Month in Review: September's Most Popular Stories


If you're keeping score at home, September was the second-best month we've ever had. (The halcyon days of August '09 will be tough to top.) Thanks to everyone who has made mental_floss part of your routine, especially the folks who've been here for years and have aggressively spread the word about our site and magazine.

We've got some exciting stuff on tap for October and beyond. Stay tuned. For now, let's take a look at our ten most popular stories from September.

1. The Quick 10: 10 Secret Menu Items at Fast Food Restaurants*
by Stacy Conradt

You probably caught September's top story the first (or second or third or fourth) time around. Our biggest viral hit since 2007's Quarter Backs Quiz, Stacy's post has been featured by Yahoo!, CNN, USA Today and The Today Show (see Al Roker, Ann Curry & Natalie Morales talking about it here).

2. 4 People With Super Memory
by David K. Israel

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What if you finished reading this article and remembered every detail of it for the rest of your life? That's the problem people with super-autobiographical memory face—and yes, it's often referred to as a problem, not a gift.

3. 11 Things Wal-Mart Has Banned
by Ethan Trex

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It seems like the mega-store stocks just about everything. But not quite, though. There are a number of things that Wal-Mart has banned from its stores at some point. Here's a look at a few of them.

4. 10 Technologies We Stole From the Animal Kingdom
by David Goldenberg & Eric Vance

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People have been lifting ideas from Mother Nature for decades. But today, the science of copying nature, a field known as biomimetics, is a billion-dollar industry. Here are some of our favorite technologies that came in from the wild.

5. 10 Unusual Playgrounds From Around the World
by David K. Israel

Playgrounds have come a long way since the early days of hot, steel slides and open-backed infant swings. Take a look at some of the amazing play-places popping up around the world.

6. How Do Countries Choose Which Side They Drive On?
by Linda Rodriguez

Why do different nations drive on different sides of the road? London correspondent Linda Rodriguez answers that age-old question.

7. 15 Companies That Originally Sold Something Else
by Ethan Trex

Some companies find their niche and stick to it. Others, though, have to adapt to changing markets in order to thrive. Here's a look at companies that switched industries at some point in their histories, including Avon, 3M and Tiffany.

8. Somewhat More Realistic Cartoon Characters
by Miss Cellania

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Tools like Photoshop make it easier than ever to give texture and shadow to plain line drawings, so converting our favorite cartoon characters into a more realistic style is too tempting to pass up.

9. 11 Famous Actors and the Big TV Roles They Turned Down
by Kara Kovalchik

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Dana Delany as Carrie Bradshaw? Paul Shaffer as George Costanza? Cosmo Kramer as Monk? Here's a look at 11 actors who passed on some of TV's most popular shows.

10. 6 Lost Treasures Just Waiting to Be Found
by Rob Lammle

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Not everybody can just stumble upon a copy of the Declaration of Independence at a garage sale. To help you find your fortune, here are six tales of lost treasures that are just waiting for you to find them.

* Sure, Stacy's article was technically posted on August 31st (and therefore ineligible for "September's Most Popular Stories"), but when Al Roker talks about a story, we toss aside rules.

If you're new to mental_floss, here's what you missed in August.

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