Friday Happy Hour: 4 Books to Give Away

Jason English

Because I failed to post a new book giveaway last night, today's Friday Happy Hour will be a complete overcompensation. (My mother-in-law had surgery yesterday, and Dr. Charlotte needed to pay her a visit.) Four questions to answer; four books to win. I'll announce all the winners on Monday.

The Challenge (#1): You're smart people. It stands to reason that we could all profit from your collective wisdom. For now, let's focus that wisdom on travel tips. Lay them on us—destinations that make you feel smarter, ideas for making travel easier/cheaper/more fun, etc.

The Prize:

The Smart Traveler's Passport: 399 Tips from Seasoned Travelers, which includes tips like these:

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"¢ 13 different uses for Ziploc bags

"¢ How dental floss can double as a tape measure

"¢ Where to find the best street food in cities worldwide

"¢ How a digital camera can help you find your rental car

"¢ Why clearing your Web browser's cache will lead to lower prices on airfare and hotel reservations

The Challenge (#2): We all know that language evolves, so let's speed up the process. Pick any word and assign a new meaning. This might be a word you've already evolved for your own purposes, or something you just came up with today. The Prize: Semantic Antics: How and Why Words Change Meaning by Sol Steinmetz.

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The Challenge (#3):

You may not be a super-hero in the traditional, tights-wearing sense. But you probably have at least one super-power you're usually too shy to brag about. For this challenge, you're going to have to come out of your shell and let us know what amazing talent you possess. The ability to magically judge a person by their email signature? To remember the halftime scores of every Super Bowl? You tell me. Don't be bashful.

The Prize: The Superman Handbook: The Ultimate Guide to Saving the Day.

The Challenge (#4): The fourth challenge is going to be held over on our Facebook page. We're currently sitting at 3,962 fans, and it would mean a lot to get that number over 4,000. (OK, it doesn't really make any difference, but setting arbitrary goals is my super-power.) Let's pretend for a moment that you're a millionaire with philanthropic leanings. After you heard about the mental_floss $50,000 Tuition Giveaway, you decided to start your own scholarship. What will you call it? What's the criteria? You can answer this one on our Facebook Wall. And if you want to declare your fanhood, you can do that, too.

Wednesday's Winners

We're going to give this one to Scott, whose suggestions for mental_floss Top Man and Top Woman of 2008 were the most original:

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Top Man: Myron Rolle of Florida State University. Here's a young man who is going to delay playing in the NFL to study at Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship!

Top Woman: Miss Cellania. I started reading mental_floss and neatorama at the end of 2008. She consistently provides quality blogs and always picks up my day when I read her musings. Definitely top woman!

We also said we'd choose someone at random, so I choose....Rebecca W. I'll be in touch!

[See previous 'Friday Happy Hour' transcripts.]