5 Signs Humans Are Still Evolving
Sign #1: We’re losing our wisdom teeth.
Crazy Variations on the Bicycle
To celebrate the end of National Bike Month, here are some alternative bikes you might see on the road one day.
Why Pluto Isn't a Planet
Everyone remembers where they were when they heard Pluto was no longer a planet. This video explains what led modern astronomers to that decision.
Quiz: Tip for Managing Millennials or Advice for...
There have been countless articles about how to manage “Millennials.” Sometimes it sounds like these eager, technology-loving employees are from another planet. Or puppies! Can you tell whether the tip is for dealing with a younger worker or raising a young dog? Take the Quiz: Tip for Managing Millennials or Advice for Puppy Owners?
31 Acronyms and Initials All Spelled Out
For the past few weeks, every time I saw an acronym or initials, I took a picture. You know the brands, authors, and pieces of legislation, but do you know what all those letters stand for?
Arlington National Cemetery Was Built on Robert E....
UPI/Kevin Dietsch/LANDOV Brig. Gen. Montgomery C. Meigs wanted to make sure the place was uninhabitable if the Lees ever tried to return. He ordered the graves placed as close to the mansion as possible. More: The Scandalous History of Arlington National Cemetery
10 Things to Remember About Memorial Day
© Jeff Spielman/Corbis In 2000, Congress established a National Moment of Remembrance, which asks Americans to pause for one minute at 3pm in an act of national unity. The time was chosen because 3pm is “the time when most Americans are enjoying their freedoms on the national holiday.” Here’s a handy 10-pack of facts to give the holiday some perspective.
In 1992 Nickelodeon buried a time capsule that...
Joey Lawrence tossed in a hat that said “Whoa!” on it. Thankfully this is all on YouTube.
30 Famous People With Law Degrees
Law degree image via Shutterstock Second-guessing your career choice? You’re not alone. These people ditched their law degrees in favor of other pursuits — quite successful ones at that.
Neil Gaiman’s Commencement Speech on Creative...
“Nothing I did, where the only reason for doing it was the money, was ever worth it except as bitter experience. Usually I didn’t end up getting the money either. The things I did because I was excited and wanted to see them exist in reality have never let me down, and I’ve never regretted the time I’ve spent on any of them. The problems of failure are hard; the problems of success can be harder,...
Tomorrow is Geek Pride Day. There are prizes...
To celebrate, go try to win stuff.
Why Do Beans Make You Fart?
Baked beans image via Shutterstock Matt Soniak explains why beans are the musical fruit.
Why Are Some Potato Chips Green?
Short answer: Chlorophyll. Longer answer here.
Why Don't Woodpeckers Get Brain Damage?
Woodpecker image via Shutterstock If you or I bump our heads hard enough on a hunk of wood, it might smart for a while. But to get through an average day, a woodpecker might ram its head into a tree trunk at a speed of 6 or 7 meters per second some 12,000 times without seeming the least bit bothered by it. What is going on here?
What Causes Eye Floaters?
Eye image via Shutterstock A look at those tiny, oddly shaped objects that sometimes appear in your vision.
New Bacteria Could Make You Poop Rainbows
In 2009, students at Cambridge University genetically engineered E. coli bacteria, adding DNA sequences in order to create colors visible to the naked eye (standard E. coli does not have a pigment). The students called this new strain E. chromi, and it has limited uses today, primarily related to detecting pollution or other chemicals — if the bacteria detects a chemical, it changes color. ...
What Exactly Is Quicksand?
Clear your schedules! Today we’ll be answering 20 big questions just like this one on mentalfloss.com.
Twenty years ago today, The Real World made its...
Twenty years ago tomorrow, Johnny Carson ended his Tonight Show run.
Today Mr. T Turns 60
Happy birthday, Laurence Tureaud! Here he is playing the White House Santa in 1983.
Why Do Paper Cuts Hurt So Much?
Paper cut image via Shutterstock Matt Soniak answers another one of life’s big questions.
Cakes Based on Kids’ Books and Characters
See More: 11 Cakes Based on Kids’ Books, Movies and TV Shows
Beyond Battleship: 3 More Board Game Movies in the...
“It’s like Lord of The Rings, but set in a world of candy.”
When Facebook introduced the News Feed in 2006,...
© Rick Friedman/Corbis, 2004 There were protests and petitions (on Facebook). TIME called it “Gen Y’s first official revolution.”
Pictures of Things That Kids Eat
Here’s a round-up of niche blogs documenting school lunches around the world and other kid-food adventures.
14 Essential Talking Points About The Berenstain...
With 300-plus titles in print and more than 260 million books sold, the Berenstain Bears are bound to come up in conversation. Here’s how to steer a predictable discussion about teamwork and manners to one on sex and panda discrimination.
10 Uninhabited Islands and Why Nobody Lives on...
A tour of abandoned and uninhabited islands around the world.
We Lost Jim Henson 22 Years Ago Today
Image Via zhurnaly [Flickr] Here are some touching and heartbreaking clips from his memorial services.
