On April 28, 1789, Fletcher Christian and 18 other sailors aboard the HMS Bounty wrested control of the ship from their commanding officer, Lieutenant William Bligh. The mutineers sent Bligh and the members of the crew loyal to him off in a lifeboat in the South Pacific, then set sail to some nearby islands for new lives in a tropical paradise. Over 220 years later, their actions may help researchers unlock the mysteries of the... READ ON
Big news! Food Network legend Alton Brown has joined the mental_floss gang as our new food columnist! Considering we've described mental_floss as "Good Eats, but, you know, about everything," this feels like a perfect fit. His big debut is in the new issue, which should be on newsstands and in mailboxes any day now.
Like everything else these days, this came about on... READ ON
Ambrose Bierce was a celebrated journalist, storyteller and, above all, cynic. Bierce had a barbed wit, and he often used it to kick American culture square in the teeth. In 1911, he published The Devil’s Dictionary, a partial lexicon that sardonically redefines over 1000 words. Here are some of our... READ ON
Lots of places claim to be the world capital of something -- animals, fruits, vegetables, consumer goods, other odds and ends. But sometimes, that something is really, really strange.
1. Pearsonville, California: Hubcap Capital of the... READ ON
“Happy Birthday to You” has been used in hundreds of movies, countless advertisements, an estimated 1,500,000+ singing telegrams, and been the basis for pieces by classical composers like Igor Stravinsky and Aaron Copland. It’s arguably the most recognized song in the English-speaking world, and it's making some lucky people a whole lot of money. But... READ ON
When we think of the world of science, we often imagine white lab coats and sterile instruments, where everything is perfectly measured, monitored and executed. After all, scientists are supposed to be the smartest of us all. It's easy to assume they aren't plagued by stupidity and clumsiness like the rest of us. But even scientists make mistakes. Unfortunately for them, their screw-ups tend to have more serious ramifications than ours.
1. Freezer Burn
In a recent example, a malfunctioning freezer at... READ ON
Friday morning, we awoke to the horrific news of a shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. Seventy people were shot; ten died at the scene and two more died soon afterward from their injuries. In the days after a mass murder, we try to make sense out of the senseless, and that often takes the form of fixating on the killer. Instead, let's remember those who were lost.
The twelve who died in the movie theater massacre were all out for a night of fun. Several of them died shielding their dates... READ ON
A rose by any other name probably wouldn't smell as sweet, at least not in the cases of some of these one-named celebrities. From A-Z, here are the full names of some of your favorite mononymous stars, and the reasons they dropped the rest of their names.
1. The Celeb:... READ ON
Spoiler Alert: It is not. But here's why that warning is on there in the first... READ ON
Last year, Americans spent $10.7 trillion shopping. With that much dough, you could buy over 2000 aircraft carriers, 300 private islands, and still have money left over for a latte. Here’s a taste of the things we bought—and how much we spent on... READ ON
Nixon was speaking at Disney World when he famously declared, "I am not a crook."