Welcome to the New Mental Floss!


Now wait a minute. Something's different around here.

We're very excited to unveil the new mentalfloss.com! Poke around. We think you're going to like it. Stories have more room to breathe. Pages have less clutter. If you know what you're looking for, you'll have an easier time finding it. If you're here to get lost down a rabbit hole, we can keep you busy for hours. (Also, we love you. Come back often.)

We're still on a mission to write a list of facts about every proper noun, from famous movies to lesser-known presidents, fast-casual restaurant chains to celebrity-endorsed NES games. We'll eventually hit every book you'll read in school, every painting in art history, and every hot dog-shaped automobile you might encounter on the highway.

The staff will continue to answer Big Questions you've always wondered about, and questions you probably haven't.

And we're turning our best writers and editors loose on some fascinating untold stories you'll want to share with your friends. Like, in real life. Verbally. Not just on Facebook. But please tell your Facebook friends as well.

As with any new construction, there are still a few kinks we need to work out. There's a creaky floorboard, a door that needs painting, and no easy way to navigate all 274 installments of our World War I: 100 Years Later series. We're getting there. In the meantime, if there's something you can't find, shoot me an email (jason@mentalfloss.com) or tweet @EnglishJason. Before you know it, this will feel like home for you, too.

And finally, let's give a big round of applause to the very exhausted people who made this all happen, especially John, Mahala, Marty, Maja, Van, Lucy, Emem, Skye, Lauren, and Garrett. You can (almost) sleep now.

Tax Day for Americans Will Be Pushed Back to July 15

Enterline Design Services LLC
Enterline Design Services LLC

On Friday morning, less than a month before the American tax filing deadline of April 15, treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin announced via Twitter that Tax Day will be pushed back by three months—to July 15, 2020—in order to allow individuals and businesses dealing with the physical, financial, and logistical repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic some extra time to get their financial matters in order.

While the date change applies to all American individuals, businesses, and organizations—and no interest or penalties will accrue during this time—Mnuchin, in a second tweet, did suggest that anyone who has completed their taxes submit them now "to get your money."

No further details were given, though we're sure a more detailed statement will be coming as, at the time of publication, even the IRS's site still noted April 15 as the deadline.

In 1861, President Abraham Lincoln created the first income tax as a way to cover Civil War expenses. Calculating what you owed was a lot easier back then: It was a 3 percent flat tax on all incomes above $800. But it wasn't until 1913, with the passage of the 16th Amendment, that Congress formalized a nationwide income tax. Originally, Tax Day was March 1; a few years later, it was pushed back to March 15.

In 1955, revisions to the tax code moved the date back again to April 15, though there have been some exceptions. In 2016, 2017, and 2018, Americans got a few extra days to file because Tax Day cannot fall on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday. But why did it move from March 1 in the first place? The IRS claims it needed more time to process returns, but tax experts believe that an increase in refunds for the middle class meant the agency wanted to hold onto its money longer and collect interest.

We're Hiring a Part-Time Editorial Assistant

zakokor/iStock via Getty Images
zakokor/iStock via Getty Images

Mental Floss is hiring a part-time editorial assistant for our New York City office (though part of your hours can be worked remotely). We’re looking for a rabidly curious individual who is interested in contributing to various aspects of MentalFloss.com.

You can write about almost anything, and you will: Why Paraguay loves Rutherford B. Hayes. What people did for fun in the 16th century. Why the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were so obsessed with pizza. Chaucer. Mini-golf. Drones. Why Syrian golden hamsters spend so much time at the liquor store.

In addition to writing, researching, photo sourcing, web production, and pitching story ideas, you’ll have the opportunity to assist our social media editor with conceptualizing and executing ideas for our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram channels and sharing the new content we post daily. You’ll also have the chance to work with our video team to write and produce our slate of YouTube series; pitch in on our new podcast; and be a part of our monthly team brainstorms. This is a fantastic opportunity for someone looking to learn the digital publishing industry from the ground up, to be able to contribute to some fun (and sometimes bizarre) projects, and to earn some bylines on our Webby Award-winning website.

You’ll be working approximately 15-20 hours per week (and can spend some of that time working remotely, though onsite hours will be required). The position starts ASAP and pays $15/hour. Though it’s scheduled to be a two- to three-month position, the opportunity to continue on after that may be possible.

Ideal candidates will have:
- At least one year of writing and/or editing experience (classes, school-based projects, and/or personal blogs or websites count)
- A natural curiosity and the ability to generate tons of story ideas and execute timely stories on tight deadlines
- Strong attention to detail and multitasking skills
- Energetic, positive written voice, and the ability to translate complicated concepts into accessible writing
- Strong research skills
- Ability to work and collaborate with a team

Click here for more information, and to submit your application.

We look forward to hearing from you!