15 Things You Might Not Know About North Dakota


1. North Dakota is the happiest state in America, according to a 2013 Gallup poll. The survey uses six sub-indexes to measure happiness: life evaluation, emotional health, work environment, physical health, healthy behaviors, and access to basic necessities. In addition to ranking first overall, North Dakota also ranked first in the categories of work environment and physical health.

2. In terms of petroleum, North Dakota is the country's second-largest oil-producing state—in 2014, it celebrated the production of 1 million barrels of oil per day. In addition to petroleum (what we usually think of when we think of oil), the state accounts for 87 percent of the nation’s flaxseed, 75 percent of our canola, and 31 percent of our total sunflower oil supply.

3. North Dakota is currently leading the nation in growth of millionaires per capita.  In 2013, the state added 1,800 new millionaire households to its population of 294,000 households. Experts attribute this economic growth to the energy boom. 

4. Another consequence of the oil boom: North Dakota has one of the highest young-men-to-young-women ratios in the country. In the biggest oil boom counties, for every woman between the ages of 25 and 33, there are 1.6 men.

5. Mr. Bubble Day is an official state holiday in North Dakota. The holiday, which was proclaimed on August 30, 2011, celebrates “the entrepreneurial spirit of Harold Schafer and the Gold Seal Company,” creators of Mr. Bubble bubble bath in North Dakota in 1961.

6. No one knows for sure which Dakota is older. President Benjamin Harrison signed the admission papers on the same day and then shuffled them so that no one would know which state was admitted first. They are usually ranked alphabetically, making North Dakota the 39th state and South Dakota number 40.

7. The North Dakota legislature has rejected two proposals to drop “North” from the state’s name. The first attempt was defeated by the 1947 Legislative Assembly. And in 1989, the legislature rejected another two resolutions attempting to rename the state Dakota.

8. The U.S. Corps of Discovery, better known as the Lewis and Clark Expedition, spent more time in North Dakota than in any other state on their journey. 

9. What’s in a nickname? North Dakota has three: the Peace Garden State, the Roughrider State, and the Flickertail State. The first refers to the International Peace Garden, a park that straddles the boundary between North Dakota and Canada. The Roughrider State refers to the U.S. Volunteer Cavalry, which Theodore Roosevelt organized to fight in the Spanish-American War. The "Roughriders" included several North Dakota cowboys—including Roosevelt himself (Teddy had a ranch near the town of Medora, North Dakota). Finally, the Flickertail State pays homage to the Richardson ground squirrels that are native to the state. The animal is known for flicking or jerking its tail while running or entering its burrow.

10. A sizable portion of North Dakota’s population has Scandinavian heritage. Immigrants from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Iceland, who migrated to North Dakota after land became available under the Homestead Act, used to make up the state’s largest ethnic group

11. In North Dakota you can visit the world’s largest Holstein cow statue and the world’s largest buffalo.

12. The Great Pyramids in Egypt get all the attention, but North Dakota has one of its very own. A large pyramid was built in Nekoma, North Dakota, in the mid 1960s as part of the Safeguard Program to shoot down intercontinental ballistic missiles. It’s equipped with a radar system and surrounded by a complex of missile silos. While the complex cost six billion dollars to build, it was shut down after only three days due to safety concerns.

13. North Dakota is home to a real-live Hamburgler. Last year, a Bismarck woman reported that someone had broken into her house. At first, nothing appeared to be stolen, but the house smelled strongly of bacon. Upon closer inspection, she saw that three cans of Bud Light were missing from her fridge.

14. North Dakota is the nation’s largest producer of honey. In 2012, the state produced over 34 million pounds of honey, valued at over $64 million.

15. The town of Garrison holds an annual Dickens Festival. The festival takes place shortly before Christmas every year, in honor of A Christmas Carol. Locals dress up like characters from the novel and watch an amateur theater troupe perform various renditions of the play.   

Amazon's Under-the-Radar Coupon Page Features Deals on Home Goods, Electronics, and Groceries

Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Now that Prime Day is over, and with Black Friday and Cyber Monday still a few weeks away, online deals may seem harder to come by. And while it can be a hassle to scour the internet for promo codes, buy-one-get-one deals, and flash sales, Amazon actually has an extensive coupon page you might not know about that features deals to look through every day.

As pointed out by People, the coupon page breaks deals down by categories, like electronics, home & kitchen, and groceries (the coupons even work with SNAP benefits). Since most of the deals revolve around the essentials, it's easy to stock up on items like Cottonelle toilet paper, Tide Pods, Cascade dishwasher detergent, and a 50 pack of surgical masks whenever you're running low.

