Would you put up a total stranger in your home for a few nights -- for free? It sounds a little strange, but hundreds of thousands of people have signed up to do just that -- to surf couches and to have their couches surfed -- on the astoundingly popular travellers' website CouchSurfing.com. CouchSurfing isn't the first such hospitality program: Servas, a network of travelers, hosts and helpers, has been around for 60 years, but the process for being approved is semi-complex (step one: "contact National... READ ON
A letter/number Brain Game on a cozy Friday. Have a great weekend, and good luck!
Given the set of numbers from 1 to 99:
What is theÂ smallest integer thatÂ is
EXACTLY 8 letters long when spelled out?
What about the largest?
Here is the SOLUTION.
The smallest is "THIRTEEN," while the largest is... READ ON
Ana Rodarte was born with neurofibromatosis, which caused tumors to cover half her face. She was in her twenties when a team of doctors performed a series of operations that transformed her life. Part one and part two.
BallDroppings is a little physics-based music game. Draw lines to catch the bouncing balls and enjoy the music they make. Bonus -no inertia!
5 Public Health Campaigns that Made Things Worse. The best of intentions can lead to unintended consequences when you don't think them all the... READ ON
Saturday will mark the 51st anniversary of the death of Konstantin Yuon (1875-1958). Though the painter was "destined for greatness in the Russian Art World," he's not very well known outside his homeland. So today, "Feel Art Again" presents the basics on the artist behind "New Planet," shown above.
1. After receiving a traditional art education at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, Yuon travelled through Europe. During stays in Germany,... READ ON
I'm hoping that everyone who TiVoed last Monday's episode of House has already watched it, since the next sentence definitely contains a spoiler. The suicide of Dr. Kutner broadsided viewers, although in retrospect it wasn't so surprising. Actor Kal Penn had been fairly underused during the two years he was on the show, and he recently revealed that he'd accepted the position of "liaison connecting the Obama administration with arts and entertainment groups, as well as with the... READ ON
Linda Rodriguez recently moved to England, and she posts about happenings in her new country a few times each week. Her column needs a name. "A Broad Abroad" sounds demeaning and Sarah Lyall just published a book called "The Anglo Files." Got any other ideas? If Linda picks yours, you win a mental_floss t-shirt. So get... READ ON
Everyone knows that sleeping well, exercise and playing sudoku can keep your brain in shape. But there are lots of ways you can flex your cerebral cortex, and these ten are pretty easy.
1. Chase the rainbow. Eating foods with naturally high color intensity (an indication of high antioxidant content) can inhibit the progression of age-related cognitive disorders in addition to lowering blood sugar, which also improves brain function. Common recommendations include blueberries, cranberries, red wine, and... READ ON
I love new languages. The trouble is, I'm usually really bad at them. I'm certain my attempts to speak Portuguese during my honeymoon in Portugal a few years ago are still the butt of jokes there. So when I heard that Vanuatu, where I spent the last few weeks, is one of the most linguistically dense places on earth -- they speak more than 130 distinct languages across a landmass the size of Connecticut -- I was pretty sure I was screwed, sentenced to weeks of hilarious attempts at sign language and... READ ON
This is your semi-daily reminder that mental_floss is on Twitter. Right now, I'm just posting random facts as I come across them, with the occasional non-scientific poll and periodic updates on the staff's eating habits thrown in. Good times are being had by... READ ON
In this fourth post of the series about local characters, we'll take a look at some colorful citizens who are well known in Peoria, San Marcos, Montreal, New Haven, Wheeling, Ocean City, and Omaha.
1. The Great... READ ON
Calvin's father owned a used car lot, and he promisedÂ the 22-year-oldÂ collegeÂ student that he'dÂ give him one ofÂ the best cars in his lotÂ upon graduation, as long as he could prove that he'd learned something. Knowing that Cal had trouble with logic (and had failed a statistics class the first time around), hisÂ dad decided to give the young man a true challenge. He'dÂ provide some clues to the vehicles he considered, and then give Calvin a choice between two cars. If he chose... READ ON
Who doesn't love that great song "Mahna Mahna" from Sesame Street? As funny as it is earwormy, as adorable as it is cool, the song appeals to each generation anew and never gets tiring.
But guess what? Neither Sesame Street nor The Muppet Show can take credit for discovering the song. Penned by the Italian film composer Piero Umiliani (if you haven't heard of him, it's okay, "Mahna Mahna" is all he's really known for), "Mah NÃ Mah NÃ " as it was originally called in... READ ON
Scientific explanations for the parting of the Red Sea, the 10 plagues, and the burning bush. ..."a natural explanation of the events of the Exodus doesn't to my mind make them any less miraculous. "¦ What made certain events miraculous was their timing."
Bananas will make you smile. At least I think that's the point of this weird Japanese ad.
The Dark Side of Dubai. Never move to a foreign country without checking out the laws, or you may end up in one of these horror stories. (via Cynical-C)... READ ON
Goldfish can distinguish the music of one composer from another.