON
You're not going to do this in real life. But in your web browser? Go for it.... READ ON
Behold, Walt Disney's late-1966 vision of the "Experimental Prototype City of Tomorrow."... READ ON
Why wasn't Europe ravaged by plagues from the New World? Let CGP Grey explain.... READ ON
Can't afford a trip to Jordan? Thanks to Google, you can get pretty close for free!... READ ON
He hollered "Mary Had a Little Lamb" into it. And it hollered back!... READ ON
Daven has a B.S. and M.S. in Computer Science and a background in mathematics, physics, astronomy, history, literature, electrical engineering, and music.
Margaret is a freelance writer for mental_floss and lifelong fan of science, storytelling, and Cookie Monster.
Meghan Holohan lives in Pittsburgh close to two universities where she pesters doctors and scientists about their research.
My beagle Sadie is a rescue do whose previous owner abused her. She has always been anxious, skittish, and neurotic. She defines obsessive-compulsive behavior, walking around in circles when she wants something or methodically licking her paws. She must be crated when I leave—otherwise the house looks like a robber tossed it. I always thought the abuse made her different. I never realized that her anxiety might be so high because she sees the water bowl as half... READ ON
Alexander Fleming's dodgy cleaning habits helped him discover penicillin in 1928. The bacteriologist was cleaning Petri dishes when he noticed mold growing on staphylococcus (staph) bacteria. The mold, Penicillium notatum, killed the staph around it and Fleming realized he stumbled on a treatment for bacterial infections. Fleming's discovery revolutionized medical practices, but researchers found that he wasn't the first to accidentally discover antibiotics. Ancient Nubians regularly drank antibiotics in... READ ON
At the age of 45, Anne Rowling died from complications of multiple sclerosis (MS). Her daughter, J.K. Rowling, of Harry Potter fame, recently announced she was donating £10 million ($15.4 million) to form a MS and neurodegenerative disease research center at the University of Edinburgh. Scottish people suffer from the disease at a higher rate than others and the disease seems to impact more people living in northern regions. Researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital discovered that the seasons impact MS... READ ON
Bad news for men who shuffle their feet on the dance floor—such dance moves are not sexy. It might seem that taking the conservative route will help lure a lady, but researchers found that women prefer men who dance flamboyantly and move their necks, heads, torsos, and arms much like Carlton danced on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
"When you go out to clubs people have an intuitive understanding of what makes a good and bad dancer," Nick Neave told the BBC. "What we've done for the very first time is... READ ON
In 1913, Eleanor H. Porter published a young adult's book, Pollyanna, about a girl who finds the good in everything. Soon, Pollyanna became synonymous with naively optimistic people—people who are often too trusting and easily duped. This stereotype appears to be misleading; trusting people are better able to detect duplicity than untrusting folks.
Nancy Carter and Mark Weber from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto videotaped second-year MBA students interviewing for a fake... READ ON
Late night at a bar, you glance across the room and see a man resembling Don Draper. The next day you realize he looks more like Quasimodo than the dapper ad man. Anyone who has ever imbibed in a few (or many) cocktails knows of beer goggles (everyone looks hotter after you've had a few drinks). Researchers recently learned what causes them.
Most humans find symmetry attractive and pursue mates possessing balanced features. Researchers in England wondered if alcohol ruined our ability to detect... READ ON
Lou Gehrig earned the nickname the Iron Horse for good reason. The baseball player took the field no matter what—with a broken thumb, with a broken toe, while suffering from lumbago or even a concussion. During his career, the slugger experienced at least three concussions, a common injury for professional athletes. Oftentimes athletes continue to play while suffering from a concussion and in recent years former pro athletes frequently have been diagnosed with neurological conditions such as... READ ON
It might seem like flowers, candlelight dinners, and romantic getaways are the best ways to land a lady, but it's much easier than that. Just consider wearing a red t-shirt or tie. Female primates swoon over males in red (although I would prefer the flowers, dinners, and trips, as I bet many women... READ ON
In the early 16th century, Venetian noblewomen hobbled around on high platform shoes called chopines. These shoes, resembling silk-covered stilts, were so high that most courtesans traveled with attendants to balance them. Chopines evolved into the high-heeled shoes we know today, but to some, women's footwear still seems as uncomfortable and impractical as it first was. A new study finds that high heels aren't just uncomfortable—they change a woman's legs.
Research from the... READ ON
During the Industrial Revolution, as more children started growing up in cities, physicians noticed a new disease, which weakened children's bones so they were no stronger than cartilage. Researchers eventually linked a vitamin D deficiency to the disease and recommended sunbathing to cure the condition, called rickets.
Vitamin D remains somewhat of a mystery. Half of Americans and Western Europeans suffer from deficiencies of vitamin D, which aids the body's ability to absorb calcium.... READ ON
Scientists found that the monkeys would intentionally sabotage other monkeys who got more food than they did.... READ ON
The cheerful zinnia blooms are part of a gardening experiment aboard the International Space Station.... READ ON
The average house surveyed was home to about 100 species of insects, arachnids, and other bugs, most of which are completely harmless.... READ ON
It's been nearly 20 years since the last study on the distribution of disease-carrying ticks.... READ ON
The China National Space Administration has announced plans to send a rover to the Moon’s far side in 2018.... READ ON
Scientists say physical contact between chimps increases the diversity of bacteria in their guts. ... READ ON
The famed explorer’s grandson introduces some of the ocean’s most flamboyant creatures.... READ ON
The design of the Zero1 was inspired by the crumple zones and bumpers used in automotive engineering.... READ ON
Scientists spotted spear wounds and other evidence of human hunters on the skeleton of a woolly mammoth.... READ ON
A new infographic from Compound Interest explains how this astonishing substance is made.... READ ON
Keith Houston is the creator of the Shady Characters blog and the author o
The inventors of Bubble Wrap were originally trying to make plastic wallpaper.