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X Is the New Y

Chris Higgins

The "Is The New" image from DIAGRAM visualizes the common saying "[something] is the new [something else]" in a fun infographic. Examples include: "gin is the new vodka&qu

This Whole Internet Fad Might Stick Around

Jason English

My cell phone provider tacked on an extra $630 to this month's bill.

Math explains the "beer goggles" effect

Ransom Riggs

Yes, it seems there's a formula to explain everything nowadays -- including why we sometimes give people we wouldn't normally be attracted to our phone number in bars.

On Music: the use of brass in Scheherazade

David K. Israel

Today's an exciting day for me here at the _floss.

Destination Cemeteries

Miss Cellania

Would you consider traveling thousands of miles to visit a cemetery? Lots of people do, especially if the cemetery is full of famous people, or haunted, or even humorous.

Three Things I Didn't Know About Three's Company

Jason English

I just completed my first non-blog mental_floss project. I'll save the details for later, except to say it was a five-week accelerated PhD program in peripheral knowledge.

Night of The Mass Mailers


Any decent spammer is familiar with the sting of a blighted recipient list--there's the mourning that goes with bouncebacks, the chagrin over wrong pronouns, and over the "ie" vs.

Animal Magnetism: 9 Critters that owe their names to celebrities

Mangesh Hattikudur

Having a street or a college dorm named after you has never seemed that impressive to me. You simply drop an overflowing briefcase on the right desk, and it's basically a done deal.

My neighbors are slowly going mad

Ransom Riggs

I live on a pretty normal little street, at least relative to my (perhaps warped) standards of normalcy.

Virtual Exercise

Jason English

I woke up this morning a little sore.

Atari 2600 Cartridge Source Code as Art

Chris Higgins

Artist and programmer Ben Fry has created a series of illustrations based on the source code from Atari 2600 cartridges, including Pac-Man and Q-Bert.

Black Google could save watts aplenty

Ransom Riggs

Maybe not 1.21 gigawatts, the energy needed to power Doc Brown's fabled Flux Capacitor -- but nearly 750 megawatts, according to the folks at EcoIron.

Rickshaw no more

David K. Israel

There was an interesting piece in last week's Economist on rickshaw-pullers.

The Moons of Saturn: Taking Cues From a Wounded Icon


As of today, Saturn has fifty-six moons. And at the rate new ones are shyly popping up, one might say that the planet is, um, bringing sexy back. Why so many moons, Saturn?

Greg Veis: You Tube Hunter Explores the Man Crush


Perhaps the strangest--and certainly the most unwelcome--development of this year's Super Bowl was the reliance on homophobia to move product.