12 Really Forced Portmanteaux That Didn't Catch On
Scandiknavery (deceit or trickery by Scandinavians)! Balloonatic (a person who is balloon-mad)! Saccharhinoceros (a lumbering person with an excessively effusive or affectedly sentimental manner)! Alcoholiday (leisure time spent drinking)! For whatever reason, these words never caught on.
Who Said It: @JoseCanseco or Gertrude Stein?
Gertrude Stein is emblematic of a literary and artistic era, with the rhythmic cadence of her poetry underlining a naked self-expression. Jose Canseco slugged 462 dingers and is now known on Twitter for his candid insight, bouts of oppressive confidence tempered by poignant disclosures of self doubt, and an ever-turbid relationship with the ethereal but “so hot” Leila Shennib...
War Elephants vs. Flaming Pigs
War elephants were the tanks of their time. Their tough hides were nearly impervious to arrows, and their giant size made them perfect for trampling through enemy lines. In 331 BCE, Alexander the Great was so nervous about the Persian army’s pachyderms that he made a sacrifice to the God of Fear the night before battle. The mighty elephants’ reputation only grew when, in 218 BCE, Hannibal set...
John Adams on Being the First Vice President
“My country has in its wisdom contrived for me the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived or his imagination conceived.”
No matter how many mistakes your mother may have...
Image courtesy of Luke Bryant’s Flickr stream. The 9 Worst Moms of the Animal Kingdom
The Founder of Mother's Day Later Fought to Have...
Years after she founded Mother’s Day, Anna Jarvis was dining at the Tea Room at Wanamaker’s department store in Philadelphia. She saw they were offering a “Mother’s Day Salad.” She ordered the salad and when it was served, she stood up, dumped it on the floor, left the money to pay for it, and walked out in a huff. Jarvis had lost control of the holiday she helped create, and she was crushed by...
Music Cures Everything
REUTERS/PETR JOSEK/LANDOV Well, maybe not everything. But low birth weight, the effects of brain damage, illiteracy, droopy plants, teen loitering, sluggish alcohol sales… Read More: 11 Problems Researchers Think Music Can Solve
11 Countries Where Same-Sex Marriage is Legal
© Kimberly White/Corbis On Tuesday, North Carolina voted to amend their constitution making gay marriage illegal. In response, on Wednesday President Obama came out in support of same-sex marriage. It will probably be a long time before anything is decided here, but eleven other countries have already legalized gay marriage. Here are their stories.
11 Nineteenth-Century VP Candidates Who Vaguely...
If you’re writing a movie about Grover Cleveland’s VP or James Buchanan’s running mate, James Hamblin has found the perfect actors.
11 Disclaimers, Signs and Announcements That Are...
Some warnings we’ve outgrown.
11 Obscure Regional Phrases We All Should Start...
It’s about time you learned how to use wonderful phrases like stew the dishrag, whoopity scoot, and vomiting your toenails.
60% of People Can’t Go 10 Minutes Without Lying
Lie detector image via Shutterstock According to a 2002 study conducted by the University of Massachusetts, 60% of adults can’t have a ten minute conversation without lying at least once. But even that number makes it sound better than it really is; those people in the study who did lie actually told an average of 3 lies during their brief chat. [More stats about lying here.]
Animaniacs: The Definitive History
Rob Lammle reached out to Animaniacs creator Tom Ruegger for help with a story. We ended up getting everything you’d ever want to know about the show.
Today is National Lost Sock Memorial Day. Time to...
Lonely sock image via Shutterstock
19 Amazing Facts About Stuff We Saw at Toys R Us
For our latest field trip, we spent some quality time wandering around a major toy store.
"Where the Wild Things Are" Was Originally "Where...
The book was intended, of course, to feature fillies, foals and mares. Editor Ursula Nordstrom adored the title, finding it poetic and beautiful, but there was one problem: Sendak couldn’t draw horses. When he told his editor that the whole horse thing wasn’t going to work out, he recalls her “acid tone[d]” response: “Maurice, what can you draw?” “Things,” he said. And “things” he drew. From...
“I don’t write for children,” Maurice Sendak told Stephen Colbert. “I write. And somebody says, that’s for children.”
Space Mountain With the Lights On
Here’s a video showing what Space Mountain looks like with the lights on.
The Ghost Who Helped Solve Her Own Murder
In 1897 in Greenbrier County, WV, the ghost of Elva Zona Heaster helped put away her killer.
The mysterious Japanese company behind the world’s best zippers. (via Slate)
The littlest president was James Madison. He was...
When Seniority Means Shorter Skirts
In the current issue of mental_floss magazine, veteran flight attendant Heather Poole revealed 10 workplace secrets, including this one about the length of her skirt. Our tenure on the job doesn’t just determine which routes we fly and which days we get to take off; it also affects the hierarchy in our crashpad, an apartment shared by as many as 20 flight attendants. Seniority is the...
The Weird World of Country-Specific Web Domains
As the dot-com bubble reached its peak in 2000, Internet entrepreneurs faced a problem: every word in the dictionary had been registered as a dot-com domain name. So their bold new innovation was to register domains ending in something else! Let’s take a look back at the stories of three alternate top-level domains: Tuvalu (.tv), Libya (.ly), and Cocos Islands (.cc).