But the low prices don't just stop at necessities. If you’re looking for the best deal on headphones, all you have to do is go to the electronics coupon page and it will bring up a deal on these COWIN E7 PRO noise-canceling headphones, which are now $80, thanks to a $10 coupon you could have missed.

Alternatively, if you are looking for deals on specific brands, you can search for their coupons from the page. So if you've had your eye on the Homall S-Racer gaming chair, you’ll find there's currently a coupon that saves you 5 percent, thanks to a simple search.

To discover all the deals you have been missing out on, head over to the Amazon Coupons page.

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10 Words and Phrases That Came From TV Shows

Photo illustration by Mental Floss. Image: iStock.
Photo illustration by Mental Floss. Image: iStock.

Television can be a hotbed of creativity (or mediocrity, depending on who you ask). But it's not just characters and storylines writers are coming up with—they also coin words. Here are 10 surprising words that were invented thanks to TV.

1. Poindexter

While this term for a studious nerd might seem very 1980s, it actually comes from a cartoon character introduced on TV in 1959. In the series Felix the Cat, Poindexter is the feline’s bespectacled, genius nephew, supposedly named for Emmet Poindexter, the series creator’s lawyer.

2. Eye Candy

This phrase meaning a thing or person that offers visual appeal but not much substance originally referred to such a feature of a TV program. According to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), it first appeared in 1978 issue of a Louisiana newspaper called The Hammond Daily Star: “Sex … is more blatant ... ‘Eye candy,' as one network executive calls it.” Ear candy is slightly earlier, from the title of a 1977 album by Helen Reddy, while arm candy is later, from 1992.

3. Ribbit

Think frogs have always been known to say “ribbit”? Think again: According to the OED, this onomatopoeia might have originated on a TV show in the late-1960s. While we can’t say for sure that absolutely no one was making this frog sound before then, the earliest recorded usage found so far (according to linguist Ben Zimmer) is from a 1965 episode of Gilligan’s Island, in which Mel Blanc voiced a character called Ribbit the Frog. This predates the OED’s earliest entry, which is from a 1968 episode of the Smother Brothers Comedy Hour: “That’s right. Ribit! .. I am a frog.”

4. Sorry About That

You've probably used this expression of regret more than once in your life, but did you know it was popularized by Get Smart? It's one of the many catchphrases from the late 1960s TV show. Others include “missed it by that much” and “the old (so-and-so) trick.”

5. Cromulent

Cromulent is a perfectly cromulent word, as far as the OED is concerned. This adjective invented on The Simpsons means “acceptable, adequate, satisfactory.” Other OED words the denizens of Springfield popularized are meh (perhaps influenced by the Yiddish “me,” meaning “be it as it may, so-so,” from 1928 or earlier), d’oh (the earliest recorded usage is from a 1945 British radio show), and embiggen, which first appeared in an 1884 publication by English publisher George Bell: “Are there not, however, barbarous verbs in all languages? … The people magnified them, to make great or embiggen, if we may invent an English parallel as ugly.”

6. Five-O

The OED’s earliest citation of this slang term for the police is from a 1983 article in The New York Times, although it was probably in use long before that. The moniker comes from Hawaii Five-O, which premiered in 1968. In the show, five-o refers to a particular police unit and apparently was named in honor of Hawaii being the 50th state.

7. Gomer

While the word gomer has been around since the year 1000 (referring to a Hebrew unit of measure), the sense of someone stupid or inept comes from the inept titular character in the 1960s show Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. It’s also a derogatory name among medical professionals for a difficult patient, especially an elderly one.

8. Cowabunga

Sure, the 1960s surfing slang might have regained popularity in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s due to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon series, but it originated way before then. Chief Thunderthud, a character on the 1950s children’s show Howdy Doody would use it as faux Native American language. After that, it somehow made its way into surfer slang, hence becoming a catchphrase of Michelangelo, the hard-partying, surfing ninja turtle.

9. Har De Har

The next time you want to laugh in a sarcastic, old-timey way, thank Jackie Gleason for popularizing har de har via his iconic 1950s show, The Honeymooners.

10. Spam

So how in the world did spam, originally the name of a canned ham, come to mean junk email or to inundate with junk emails or postings? Chalk it up to Monty Python’s Flying Circus. The food Spam (which stands for either “spiced ham” or “shoulder of pork and ham”) was invented during the Great Depression in the late 1930s. Fast-forward 40-some-odd years and the British sketch comics were singing incessantly about it. This apparently was the inspiration for the computer slang that came about in the early 1990s.